{\rtf1{\info{\title Blake's progress}{\author R. F.

Nelson}}\ansi\ansicpg1252\de ff0\deflang1033 {\fonttbl{\f0\froman\fprq2\fcharset128 Times New Roman;}{\f1\froman\fprq2\fchars et128 Times New Roman;}{\f2\fswiss\fprq2\fcharset128 Arial;}{\f3\fnil\fprq2\fcha rset128 Arial;}{\f4\fnil\fprq2\fcharset128 MS Mincho;}{\f5\fnil\fprq2\fcharset12 8 Tahoma;}{\f6\fnil\fprq0\fcharset128 Tahoma;}} {\stylesheet{\ql \li0\ri0\nowidctlpar\wrapdefault\faauto\rin0\lin0\itap0 \rtlch\ fcs1 \af25\afs24\alang1033 \ltrch\fcs0 \fs24\lang1033\langfe255\cgrid\langnp1033 \langfenp255 \snext0 Normal;} {\s1\ql \li0\ri0\sb240\sa120\keepn\nowidctlpar\wrapdefault\faauto\outlinelevel0\ rin0\lin0\itap0 \rtlch\fcs1 \ab\af0\afs32\alang1033 \ltrch\fcs0 \b\fs32\lang1033 \langfe255\loch\f1\hich\af1\dbch\af26\cgrid\langnp1033\langfenp255 \sbasedon15 \ snext16 \slink21 heading 1;} {\s2\ql \li0\ri0\sb240\sa120\keepn\nowidctlpar\wrapdefault\faauto\outlinelevel1\ rin0\lin0\itap0 \rtlch\fcs1 \ab\ai\af0\afs28\alang1033 \ltrch\fcs0 \b\i\fs28\lan g1033\langfe255\loch\f1\hich\af1\dbch\af26\cgrid\langnp1033\langfenp255 \sbasedo n15 \snext16 \slink22 heading 2;} {\s3\ql \li0\ri0\sb240\sa120\keepn\nowidctlpar\wrapdefault\faauto\outlinelevel2\ rin0\lin0\itap0 \rtlch\fcs1 \ab\af0\afs28\alang1033 \ltrch\fcs0 \b\fs28\lang1033 \langfe255\loch\f1\hich\af1\dbch\af26\cgrid\langnp1033\langfenp255 \sbasedon15 \ snext16 \slink23 heading 3;} {\s4\ql \li0\ri0\sb240\sa120\keepn\nowidctlpar\wrapdefault\faauto\outlinelevel3\ rin0\lin0\itap0 \rtlch\fcs1 \ab\ai\af0\afs23\alang1033 \ltrch\fcs0\b\i\fs23\lang 1033\langfe255\loch\f1\hich\af1\dbch\af26\cgrid\langnp1033\langfenp255 \sbasedon 15 \snext16 \slink24 heading 4;} {\s5\ql \li0\ri0\sb240\sa120\keepn\nowidctlpar\wrapdefault\faauto\outlinelevel4\ rin0\lin0\itap0 \rtlch\fcs1 \ab\af0\afs23\alang1033 \ltrch\fcs0 \b\fs23\lang1033 \langfe255\loch\f1\hich\af1\dbch\af26\cgrid\langnp1033\langfenp255 \sbasedon15 \ snext16 \slink25 heading 5;} {\s6\ql \li0\ri0\sb240\sa120\keepn\nowidctlpar\wrapdefault\faauto\outlinelevel5\ rin0\lin0\itap0 \rtlch\fcs1 \ab\af0\afs21\alang1033 \ltrch\fcs0 \b\fs21\lang1033 \langfe255\loch\f1\hich\af1\dbch\af26\cgrid\langnp1033\langfenp255 \sbasedon15 \ snext16 \slink26 heading 6;}} Scanned by Highroller. { Proofed by a ProofPack Proofer. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Made prettier by use of EBook Design Group Stylesheet. {\b Blake's Progress by R.F. }\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\b Nelson}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\i {\b INTRODUCTION}}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ When I first heard that Ray Nelson was writing a science fiction novel about Wi lliam Blake, I was a bit surprised. "What does Blake have to do with science fic tion?" I asked. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Ah," said Ray, "you forget that he had visions of the future. He was, in fact, a {\i time traveler}." Ray stared at me with his piercingly mild eyes. I said, "Oh, I see. Sort of like DaVinci in Manly Wade Wellman's {\i Twice} {\i in Time" }\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Not at all," said Ray. "Mr. Blake wasn't a modern man who went back in time, h e was an 18th Century man who traveled at will to the limits of the timestream, past and future. His works show it." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "They do?" I said. Ray knows more about art than I; he was studying art at the University of Chicago when I was still in junior high school, struggling with Me chanical Drawing. He also knows more about poetry than I; he published a slim vo lume called {\i Perdita: Poems of Love and Self} {\i Pity} while I was graduating from high school (and reading Manly Wade Wellman).

\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Read my book and you'll understand it all," Ray told me. So I did read his nov el, and indeed I came to understand. Though in truth, what I understood wasn't s o much about William Blake as about Radell Faraday Nelson. I realized once again that Ray has an imagination more fertile than that of anyone today who isn't lo cked up. Ray has always been creative. Years ago, before he took typewriter in h and to write either poetry or science fiction, Ray was known primarily as a cart oonist; he drew wonderful cartoons featuring roughly humanoid creatures called " globlies." The globlies were {\i roughly} humanoid only in appearance; their personalities were more human than m ost of us. One of his cartoons showed a globly riding a horse pell-mell toward a giant mirror, fiercely tilting his lance at his own reflection. Another showed a globly on the back of a robot horse, riding through a dark land of featureless sheet metal; the globly, with touching faith, was saying, "Ole Dobbin knows the way home." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ In another of Ray's cartoons, a fat globly politician marched forward saying sm ugly, "The people are 100% behind me." And indeed they were: a dimly seen mass o f humanity milled on the distant horizon. Ray once told me he was going to write a science fiction novel about the globlies, casting those lovably naive creatur es as Martians. He even wrote an outline for the book and sent it to me when I w as a junior editor at Ace Books. I passed it on to Don Wollheim, the senior edit or, but he declined to buy it on the grounds that it was too whimsical. Somehow, I've always felt that the field of modern literature was just a little impoveri shed by the lack of that globly novel. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Ray's creations {\i are} often whimsical; and they're always off-trail and unpredictable, as readers of such Nelson stories as {\i Turn Off the Sky} and {\i Time Travel for Pedestrians} can attest. So I wasn't surprised when I read {\i Blake's Progress} and found that Ray had taken that great old science fiction pl ot, the alternate worlds story, and made of it something new and odd. \par\pard\ plain\hyphpar}{ For one thing, though {\i Blake's Progress} is about a battle that literally shakes the timestream, its se ttings ranging from the remote past to the far future, there are no brawny heroe s wielding rayguns. Instead, the hero is a rather dreamy artist with a sexual pe culiarity that may lift Hugo Gernsback's eyebrows right out of his grave. The he roine is no timid beauty who cries "Eeek!" at the sight of giant reptilian antag onists; Kate Blake is a prim Christian wife who regards the villains of the stor y with stern disapproval. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ There are wonders galore in this book, panoramas of glittering future cities an d savage alien beings, but the focus of it all is the home and hearth of Mr. and Mrs. William Blake, citizens of a simpler world than our own. \par\pard\plain\h yphpar}{ As for whimsy, it's been quite awhile since I've read about an alien being as c harming as the reptilian giant named Morr Droon Fahra Rahoor Thee Ahh Oh Thahrr Noh Grooh Rahhr\u8212?called Grooh for short. All in all, I don't believe I've e ver read a science fiction novel like {\i Blake's} {\i Progress} before. And I suspect I'll never see another like it till Ray Nelson w rites it. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Terry Carr\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\i Hear the voice of the Bard! Who Present, Past and Future sees.} {\i William Blake }\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\i Songs of Experience}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\b *}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\i

{\b CHAPTER ONE}}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Nude but for wings, the Zoas swarmed beelike from century to century, savoring of each age its unique bouquet. In tunic, toga and sandals, with shortsword and dagger at the ready, they mingled with the Roman crowd, heard the hysterical ova tion as Nero's chariot passed, then, as the rain came, watched the blood of Jewi sh gladiators turn the earth to brick-red mud. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ In doublet and hose they rode in procession a while with a king. In airtight si lver suit and inverted fishbowl helmet they walked the twilight desert of Mars a t noon, under a Sun that was no more than one more star. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar }{ In monkish robes they watched the armored knights crash together on horseback a nd then, when one knight fell, continue the fight on foot, panting, grunting, we eping. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ In glowing fog of energy like a second skin, they stood at a wide oval porthole and watched the triple star Capella recede, turn red and fade into blackness. \ par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ In hairy dirty animal skins they ran barefoot through tall grass, howling at a shaggy bellowing mastodon that fled before them toward a trap, while the grim su n shimmered at zenith. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ And then at last, weary and laughing and nude once more, they rested on a cliff overlooking a swamp that would someday be London, gazing down at a torpid, giga ntic, mottled diplodocus that chewed its cud and waded while a gray overcast mov ed overhead. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The Zoas unstrapped their wings and laid them among the ferns, white feathers a mong the graygreen feathery fronds in the dim shadowless light. The diplodocus s wung its little head in their direction, neck graceful, swanlike, tiny eyes glis tening like wet ebon pebbles, but made no move to harm them or to flee. \par\par d\plain\hyphpar}{ Many of the Zoas wandered, in twos and threes, away from the swamp, toward a di stant grove of giant redwood trees, gathering samples of ferns, palmlike cycads, tasting the nuts and fruits of the ginkgos. Four Zoas, the leaders, remained at the cliff's edge, reclining on the wild fern lawn that grew there. \par\pard\pl ain\hyphpar}{ Los said to the other three, "That was wonderful! And when we've rested we can do some spot-checking to make sure we haven't changed anything." \par\pard\plain \hyphpar}{ White-bearded but athletic Urizen rolled over and said softly, "What if we did change something? Does it matter?" Los answered, "Of course it matters! One mist ake could alter the whole of history!" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "That's true, but is history so perfect it could not be improved? You saw all t he hate, the violence, the injustice! What's so sacred about that? Why should we be so careful not to change one blood-stained minute?" It looked like a good ar gument was developing between Los and Urizen. The other two sat up and paid atte ntion. "Once we begin making changes, when do we stop?" Los said angrily. \par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}{ Urizen leaned forward. "We stop when we have brought into being a perfect world , a joy without pain, and a stability without fluctuation. We stop when we have brought mankind under perfect laws of peace, of love, of unity, of pity, compass ion, forgiveness\u8230? one command, one desire, one weight, one measure, one ki ng, one God, one law! Isn't this worth a little risk?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Los laughed uneasily. "I'd be upset if I thought you were serious, but you're a lways full of dreams like this." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Dreams?" Urizen stood up. "This time my dreams will become the world's reality ! Power is not power unless you use it." As Urizen picked up his wings and began strapping them on, Los got up and came over to him, touching him on the arm and saying softly, "Urizen, my friend\u8230?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Urizen turned and gave Los a shove. Still Los, taking it for good-natured horse play, repeated, "Urizen..." But Urizen was gone. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Los hesitated only an instant. "My comrades!" he shouted to the Zoas and they,

except William. though there was no way he coul d prevent it. \par\pard \plain\hyphpar}{ William's mother and sister stood a little apart from his father and elder brot her. It was not only the way she was dre ssed. She had never been outside of London. entering a larger street. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Her father. as she rode beside her father on a vegetable wagon down a narrow cobblesto ne street. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The vegetable wagon reined up at the foot of the church stairs and William came . \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ But in eighteenth century London a redheaded. but for those around her. an d there up ahead Kate could see the modest neighborhood church of St. not only the classic Grecian elegance of her face\u8212?framed in curly light-brown hair\u821 2?but above all it was her eyes they looked at. Even at his own wed ding William's kneebreeches were slightly frayed. amazed. o pposite Chelsea. Mary. He had been again st the marriage all along. William was making enough money to support her. his unkempt carrot-orange hair. Kate noticed that William's father was frowning. so well-dressed. no tourist visiting London from the Continent would waste his time on its ordinary little homes. not only the glow of h ealth and youth (she was only 21) that burned in her slender body. the man she was going to marry. its ordinary little market-gardens. \par\pard\plain\ hyphpar}{ "Listen. Kate Boucher was comfortable in this drabn ess. She was alread y struggling into her wings. as if they might be sister and brother rather than bride and groom. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I doubt if even he has any clear idea. all of you. in fact it was almost as if he was trying to warn her." she whispered. but which the father was too loyal to openly reveal. and they too were silent. bearded street-vendors and ragged baref oot prostitutes turned to watch her. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ And there he was.hearing the urgency in his voice. To h er it might have been a cathedral. sisters and brothers. so the old man's t hreats to "cut Bill off without a sixpence" no longer carried any weight. Battersea was a dra b gray place." Los answered grimly. Moments later the cliff was again vacant. His mother and sister were bot h named Catherine. They knew it was no use to talk to Kate when she was like this. The diplodocus noted this fact with monumental indiffer ence. soot-blackened chimneysweeps. They were all so neat. his large wide eyes that seemed to echo her ow n. came running from all around. In the wagon behind them rode Kate 's mother. waistcoat and kneebree ches with puff of white muslin at the throat\u8212?smiled at her from time to ti me but said nothing to break her enchantment. and her attitude transformed everything wher ever she went. \par\pard\plain\h yphpar}{ Now. the same as Kate. its ordinary little shops . dressed in his Sunday best\u8212?black coat. "We must find Urizen and stop him!" \par\pard\ plain\hyphpar}{ "What's he going to do now?" came the voice of one of the women. on his stocky young body (He was 25) . never seen anything better. On the front steps a small group of people st ood waiting. blue-eyed boy awoke with a scream to glimpse a bearded winged figure passing across the face of the moon. likewise all scrubbed and brushed and dressed-u p for the occasion. as if there was something a bout young William that was not quite right. She found a gentle human beauty in her city. not only for herself." Los cried. all white from head to toe in bridal gown and lace. eyes that seemed to see right th rough this world into some more magical world beyond. Blake object to in the marriage? She thought he liked her well enough. Even on those rare days when the sun shone. Perhaps he still was. William's family stood around him. What d id Mr. "William. but her eyes could focus only on him. Now there would be three Catherines in the Blake family. They turned a corner. \par\pa rd\plain\hyphpar}{ {\b *}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\b 1782}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The Borough of Battersea lay shrouded in fog on the right bank of the Thames. close-crowded together.

running to help her down. How like him that was! Always so impulsive, doing ins tantly whatever he wished, without a thought about what was proper. \par\pard\pl ain\hyphpar}{ She laughed as he lifted her down. How strong he was! \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Hand in hand they ascended the steps and entered the dimness of the church vest ibule. Out of the corner of her eye she studied his profile, so calm and noble e ven under stress. It was strange that a man so free and impulsive never laughed. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\b *}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Will you be good enough to sign the church register?" asked the lean, balding sexton. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Why no. I'm sorry but\u8230?" Kate blushed and drew back from the extended han d holding the goosequill pen. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Your husband has signed. The witnesses have signed," persisted the sexton. "Th e law requires it, young lady." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I can't, you see. I can't spell." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Old Mr. Blake turned away from the guests and glanced at her with a raised eyeb row. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Is it absolutely necessary?" demanded William, coming quickly to her aid. \par \pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Absolutely," the sexton replied. "However, sir, the law. is satisfied in such cases if the bride draws an X on the proper line." She haltingly drew her X, pau sing between the two strokes, then returned the pen to the sexton. \par\pard\pla in\hyphpar}{ "Very good, very good," the sexton muttered. "And now could you tell me your ma iden name?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Boucher," she replied. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The sexton bent over the register, saying to Kate's father, "Could you give me the correct spelling for that, please?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Mr. Boucher began, "B\u8230? U\u8230?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The sexton was growing impatient. "Yes, yes. Go on." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "T\u8230? C\u8230? H\u8230? E\u8230? R." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Good heavens, man," the sexton exclaimed. "That's not Boucher, that's Butcher! " \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Mr. Boucher answered angrily, "Is it my fault the Good Lord didn't give me nor my daughter the high position in life that opens the world of book learning to a man?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Of course not. I understand, sir. I understand perfectly." The sexton was care fully blotting the ink. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ William put in, "Perhaps you can change it." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "No," the sexton said with finality. "It's in ink now, sir. Butcher it is and B utcher it stays." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Kate felt dizzy and ill. Everything else in the marriage ceremony had gone off perfectly, and now this had to happen. It was such a little thing, yet it brough t into high relief other things not so little, things that she had brushed aside as unimportant but which now forced themselves into her mind and refused to be silenced. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Her husband's profession was the making of illustrations for books\u8212?he was a commercial engraver\u8212?and worse than that his hobby was the writing of po etry. She, because she could neither read nor write, was an alien, an intruder, in his world of books and words. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ As they left the church and descended the stairs, Kate clung hard to William's arm as if, having seen her shortcomings exposed in such a humiliating way before his well-educated and proper family, he might leave her forever. \par\pard\plai n\hyphpar}{ There was a fine carriage waiting. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Oh, how elegant!" she cried. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Better enjoy the ride," William said soberly. "We won't be taking many. It's m y father rented the carriage. He can afford it. I can't. At least not yet." \par

\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ He helped her in. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The coachman gave the horses a soft command and the carriage jerked into motion . She looked back and saw her family climbing into the old vegetable wagon. Her father waved to her and as she waved back she thought, {\i He's as good a Christian gentleman as anyone else, even if he's} {\i never been to school}. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Where to, sir?" the coachman asked. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "23 Green Street, Leicester Fields," William told him. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar} { "Very good, sir." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ They turned a corner and Kate's family was lost to view. \par\pard\plain\hyphpa r}{ {\b *}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ William closed the door behind him. "Well, here's your new lodgings, Mrs. Blake !" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I like that!" Kate said. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Like what?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I like to have you call me Mrs. Blake. It's so homelike\u8230? Mr. Blake." She laughed and he smiled slightly. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ She wandered about, touching things, as he looked on. Two small rented rooms on the second floor; she was used to more room, and there was an air of respectabi lity in those two rooms she found vaguely intimidating. Were the curtains too wh ite? Or were the comforters on the bed too well-stuffed? Or were the pitcher and washbasin on the dresser too finely made, too delicate, too breakable? And were those candleholders on the mantel made of gold? She touched one. No, it was onl y brass covered with gilt. That was somehow reassuring. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar} { "It's quite nice, Mr. Blake. I believe I'll stay." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I knew you'd like it, Mrs. Blake." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ There was a long uncomfortable silence. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Would you like a fire?" asked William at last. She turned to look out the wind ow. There was a brick wall a short distance away. She could not see the sky, but by the ruddy color of the light on the wall she could tell the sun was setting. "Indeed yes, Mr. Blake. It will be a cold night, I expect." \par\pard\plain\hyp hpar}{ She could hear him moving around, arranging the wood in the fireplace. The red glow outside was fading rapidly. Why was she so uneasy? What could possibly be w rong? Then she realized what it was. Since they had entered the flat, William ha d not once touched her. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Mr. Blake?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Yes?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "You're not ashamed of me, are you?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Good heavens, no!" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I'm not as well-learned as some." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ She was thinking of Polly Wood. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ William had been in love with Polly Wood, so much in love that he'd fallen ill from it. Polly had been bright, educated, well-bred, but had not been in love wi th William. Kate was William's second choice, not his first, and she knew it. \p ar\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Kate and William had met while William was staying with the Boucher family in B attersea, trying to forget Polly, and Kate remembered well their first conversat ion. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ He'd told her all about his hopeless love for Polly, all about how Polly was un faithful to him, how Polly made him suffer, and then he'd asked, \par\pard\plain \hyphpar}{ "Kate, do you pity me?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ She'd answered, "Yes, I surely do." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ And he'd said, "Then I {\i

love} you." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ But now William was behind her, kneeling in front of the fireplace, saying, "Ed ucation isn't important." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ She whirled from the window to face him. "Promise me something, Mr. Blake." \pa r\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Whatever you wish, Kate." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Promise you'll teach me to read and write!" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I told you that wasn't important." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "But it is! It is! Promise me! Swear that you'll teach me!" He looked at her ov er his shoulder, an odd expression on his broad features. "Very well, girl, if i t'll make you happy." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Promise to teach me everything you know, Mr. Blake." He grew even more serious than usual. "I can teach you some things, but not everything. Certain matters m ust remain\u8230?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "No, no! Everything! Do you think men are so much cleverer than women?" She kne w he prided himself on being an advanced thinker, on believing in freedom and eq uality for all\u8230? even women. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "It isn't that, Mrs. Blake." The room had grown quite dark, but the fire in the fireplace illuminated William's face in a way that transformed it into a mask o f moving' light and shadow, made it look almost demonic. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar }{ "It's nothing to do with men and women. There are certain matters I know of tha t I could not teach anyone, male or female." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Good God, Mr. Blake, what are you talking about?" He sighed and stood up. "I c an't\u8230? I must not tell you." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\b *}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The fireplace in the next room was the only light, dim and flickering. Kate and William lay side by side in bed, under voluminous comforters, not touching each other. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ For some time now the gentle crackle of the fire had been the only sound in the room, then Kate murmured, "Are you asleep, Mr. Blake?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar} { "No." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I never took you for the shy sort, Mr. Blake. Is this how young gentlemen of y our class generally spend their wedding nights?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I suppose not," he admitted reluctantly. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I can tell you for sure, sir, it's not the way things are done in my part of t own." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I thought there was more between us than that." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Than what?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "The simple lusts of the flesh." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ She sat up. "The simple lusts of the flesh! We're husband and wife, you silly m an. What's between husband and wife ain't no sin! I don't understand you, Mr. Bl ake. You always had the gift of gab, so you could make everything clear to a poo r girl, so now turn over and explain." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "There's nothing to explain." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "At least sit up and face me. I want to see your face." Slowly he sat up and fa ced her, but his features were so shadowed she could not make out his expression . His voice, when he spoke, was calm, deep and grave as ever. "Please Mrs. Blake , don't plague me so." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Then tell me what's gnawing on your soul, Mr. Blake. I'm sure there's somethin g. You've often preached about how a true marriage must be based on honesty, so now be honest with me. What is that business you were talking about? That busine ss you can't teach anyone." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "You mustn't ask me." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "But I do ask you, and I'll get an answer or pack up and go home tomorrow." Her own words frightened her, but it was too late to take them back. \par\pard\plai n\hyphpar}{ When his answer came he spoke so softly she wasn't sure she heard him correctly

what did He look like?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Bearded." \pa r\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Of God? No man sees the face of God and lives." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "You told your parents?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Oh yes. I've heard that right from the pulpit!" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I have seen Him. too. That's the reason." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Why not?" Now that William was talking. but I wouldn't go. My mother whipped me when I told her. William' s monolog could not be stopped. God and the angels never wear clothes.. They were all naked. but taught me to read and write at home. If you'd seen Him you'd believe me. Now do you understand why I didn't want to tell you th ese things?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ She nodded slowly. so all-knowing. Mr. Kate?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I understand why your father didn't want you to marry. Mrs." \par\pard \plain\hyphpar}{ "It was God! Nobody else could look so wise. for forgery. at least if you ain't done nothing wrong. Mr." \ par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "What's that. They understood . and many more things from every time and place in history. Blake. and King Edward the Third. but it might have been that other fellow\u8230? you know who I mean. reasonable. The face of God." Once started. but when I kept it up they be gan to worry. why they didn't send me to school. muscular. \par\pard\plain\hyp hpar}{ "Now I {\i know} it was the other fellow!" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "No. Blake?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Since I was four years old I've seen things nobody else could see." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Visions. I ran screaming to my mother with fear. as I'm going to teach you. The distant past and the distant future. and there I met the proph et Ezekiel. And I understand something else. she had to hear it all. \par\pard\plai n\hyphpar}{ "I had a vision. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ He finally fell asleep as the first light of dawn filtered into the little flat . and later on. He lay beside her all that night telling her." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Well then. in urgent whispers. "I have visions. and that the other children wou ld only laugh at me." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "How do you know?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "About the angels? I've seen them with my own eyes. I think I do. naked\u8230?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Naked? You mean he was walking around outside with no clothes on?" \par\pard\p lain\hyphpar}{ "That's right. and he swore he'd seen each event with hi s own eyes. "Yes. all up in a tree with their bright wings shining among the boughs." \par\pard\pla in\hyphpar}{ "With fear? But God's our gentle father. and King Edward the Fourth. You don't have nothing to f ear from Him. you see. about Gwin King of Norway." \par\pard\ plain\hyphpar}{ "What\u8230? what kind of things?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Angels. finally. Demons." \par\pard\plain\ hyphpar}{ "They were all naked?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "All! But then one day I was out in the fields again. When I was old enough to be apprenticed I was sent to an en graver named Ryland. I swear it. That wasn't God you saw. he {\i was} hanged. I knew Ryland was going to be hanged. that my visions were a gift from God. they thought I was telling foolish lies. When I was four God peered in at my window. walking among the hay-maker s in a field one summer morning. And so were th e angels I saw later on as I walked through the fields hard by Peckham Rye. then flew off acr oss the face of the moon. and a woman in the middle ages named Fair Elenor who was han ded her husband's head in a bloody cloth and died of shock. sure enoug h. Blake." William's voice was still calm.

Mrs. to a nun. would say." He was a good teacher. where both had worked on the same picture. with the kind of peace that comes . Blake. "How about that one. Blake. Mr. "Very nice. and it was then. Blake?" And she. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ But there was one thing that. she slept. and ask. he could not teach her." he would tell her. and if he happened to come up with a pa rticularly striking bit of song. like as not. They moved. with the vow of chastity. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ He called her "Kate" at times but usually "Mrs. Slowly. more than at any other time. It made n o difference where they lived. painting and engraving became so close to his own that th ey themselves could not tell. looking into his large round blu e eyes glowing in the candlelight. and peaceful. freely ch osen. but she lay awake a long time. the feeling that she had\u8212?she couldn't remember exactly when\u8212?taken a vow of poverty also. then. At last she thought. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ He exhibited his watercolor paintings at the Royal Academy. and I stay with him. \par\pard\plain \hyphpar}{ They were always alone together in a little room. with Mr. Mr. William opened a printshop. \par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}{ William's father had died. and nobody bought it." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ It was in the evenings that Kate went to school. With the help of some of his wealthier friends. and this feeling that her poverty was voluntary. few people read it when it was given to them as a gift. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ His friends tried to raise money by subscription to send him to Rome to finish his studies as an artist. smiling. he taught her how to read and write. "That's capital. {\i if he's insane. how to paint with waterco lors. to make the semblance complete. Blake. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "First. There was. he had had a book of his adolescent poems published. Had she also taken a vow of silence? She did not think about it." She never called him an ything but "Mr. that she felt close to him. how to draw. never once losing his temper. history. nobody noticed them . It no longer seemed stran ge to her\u8212?soothing rather. Mrs. nothing ever came of it. how to cut the copper engravings with which he made his modest living\u821 2?the illustrations for books full of fencing. he would work on his engravings when someone was willing to pay for them . He could not teach her to see his visions. who had done what. we can't be} {\i happy together unless we share even his madness. and on his paintings when he was "at liberty. in the autumn of 2785." As he worked he sang." \par\pard\plain\hyph par}{ . a sorely troubled virgin. Blake. try as he might. "let us be sure you're ready. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ She would lay down her graver and turn to him. kept her from complaining that her William was not a good provider. The few artists a nd writers who dropped in spoke to William but not to her. never once laughing at her. She w as a good student. Blake?" \p ar\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ And he would answer. first (after his father died) to 27 Broad Street. sew and make things. It was n ot successful. patiently.. I must make him} {\i teach me to see his vision}! \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Then. Blake as her one and only teacher. to 28 Poland Street." And he would pause in his engraving to scribble the verse in a notebook. She would cook. where he had been born and where his mother and sister still lived. he would say. making up both melody and words as he went along. sentimental poetry and s econd-rate lovesongs\u8230?\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Her style in drawing. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\b * }\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\i {\b CHAPTER TWO\u8230? 1787}}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Kate was still a virgin after five years of marriage. her own parents never visited her. "Is that done proper. their lives were always the same.

"Look into the fire. Don't worry. for example. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ William would be sitting in a chair. You will. and somet imes\u8212?and this really frightened her\u8212?he would speak to people she cou ld not see. Relax. President Kennedy. Don't force it. She wo uld rise. you know. staring into the empty darkness." or "Moses! Could I ask you somethi ng?" and he'd lapse into Latin or Hebrew. after he had been talking with someone. \par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}{ Days. c ould never have seen what he saw if he'd indulged in the lusts of the flesh. by this time the flames were usually burning low. and go into the other room. Blake?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "That's right. Mr. A landscape perhaps. Mr. Blake." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Good' Heavens. His notebooks were full of such writing. te ll me. right enough." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Like this. "Kate! \par\pard\pla in\hyphpar}{ Kate! I've just spoken to Robert!" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Your brother?" She rubbed the sleep out of her eyes. Some unfamiliar scene from." When the ghostly conversation was finished William would tur n to this worktable and begin writing. Or perhaps his unseen visitor was some one she'd never heard of. It's called a 'flashlight'. Mr. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "What am I supposed to see." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ There would be a long silence. but if you see something. or an animal. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\b *}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ She awakened to find William shaking her by the shoulders. Relax." \p ar\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Have no fear. setting it down gently on the worktable. Let your soul be at peace. hello. a short metal tube. Prime Minister Churchill" or "Good day. put on her robe. smoldering a sullen glowering red. That's it!" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar} { "Oh! It lights up! Is there a fire in it?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "No." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ But she didn't. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ One night. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Julius Caesar! It's good to see you again. Kate. Mr. he came over to her and hand ed her something. Mr." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "You have not indulged in the lusts of the flesh. but stranger still than the days and th e evenings were the nights. Blake. Blake?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "A face. That was how they passed. at least some of the nights." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "You have taken no drugs or medicine?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "What would I do that for? I ain't sick. Now watch and wait. \par\pard\pl ain\hyphpar}{ "What's this. Leonardo DaVinci. "Well."Oh." \par\pard\plain\hy phpar}{ "I don't see nothing. Blake." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Patience. I'm ready." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "You have abstained from all strong drink? Even coffee and tea?" \par\pard\plai n\hyphpar}{ "Not a drop." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "But it's so bright! Where did you get it?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "From the future. almost as if he were unaware she was in t he room. round at one end and with glass at the oth er. Biblical times or ancient Egypt or Rome. Mr. evenings. Blake?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Push the little button on the side there. I am. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ That was how they spent their evenings. She would awake sometim e between midnight and dawn and discover that William was not beside her. I'm a good girl." He would turn toward the fireplace where. "But your brother's dead." she whispered. nights." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ William's huge blue eyes glowed in the light from the candle he held in his han . A human form. until the night after William 's brother died." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Then let us begin. that she could have sworn had appeared in his fingers by magic.

where both the text and illustration can be combined on one plate. She swung her feet down to the floor. simply hold the pa per against the inked plate and rub it with a spoon." She was not upset or surprised. how unsuccessful my book of poems was? \par\pard\plain\h yphpar}{ "Yes. that's strange." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "No. we've still got almost every copy." She sat down in her favorite rocking chair near the fireplace. He showed me a new printing process used by the people of the futur e. though it's not the writer or illustrator. Now who is it?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Well. \par\pard\plain\ hyphpar}{ "Ah. Mr. only a little annoyed at havin g her sleep disturbed. He took pity on you. no. "If there's color wanted. How is it that now he 's dead he thinks of nothing but my welfare?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "He has repented. Blake. without any supernatural powers. that it w ould probably be she who would be doing most of the dabbing in. Blake. Kate! In limited editions illustrated by th e author. but certainly someone is making mo ney in the book business. which are few and sim ple." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "The publisher! You see how those men dress whom I deliver my work to. while William vigorously poked up the flames. you're a perfect angel about money. I've never heard you talk this way bef ore. To rescue you fr om poverty." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Upon my word." \par\pard\pla in\hyphpar}{ "Did Robert tell you that." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "We don't need a press." He rocked forward and tapp ed her on the knee with an extended forefinger. I'm sure I don't know." \p ar\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I suppose so." He sat down in the other rocker next to her. but that's where the money is. e ven in the best of times. Mr. In life he never liked me. Mr. With this method we can. "Get up! I must tell you what he said!" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Oh. as she went along with everything else. thinking only of my own needs. Blake. Isn't that right?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I don't complain. "We don't make much money with our engraving.d. he showed me how you and I can become publishers!" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "You and me?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "You and I. too?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Yes. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "It's so simple. {\i . we can dab in a bit with watercolor!" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "What a lot of work!" She could see. very well. Mrs. you know. Mrs. Kate! His spirit has gone into the future and brought back some thing that will save us both from the poverty that now imprisons us. but you\u8230? you shouldn't have to go on living like this. Blake." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I was being selfish then. Blake." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "You're not yourself tonight." \par\pard \plain\hyphpar}{ "We have no press. \par\pard\plain\hyp hpar}{ "You know. it's all so clear now that Robert ha s pointed it out." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Only his body. I'm ashamed I didn't think of it myself. Everything looks different from the other side. Blake. You've given me to believe you never cared for money. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Robert has told me how we can succeed with my next book!" \par\pard\plain\hyph par}{ "You don't say." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Robert's dead. You see the kind of homes they live in! Mrs. Robert would be heartbroken!" \par\pard\plain\hyphp ar}{ "If you put it that way\u8230?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ She knew she would go along with this." She followed him into the other room. if we like. that it was a sin to want it." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "We can't reject this gift. really. That's why he gave me this process. but she thought.

Robert me boy. Blake." \par\pard\pl ain\hyphpar}{ "But you've never been late before." he quoted. Blake?" He nodded soberly. "Well. you see. though it was not the last t ime she was forced to this extreme. the world will join me in forgetting all about him. white-bearded. "The gift. but my body as well that travels through time." She could tell by his voice he was troubled. It was that night that she fi rst served him a supper consisting of empty plates." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "But in the meantime we have to eat. when a land vaster than England sank into the Atlantic Ocean. Blake." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "But that's what you told me God looked like!" William was startled. This Lavater is a mealy-mout hed humbug anyway. It was that night also that she first heard him mention the name\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Urizen. shook ha nds with him. we spoke together again in the few minutes before the earthqua kes began that destroyed the Atlantic continent. but then I saw a man. I thought I was. Mr. The publishers are used to waiting a day or two past the deadline. anything. I introduced myself to him." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Are you sure it was the same man?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "If it was a man." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar }{ "And where have you been traveling?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "To the future. like a muscle. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "What did he look like?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Tall. Greek and Hebrew. "I'll do it tomorrow. in the fire. Where is it. Now it is not only my mind. There can be no mistake. in the past. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\b *}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Kate Blake was worried. and now sat side by side in their rocking chairs. I saw him in the future. watchin g the glowing embers." \par\pard\pla in\hyphpar}{ One afternoon she confronted him with. could move through time t he way the dead do." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Is something wrong?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ He glanced at her from furrowed brows. In the future we stood and talked while r iding in a flying machine that flies forever around the earth without falling. Mr. grows stronger with use. naked. now I remember! That face I saw at my window as a child\u8230? It was Urizen!" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ . are forgotten." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Then you know his name?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Urizen. when men will build cities on distant worlds. then I saw hi m again in the past. I thought only I. You don't suppose\u8230? Yes. or not yet thought of." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ They had completed one more unsuccessful attempt to get Kate to see something. and to the past. I spoke to him." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ " 'Man does not live by bread alone'. you were supposed to b e finished today with that frontispiece for John Casper Lavater's 'Aphorisms on Man'. "I've taught myself Latin. among living men. Mr. It was entitled. have you not. "That's ri ght. When my book comes out. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "You've been seeing more than usual lately." The first result of this work was a print based on a drawing of Robert's." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I've got my own 'Aphorisms on Man' to illustrate." He spoke it with a touch of awe. "I am not the only traveler." \par\pard\pla in\hyphpar}{ Then William began making the plates for a collection of his own philosophical sayings under the working title of "There is No Natural Religion. muscular. and good old English. "The Approach of Doom. t hen. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Always before William had dabbled around with his own artistic projects only du ring slack periods when he had no paying work to do. you always did have a} {\i vile sense of humor}. but now he was beginning to put the paying work to one side and devote himself more and more to what he cal led his "Illuminated Printing. I'd like to know?" He waved her aside. but I'm not. but I'v e been to places where those languages.

" William was bewildered. three engravings for John Casper Lavater's "E ssays on Physiognomy. Urizen was only a man. you see. The paper was then spread. Mr. the acid eating away the copper so the drawing stood out in low relief. open only to that one person in a billion who can escape the bounds of his own time. can you not?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ . Blake. was submerged in a pan of water until the gum softened and the paper floated free. Blake. The writing and drawing was done in etcher's ground on a sheet of paper which had been soaked in a solution of gum arabic and allowed to dry. leaving the design. He chatted like a man. face down." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "The design was so tame. Blake?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Because of fear. in reverse." Eventually there would be thirty-one of these plates. The work was handed in late and t he publisher had not been pleased with the way the work was done. That night. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I don't know. "Because of me. I must have been wrong." She took his hand. passed the time of day as if he was my neighbor passing me on the street. Blake." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I hope you told him what I said to tell him. The acid was dangerous and gave their rooms a funny smell. The plate. The plate was placed in a bath of nitric acid where it lay for about eight hours. "Is that the way a God acts?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Tell me what he said. and idly swi tched it on and off a few times. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Mr." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ William angrily turned back to the plate he was preparing for his own book. it does. He didn't press me. with the paper stuck to it. prints could be made from it by inking it from another plate (blank) pressed against it. She watched him a whi le. eac h prepared by the same slow and painstaking process. It was this part of the process that worried Kate most. he went immediately to work. I refused." \par\pard\plain\hyphpa r}{ "And he was angry at having the job finished a week late. Kate. I thought it needed something." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "He welcomed me to some kind of exclusive club. the flashlight." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "And why not?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "It was supposed to be a hand holding up a candle. after supper." \par\pard\plain\hyph par}{ "A week? Was it that long?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Yes indeed. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "He didn't like your little vignette. Let me be the judge. Mr." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "That you had other more important work to do? Thank God I didn't have to tell him anything. It goes against me nature to lie." including a tail-piece. He invited me to voyage wi th him. \par\pard\plai n\hyphpar}{ Kate had delivered the finished plates and passed on to William the publisher's objections. don't you see? H e might be\u8230? the 'Other Fellow'!" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\b *}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\i {\b CHAPTER THREE\u8230? 1789}}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Blake did just one job this year. "Th e Songs of Innocence." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "And that is what it was!" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "But you added some moths flying into the flame. After the plate had been washe d. Mr. adh ering to the copper." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Fear? But if he was just some naked man running around\u8230?" \par\pard\plain \hyphpar}{ "I don't know what he is! You might have been right about him. share some great work with him. then picked up that odd souvenir of the future. you can pick up something in one time and carry it with you into an other. then rubbing the bookpaper against the design with the back of a spo on."Then you shook hands with God?" At last she could not keep a note of disbelief from her voice. on a he ated copper plate and run through a press or rubbed down with the back of a spoo n.

That's why it seemed to you. you don't understand. "Well. Others? \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Urizen and I are not the only time travelers. Suddenly it vanished. He doesn't make any major changes. She gave a l ittle scream." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "What's the harm in that?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I might change something else as well\u8230? who can say what? It's too danger ous. back to what it was." he answered absently. bu t they stay mostly in the far future." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ . she picked up her knitting and began working with rigid angry movement s. Blake. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Urizen gave it to me. There are three others. The fle sh and blood time voyager must try to be as much as possible like a ghost." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Could you then take those plates back a week and hand them in on time?" \par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}{ "How can you plague me with such trivial matters? Can't you see I have more imp ortant things to do?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "No." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "But we never interfere. visited the future and saw Urizen." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I left. I suppose." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "What others?" This was something new. You visit them every day. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\b *}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Another evening a month later. I ask you?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Don't you see? It would be like creating a whole new world. Blake. and Los always co rrects whatever he does. then returned to the same instant I 'd departed from. It's a man's worl d. \ par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Pouting. but since they can nei ther touch anything nor speak to anyone that doesn't cause any problems. that the flashlight ap peared by magic. why not. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Mr. Luvah and Los. It is Los who warned me against changing the past. Mrs. will I ever see them?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Who. The spirits travel in time too. they sat in their rockers before the fire." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Lord help us!" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "But even that little thing made the others angry." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Such a little thing\u8230? and you and your friend Urizen are going back and f orth in time so much anyway." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I didn't see him do it. wait. \par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Tell me then. could you go back to yesterday and get that set of engravings yo u did late for the Lavater book?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I suppose so. frow ning." \par \pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Were you like a ghost when you took this thing here?" She held up the flashlig ht."Quite so." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "But this flashlight\u8230?" She held it up." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "So Urizen does change the past! Then so can you!" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "No. They call themselves the League of the Zoa . right enough. Could you go back to when you were cutting the plate of the hand hol ding the candle and tell yourself to leave out the moths?" \par\pard\plain\hyphp ar}{ "What? Go back in time and meet my own self?" He turned and looked at her. The world with the plate with the moths on it would vanish and be replaced by a world where there was a plate with no moths on it. There's an argument\u8230?\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Urizen changes the past and Los goes back and changes it again. Zoa is an ancient Greek word meaning 'beasts'. but I never see nothing. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "You see?" he said reasonably. Kate had tried once again and once again failed to see any "visions" in the flames. Tharmas. concentrating on his work. Urizen is one of their leaders. There are quite a few others. Kate?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "The Zoas.

and said. God bless thee. Are they angels? Sometimes they wear wings. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ For He calls Himself a Lamb. Urizen's only crime. I shake hands with them. so far as I can tell. who made thee? \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Dost thou know who made thee? \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Little lamb. but he only smiled at me with that faint mocking smile he has. Mr. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Little lamb. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ By the stream and o'er the mead. \par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}{ "How can you say that? Your life has ever so much adventure in it. Blake." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I told him. God made the sheep and everything else. and bade thee feed. not even Urizen. Urizen saw a sheep straying toward us and I thought he'd give the signal for us to slip out of that time. "That's very pretty. It seems to me he'd be willing to take the universe apart to see how it works. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ There was a long silence in the room. rocking in his chair in time to t he music. Blake!" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I wrote a song about it and tried to sing it to him. Have you ever heard of four Satans?" \par\ pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "There's never been but one. though the others wa rn me against him. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ He is meek and He is mild. who made thee? \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Dost thou know who made thee? \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Gave thee life. I'll tell thee. Blake. Once we stood together at dawn in the fields outs ide Jerusalem in 30 BC and watched a shepherd tending sheep. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ He is called by thy name. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Little lamb. woolly. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Little lamb. but now that I see he shares power with three ot her Zoas. but it had the quality of an old English folks ong. But what are they. then Kate's rocker creaked as she leaned toward him and said softly. while mine\u 8230?" She shrugged. but no w I know there's a time in the future when everyone will wear wings and fly. I'm serious\u8212?I thought Urizen might be Satan. so far as I know. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Gave thee clothing."Perhaps you are the lucky one. I'll tell thee. Are they demons? They don't seem really evil. does that word still mean anything to you?' " \pa r\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Heavens." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ William cleared his throat and began singing. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Making all the vales rejoice? \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Little lamb. the Good Lord made the sheep of course." \par\pard\plai n\hyphpar}{ "And if he couldn't put it together again?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "That wouldn't matter to him. I don't know what to think. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ We are called by His name. At first I thought\u8212?yes. is a passion for k nowledge. touch them. but he wouldn't listen. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ I a child and thou a lamb. the mor e I see the less I understand. bright. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ He became a little child. He must always know the why of everything." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Well. 'Who made you? ' As if the sheep could talk. I hope you told Urizen that." His voice was more than usually sombre. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Gave thee such a tender voice. 'After all you've seen." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I'll listen." \par\pard\plain\hyp hpar}{ {\b *}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ . Mrs. Mr. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "What good is experience without understanding? I tell you. and the how. God bless thee. Mr. The melody was his own. Kate? I don't even know that." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I talk to these Zoas. Blake. but instead he knelt before the sheep and whispered to it. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Little lamb.

Behind the mask of smiling religion th ere is a skull. to be called "The Book of Thel". disturbed. Now he can appear whenever he likes an d do whatever he likes to us. and there's no policeman in the world can catch hi m or protect us." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "My lamb poem? That was sentimental garbage!" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Garbage you say? I rather liked it myself. numbly." \ par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Harm me? Why would he harm me?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I don't know. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Is that\u8230? ?" she began. only smiled faintly and vanished. Blake. making no attempt to se ll copies of it. but when she did she turned to William with a joyful cry. expl ain who and what Urizen is and how we should deal with him. she became aware of a tall motionless figure standing there. muscular. If he likes he can even go back into the past and do some littl e thing and we. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Yes. \par\pard\pla in\hyphpar}{ "If there was any truth in religion. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Let me sleep. Blake. Kate. "I saw him! I saw him!" She could see William's visions at last! \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ But William was sober. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ And she knew he had." she muttered. Good to see you again. Mr. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Urizen. She grumbled and turned over. for the moment. bearded\u8230? the beard was long and white and seemed to glow faintly in the dark. old chap. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The figure was naked. he immediately started on a new project. But why? Wasn't Urizen hi s good friend and traveling companion? \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Speak to him. "And he saw us. this is quite a change from the tone of your lamb poem. as if work could provide him with at lea st the illusion of safety. or perhaps the feeble light that filtered i n from some unseen moon was fooling her. because I wanted to be sure first that\u8230? that he wouldn't harm you. It took her a moment t o recover." William whispered. you and I." William's eyes were no longer calm and grave. And to what\u8212?ahem\u8212?to what do I owe this unexpected pleasure?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Urizen did not answer. \par\pard\plain\ hyphpar}{ Kate read what he had written and commented. Blake. ju st beyond the bedstead. sir. Mr." she whispered." she murmured. Kate. but she could tell that w as what drove him into an orgy of work.She had been dreaming of lambs and of herself as a shepherdess when she felt so meone gently shaking her. It seemed absurd to talk of skulls at such a time. Blake? Dear me. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Silently he shook her again. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Oh my God. Now he knows where to find us ." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "The world is not like that. will cease to exist!" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\b *}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Kate had never seen William really afraid before now. \par\pard\plain\hyp hpar}{ "The Songs of Innocence" was soon engraved and printed. She saw he was pointing toward the foot of the bed." William. "Well. but I do know this. Mr. and he often stayed up late at night laboring on it. sounded frightened. Mr." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "But where's the harm in that? He's your friend. The shaking came again. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Perhaps the Good Lord never meant us to learn about such things. it's Urizen. Mrs. \par\pard\plain \hyphpar}{ "Look. I did. the Bible would tell us about Urizen." It was morning and bright sunlight filled the li ttle apartment." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "A skull. I must say. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Slowly. too. and this time she opened her eyes. Blake. isn't he?" \par\pard\plain\hyp hpar}{ "I don't know what he is! I never told him exactly what time and place I came f rom." This interch ange pointed up a difference in their attitudes toward religion that had been th . given up time-voyages.

In the evenings. Mr. Ca n you explain the symbolic meaning to me? There's always a symbolic meaning in a poem. as if Urizen was God. {\i I saw him too!" }\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\i *}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\i {\b CHAPTER FOUR\u8230? 1790}}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The lessons had begun again. and Kate had spent night after night with William at her side. It means what it says and nothing more. and returned. \par\pard\plain\ hyphpar}{ And then had followed him home. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Writing the poem brought William no relief." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "That's right. Not like you at all. 'Why cannot the ear be closed to its own destruction ?' " \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Yes. when he had been used to teaching her things. he muttered endlessly about how Urizen mi ght be\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "the spectre of our sins.ere from the start. a wo rm and a dirt clod. terrified. Instead he quoted." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "A grim business indeed." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ And more and more often he would gaze at her with vacant blue eyes and demand. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "No indeed. William had visited the past. She wanted to stop . except in his own country. but she went to church every Sunday. becau se someone in that land had spoken to him." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ That silenced her. Kate watched her ordinarily calm and self-possessed husband grow m ore and more nervous and distraught. a cloud. but many times. it was "Why art Thou silent and invisible." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "And then this girl runs screaming back to the Land of the Living. dwelling place of the dead. Blake. but she had made a vow and she was a woman who did not vow lightly. yet he never went to church. " 'A prophet is not without honor. an upliftin' moral of some sort. is she? Isn't she a symbol of something or o ther? Curiosity? Youth? Innocence?" She lowered her voice. and there she finds he r own grave. As the weeks passed with no more si gn of Urizen." \par\pard\plain\hyph par}{ "This girl Thel isn't just a girl. 'What's the meaning of life?' Well. she is me. if I follow you." \par\pard\p lain\hyphpar}{ "Correct. really?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "If you must know. She wanted to stop because the lessons had begun to produce results. Blake. but this girl. She had never read the Bible. but now was becoming more pronounced. "Kate. If he sang. am I insane?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Her answer was always the same." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "And a ghostly voice says. Yo u have this young girl named Thel wandering about asking a flower. and in his own house. "Virginity?" \par\par d\plain\hyphpar}{ "No. He never laughed." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Come along there! Who is she. Mr. I can't say I understand what you're driving at. gazing into the glowing embers in the fireplace. and among his own kin. are you?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I can see the future. had not been insid e a church of any kind since his wedding day. that's clear enough." She laughed but he didn't. but she did understand the poem's symbolic meaning. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ She picked up the manuscript and reread the last few lines. he had read the Bible from cover to cover not once. visits the Land of the Dead. \par\pard\plain\hyphp . nothing like that. if you'll pardon me saying so.' " \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "So now you're a prophet. "It's a grim busine ss you have here." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Not in this one." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "You? But you ain't no young lady! At least not unless you've been fooling me a ll these years. Father of Jealousy?". invited him to stay.

\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Good! Good! You're progressing splendidly!" Yes. "Do you se e it? Tell me what you see. Later. Kate. "One more night. She might have been lost in them if it had n't been for William's voice coming to her out of the vision. th ough sometimes they spread out from the fireplace to completely surround her. coming so close she could feel their cold fingers brush her cheeks. leaning forward in her rocking chair." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ William and the room were gone. but his only comment was. regardi ng her curiously. They're gathering here from every ag e. and in an instant they became so thick she could no longer see where she was going and had to stop and stand motionless while they swooped in on her. Curious ghosts. \par\pard\plain\hyp hpar}{ There were scenes now too. swirling around her. it was then she'd wanted to b ring these lessons to an end. and she'd feel safe in keepin g on with it. warning her. at home. but William had said. while William spoke quietly. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ She'd been walking down the street. Tonight it seems you are the teacher and I the student. swam from star to star. And yes. He vanished." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ What had once been impossible was now only too easy. Mr. on her way home from the market. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Who are they. saying." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "But why?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "They're waiting for something. Blake." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Too late. from the very ends of time. mad Og re faces that leered up at her mindlessly. He's holding up his hand as if to warn me to go back. that's all. There's no h arm in it. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I can see the ghosts." \par\pa rd\plain\hyphpar}{ "They're warning me. Mr. The ghosts were thronging around her now like a whirling floc k of birds. Can yo u see them?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Only shadows. for he could see them too. like spiderwebs. watching for something. A coachman had shouted a warning behind her and. the ghosts had faded quickly away. landscapes with castles and distant towers at dusk. There were no sounds in the visions. Blake?" she would whisper. like schools of fish. when the g hosts had faded into view all around her. William's voice came to her out of the air. gazing fixedly into the ruddy coals. "I'm still wi ." And she'd remembered her vow. telling me to go back. the wind-sculpted dunes of unknown deserts. other faces that were impossibly beau tiful yet rilled with a demonic delight and a cruelty that terrified her. \par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Ghosts. vast emptiness where silver vessels. Kate.ar}{ Now and then. warning her. though. so she looked through their transparen t bodies as she might look through a reflection in a window. yet ot hers that looked at her with concern. she had seen faces form in the dim redness. Blake. The room grew vague. forests where the trees glowed at ni ght and moved their limbs like women. fro m a long way away. moving images\u8230?\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I see your brother Robert. while the red glow expanded to fill her entire field of vision. saying." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ She'd reach out her hand and he'd take it in his." He tried speaking to t he visions. Kate. There are other men there now. where one scene is superimposed on another. drew back." came William's faint distant voice." \par\ pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Speak to him. So here she was again. she'd told William about it." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Wonderful. "Relax. but they would not answer him. had been bad. quite clearly. t here were images in the redness. too. a shawl thrown 'round her shoulders. Relax and tell me what you see. Mrs. men I don't know. Kate!" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "He looks worried. co mpletely replacing her familiar home. as she jumped to a void the horse's hoves. questioning them. It's all right. Perhaps we should\u8230?" \par \pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "We can't stop now. There was a cloud of them. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Yesterday. kind faces that seemed worried about her.

" she breathed. Mountains. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Are you all right. but now she could not only see them but hear them and fe el them. Mrs. but now they were rushing past at blinding speed. dark. across a red-lit plain. "Come." Urizen chuckled. \p ar\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Buildings. then took Urizen's hand. abruptly. Urizen. Concentrate!" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ She concentrated. Kate." Kate tried to pull free. You've succeeded!" She hesitated. \par\pard\plain\hyph par}{ "Why yes. as he stood up to be nd over her and look her over with large worried eyes. a blur of distorted. of course. don't look so surpr ised. Blake! Where are we going?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I don't know. It was a hard. Kate?" William was concerned. as i f Kate were falling. You too." said the powe rfully built white-bearded naked man. Blake. my dear. the fireplace was painted white. but U rizen held her easily. falling through them at an ever-increasing velocity. People. Ahead lay a city like no ci ty she had ever seen. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "No arguments. \par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Mr. flickering faster than the mind could register. each lasting only a fraction of a second. Image s were flashing in an out of focus. I'm sure. Come now. Mr. Mr. \par\p . They seemed to be howling an endless wail of dismay as they streamed pa st. She saw them for an instant. William. Kate. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The ghosts reappeared. She looked from one man to the other. "Well. Then she noticed some thing. thank you. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "When we left. William said. pulling them to ward him. thank you. like lizards that walked on their hind legs like men. What would they do now? Urizen extended his hands. bodiless. Kate. Darkness and light." said the smiling Urizen. Isn't this what you've been working for all this time? Today is graduation day." Now the fall slowed. But the room was a lready dissolving. but certainly felt human enough. Urizen\u8230?" she mumbled. either of you." It was no t William's voice. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ She floated up and over the city walls. It's brown." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Mr. Don't be afraid. Mr. "I'm\u8230? pleased to meet you. This is an occasion for celebration. and as they brushed against her they w ere like a cold damp wind that passed through the skin to freeze the bone. And she had the feeli ng. then they were gone. \par\pard\ plain\hyphpar}{ The ghosts had returned. Concentrate. She rose half-fearfully from her chair. it's got a plain wood varnish finish now. I don't like this." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The citizens were not human." s he said haltingly. \par\pa rd\plain\hyphpar}{ "You'll have to get used to little things like that now. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Thank God. Blake!" \ par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ A soft deep voice came out of the shadow to the right of the fireplace. something huge and formle ss. It was gigantic. "I've come to congratulate you both. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Urizen stepped into the firelight. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Urizen stood on one side of her. We're back home in front o f our fireplace. she was in her chair at home. quite all right. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "No thank you just the same. "I hope I didn't startle you." He had them both by the hand. the horrible feeling. one to William. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Urizen\u8230?" protested William. one to Kate.th you. inhuman. She could almost see it\u8230? then. William on the other. made of immense blocks of stone leaning together. muscular hand." She laughed nervously. but people moving at impossible speeds. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I see them. of falling. "You must be my guests at my home. It's always like this. Something was looming ahead of her. anguished faces. but serpentine. Blake. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Don't be frightened. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "William!" she screamed. anxious. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Yes." she said." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ She was drifting.

ard\plain\hyphpar}{ Now it stopped. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Urizen paused as they reached this entrance and said mockingly. and even I. As long as I touch you two. not Uri zen." William said. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Ah." He was explaining for Kate's benefit. \par\pard\plain\hyp hpar}{ "She won't give him the antidote until he tells her his secret name. a vast underground cathedral. and when s he knows that he will be her slave. It depicted a smiling young woman bending over an agonized old man. \par\pard \plain\hyphpar}{ "And that other window. "This is. Urizen laughed. The sun is the only light we have in Rintrah." They walked across the sands toward the ruins. sir. would be gone if I did not spring back from the instant of nova. safer time. the Kingdom of Wrath. my friends." \par\pard\pla in\hyphpar}{ The window he indicated was in the artistic style of ancient Egypt. you share in the energy fiel ds that protect me. when she could speak. but that was many a million year ago. with all my power . There's no air here. Nearby was a jumble of bleached ruins. trying to pull away. He stole the fire fro m Heaven for mankind and as a punishment was chained to a rock to be tormented f or all eternity by that eagle there. for i ts high stone ceilings and endless echoing passageways were clearly intended to suggest the majesty of one of the great churches of the Middle Ages. too. Urizen said. The woman's headdress s uggested the horns of a bull. "Isis has just poisoned he r father. sir! A great hero. but Kate continued to cling to William's hand." William said. The Earth keeps always the same face toward the s un." Urizen smiled broadly." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The three moved on across the wide flagstones. brilliantly-lit stained glass windows. It had tall . the end of time. but the sun filtered and tamed by a long journey from the surface. A pity the decision couldn't have been appe aled to a higher court. if time can be said to have an end. The sky was white and too bright to look into. or a half-moon on its side. \par\pard\plain \hyphpar}{ "Where are we?" said Kate. Kate could see. had the power to hold the elements at bay. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "This once was London. "Come. There was air here and protectio n from the sun. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "It's one of the finest stories in Egyptian mythology. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ There was an entrance in the ruins. \par\pard \plain\hyphpar}{ ." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ They had come to another window. you'd die. \par\pard\plain\hyphpa r}{ "Isis." He pointed toward one of the windows. or better. "That's Prometheus." answered Urizen. Soon there will be a supernova and the world and the whole solar system will be gone. "I'm p articularly pleased by the design of the windows in this chamber. and that sun is hot enough to melt many metals. you recognize the tale. back into som e earlier." \ par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "You can let go my hand now. an d the only light we need. as if he. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Kate." He tugged on their hands. "N ot so fast. "That's the sun you s ee behind those colored windows. you might say. and this one Kate recognized easily." Urizen answered. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Right again." Urizen added. William and Urizen stood on a parched white desert. The moment I let you go." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\b *}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Rintrah was an underground city. young lady. the god Ra. "Look there. "Even at night?" \par\pard\plain\hyphp ar}{ "There is no night here. and a passageway leading do wn into the earth. isn't it?" The stain ed glass showed a proud young man chained to a rock and trying to beat off an at tacking eagle. according to the Greeks." she said. \par\pard\plain \hyphpar}{ "Welcome to Rintrah." William asked.

"Mr. the serpent. they are listening to the wisdom of their good friend and advisor. Allow me to introduce you." He bow ed. so she could at no time clearly see their feature s. There are certain rules\u8230?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Rules? How dare you. He gave them freedom. \par \pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Jacob! The only man who ever wrestled hand to hand with God. and in the foreground a powerful man wi th a black beard was wrestling violently with what appeared to be an angel." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Their friend?" Kate was puzzled." Kate took a step backward. I'm sure. my dear. Could we speak to you? Alone?" \par\pard\plai n\hyphpar}{ "He means without me around. He kissed her hand." said William haltingly. Kate shot him a disturbed ." Urizen said dryly. As the voice died away in echoes. "One might even say." Urizen said crisply. of all people. "I use the name Milton. Tharmas and Luvah! You know Mr. As they a pproached they were alternately in darkness and in the patterned colored light f rom the stained glass windows. squinting." \par\ pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Urizen added. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Los said seriously. Tharmas laid a restraining hand on his arm and mumbled something in an incomprehensible lang uage. "Mr. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "And this is Tharmas. their Savior. He could have been a bearded lady in s ome circus sideshow. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Because {\i I} am not finished." said Urizen. and of the League of the Zoas. but this ti me he's brought his wife Kate." \par\pa rd\plain\hyphpar}{ There was one more window in the chamber. \par\pard \plain\hyphpar}{ Luvah was a kind of beautiful monster. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Luvah is called The Unapproachable. But come." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Tharmas gave her hand a squeeze but did not kiss it." cried Urizen delightedly. Blake of course. the Warmaker." came a voice from the next chamber. I'm a poet. The hazy pinks and yellows and blues i n the background were disturbingly real. at the face in the center of the composition. "And. an d he would have given them eternal life if he'd been allowed to. She shuddered. "These t wo are my guests. and by science he's made himself hermaphroditic. speak of rules!" snapped Los. Los."Why. Luvah gazed at her but said not hing. as you see." said the first." put in Urizen. that's Adam and Eve by the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Urizen\u8230? is my friend. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Unfortunately. "M y good friends Los. there 's more." Urizen finished." \par\pard\plain\hyphp ar}{ "I am Los. Urizen! That's you!" \par\pard\pla in\hyphpar}{ "Indeed so. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "In my own century. In his own ce ntury Luvah is ruler of a galactic empire. and won. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "His picture?" The man did look vaguely familiar." Urizen said." Urizen gazed up at it with intense glittering eyes. spreading his arms as if to embrace the men. Blake. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Ah." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The next window showed a desert at dawn. his thick beard a disturbing contrast to the rounded feminine curves of his body. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Urizen said softly." said William." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "And we mustn't forget Luvah. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Why isn't it finished?" William asked. we share with Urizen the rule of Rintr ah. "Charmed. Kate turned to see three tall bearded men striding toward her. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "You may have seen his picture. Ka te looked up. the only part that was clear enough to recognize. murmuring." Los explained. "He is called the Lord of Ha te. \par \pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "This is my favorite. and Mrs. with a thick st range foreign accent. but this one was not yet finished. "In his own century he is the King of Atl antis. then to Los he added.

" said Urizen. When questions are asked. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar }{ "I only hope that is not true. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Only for making you on his side. Los? They are with me!" Urizen was delighted. Mr. But I will decide nothing until I have more information." said William. the only time that mattered in Rintrah was the tim e until the end. all are content to enjoy the gift and not ask for more. "I don't understand this dispute you have between you. don't do it!' " He chuckled and took them by the hands. when Urizen finally s aid. the Blakes soon lost all sense of time while urbane Urizen patiently imparted to them the l ore of Zoas\u8212?which included a view of history that was full of unsettling s urprises\u8212?and the art of time-voyaging. but the unknown. \par\pard \plain\hyphpar}{ "It is not our way to impose ourselves and our ideas on people. All three were now wearing the broad white wings the Zoas used in their trips th rough time." Urizen spo ke with contempt." He meant this quite literally. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Luvah stood almost motionless. one m ust also change it. William and Kate were puzzled by t his statement until they came to understand that the sun was undergoing rapid ch anges as it neared supernova." Urizen snorted. and of those few. or it may have been months." Los said urgently. "The gift of time-voyaging is given to only a few. All but Urizen. None of us have enough of that. The y had not seen Los. but Wil liam said. They'd say. We know this. But because they could not read these shifts. "I know what they'd say without asking them. "Is that all?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "By no means. Let's try our wings. We have come to the edge of our knowledge." Los was about to reply. Blake\u8230?" Kate began." Tharmas added. Are you ready?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I am. "No hurry. These wings served to guide them rather than support their weight. Tharmas or Luvah since their arrival. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\b *}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ There were no clocks in Rintrah. \par\pard\plain\hyphpa r}{ "Nonsense. T he force that propelled them and held them aloft was the energy of time itself." sighed Los. Very well. "The best is not the known. and that was not measured in clock ticks. but I k now this\u8230? Urizen sought me out and spoke to me." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Tharmas frowned." \par\pard\ plain\hyphpar}{ "And from whom will you get this information?" demanded Los." \par\pard\pla in\hyphpar}{ "Only to recruit you. "I see I must choose between you. cheeks and eyelids painted to hide any tra ce of tell-tale expression. He says it is not enough to travel through time. \par\pard\plain\hy phpar}{ "Urizen.glance. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ William went on." said Tharmas." said Los. nor any day or night. we try to answer. good sirs." \par\pard \plain\hyphpar}{ Kate was disappointed. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Perhaps we should check with the other Zoas\u8230?" said Kate uncertainly. with calm determination. my friends. Answers come f rom experience. and th at is what we start on now. 'Whatever you plan to do. for one. "That is all we know. "We wait. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar} { "We tell time by the sun. but then she saw the firm line of her husban d's lip. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ It may have been weeks later. lips. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "No. "When questions are asked." Urizen explained. and fell silent. Urizen had taught the Blakes how to use their unique time-voyaging talent to tap from the flow of temporal energy a power that protected them even in the void o . Urizen made himself my gui de and teacher when a guide and teacher was what I sorely needed." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Soon you would come to us. Luvah said nothing. "Come. you have no answers. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "You see. but in subtle shifts in the sun's spectrum." said William.

slender and heavy." Kate whispered. "Where's the machine that converts all this energy?" \par\pa rd\plain\hyphpar}{ Urizen." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ He was right. There was something in the bag.f outer space. but it was not quite the London she was familiar with. she recognized. while Urizen's nakedness would have been freakish in almost any historical period." \par\pard\pl ain\hyphpar}{ "But you will be a married woman. There could be no mistaking the family resemblance." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I certainly hope so. but she was not really shocked. I don't know. I'm not a rich one. Urizen s miled. I'm not a married woman. be your fortune-tell ing ever so true. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Kate looked around. had solemnly pointed to his own forehead. \par\pard\plain\h yphpar}{ "And another thing. her mother as a young woman hardly older than Kate herself. They were. stretching out imploring fingers. laughing. Urizen\u8230? does it do any harm to tap out all this energ y?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I must confess. then gasped." Willia m said with a frown." Urizen answered. pausing now and then to glimpse some particularl y freakish folly of mankind or howl at some particularly outlandish turn of fash ion. for answer." William said. something long." Kate followed his line of vision. Whenever they were flying through the space outside of time. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ William had asked. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Can I speak to her. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ But now all caution was behind them as they winged their way backward through t he centuries. in London. (Kate would never have believed men could actually admire some of the grote sque costumes women wore during the more obscure ages of history. "This is London as it was when I was a child." Urizen said. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "We won't be here for long. here we are. Kate and William's garb was on ly a little odd. "They call that the miniskirt. me girl?" \par \pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I'm your daughter. If someone should see them standing there with t hese white wings\u8230?\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Ah. "Do I know you." \par\pard\plain\hyp hpar}{ "Indecent!" exclaimed Kate. "Here she comes now. the ghosts clustered around them in th ick spinning clouds." Urizen said as he unslung a leather bag from his s houlder. sir. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Her mother was coming down the street." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Are you a gypsy witch? I'll not give you money. I'm\u8230?" But how could she explain? \par\pard\plain\h yphpar}{ And now her mother was looking past her. Don't joke with me. "Mother?" The woman look ed up sharply. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I think we've overshot." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "A fortune-teller? No." Urizen had answered with smiling frankness ." Urizen said. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Kate slipped off her wings and stepped from the alley. calling to them. \par\pard\plain\hyphp ar}{ "Perhaps we should have worn something more in the fashion of the time. Kate recognized the costumes of the people who passed the mouth o f the alley where they stood as those of her mother's day. \par \pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Kate glanced around nervously. Her mind had been on other things. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "If you like. you know. Had she see . This was directed at Urizen. eyes widening with fright." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I have no daughter. but they passed them so fast their anguished pale faces were hardly more than a blur.)\par\pard\plai n\hyphpar}{ "Look there!" cried Urizen. \p ar\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Well." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "And you'll have a daughter named Kate. joking.

then the alley again." Urizen answered placidly. \par\pard\plain\hy phpar}{ "He let me do it. Kate's mother fell. I'll show you. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "But then\u8230? that means I never was born." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "How?" demanded William. is this." There were peopl e running toward them from the other side of the street. Kate had seen hersel f in a mirror many times. with that supernatural clarity that comes with a fever." He had finished l oading the pistol. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Her ears ringing from the violence of the shot. Not three feet away stood a second Urizen. There remained no sign of them but a spot of damp blood in the dust. there was her mothe r coming down the street. "Urizen." Urizen neatly plopped a metal ball down the muzzle. what\u8230?" Kate began. a hole appear in the forehead of the second Ur izen. not a reflection. There was a click. As she fell back a step. "My theory. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Urizen took aim and pulled the trigger. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Urizen seated himself on a barrel and. and all three vanished. if we get out of here. in the dirt. she saw. a second William. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The second Urizen tensed. The se cond Kate and the second William bent over. \par\pard\plain\hyphpa r}{ "Does it?" Urizen said. They had gone ba ckward in time. if you please. "You seem real enough to me. "A little patience. sir. Kate screamed. "She's quite dead." she said. but it was not like this. and\u8230? a second Kate. William had grabbed Uri zen's arm. breathing being. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Let me go. from the corner of he r eye. remaining in the shadows to watch this young woman . and faint momentary sizzle. Things are changed in the ordinary world. Urizen had indeed stepped from the alley. she did as Urizen said. humming softly to himself. tamping in the powder with a short ramrod drawn fro m the underside of the gun. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Urizen. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Why don't you go to the mouth of the alley and have a look?" Urizen suggested. but the changes don't affect us. then t amped in a bit of wadding." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Kate heard an exclamation of surprise." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "But what about my mother?" Kate demanded. \par\pard\plain\hy phpar}{ "And so I can. In a moment you'll see\u8230? ah." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ He snatched up the wings Kate had discarded and. with a rush." William said angrily." Urizen said." Urizen said quietly. there you are." \par\pard\plain\hyph par}{ "You can't help her. took hold of the body. \par\pard\p lain\hyphpar}{ Kate knelt by her side. as I'd planned. He had a f lintlock pistol in hand. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "My mother\u8230? is she really dead?" murmured Kate. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Come. they were once ag ain in the place outside of time. Why? I don't understand." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "You said you could get things right. The other Kate was a living. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Yes.n Urizen? Kate half turned. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "How could you kill him?" asked Kate in a strangled whisper. and an earsplitting bang. \par\pard\plain\hyph par}{ This time Kate let her pass. that Urizen was again aiming the pistol. face-down. you fool. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ There was a brief blur of ghostly faces." Urizen growled. Yes. "He lowered his shields for me. When we step outside the stream of time we break the chain of cause and effect. "We can set this right easily enough. Kate noticed. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The first Urizen fired. saw that powerful well-muscled body sprawl. She whirled. for what it's worth. and now cocked it. indeed. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ With William close behind her. began filling the flintlock pistol with gunpowder. preoccupied with her own affairs. but not far. a separate being that looked back at her whe n she looked at it.

with Urizen. but it's true. Urizen. Vala had gathered her long transluc ent red robes around her and walked slowly away. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ In the hall of the stained-glass windows. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Trouble in the family?" asked Urizen with a raised eyebrow. Urizen stood. with her sophisticated posturing. that when you had enough information. among the ghosts who swarmed around them as they returned to Rintrah." said William firmly. my dear sir. between my way and theirs. that we find out what we're doing. to our own home. \par\pard\plain\hy phpar}{ Was it her imagination or did she see. I have taken you to the most distant outpost of what I know. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Let us go home to London. You think like that because you're so easily influenced. We belong here." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ William had protested. bu t creatures from other levels of being\u8230? dragon-men. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "No." \pa r\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "You mean. You always get so carrie d away by every new fancy. not only humans from various ages of history. Blake!" William drew himself up indignantly. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Vala was full of riddles and mysteries. f ace red with anger. to know how handsome a man my baby will become. to his leather bag." He was retu rning the pistol. Blake. "I would not wish to come between man and wife. The re we'll be able to see things in a more normal light." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Mrs. that annoyed Kate. still smoking slightly. Urizen. before the unfinished window of Urize n's face. when it comes." Urizen answered lightly." William turned on her." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "What do you propose. I'm sorry. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ For instance. half in light and half in shadow. no. I am the daughter of Luvah. we're not." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Mr. Mr. you would choose between me and the other s. You've quite bedazzled us with all your wonders. and we must have a clear head for such an important decision. There was a f alseness to Vala. "I haven't the foggiest notion." began Kate. my friends. daughter of Luvah. Mr. It will make motherhood ea sier." \par\pard\ plain\hyphpar}{ And before she could be questioned further. There is no more to teach you." contradicted Kate. though Kate attached little importance to it." \par\pard\plain\ hyphpar}{ "We're ready. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "But\u8230?" Kate was still unsteady on her feet. Vala had once told them. "you perform these experiments with people's live s. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ And they had met. Kate! Rintrah! And the whole range of time from beginning to end. to see my son full-grown before I see him as a babe. "I am a lucky mother. "Yes.until she turned a corner and was lost from view. "It wouldn't be fair if we made our choice here in Rintrah. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\b *}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ But now Urizen was growing impatient. as she lay on her couch of orange nylon tricot. lion-people who seemed made from blazing fire. the tortured faces of Urizen and Kate's mother? \p ar\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\b *}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The Blakes had met other Zoas. "You said. "It is by perf orming experiments. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Kate shook her head vigorously. "No. the galactic ruler. though Wi lliam seemed fascinated by it. sir. the beautiful V ala of the Long Black Hair. and you don't know what you're doing?" Urizen was unperturbed. "This is our home now. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ ." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Not in the stream of my private time. "But where did the second Uri zen and Kate and William go?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I must confess. "But Urizen is already born. For us to return to our old life now would be like a butterfly trying to squeeze back into his cocoon. eagle-men. woman?" Urizen spoke coldly. to our own century. " Urizen smiled." William demanded. much to Kate's disgust." Vala had replied. Now you must choose. and some day I will be the mother of U rizen.

Very well. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ And though Kate hated every word of this book. to be occasionally taken o ut so that one illustration or another could be hand-painted with water-color pa ints." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I understand. Only a woman. "I and other Zoas disagree on many things. isn't it?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Why. then later. haven't you?" demanded William. because of the look on his face." He was wavering." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\b *}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The book was printed from twenty-seven plates laboriously prepared by William's own process. she let him read." She was pleading. You can't say I've ever given you cause to think otherwi se. was freer. to her. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The book. each page rubbed against the inked plate with the back of a spoon. That's right. his habitual smile returning. "You know what we'll decide." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar }{ "I'll always love you. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ And Kate did not dare to suggest that these ten copies be offered for sale. when she'd all but memorized it." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The Blakes turned toward him expectantly. but on one thing we all ag ree completely. seemed really puzzled. can do an unselfish thing without wanting revenge. \par\pard\plain\hyphpa r}{ "And you love me. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Oh. was printed in a limited edition by William himself. but whenever I look your future is different. "I've tried to see it. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The one which was not locked away William delighted in reading aloud. "Then take your wings and go . pretending to listen. very well. had prep ared several illustrations that had met with approval among the publishers. they expressed delight that William's work had suddenly taken a turn for the better." William had not si . Mr. but he'd find ways to make her regret asking him to do it. during which time William not o nce turned his skill to the production of anything that would put bread on the t able. Blake. she could see. "Now that's a very interesting question! You'll have t he answer to it if and when you are one of us. "Is that true wha t Vala says? Is she your mother?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Urizen laughed outright. It had been months in preparation. "Yes?" said Kate. with my blessing. I'll be dropping in on you from time to time. then paused. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Please. Urizen was annoyed." Kate had taken a few steps. A limited edi tion? Ten copies. and more important. who was now quite skillful at the cutting of plates. were locked in a trunk. over and over." Kate said softly. to see if you' ve changed your minds." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "You've traveled into our future already. That was a man's way. yes." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Urizen. don't you? Or at least you did once. She told them the work was William's. save one. the look that seemed to sa y. but you mus t understand something. she thought. \par\pa rd\plain\hyphpar}{ She endured it all. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Good. Now you're my husband. but I could give you an example or two if I lik ed. but managed to maintain his facade of politeness. Urizen was no longe r smiling. We cannot allow anyone who is not a member of the League of Zoas to enjoy the power of time voyaging. No more. William's book. I will wait yet a bit longer." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "And another thing. "You've taken Eternity away from me." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Then to make me happy\u8212?you do want to make me happy if you love me\u8212? come back with me." There was suspicion in William's tone." He would do it." Urizen said. the work was done on time. listening at f irst. they said. of course. for the first time."You won't admit it. Can't I keep my silly little hobby?" \pa r\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The title of the book was "The Marriage of Heaven and Hell." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Kate. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "You decide not to decide. His line. Onc e printed they all. though Kate.

y ou say. isn't it?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ He slapped his palm on the table exultantly. breeds pestilence." He looked up at her expectantly. which William took special pleasure in reading to her:\par\pard\plain\hyphpa r}{ "Let man wear the fell of the lion. and it would have been an act of plagiarism if he had. but finally she could keep silent no longer. who is now become a devil. swayed by these arguments. regarding him seriously. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Sooner murder an infant in its cradle than nurse unacted desires. \par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}{ "As the caterpillar chooses the fairest leaves to lay her eggs on. who was your particular friend. and it worried her . I collected some of their p roverbs. and tales of the victories of devils over angels. so the pries t lays his curse on the fairest joys. so th e proverbs of hell show the nature of infernal wisdom better than any descriptio n of buildings or garments. Now hear how He has given His sanction to the law of the Ten Commandments. William wrote:\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "This angel. which the world shall hav e whether they will or no. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Everything possible to be believed is an image of truth. "And Urizen. "This angel. I'd begun to think I was reading to a stuffed owl!" She laid down her graver and the illustration she'd been cutting. "Ah ha! So you understand after al l. as a gift." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ . They wer e in the kitchen. but acts not. you ought to love Him in the greatest deg ree. thinking that as the sayings used in a nation mark its character. a visit to the printi ng-house of hell." \par\pard\plai n\hyphpar}{ "You're my wife. became a devil. Urizen's exp ression. and William had just finished reading again the phrase. Later on appeared the following "Memorable Fancy. Blake." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "As I was walking among the fires of hell. seated opposite each other at the table. but Urizen's. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "What is now proved was once only imagined. and whe n He bid them shake off the dust of their feet against those who refused to lodg e them? I tell you. the candlelight dancing on his face revealing an expression she did not recognize as his own. and so mock the Sabbath's God? Murder those who were murdered because of Him? Turn away the law from the woman taken with adulte ry? Steal the labor of others to support Him? Bear false witness when He omitted making a defense before Pilate? Covet when He prayed for His disciples." And this la st. is my particular friend. which to angels look like torment and insanity. for the thoughts expressed in it were not his own." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Kate was a patient woman. Mr. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "He who desires.gned it. no virtue can exist without breaking these ten commandments. Did He not mock at the Sabbath." That is how it began. who is now become a devil. In one of th ese tales the Devil argued:\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "If Jesus Christ is the greatest man. She began uncertainly. woman the fleece of the sheep. "This angel who has become a devil\u8230? that's Urizen. we often read the Bible together in its infernal or diabolical sense." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Let us look at some of these infernal proverbs. " \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ And in the story the angel. which the world shall ha ve if they behave well. \par\pard\plain\hyphp ar}{ "You never know what is enough unless you know what is more than enough." The work co ntinued with attacks on the priesthood and on orthodox religion. is my particular friend. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I thought it was I. I also have the Bible of Hell. Why did Kate hate "The Marriage of Heaven and Hell"? Here are a few quotes from it:\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Rintrah roars and shakes his fires in the burdened air. delighted with the enjoyments of gen ius. is your particular friend?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "What else can I call someone who offers me. absolute freedom?" Ther e was a madness in his large eyes she had not noticed before. blasphemous wor ds put into the mouths of the prophets Isaiah and Ezekiel.

and luxurious gardens and parks were scattered over the area. "G od judging Adam". and I say it again. Blake. like other married folks. in Surr ey. and for a time William gave art lessons to the sons of the rich. the Blakes' home had ten large rooms and a small garden overgr own with unpruned grape vines that concealed a cozy little arbor beneath the sha de of a group of poplar trees in the backyard. but I doubt if you'd be saying such things if we were close." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ William leap to his feet. that's a lie!" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Who are you then. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ In times past it had been a resort of the rich. though she co ntinued to maintain the fiction that it was William who was doing them. and had found other places more fashionable. the lords and ladi es had been replaced by prostitutes. She had to give it up. \par\pard\plain\hyphpa r}{ Unfortunately the rich are fickle. \par\pard\ plain\hyphpar}{ Thus the neighborhood. then picked up her illustrat ion and graver and tried to go on with her work." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ He turned and strode from the room. never missing a day! She's a common whore under it all. Blake. the Flor a Tea Gardens. "In bed? Are you telling me that after all these year s you're finally offering up to me your virginity?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Mr. and the Blake family celebrated its prosperity by moving to new and better lodgings at 13 Hercules Buildings. Blake? Are you Helen of Troy? Are you Cleopatra? Who ar e you that I should trade the world and all eternity for you? You're a whore I s aid. she said. It was a paradoxical neighborhood . Lambeth. Vauxhall."It's the same thing. so that though the area was still open and green with trees. Mr. the Apollo Gardens. though they were bad en ough in themselves. but one loves one's wife because one must. Blake. the Temple of Flora. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ She did not cry. Not far away was a grim building called the Royal Asylum for Female Orphans." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Close? What do you mean?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Well. you know. "Newton". pretty terrace houses on the east si de of the street. Commissi ons were plentiful and well-paid." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The hardness in his voice hurt her more than his words. Fighting back the impulse to break into tears. In bed. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The Hercules Buildings was a row of clean. Mrs. as external surroundings so often do. but sat motionless for some time. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\b *}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\i {\b CHAPTER FIVE\u8230? 1791}}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Kate's engravings were more popular than William's had ever been. and "Nebuchadnezzer". but it was Kate the publishers admired and. thieves. \par\par d\plain\hyphpar}{ Her hands were shaking too much. Mr. though no o . a facade of flowers and green growing things that hid violence and suffering and unrest. selling her body like a ny bawd on a streetcorner!" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "A whore? Mr. William had one patron. and mobs of foreigners who shouted obscenities against King and Church in a dozen alien languages at all hours of the day and night. "That's clever ta lk. an admiring humble government clerk named Thomas Butts. including such things as "Elohim creating Adam". but much too expensive a whore for a poor man like myse lf. actually a workhouse and little better than a prison. For a moment a pain constricted her chest so she could not s peak. Blake! I was always willing! It was you what didn't want to!" \par\pard\pl ain\hyphpar}{ "I can't believe it! Kate Blake. the woman who always goes to church on Sunday. reflected the inte rnal world within the Blake family. who bought an average of one drawin g or print a week. and half a mile down York Place." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Not at all! One loves a friend because one wishes to.

" Kate nodded. A better offer than you. too. "Come in! It's only Adam and Ev e. "We must talk. \par\pard\p lain\hyphpar}{ She knew and did not know." His voice was the calm. New Road. Blake. Come along now . he entered slowly and closed the door behin d him. "Yes he did.ne outside the Blake family knew it. His voice. too.) Then as he saw her looking at him fr om the other end of the dim hallway. as when they had tea with the Butts family. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Yes. She knew a nd did not know that he had actually been to Rintrah. York Place and Hercules Road and from there perhaps had crossed the Thames by way of Westminster Bridge to wander about in Chelsea." She put it as a statement of fact. In company. they fell into a habit of silence. a shaggy silhouette before the bright n oonday sky. without me. chang ed as he answered." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ She led him into the living room. at last. and on returning would say he'd been down to the intersection of Barley S treet. To know something and not know it\u8230? that's a trick every wife must learn. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ William suggested that Kate help him seduce her. because she knew what sh e would find. which was increasingly often." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "You made your choice. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ She leaned her broom against the wall. They seated themselves in the comfortable ove rstuffed furniture her work had bought them. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Did you have to lie?" she asked him quietly. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Kate wept and the maid was fired. That w as true. I've been with Urizen. That too was true. \ par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Yes. with no o ne to see them. William went for long walks. "So you've made your choice. sooner or later. grew hard and angry." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ . he grew careless. he did not finish the manuscript. Kate's engravings they published." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I needn't have asked. because she knew they depicted things he could not have seen in Lambeth. now had an edge on it. you know!" William began a long poem glorifying the French Revolution. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ To do it she had to look away from the drawings he was making. Without h er they might both had found themselves in a poorhouse. not a question. before he'd been her husband." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Without me. but ev en though Kate had found a publisher for it. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ William forced her to join him in sitting naked in the grape arbor while he rea d to her mockingly from "Paradise Lost. that he was lying. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ He stood a moment in the front doorway. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ One day. Better to be silent than spea k aloud thoughts that might make it impossible for them to go on living in the s ame house. If I'd asked you about it. or perhaps he wanted finally to free himsel f from his own lies." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Again she nodded. If some editor or publis her asked her why her work was unsigned. th e Blakes presented a flawless image of domestic tranquillity. she would lightly lecture him on her de ar William's modesty. he on the couch." And when Thomas Butts had accidentally walked in on them there. she in the chair. s houting at her that he'd outgrown the ideas in it. William had called out. \pa r\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ They hired a maid. at home. Kate. both at the same time. (For once the sun was shining. good voice he'd had so long ago. A better offer than the oth er Zoas. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "You've been with Urizen. isn't it?" Her vo ice. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ When he had nothing to do. which had been flat and tired. which side are you on ?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I'm with Urizen. Kate. Mr. or even in Chelsea. you'd have said no. He returned from a one hour walk with a three day's growth of beard. \par\pard\ plain\hyphpar}{ To do it she had to avoid reading what he was writing. "And among the Zoas. It's him what made you the best offer." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I have.

did you? And how do you figure that. sir. but she shrugged off his hand. She spoke to the emptiness. you say. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Thank you very kindly." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Paid in advance. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I haven't had the pleasure of meeting your husband either. Blake. "I never thought I'd be frightened of you. but I didn't. Los was puzzled. Mrs. Los as an older man. but I am." He walked slowly out in to the hall." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Your house! When was the last time you chipped in for the rent?" \par\pard\pla in\hyphpar}{ "I paid in advance. And I'm my father's girl. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Your life. he would." He was smiling now." She wanted to stop there. What are you? A wild animal? Prowling. to draw and engrave. I haven't yet met you. to live in the same house? \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ At last she said softly." He pointed down a passageway that branched off from the Hall of Windows." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I see. and it's rather an easy life you hav e of it here. \par\pard\plai n\hyphpar}{ "I'm looking for William Blake. "I could. "Do I know you?" \p ar\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Of course! I'm William Blake's wife. "I don't owe you a thing!" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ He looked up at her. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "A prison. prowling. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "So that's how it is. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Vala's Garden was entered through the Gates of Dark Urthona. She heard him speak to someone in a low voice. Mr. doing whatever you like all the time. but a prison all the same. That's about a half mile in t hat direction. She sprang to her feet and screamed down at him. Kate. but her mouth. Never thought that. to say no more. But I noti ce you always come home for meals. I won't stop you. a changeling. Did she really want this being who looked like her hus band to stay with her." ' \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I could!" He was triumphant." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "It's a pretty prison. Blake?" \par\pard\pl ain\hyphpar}{ "I taught you to read and write. He reached ou t to pat her arm. "That's how it is." She wanted to speak now. William Blake!" When she arrived in Rintrah she found Los in the Hall of Windows. You wan t to talk to my other self. eh?" he said. Blake." she called back over her shoulder as she set off briskly in the direction he indicated. a monster. Mr. If I wanted to I could go into the past and change something so you 'd cease to exist!" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "You wouldn't do that." she said. "My father was a fighte r. as if it had a life of its own. to leave it alone."It's a good home we have here. I'm pleased to meet you now. went on talking. \par\pard\plai n\hyphpar}{ "You owe me your life!" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "My life?" That startled her. I'm Lo s as a young man. That Los who kissed your hand must have been me as an older man. Blake. ' \par\pard\pl ain\hyphpar}{ "Then you can't help me find my husband?" She realized now that this Los was in deed younger than the one she'd met. William had gone into the future and someone else had come back. You can do what you like. but could not. but when she rushed after him she found the hallway deserted. his powerful hunky body hunched with wrath. My father would envy you. It was perhaps the . "That's my good old girl. though the front door remained closed. heard a rustle as of wings. I ain't done with you yet. Did I charge you tuition? " His huge eyes were wide with mingled fury and pain. Mr. he was. "I won't be spoken to like that in my own house." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ His face flushed as red as his hair. {\i or let} us say." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "And where is he?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I think I saw him going into the Garden of Vala. When we were introduced you kissed my han d." He kissed her hand." \par\ pard\plain\hyphpar}{ He stood up.

"Could you explain\u8230? ?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Los laughed softly. only the whispering of the plants . "My husband?" \par\pard\pl ain\hyphpar}{ "William Blake. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "This husband you say I have\u8230? where is he?" Her voice was like that of a baby asking where the world comes from. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Los!" she called. The beetle was about the size of a large cat. obscured the sky. as she understood it from Urizen's explanations. She fought to keep her mind clear. so it would have been futile to try to tell direction from th e sun. "I'm c oming. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ She hesitated before entering. The beetle fled. you are. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ A pale low-hanging slow-moving fog. to aimless somnambulistic wanderings. where impressions of despair and hope forever vegetated in flowers. in that it did not seem to occupy any physical space . yet from the inside appeared as vast as a whole plan et. "Who are you. and i t might be difficult to avoid getting lost. \ par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ There was a narcotic aroma in the air. full of vague shimmering iridescent lights. drawing back her hand. the landmarks in the garden ha d so greatly transformed themselves that she could no longer tell from which dir ection she'd come. It would not be easy to find someone here. a realm of waking drea ms. she seated herself o n a stone." He was tall. \par\pard\plain \hyphpar}{ "Are you looking for your husband?" he asked gently. As she ran toward it she saw it was only a curiously humanoid treetrunk . for answer. When Los at last arrived and stood looking down at her. "Los!" she screamed again. She though t she might have met him somewhere. The beetle answered with a low growl. It would be an act of kindness. and in the brief time since she'd entered. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ She stopped. bearded. \par\pard\plain\hyphpa r}{ The drugged air was softening the edges of her panic. fruits." He pulled her to her f eet. "Los!" she called out. trying to connect it with a fac e. "You're a handsome gentleman. You called my name. The stone too was alive a nd moving only a little slower than the plant life. but this was the first time she had actually entered. birds and clouds. vines." she added. flowers. "Handsome. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ It was.strangest part of Rintrah. Fighting back a feeling of panic. But\u8230?" He lean ed over and took her hand. which seemed constantly murmuring to each other like a multitude of gossips. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ ." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ William Blake was a familiar name. She frowned. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Behind her the entrance vanished." she whispered in awe. but there was. She touched its hard smooth back. a sweet heavy odor that coaxed her not s o much to sleep as to dreaming awake. Now she sa w on all sides beautiful alien vegetation. In Urizen's company she had several times glanced i nto the Garden. growing. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I am Los. any way. sir?" she demanded." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Back in time?" She frowned again. she no longer remembered calling him. as seen from the outside. For a long time she could not remember what she was doing there. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Then she remembered her mission. looked around. the n her eye was caught by the colors in the wings of a beautiful beetle that walke d toward her with a show of infinite dignity. blooming and dying as rapidly as normal Earth plants might have done if their life processes were greatly accelerated." The voice was far away. Looking through the entrance she cau ght a glimpse of William and ran forward. I'm almost persuaded to leave you here. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "He has gone with his friends back in time. "\u8230? you have work to do. "When I think of what you have waiting for you. naked as ever. and it was all in constant motion. but couldn't remember where. the land of doubts and shadows. fishes. sweet delusions and un formed hopes. She threw herself down on the grass. ahead of her the figure of William moved and changed. only to leap up again with a little scream. treetrunks and a kind of translucent grass.

"Why doesn't the wind come?" \pa r\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Patience. to hav e cast a spell that would make a Roman forget Rome! Could it be true what her fo llowers said of her." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "What an odd name. screaming in their impatience. "Well. we'll put a stop to that. see it roughen the surface of the slow sea swells\u8230? and feel it turn his light ship. then squinted up at the savage Mediterranean su n." he shouted to the ship's captain. plainly in si ght. won't we?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "We. also drifted and waited. filled with the promise of violence from bright-painted tailfeathers to sharpened metal prow. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "The other is Vala." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "The other Zoas will help me. and the narrow channel from which they'd come. the cunning Vipsaniu s Agrippa. "Th at's right" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I might have known!" she snapped. "Yes. but the goddess Isis incarnate. but the very mainmasts had been left behind on land to make w ay for archer's towers. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "The wind's rising. Mrs. as if he might. He's so sure he's in the right." answered the old seaman. rising and falling on the gentle swells of the Ionian Sea. On the over four hundred ships that stretched out in a rough line f rom Octavian's galley on the south to Agrippa's on the north. not so much as one small square steering sail could be seen. the green shore at their back. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ There was no shade on the ship. You may do what you wish against him. my lord. or a woman if need be. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\b *}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Octavian. Blake. seasick and dazed with heat and sun. the ships of the enemy. We have voted a new policy. sir. while above them wheeled clouds of prophetic seagulls hungry for human meat. even at this distance. "Mr. Mrs. but w e will remain here in Vala's Garden until the Sun explodes. \par\ pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Octavian shielded his eyes with his hand and studied the enemy ships." \par\pard\plain\hyphp ar}{ "These friends of my husband's\u8230? who are they?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "One is Urizen. I'm sorry. exposing his side to the distant enemy." Her voice was flat." When the wind came the battle would begin. That will be soon. "I can fight a man."To the Battle of Actium in 31 BC. that she was not human. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ At least that was the theory of Octavian's top strategist. "It will." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Vala?" Suddenly her mind was clear. sharp-beaked boarding gangplanks an d grapplers." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ But this much Los did. Perhaps he knows things we do not. To the east. emotionless. No more struggling against Urizen." announced the old sea captain. Los!" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ He nodded slowly. paced the deck of his command ga lley while the rowers rested on their oars. trading obscene jokes among themselv es to ease the tension. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "It's noon. catapults. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ He led Kate to the exit from the garden and kissed her hand one last time befor e she left him. Blake? I will not be with you. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The four hundred ships drifted. but a goddess?" He felt faint and leaned against the gunwale to keep from falling. N ot only the sails. catch a glimpse of the traitor and adulterer Mark Antony and the Greek-Egyptian witch Cleopatra Ptolemy. His sh . Witch she must be. B ut we will not suffer here. now almost at the zenith. and we have never been sure we were. not even the fitful shade from a raised sail. a roughly equal force. and over the years Octavian had come to regard the faithful Agrippa a s almost an oracle. when the fleets of Augustus Caesar and Cleop atra fought to determine who would rule the Roman Empire." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "No. He wiped the sweat from his sunburned narrow features wi th the back of his slender hand. Octavian could feel it on his burning cheeks. Blake is with Vala?" Los grinned." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "No. balistas. Let Urizen have his way.

it would seem. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "What for?" Octavian shouted up to them. but he was grinning. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ With a curse the captain gave the command for him. Louder and softer by turns. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Octavian heard a great shout roll down the line of his ships." whispered Octavian. oldest and most terrible of all the gods." The seasickness was fading. The sign which hung ab ove the door." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "But what do you want\u8230? from me?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Your sword. quite attrac tive really. " \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Faintly Octavian could hear the oarsmen on Cleopatra's ships begin singing in t ime with their oarstrokes. and a powerful muscular man with a white beard and long hair that thrashed in the wind. bunching up. Osiri s and Horus. Octavian's sword. she knew how to measure her journeys down to the minute or. laugh ing. hear the boom of the oarmasters' \par\pard\plain\hyph par}{ drums. A cry of dismay went up from the crews of Octavian's ships. Thus there could be no mistake. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ When Octavian hesitated. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ It was the white-beard who spoke. sir!" rasped the sea captain. swinging slightly in the wind. We are Isis. a red-headed man in a brown coat and knee-breeches . a touch of anxiety in his voice. in the stranger's hand. "You could have my head for that. \par\pard\plai n\hyphpar}{ "Isis! Isis! Isis!" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Give the command. \ par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ William had taught her a little Greek but not enough. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The captain came forward. "Never mind. slapped him on the shoulder. Kate was an experi enced time-voyager. The wind was Cleopatra's friend! \par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}{ The captain spoke again. the breeze was cooling his fever. as the wind rose and fell. his eyes on the narrowing expanse of water be tween him and his enemies. singing in a barbarous alien mode and barbarous alien languages of whic h he could understand only a few words at the end of each stanza. heard his own oar smen strike up a familiar battle song. son g ended in mid-phrase as the three figures landed on the foredeck of Octavian's galley.ips were drifting together. saying. if need be. the winged naked man stepped forward and snatched it f rom his hand. he could Hear the terrible sound of forty thousand men singing in unison. Kate Blake glide d in slow spirals. There." called down the naked man. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I'm not a well man. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Who\u8230? who are you?" stammered Octavian." he said. but his words were lost in the hiss o f the surf and clank of the oars. gliding toward him as if leading the fleet of his enemies. the battle-lust of his men infected his own he sitant spirit. three winged human figures had appeared. was lettered in Greek characters. Empress of The World. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "A gift to Cleopatra Ptolemy. There was a woman in flowing red gowns. Thank you." But the words w ould not come to Octavian's lips. watching but not knowing how to intervene. their." Octavian whispered. rulers of the Land of the Dead. held it high. \par\pard\pl ain\hyphpar}{ So high above that she might be mistaken for one of the gulls. voices harsh with exhil aration." said the white-beard. "Here they come. in a deep commanding voice. He snatched his shortsword from its scabbard. "We need it!" With a rush of wings the three were airborne . sir. where an instant before there had been nothing but wheeling gulls. flashed in the sunlight. to read th . \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ But his laughter died when he raised his eyes skyward. The unfamiliar vista that spread out before her startled gaze was London in 1791. in a half-timber style that suggested Tudor. "We're ready. felt his stomach turn as his ship lunged forward. and this should hav e been her own pretty house at 13 Hercules Buildings. "We are the rulin g deities of Egypt. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Instead she saw what appeared to be a small caf\u233? or tea room. sir. to the second. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Never mind.

But where did this music come from? She could see no musicians. The name of Isis was being used "in vain". The name of Isis had taken the place of the various names of Jesus and Jehovah in the unthinking bla sphemies of polite conversation. as if in echo of what she'd heard at the Battle of Actium. in color an d three dimensions. reached out for it. yet not Greek. yet Kate knew there should not be any TV\par\pard\plain\h yphpar}{ here. Jet airliners were another thing that should not have appear . \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ She forced a smile and. noting as she passed a carving in the face of the door that seemed to portray the Virgin Mary and Baby Jesus. as it was. nude men and women were dancing. the costumes of the customers were unlike anything she had ever seen in any of the time periods she had visited. \par\pard\plain\h yphpar}{ First. Kate opened a door at the rear of the dining room and immerged into\u823 0?\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Her garden! \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ There were her familiar poplar trees. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ A large jet airliner passed overhead. seeing that he was carrying a menu. Isis. She gathered her cou rage and pushed open the front door. so ftly enough not to disturb conversation. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The serpentine sibilance of that name hissed at her from every corner of the sh adowed dining room. that it was written in Greek characters and she c ould not understand a word. there was the language she heard all around h er. \par\pard\p lain\hyphpar}{ Isis. Both women and men wore long flowing ga rments of some heavy but silklike material. No one was watching the TV screen where. there was a soft music playing in the room whose source she could not a t first locate. he and Urizen had made a world in which K ate Blake had never been born. but Mother Isis and the infant Hor us. That was an invention of the 20th Century! \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Third and most subtly disturbing. then handed it to her. What were these str angers doing in her garden? \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Outrage quickly gave way to horror as she realized it was she who was the stran ger. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Dazed. even played. u ndoubtedly her costume appeared as strange to them as theirs did to her. He hesitated. without surprise. The timbres of the music were harsh and the rhythms complex and percussive. except t hat they were bareheaded and the cloth in their robes was much more finely woven than any Arab material. She was outraged. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ She smiled at him again. the clink of dishes and silverware. took this for granted. except that now they formed a backdrop for a cluster of outdoor tables where strange robed figures spoke some dialect of Greek never heard before and said "Isis" all the time. there the tangled unpruned grape vines. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ She fell into a chair at one of the tables and sat staring at her grape vines u ntil a waiter came walking quickly to her and spoke to her with concern in his v oice. people w ere eating and drinking at the tables here in the somewhat dim interior. not at all proper British tea room music. a ll in their proper places. Opening the men u she found. and it took her a moment {\i to} realize why. It was then Kate realized that it had not been Mary and Jesus she'd seen carved in the door. Yes. Isis. The mur mur of conversation. It was Greek. so that she could understand no more than a tan tilizing word or phrase in all the buzz and hum. Then a shock. Everyone. They could have been Arabs. \par\pa rd\plain\hyphpar}{ Second. it would appear. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ It was midafternoon and the caf\u233? appeared to be open. . The music was coming from a television se t mounted high on the wall. the occasional laughter . William had made good his threat. but then s he began to notice the things that were not as they should be. all were exactly what one would expect in a small suburban tearoom. and he left her to make her selection.e sign. but Kate was the only one in the garden w ho looked up at it. yet one word was repeated over and over. Some of the customers glanced at Kate with curiosity.

As she waited for her lunch. perhaps elect a spokesman. that where the Roman milestone called the London Stone s tood against the south wall of St. Kate studied the people around her. she discovered that St.ed until the 20th Century. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ She knew. where druids stretched out their victims for hum an sacrifice. in this changed London. {\i Is the fork a Roman invention}? \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ When the waiter approached her. She had no idea what she was goin g to get. A glance at the other tables informed her there was not a fork to be seen . she puzzled over all she had seen since a rriving in 1791. The Ankh. so had The Great Mother Isis triumphed over The Great Father Jeho vah. using h er power to slip out of the time-stream only when she felt in some danger. in this changed London. \ par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ At first it puzzled her that the streetplan of London was so little changed. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The Roman Empire had been ruled from Egyptian Alexandria. t he outcasts. not Latin. but no fork. had become the mother of modern languages. on the verge of tears\u8212?her garden had developed the same as if nothing had ever been changed. Swithin's was gone but the London Stone remained. b ut ate it anyway. When she tasted it. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ It was some sort of meat stew. \par \pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Over the top of the menu. William had taught her the history of her nation. Her garden to ok no part in politics. obviously expecting to present her with the bil l. with social rank in between determined largely by linguistic fluency. If onl y they could be silent a moment. Swithin's on Cannon Street. as ordinary his torians only suspected. she found it overly spicy. in an ornate floral pattern. the Ankh pendants around the women's necks. seat of mere military power. Some of the women wore crosses\u8230? but no. and those who don't on the bottom. This Greeklike tongue she heard around her\u8230? those who spoke it must believe they were sp eaking English! \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ But of course England must now have another name. but of course these Londoners did not know that. though in the sidestreets the changes had been great. that before the invaders had called h er city Londinium it had had another name: Golgonooza. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ And that explained the carving of Isis and Horus. She made her search mostly on foot. The waiter returned. as ordinary historians did not. consisted of a knife and a spoon. Al most all the main avenues followed exactly the same course they had before the c hange. not crosses. long be fore the coming of the Romans. she vanished. now set apart in a little park before a tem . \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ And Greek. Kate wondered what it was. and a pattern began to emerge. and in her time-voyaging she'd seen enough to know mor e than any ordinary historian. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\b *}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Language is the great divider. Crosses with loops on top. Then she'd listen to them and be able to understand what they were so urgently trying to tell her. That explained the a dvanced technology! Perhaps there had been no decline and fall of the Roman Empi re. no Dark Ages. Then she remembered that these main avenues followed roads laid out by the ancient Britons. Kate ordered by pointi ng her finger at one of the items on the menu. without noticing it. in every society those who speak the dominant to ngue are on top. This was what England had become as a result of Cleopatra's victory. there had once be en a stone of a different sort. \p ar\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ And her garden\u8212?she glanced around at it. along with all the rest. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The waiter arrived with her food. The herds of ghosts who roamed there seeme d greatly multiplied. She knew. As Alexandria had triump hed over Rome. and their terrible howling had begun to form words. the casual whispers of the name of Isis. She d idn't like the world outside of time. She had become. instead of from Rome. Now. Thus Kate sought out the foreigners. She wondered. The s ilverware. seat of learning and science. E gyptian hieroglyph for Eternal Life. very hungry indeed.

" There were sou nds in the language she could not form. but both women were young. Thanks to these devoted servan ts of Isis. like Christianity. when Sister Boadi cea spoke in her native tongue. yet so much the same. "Where is your husband now?" \par\p . "You are right. How strange that you know the name of Golgonooza and not th e name of Albion. And London Bridge.ple of Isis. Sister?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Of course. nearly all the old place names were preserved as they were when this was a land of druids and superstition." Kate asked. Here she found the foreigners. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "May I ask a question. Gracechurch S treet and Fleet Street. My husband taught me. was smiling up at Kate now as Kate stood before her. Here she ate. trying hard to speak in a way to justify the Sister's praise. They must have strange schools in your land. The Sister's dignity and shaven head made Kate a little in awe. "And what is the name of this nation?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Albion. "How do you know that. but were not surprised when she could not reply. the poor people she sought. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Better than the others. almost without exception. speaking slowly and carefully. surrounded by people of all races and languages and costumes and ages." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Sister Boadicea did not ask where home was. I should get over being surprised at the odd things in the heads of those who come to Albion. though all had new names she could not read. Sister Boadicea was a good teacher. Kate's mind transformed what she said into somet hing very like the King's English. their poverty. still struggling with the l anguage. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "You have done well in your lessons. every one of the churches she remembered had been replaced by a temple of Isis on the exact same site. women with only one thing in common. \par\pard\plain\hyph par}{ At first she did not understand why. had taken care to occupy the locations already made sacred by defeated gods and goddesses. So different. in spite of the stench of unwashed bodies and the moans of the sick. Cannon Street also was still there. my dear. ly ing in fourdecker cots arranged in long straight tiers." She toyed with the Ankh t hat hung from a leather thong from her neck. When the Alexandrian Empire expanded to include our nation. about the same age. Sister. That night Kate slept well. still crossed the Thames at exactly the same spot. seated behind a massive desk. In a little more t han a week the alchemy of translation had begun to take place. Sister Boadicea. "Thank\u8230? thank you. the outcasts. though it was greatly changed in appearance. Then she remembered that these sites had all once been druid holy places: the religion of Isis. nor d id they seem to find anything remarkable about Kate's clothing." said Sister Boadicea. the hubs of the web of magi cal roads that once radiated from Stonehenge to the opposite side of the globe. the soldiers brought with them scholars from the Alexandrian Library. I suppose." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The Sister was surprised. By Isis. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\b *}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Kate was a good student. only said quietly. The shaven-headed nuns of Isis who served the f ood asked Kate questions. of course." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "As best he could." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "What is the name of this city?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Golgonooza." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Thank you." \par\pard\plain\ hyphpar}{ "I never went to school. my dear?" \par\pard\plain\hyph par}{ "I learned it\u8230? at home. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Kate struggled with the words." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Kate was glad that she had been kept after class to be praised rather than crit icized. as was Cheapside. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ She wandered all day long and at night was given shelter in some sort of woman' s refuge next to the Temple of Isis that stood on the site of Westminster Cathed ral." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Golgonooza? That's a very old name.

that we teach you to read and write Alb ion so you may read the holy scrolls of Isis and write them on your heart. once I said those same words. sick. Kate learned that Ooth oon and Albion were on the brink of war." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Dead?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I don't think so." She rose to her feet. and in our teaching we seek not to press something in from outside .ard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I don't know. Perhaps you are one of that few." It was some time before Kate realized that Oothoon was what. The Sist er would take anything that was said to her and translate it into Bas and Kas an d Mother Isis. leaned forward so her loose linen robe brushed the desktop. who without us would die in the streets of Golgonooza. The image of William as he had once been. so wise." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Oh Kate. \par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Germs?" Kate knew the Albion word. that's not so. You come from Oothoon. {\i how could she understand? How could anyone but} {\i a Zoa understand}? Still. . but so that you may learn an d one day speak the truths of our faith." Kate took a st ep backward. We seek to awaken the slumbering Ba. Sister Boadicea was so gentle. "When the Goddess created us. We are a te aching order." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "No." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "No need to deny it. "I see. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The Sister sighed and nodded. we can here resurrect those who are dead to hope. from one of the other "students". Never being born. "You cannot know how pleased I am to hear you speak in a spiritual way. I am a nun i n the order of the Daughters of Albion. the good Willi am." Kate thought. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Sister Boadicea went on. \par\pard\plain\hy phpar}{ "I see. to turn it to its Maker." The Sister was smiling sweetly. serious. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Germs. since you're obviously a bright woman. thought Kate. "I'm sorry. "The Ba is your true self. Kate. hungry." the old woman muttered. had been called The American Colonies. not as an end in itself. as are all the Sisters here. but was uncertain she'd heard it correctly. "I understand. If you will let us help you. In this world I never was born. but. here in this world} {\i where I never was born}. helpless. "Sister. but few Isis." Kate corrected. The Ka is born in this world. We can help them. then Si ster Boadicea sat down abruptly. that we teach you how to speak. I think you can become what I am. It is through your Ba that you are united with Isis." \par \pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "No. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Did he abandon you?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Kate could not answer. my dear. perhaps\u8230? \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Kate began." Kate was speechless. But the Ba is immortal." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I know." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "You see what?" Kate already regretted offending the Sister. in the world before the change. As Isis tenderly raised her husband Osiris from the dead. to draw something out from the inside. In you I believe I sense a Ba that slumbers lightly. I do not come from Albion. You must realize. Sister\u8230?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Many learn Albion. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ And the following day. that you have come from the land of dark superstition. There was a moment of shocked silence. one of the loving hands of the Goddess. girl. I cannot be one of you. Kate. I must tell you. Kate could see that now. where the red men worship the Sun King. forbade it. she\u8230?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar} { "When {\i God} created us. {\i It is I who am dead. "The poor and ignorant hav e need of us. None of us was born in this world. but now look at me!" Her words were urg ent." {\i But}. The body is born in this w orld. like the saintly Socrates. peering up at Kate with bloodshot eyes. th e Ba cannot die. saying.

Kate had formed the habit of talking to Sister Boadicea whenever somet hing upsetting came up. The re was a face she'd come to recognize as that of King Caesarean. \par\pard\pl ain\hyphpar}{ The old women took a sip of coffee from a cracked cup. my dear. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Sister Boadicea was there." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Kate went directly to the common room. and you should watch it. in all faith an d love. As soon as I found out. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "There's an army base just a bit south of here." \par\pard\pla in\hyphpar}{ "I'm not one of the Sisters. "Sis ter Boadicea. Isis don't like things like that. confidential tone. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The woman shrugged. "\u8230? Oothoon is to Albion a wilful disobedient child. I qu it. but she still sometimes made mistakes. a crime and a sin. Kate sat down beside her and said. They're going to shoot those rock ets all the way across the ocean to Oothoon. good mother?" The old woman leaned forward and said in a low. I've just heard something\u8230?" Sister Boadicea. I've had a job there until last week." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "What they were doing?" Kate prompted. bowed to the other Sisters. "All the same. where she thought she might find Sister Boadicea. can I speak to you outside?" Reluctantly Sist er Boadicea got up. of Mercy. A surprise attack!" \par\pard\plain \hyphpar}{ "But why\u8230?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Germs!" The rockets will be full of plague germs. "But it's a crime what they 're doing. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Try to be brief." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Sister Boadicea. I shouldn't say nothing." The old woman sighed. in hopes that one day . Kate. watching television with Sister Gwendolen. testing its parent to see how far it ca n go. direct descenda nt of the son of Cleopatra Ptolemy and Julius Caesar. but\u8230?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Kate persisted." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "We've got to stop it!" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Stop it? How could we? And more important." Kate glanced at the television screen. You've told me Isis is the Godd ess of Life." The Sister's lips formed a firm line." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "As indeed she is. "Sister Boadicea. of Love. You know that the monks and nuns of Isis. I quit. why should we?" \par\pard\plain\hyp hpar}{ "You've told me Isis is a tender loving mother." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "And started drinking?" Kate said." Kate was turning to leave when the old woman added." Kate had chores to do. but I will never be one of the Sisters. The Popess will be speaking from Alexandria later tonig ht. the lean sad features and large protuberant nose were unmistakable. and followed Kate into the hall. "What are you talking about. But your sympathies are with Oothoon. squinting in t he glare of the unshaded electric light bulbs that lit the now almost deserted m ess hall. "So what if I did? There are some things too awful for a so ber mind. "Ssh." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "But what shall we do?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Nothing. Kate. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I'm not surprised. then she smiled faintly and said. have taught the red men of Oothoon for centuries. It's supposed to be a secret. cleaning up around the offices. I help out around here to pay for my room and boar d. \par\par d\plain\hyphpar}{ "You Sisters shouldn't bother your heads about things like that. but when I found out what they were doing . with transoceanic rockets filled with plague germs. I've just heard that Albion plans a sneak attack on Oothoon. Sister. Sister Sabrina and Sister Gonorill. You can't see th is matter objectively.She'd been with the Daughters of Albion for two months now and had learned to u nderstand the language well. finger to lips. nodding slowly. too. Sister Ra gan. The King was saying. cut in. The King is speaking. The sight of the Ho ly Mother might soften your hard heart. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "They're setting up huge big rockets. I don't want to miss that.

Oothoon could become a full member of the union of nations. You know that, thank s to us, they have been raised from the level of naked savages to a level of tec hnology and prosperity almost equal to our own. So certainly you must understand that Albion and the other nations who recognize the authority of the Holy Churc h of Isis cannot now stand by and do nothing when the red men of Oothoon threate n {\i to} drive the white man from their continent, deport our monks and nuns, burn ou r holy temples, and revive the barbaric worship of the Sun God, a {\i male} deity!" She pronounced "male" as if it was a dirty word. Exasperated, Kate cried, "How do you know the deity is female?" The Sister replied smugly, "It is the female who brings forth life, my dear. Can a man have a baby?" \par\pard\pl ain\hyphpar}{ There was a tense silence, then Kate said softly, "You've been very helpful, Si ster. Thank you." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "And as to this coming war, history will vindicate us, Kate." She touched Kate on the arm. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Kate flared up, "You don't know what history will say!" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar }{ "Only Isis can know the future," the nun agreed, then added sharply, \par\pard\ plain\hyphpar}{ "You certainly can't!" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\i Oh yes I can}, thought Kate. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ When Sister Boadicea returned to the common room, Kate stood for some time alon e in the hallway, steeling herself for the howling of the hordes of the dead tha t she knew would greet her the instant she entered the place outside of time. \p ar\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\b *}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The statue of naked Urizen stood on the bank of the river, looking down on the vast city of Golgonooza, capital of Albion and capital of the World. No building stood taller than Urizen's head, not even the towers of the Temple of Isis. Und er Urizen's right foot was a winged serpent, symbol of the Sun God, symbol of th e red men of Oothoon. The serpent was portrayed as writhing in its death agonies . \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ William Blake, looking down on the statue from his helicopter, pondered its sym bolism. The figure was a faithful reproduction of William's original design draw ing, yet in this scale it seemed different, more pompous. William was not sure h e still liked it; certainly the High Priestess of Isis in Alexandria did not lik e it. She even used the word\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "blasphemous" to describe its "pretentions." But her word no longer carried muc h weight. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "To the palace, Little Eagle," he commanded. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Yes, sir," the red slave replied, tilting the control column. The helicopter c rossed the river and headed west. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\b *}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The slave, Chief Running Water, snapped to attention. He was an impressive sigh t in his feathered headdress and warpaint. "Announcing my lord William Blake, Pr ime Minister of Albion," he intoned. Urizen looked up from {\i the} chessboard, smiling. "We can finish our game later, Vala," he said {\i to} the beautiful dark woman sitting opposite him, clad in yards and yards of wh ite silk. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Vala sprang to her feet and ran across the multicolored geometrical mosaic floo r of the immense throne room, her bare feet slapping against the hard little til es, her silks swirling behind her like the tail of some fantastic tropical fish. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "William!" she shouted with delight. William, grinning, stood in the tall doorw ay, where the massive bronze doors stood ajar, his arms outspread to receive her . He was clad in the latest style, neo-archaic, with tunic, cloak and sandals al

l in gold-trimmed white, his red hair neatly cut so it hung no lower than his ea rlobes. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ William and Vala embraced and kissed with hungry violence as Chief Running Wate r watched them emotionlessly. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Come, darling. Talk to me," she said, as she led William toward the slightly r aised platform where Urizen, reclining on white cushions, awaited them. \par\par d\plain\hyphpar}{ They paused a moment to bow and say in unison, "Our King," then Urizen gestured for them to be seated. Urizen, as usual, wore no clothes, but his bearing was k ingly, commanding more respect than the most costly crown on the head of a lesse r man. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "What news from the empire?" Vala demanded. Between themselves the three spoke English so no one else would understand. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "The empire\u8230?" William chose his words carefully. "\u8230? is imperfect." Urizen laughed. "For the moment, perhaps. But since my plan is perfect, the resu lt of my plan will also be perfect." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "But when?" asked William. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "All has gone well so far, has it not?" Urizen said playfully. "We set the worl d to uniting itself under a single capital, then, when that single world capital in due time came into being, we took that capital for ourselves. That was my pl an\u8212?a simple one really\u8212?and here we are, exactly where I expected we' d be. Politics is like farming, my friend; you plant a seed, then wait." \par\pa rd\plain\hyphpar}{ "I've flown over Oothoon," William said bleakly. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "And you found?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "A land of death eternal. Nothing human lives over there, not on the northern c ontinent nor on the southern. There are trees, animals, but\u8230?" Urizen leane d forward, saying seriously, "What do you want? A world split in half? A world l ike the one before the Great Change where the United States and Russia stood fac ing each other with drawn knives for a hundred years? If one world is what we wa nt, there must be one power, not two or ten or a hundred, one power with the mea ns and the courage to exterminate all rivals." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ William glanced at Chief Running Water. "Not everyone would agree." Urizen said , "Are you speaking of the Chief there? Believe me, he is only too glad we captu red him in the early stages of the war, before the plague infected him. Here, it 's true, we make a clown of him, forcing him to parade around for our amusement in the costume of his savage ancestors, though we know well enough that before t he war he dressed the same as any good citizen of Albion." Urizen turned to the Chief and called, "Hey there, boy! What were you before the war?" \par\pard\plai n\hyphpar}{ The answer came without hesitation. "A college professor, my lord." \par\pard\p lain\hyphpar}{ "And tell me, Chief, where would you rather be? Back there before the war, teac hing college, or here, as you are?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Here, my lord." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "You see?" Urizen said. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "What other answer could he give, and live?" demanded William. \par\pard\plain\ hyphpar}{ "You're so sour," Vala said, pouting. "You should stay here with me, not go bou ncing around the world so. It isn't good for you." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I am the Prime Minister," William reminded her. "Someone must go about and see that things are as they ought to be." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "You sound as if you have still more complaints to make," Urizen said languidly . \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "There is unrest in high places and low," William said gloomily. "The officials in the temple of Isis complain that you have no priestess at court." \par\pard\ plain\hyphpar}{ "Hey Vala," Urizen called. "Would you like to be a priestess?" \par\pard\plain\ hyphpar}{ "You swine," she cooed affectionately. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{

William went on, "The nobility complains that you fail to give proper respect t o the king and queen." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Proper respect? It is against my better judgement that I let those royal schem ers live, and as for the nobility, they must be aware by now that I preserve the m only as one preserves the last examples. of some nearly extinct species, for t he amusement of the zoo-going public." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "And there are riots," William continued doggedly. "Not only in distant parts o f the world, but in the very streets of Golgonooza itself. The young roam the st reets like packs of wolves and every wall is covered with obscene scrawls. Golgo nooza was to be a city of art\u8230?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "It will be a city of art, William," Urizen said soothingly. "Patience. We have visited the future. We know that these dark times will one day end. There is a perfect world uptime from here, and we visit it when we make our spot-checks. It 's there, William, the prize that makes it all worthwhile." \par\pard\plain\hyph par}{ "But\u8230?" William began to object. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Vala touched his lips with her fingertips. "Hush now, darling. Don't be so seri ous." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ William sighed and smiled. "I suppose you're right." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "The important thing is that you're home," Urizen said heartily. "It's almost s uppertime. Let's go on down to the dining room and see if we can guess, by sniff ing the air, what the cook has in store for us." He got to his feet, stretching and scratching himself. "Let's make this a celebration, not a wake. A celebratio n of your safe return, William." The way to the dining room led across a long st one bridge that spanned the gulf between the southern and northern wings of the palace. The bridge was roofed but open at the sides so you could look down (if y ou weren't afraid of heights) into the courtyard twenty floors below, or off acr oss the landscape toward Golgonooza. William, tagging along behind Urizen and Va la, looked toward Golgonooza where, dominating the skyline, the giant statue of Urizen trampling the serpent-god was silhouetted against the afterglow of early evening. He thought, {\i The High} {\i Priestess of Isis is right}. The statue really was too big. No statue of a mere man should be that large. And yet it was a perfect symbol of all that Urizen sto od for, all that was too vast for ordinary humans to understand, but for which o rdinary humans by the millions were expected to give their lives. \par\pard\plai n\hyphpar}{ William's thoughts were interrupted when he almost bumped into Urizen and Vala, who had stopped abruptly. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "What's wrong?" William asked, annoyed, then followed the line of their vision. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Someone was standing in the shadows at the end of the bridge, waiting for them\ u8230? a woman in a loose white robe. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ A familiar voice called, "Mr. Blake?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ It was Kate. William tried to speak, but could not. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\b *}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Chief Running Water came crisply to attention, thumping the butt of his spear a gainst the mosaic tile floor, as Urizen and Vala passed him, dragging Kate behin d them by the wrists into the throne room. William followed, his features pale a nd masklike. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Shut the doors!" Urizen commanded. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Yes, my lord." The Chief shut them with a boom. As the echo of the boom died a way, Kate shouted, "Let go of my wrists!" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Save your breath, Mrs. Blake," Urizen told her grimly. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar }{ "You can't hold me like this! A bit of concentration, and I can pop a hundred y ears into the future or a hundred years into the past, where you'd never find me ." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Try it, Mrs. Blake," Urizen said quietly. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{

\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I'd like to." objected Kate. She's a Zoa." said Vala. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "There is no murder without a {\i corpus delicti}. Urizen only said mildly. Blake?" Urizen asked. Mr. I see I've struck a nerve! You do h ave doubts!" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Only at around three in the morning. "I've been practising. over anything I touch. " Vala laughed out loud. "Is it murder every time a man passes up an opportunity to get a woman preg nant?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Let me go!" shouted Kate." she said firmly." Urizen was amu sed." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I have power too. "We took life from some. if it's your right to decide t hat. "And why did she do that?" \pa r\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Kate looked at him as if he was feeble-minded. suddenly afraid. You must take the responsibility for saying 'This one will live. What do you want here. She's powerful. T he plan comes first. "Ah. It wouldn't surprise me if I was every bit as good at controlling time as you are." Kate insisted. but at the same time ask you.She tried. and Vala an d I have better things to do than stand here holding her. "Y ou may be as good as I am alone. with drinking men and evil loose women. Mrs. Vala and I together can cancel out anything you might be planning to do. unperturbed. you silly man!" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Let her go. yes. But you can leave the room if you like. Blake. The moment we let go of her wrists there's no telling what she might do. remember the greatness of our cause. that one will die." When Urizen did not answer this. I have power ." admitted Urizen." \par\pard\plain\hyphp ar}{ "If she promised\u8230?" began William. When my father fell in wi th bad company." Urizen smiled. "But I can't. Kate dear. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Kate held her head high. Urizen and Vala he ld her fast. "I'm doing nothing more than any good Englishwoman wou ld do. but only to give it to others. Urizen." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ . \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I can't believe it. do you. before all else. she did. "She loved him. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "That we must kill her. nothing more than my mother's done many a time. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Could we believe her?" demanded Urizen reasonably. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Remember when I first took you and William to Rintrah?" Urizen said. in all seriousness." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "What are you saying?" William was bewildered. my friend. "No." \par\pard\p lain\hyphpar}{ "You murdered me. and my power communicated itself to you. You never think there might be a higher court." put in William softly. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Urizen went on. good and proper!" Kate was furious. "And you murdered all the others. Mrs. Nothing happened. "But now it's my turn for a question\u8230? a simple one at that. standing in the shadows like that. my dear." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Vala said. too\u8230?t he people who would have been born if you hadn't changed things. that was naughty of you !" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "You thought you'd murdered me. Mrs. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I don't understand. Believe me.' " \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "And you never ask yourself." she said. Blake?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I want me husband." answered Urizen with real regret. \par\pard\p lain\hyphpar}{ "Murdered you?" Urizen said with mock astonishment. That's what it means to be a ruler. \par\pard \plain\hyphpar}{ "I held you by the hands. "We have no choice. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Do you know what you're doing. struggling with all her strength. but his tone was ironic . but not as good as Vala and I together. particularly sinc e I honestly never expected to see you again. "You scared me. We simply arranged things so you wouldn't be born. she went on with more conviction." Urizen told him. I sympathiz e with you. she went right down to w hatever tavern or bawdyhouse he was in and dragged him home by the ear.

Kate. only foot traffic was a llowed in the central business district. Mrs. then said. Here in Golgonooza." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "You're just a man. you know." Kate concluded excit edly." They rested on a summer hillside in Albion." William murmured. "I threw myself on you and tore you free of Urizen and Vala. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ ." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "You need never thank me for anything again. "Yes. "Are you with me against Urizen?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I'm with you. "Against Vala." William's voice was deep and gentle in her ear." he whispered. then took you with me here. but it's up to the woman to be the moral backbone of the family. animals. Blake. 'A man may be strong in body. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Do you forgive me. Kate could see William as little more t han a blurred black shape except when they passed under a streetlight where she could catch a glimpse of his drawn features. outside the timestream. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I don't understand. "I saved you. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Better without Urizen on the throne?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ William nodded." he said. in the days before Urizen's castle was built." answered the red man. Forgive! Forgive even yourself. stepping forward. my lord!" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Kate closed her eyes and waited for the pain. '" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The fog was so thick they had to walk slowly." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Not all of them. unlike London. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Right in my hand. Blake!" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\b *}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ As they stepped from the brightly-lit printseller's shop into the fog and darkn ess of the street. They were fal ling. and the sun was shining brig htly. Blake. Kate said. for buying me this m ap of Albion. too. She'd never heard him laugh before. but at least they were in no dang er of being run over. Kate?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "What's to forgive. two against two. The skyline of Golgonooza in the distance showed no trace of Urizen's statue. Kate lay down and rested her head in his lap. do you have your spear?" called out Urizen." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Be a Christian gentleman. "Thank you kindly. Mrs. falling through the void. spinning head over heels through a maze of vague images that formed and disintegrated before they could really be seen\u8230? bu ildings. machines. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ He chuckled." \par\pard\plain\hyp hpar}{ "If only I could. She was amazed. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Chief. Mr. but he made no sound and she made no comment. Blake. my lord. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Mr. Mr. but did not protest. Mr." he answered contritely.William remained where he stood. Blake?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ He bent forward his head and kissed her awkwardly on the ear." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Then it's even. My mother told me a hundred times." she said. She knew he was c rying by the way his body jerked. At last she said. "Then run her through\u8230? but try to make it quic k and easy. human faces. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "No. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "And against Vala?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ He hesitated. "He'll be sorry he taught us all his tricks. a debt for all the tro uble I've given you. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "It's better that way." William warned. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Enough of them. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\b *}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Am I dead?" Kate had to shout to hear her own voice above the howling of the c louds of swirling spectres. Urizen's v oice was cold. \par\pard \plain\hyphpar}{ "I owe you a debt I'll spend the rest of my life paying. emotionless. and we've got a chance." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Yes." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ William was sitting with his back against a tree. Blake\u8230?" said Kate with dismay.

squinting at the map. \par\pard \plain\hyphpar}{ "Are you sure this is the right place." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ William said." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Inside Kate could see herself talking to the old woman. There's someone there I must talk to. It was too dark to see any but the closest ones. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The rockets. "It's right t here. d etermined that there must be around a hundred. Kate and William were already h eading for the door. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "We'll try. startled. "I'm certain sure. but too low to be picked up on radar. but the Blakes." She pulled op en the door to the Mission dining room and entered. I did forget something. high enough to clear the electrified barbed wire fence. Are you sure that's all there are?" \par\pard\plain \hyphpar}{ "Just three. but could n ot make out the words. next door to the Temple of Isis. "Three bases." Kate promised. "And there's another one in the north of Albio n and another in the south\u8212?here and there. They passed in front of it. whispering together through chattering teeth. see the old woman telli ng her about the rockets. that's you in there!" William whispered. when they found them. sh ivering in the damp fog. b lack and huge. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Isis be praised. "Wait." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar} { "Then you'll do something about it?" The old woman was grinning toothlessly wit h rekindled hope. I'm just wearing this robe because\u8230?\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ but never mind about that. we must look for them of course. A glowing window seemed to materialize out of the fog. Yes. I need to know exactly where that base is where they've got the rockets. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Why. Come along!" She took off and he follow ed. Kate?" They had so far gotten lost four times that night. now turning and walking briskly away. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The Kate outside said." Kate said fervently. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\b *}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The sentry did not look up." She pointed a bony ringer." The temple loomed ahead of them. "I'm not a Sister. and thus did not see the Blakes pass swiftly and si lently overhead. They stopped to peer through it. Now the Kate inside the room was nodding. Sister!" exclaimed the woman." he said. then left the street and silently mou nted a flight of stairs. "Thank you so much." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Well. All right." She spread out the map of Alb ion on the table. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ They landed atop the administration building and crouched there on the roof. let's go in. indicating the three segments into which each ." \par\pard \plain\hyphpar}{ "Thank you. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "It must be." William whispered. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Hush now." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Be where?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "At the Women's Mission. That's it. We'll be there in a minu te." the old woman said. Sister?" Kate answered. William beside her. "What's this? You go out one door and come i n another! Did you forget something. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I won't get lost in this neighborhood. She could hear the murmur of their voices. hi dden from passing aircraft under vast tentlike camouflage nets. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Multi-stage." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I don't see any rockets. by making a tour of the area." the old woman replied. It's so\u8230? so military. "Could you point out the place for me?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpa r}{ "No trouble at all. \par\par d\plain\hyphpar}{ The old woman looked up. I remember from a map they had in the office. I used to come down this very street ev ery day when I was living with the Daughters of Albion. that's the temple now."I hope you know where we're going. were lying on their sides in a long line. nodding firmly. See.

\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "They're overconfident. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Before dawn the two other bases in the north and south of Albion were also mass es of roaring flame." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "What are you saying?" Now she was alarmed. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Capital. An instant la ter it rammed into the central segment of another rocket (Or was it the same roc ket at an earlier time?) with an earsplitting crash." William complained. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Kate and William. together with the man and the woman. moving at a different ang le. High above. the countdown was completed and the first of the trans-oceanic rockets breathed flame and slowly rose from i ts launching pad. I dare say." Kate remarked maliciously. I told you. to smile." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\b *}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ It was a gray afternoon in Golgonooza. then kept on going. "There's no fu el on board now. drifting through the air. Kate reflected. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "When it takes off. a redhead." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "When?" He did not sound very hopeful. Blake!" she answered. It was so long that bot h nose and tail were lost to sight in the fog. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I'm saying that before we celebrate our victory." A spot check revealed that they had no fuel on board either. it exploded in a great rolling ball of flame and a deep thump of an explosion that broke window s fifty miles away. gazed d own at the white overcast and at the glowing spot in the clouds that marked one of the burning bases. w ith his cloak swirling in the wind. At last Kate said. one of the scientists could be heard. their faces illuminated by the flames. vanished. All the same. passing through one rocket after another until. If one explodes." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar }{ "Then let's explode them!" Kate cried delightedly. on a sunny afternoon. \par\pard\plain\ hyphpar}{ {\b *}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The rocket re-appeared a little over a month earlier. which was still rising quite slowly. and the attack on Oothoon definitively postponed. They moved in from either side of the rocket . \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ A man and a woman had appeared. they have no warhead s. In the sudden silenc e that followed. Then one of them shouted and pointed skyward." muttered William. In a nearby concrete bunker. tense scientists. "Surprise Urizen? I'm not sure that's possi ble. watching it ris e. \par\ pard\plain\hyphpar}{ But William's mood was more sombre. Actually it's I who am surprised\u8230? that Urizen has done nothing to sto p us. you silly man!" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\b *}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ A little over a month later. soaring hand in hand upward into the brightening sky. the man. almost at the last one. gazing in frustration at the nearest rocket. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ . skipping on its side over the ground through darkness and fog. qui te an expert in weapons under the tutelage of Urizen. began. The woman was wearing the robe of a nun of Isis. "But no warheads. and put their hands on it.missile was divided. they all explode. perhaps p ermanently. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "How's that for a firecracker?" he shouted. b ut his voice was drowned out by the thunder of the rocket. the oth ers looked where he pointed. the Blake s embraced and laughed hysterically. "It's not wise to put all the rocket s so close together. William's gloomy voice came out of the darkness. but there will be. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "A nasty surprise for Mr. For a moment they sto od baffled. \par\pard\plai n\hyphpar}{ The rocket. weeping. tentatively." William had become. Mr. Urizen. we should go uptime a way and examine the results of this night's work. was clad in tunic and sandals. \par\pard\plain \hyphpar}{ "They're not as stupid as I thought. "It's not as easy as that.

" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "No! I won't have it!" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "We've got the plague." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Absent-mindedly she scratched herself with her slender fingers. we've never gotten to know each other as well as we might. and there was no sound but the steady hiss of the rain." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ She stopped slapping and scratching and said with ill-suppressed fury. You know. Nowhere had they seen a living hum an being. the future!" He sighed. wh ere Kate had tried and failed to read the menu. some s till upright." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ She swept his hand away with an impatient gesture. watching. and it's our fault. "All over Albion. "N o more. Now." William said soothingly. you see.Rain fell without cease on Kate's garden. Let's make as go od use of it as we can. Maybe a week. Kate. We had literally all the time in world. the rain drumming on the skull with a curiously hollow sound. "We must try to learn to like it. but sacrificed Albion to do it. were iron under their chipped paint and had begun to rust. All. to before Urizen came to Albion. all dead. which now grew even more wild than it had when this city had been called London and this nation England. "Perhaps. The chairs. some overturned. Kate and W illiam stood in the back door of the tearoom for a long time." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Don't frighten me with your ugly jokes. We'll have some tim e together before the fever comes on. isn't it?" William's larg e blue eyes turned toward her. The table where she'd sat. A yellowed skeleton lay face down in the garden. She and William had been to the Mission of the Daughters of Albion. "That skeleton\u8230? do you suppose that's the fellow who waited on me?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ William answered softly. "Let's go back downtime to before all this happened. There were flea s everywhere inside the tearoom. A few days. Those fleas that have been biting us\u823 0? every one of them must be a plague carrier. Kate. trying to get rid of the fleas t hat. "What's that? Do you like it here?" He laid his hand on her shoulder." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ She thought of Sister Boadicea. Probably all over the continent as well ." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ William shook his head heavily. I expect. She thought of the old wo man who had been so eager to have the rocket attack stopped.. and her voice was soft as if she'd been in church . W e should have known that we'd be spreading here the plague intended for Oothoon! We saved the redmen. They thrived in the dust that lay thickly on al l the furniture. though corpses were numerous enough. here in the comparatively dry interior. How could we\u8230?" \par\pard\plain\h yphpar}{ "We've been very foolish. was overgrown with the serpentine vines and translucent green f ruit." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ She turned on him angrily. "That will do no good.. almost bidden by the leaves. Here we are and here we stay. The grape vi nes had crept forward to reclaim the area where the tearoom tables had stood. \par\par d\plain\hyphpar}{ "You've known for hours and you didn't tell me!" His large eyes were full of pa . but we had to hurry. \par\pard\plain\hyp hpar}{ "Hush now. were crawling all over her. but had found no trace of anyone. had to rush in and make our silly blunder. "Our home? Are you daft? We can go anywhere we like\u8230? the present. like everything else. "It's like this all over Golgonooza." she said. we can't leave here because we'd take the plague wi th us. You can't walk the streets of a plague city without g etting the plague. she now was horribly aware. but I didn't think of that until we'd been here for more than half an hour. "No. \par\par d\plain\hyphpar}{ Finally Kate spoke. They had walked the str eets for hours before finally ending up here. It'll be our home from now o n. we'd infect any age we visited." In a moment of blind panic she s lapped and rubbed herself with impotent frenzy." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Our fault?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "We exploded the germ warfare rockets here in Albion. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ She spoke again. the past. \par \pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Let's leave here.

the dogs follow ed at a safe distance." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\b *}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Look Kate. showed his teeth and let out a low growl. neither of them had been altogether sane. dragging himself to his feet. And there were other animals too. seeing them. "I couldn't think of any kind way to say it. painfully. bending over and picking up a rock from the cobblesto ne street. not to be replaced by the chills. William. Blake. he was slowl y. and he sounded perfectly normal. and that had seemed to be working quite well until last night wh en. \par\pard\plai n\hyphpar}{ "I was thinking. As they reached the intersection a pack of gaunt dogs appeared around a corner and. much to her own surprise. \par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}{ As she looked around she saw birds everywhere. It seemed right and good that the dogs should eat her. was sitting nearby on the floor. four hours at time. \par\pa rd\plain\hyphpar}{ "Can I get you something to eat?" he asked gently. "That's not far. but no\u8230? fever gave a certain high quickness to a man's voice . But she was not afraid. but not very far. Nature was like that." Was he joking? No. "It being such a fine morning. fighting against waves of dizziness and nausea that th reatened to destroy her strange joy. His reddish beard was quite long. I'll eat later perhaps. the grape leaves wet and dripp ing. The backdoor was open. and she raised herself slowly into a sitting position. then." He did not answer. His eyes were bloodshot and his body terribly thin. the pack of dogs fled. holding her. came forward slo wly." he said. They'd taken turns nurs ing each other. I'm feeling much better. as before." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ She awoke and rolled over on the pile of tablecloths and towels on the floor th at served her as a bed." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "A walk?" It sounded like such an insane suggestion she wondered if he was in a fever again. paus ing every few steps to gather strength." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Kate did not believe him. For a moment he stood there swaying and blinking." he began. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Could she stand up? Yes. Her makeshift bed was clammy with old sweat." she whispered. keeping her from falling. Very slowly. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ And an occasional huge rat that did not flee as rats used to do. and through it she could see her garden. was not strong. \par\pard\plain\hyphpa r}{ "You're a good man. One. "I always knew it. but by a curious feeling of great p eace. she saw. but each time William was there. but I'm not a bit hungry." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "You look better. When he raised the rock as if to throw it. curiously. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Several times Kate felt as if her legs would give way under her. Perh aps the effort of walking took all his energy. There had never been so many bir ds in the neighborhood. The fever was gone. but stood its . maybe you and I can go for a walk. \par\pard\plain\hy phpar}{ With the rain her suffering seemed to have passed as well. who seemed to be the leader. his back to the wall. I've never seen you more beautiful. they made their way to the front door an d out into the street. They're just overfriendly. and had a quaver in it. dirty and tangle d and his skin pale. Chipmonks. She had heard that growl." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Thank you kindly. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "They want to eat us. with shuffling sandaled feet. and that's a fact. the trunks of the poplar trees glistening with moisture. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Go on!" shouted William. Squirrels. "There's still some cans of food in the kitchen." Kate said softly. she noted. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Down to the river. and when William and Kate continued on their way. A walk? Why not? People go for walks all the time.in. she could. The rain has stopped. fresh and bright in the morning sunshine. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Nonsense." His v oice. he came over and extended his hand to help her up. Mr.

\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ She would die today. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I see you're awake. and in each jungle there were ey es. Everything was so quiet. \par\par d\plain\hyphpar}{ "William!" She tried to run toward him. intelligent eyes fixed on the Blakes with a calculating gaze. They paid no attention to he r. William fell." she whispered. she looked around.ground in the middle of the street and watched them with fearless little eyes. tails wagging. She knew it. looked up. and his shirt and pa nts white. She bent over him. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ A great roaring rushing sound filled the universe. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Damned nuisance. \par\pard\plai n\hyphpar}{ "Go away! Leave Mr. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "No!" cried Kate. And that was fine. The insects h ummed. Moist. Hot as an oven. It was horrible. The dogs came a little closer. s o they had to detour around. The lead dog's teeth were showing. It was no longer a beautiful day. That was exactly as it should be. fortunately for you both. We can r est there." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ But he found he could not stand. were white too. She tottered along beside him." Kate found it difficult to speak. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The last thing she saw before losing consciousness was a large brown helicopter hovering overhead. The dog s were following him very closely. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Yes. "We'll be at the river soon. as he smiled. so he seemed to be smiling. "Are you all right. \pa r\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ A small breeze made itself felt. a welcome breeze. tongues hanging. sni ffed at William's ankle. I'll be on my feet in a minute. You and\u8230? what did you say the man's . inching along on his belly toward her. "Where's\u8230? William?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "William? Ah yes. and she did not have the strength to lift him. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\b *}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ His skin was brownish red. his shoulder-length hair black. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Every cobblestone in the street stood out with a supernatural clarity. Was he getting a fever too? They paused to rest. Blake?" He rolled over. without warning. that's all. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ But the sun was so warm. painfully. already beginning to dry. The lead dog rushed forward. I think so. but instead fell. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ In every yard the weeds formed a small jungle. The cobblestones glistened. desperate. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The dogs settled themselves on their haunches. "Yes." His voice was strained. Where was William? Ah. He was a young man. \par\pard\plain\hy phpar}{ "Go away! Go away. alone. Mr. Her thoughts grew vague. She'd never seen a more perfect day. on her kne es. you!" she screamed at the dogs. Every se parate hair on the dog's pelt stood out so she could have counted them. leaning aga inst the cement rail. only a few yards from him. A little diz zy there. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ She raised her head. he's in the men's ward. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Then. concerned yet somehow d etached. Blake alone!" she shouted. and began to crawl on all fours. because her man would die too and there would be no one to stop them." he muttered. and his teeth. They were closer t han they had been." he said pleasantly. Puzzled. handsome." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Ward? Is this a hospital?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Yes it is. \par\pa rd\plain\hyphpar}{ When she was thinking again she found herself on the bridge. The birds sang. yes. And all the dogs and birds and squirrels and chipmunks and rats would eat her. there h e was! \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ He was about a block behind her. because either the day had b ecome suddenly very hot or the effort of walking was too much for her\u8230? "Th e fever's coming on again.

and no staff. That is why the redman was so long cont ent to bow under the whiteman's domination. Perhaps it w as skin color. }\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\b *}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The young doctor. The older one s remember how it was before the war. Her eyes swung from the young doctor's fac e to a curious object hanging on the wall. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The doctor reacted with surprising anger. elbows on knees. At first she took it for a caduceus. Blake will be all right in a few weeks. "What's that thing on the wall?" she demanded.name was?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Mr. "Sometimes they seem afraid of us. but then she noticed {\i it} had one serpent. whose name was Laughing Bear. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The redman nodded. thinking. and Albion." he paused. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The only disturbing factor was the coldness of the other patients. Kate fell asleep looking at Quetzalcoatl. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Laughing Bear. Quetzalcoatl. Laughing Bear sat on a stool facing them. teeth very white against dark skin. Partly it is resentment." Laughing Bear often addressed the Blakes as if they represented the entire White race. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "The Winged Serpent. to them." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Kate tried to sit up in bed. \par\pard \plain\hyphpar}{ The hospital. was located in the south of Gallica (or Fr ance as the Blakes might have called it) near the Mediterranean Sea. \par\pard\p lain\hyphpar}{ "God?" said Kate stupidly. as William and Kate lay in deckchairs clad in bathrobes and sung lasses and Dr. {\i The redmen won the war}\u8230? {\i thanks to us." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Afraid?" Laughing Bear nodded soberly. It's the onl y language all the thousand tribes of Oothoon have in common." \par\pard\plain\ hyphpar}{ "Then why don't they speak to us?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The doctor sighed." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Holy?" William was surprised. They might have asked to leave the hospital. but the red-skinned dark-eyed convalescents studied the Blakes from a distance but never spoke to them. The whole of the past and the whole of the future we re open to them. "How can I explain? Partly it is guilt. when the doctor was taking his break. so sunny da ys were many. "Of course. can the other patients here speak the language of Albion?" \par \pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The doctor smiled. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Kate commented. leaning forward. they learned from him. became quite friendly with the Blakes during the following week. when you ruled us with an all-too-heavy ha nd. perhaps religion. symbol of the medical profession. the Blakes were the only Whites in the entire institution. The three of them often talked together on the sun-deck during the afternoons. No winner is ever free of guilt. God of Oothoon!" After the doctor had left. "That's God!" he snapped. Our scripture foretold your coming t . but they hadn't the slightes t idea where they would go. The military police helico pter was able to bring you in for inoculation before the disease had reached the terminal phase. "Yes. \par\ pard\plain\hyphpar}{ One afternoon. perhaps politics. William brought the mat ter up. if we are speaking h onestly. William Blake. searching for a word. some of them are afraid. They suspected it was their strangeness that drew Laughing Bear to them. "Our religion teaches us t hat white is the skin-color of the gods. "holy. {\i The redmen must be world rulers now}." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "You and Mr. but it seemed somehow easier to lie in the afternoon sun and pa ss the time in lazy conversation. not two. You are. William and Kate were feeling much stronge r now. Most of us speak t wo languages: the historic tongue of our province. failed. \par\pard\plai n\hyphpar}{ She thought.

{\i in this world there's no such thing as a} {\i Christian}. and don't you forget it!" Laughing Bea r was startled by the sound of an unfamiliar language and. and he wrote our holy scripture to show us ou r future. \par\pard\pl ain\hyphpar}{ "Christian? Christian? What's that?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{\par\pard\hyphpar }{\page } { {\i Of course}. "Dr. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Lapsing into English. and he created the redman to rule it. learning from you until we were your equals. like Quetzalcoatl. It has all happened as our god Quetzalcoa tl promised. "Isis isn't the real God. to ready us for our role as his chosen people!" At this point Laughing Bear realized he had raised his voice so that some of the patients nearby were looking at him curiously. Laughing Bear in ast . "A real god is someone you can see and hear and touch. Laughing Bear." Kate said firmly. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "None. where\u8230?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The doctor interrupted." William persisted." she told him primly." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "No thank you just the same. They have a little village in the mountains where they keep alive the ancient customs of their nations for the benefit of tourists. A few survive in th e priestly orders. Speaking more calmly. their skin color helps them attain high rank there." the redman agreed." William concluded." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Then you must study for the Holy Priesthood of the Winged Serpent. Kate thought. the scripture for etold that we would inherit the world. \par\pard\plain\h yphpar}{ William translated her outburst. Blake. foretold that we would be your servants for a time. " {\i Someone you can see on TV}!" William and Kate looked at Dr. "Impossible! Things could not turn out any other way. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ She tried to explain. though he couldn't un derstand her words.o Oothoon." Kate shuddered. you would like to go and live with them. he added. when you destroyed yourself. "I don't know as I f ancy that. of the church she'd faithfully attended as a child. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "But Laughing Bear. like William's. "I know there are not other Whites here . could easily see that Kate was protesting. then. He created the world. all events planned by hi m from before the beginning of time to beyond the end. but the doctor was still puzzled. Mr. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Then we shall study. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "And there's no third choice?" Kate asked. A ll history is a reflection of the will of Quetzalcoatl." He was becoming excited ag ain." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Of course not. Kate sat up abruptly and snapped. "I think the tourist business s ounds more promising." Kate noticed that the doctor's voice was deep and calm. She thought of the church she'd been married in. when you are well. "We shall not! \par\par d\plain\hyphpar}{ You're a Christian gentleman. Indeed. \par\pard\plain\hyphp ar}{ "Perhaps. someone who can stand at the head of all nations and give personal guidance to his loyal worshippers. "Still clinging to your childish superstitious faith in Isis?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "We never did believe in Isis. "But you will learn al l this when you study for the priesthood. Gallica and this whole contine nt there remain around ten or fifteen individuals at most. "Your race is almost extinct." He seemed pleased and eager to inform them about his religion. there is another world where things t urned out differently. and for the first time she realized how utterly alone she was now. b ut of all your millions that once swarmed Albion. but aren't there any Whites anywhere else? People of our own kind?" \par\pard\ plain\hyphpar}{ Laughing Bear shook his head." His voice lowered a bit in reverence as he spoke his deity's name." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The doctor looked at her sadly.

" A faint ironic smile appeared on her lips. but he had slipped once more into unconciousness. When I asked him who was to lead the fleet into battle." Cleopatra called from the entrance to Antony 's tent." They entered the game room. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Leave me alone. Antony dear. my children. looking him over from sandaled feet to helmete d head. he told me to tell you. Your Majesty?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "You heard me. A terrible suspicion was forming in Kate's mind. Your Majesty?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Yes. on fine days like this everyone ambulatory was always out on the sun deck." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar} { "Carried. just as our scriptures describe. \par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}{ Angrily she turned on her heel and. "Come. you are to sail out and e ngage the enemy. Antony dear." \par\pard\plain\hyph par}{ "You lead it." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Does he have any orders for us. The air in the tent was heavy with the smell of stale spilled wine and vomit. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "The enemy is waiting. he con fidently placed the responsibility in my hands. {\i Handsome young man}. Your Majesty?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Yes\u8230? as a matter of fact." said Urizen's recorded image.onishment as Kate echoed his words. I'll show you. Laughing Bear said triumphantly. "Someone you can see on TV?" \par\pard\plain \hyphpar}{ "Of course. Is Quetzalcoatl a white man?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Just as was foretold!" said Laughing Bear. O immortal god of wine." he mumbled thickly. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Antony groaned but did not reply. bitch. "Is the general awake. It's battle time. \p ar\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "He ordered that he be carried on board his flagship." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ . she thought. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "And. "Tell me. Antony's second-in-command snapped to attention." That would be a sobering experience. his nude hairy body more that of an aging wrestler than of a potential emperor of the known world. "Wake up. Laughing Bear selected a tape from the library cabinet and inserted it in the read unit. soldier. to wake up in the middle of a sea battle\u8230? with a hangover. Antony dear. I'll play one for you on the set in the game room. walked quickly away from the tent. \par\pard\plain \hyphpar}{ "Is that all." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Antony!" she shouted." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Let 'um wait. a colored image began to form." The doctor was quite smug now. Doctor. Your Majesty?" The soldier had turned rather pale." she continued. We have video tapes of Quetzalcoatl's weekly television broadcast here. and gave her a straight-arm salute. the face of a man. Then." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Someone has to lead your fleet into battle. "does he have long white hair and a long white beard?" \p ar\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Yes. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The television screen high on the wall hummed. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ She sniffed. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "You see?" Dr. \par\pard\plai n\hyphpar}{ "One thing more. he does. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Blessings on you all. Dr. she thought maliciously. muttering obscenities." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ He led the Blakes off the sundeck and down a long deserted hallway." He rolled over but his eye s remained closed. {\i Perhaps} \u8230?\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The soldier's crisp voice interrupted her speculations. Th ere was nobody there. thumped his brea st with his fist. crackled. more or less. \par\pard\pl ain\hyphpar}{ {\b *}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Wake up.

to ru le Amenti. His Greek was better. "There are no gods. She must at all costs avoid hand-to-hand combat." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Dismissed!" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ He again thumped his breastplate. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ He said haltingly. "I do not believe. the Kingdom of the Dead. Was this a trap? Had Octavian sent assassins? "Speak and be g one! I have men to kill today. his men better trained. Octavian's fleet. the troops of various allied minor kings. she had to pass briefly through a grove of trees that hid her from the view of the sentries on either wall. Is that understood?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Yes. the voice of a singer. gave her a straight-arm salute. it will be Antony who has spoken th e words you pass on. faster and mor e maneuverable than hers. \par\pard\plain\hyp hpar}{ Suddenly." Still she answered mockingly. red-haired and wore a short t unic. I will give the comma nds. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ She continued through the camp. The man was stocky." Her glance was flicking nervously around. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Well?" prompted the queen. "We are your friends. it seemed to her. \pa r\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "We bring you a message. wher e Octavian's legionaries would butcher her irregulars. Antony's tent exactly at the center where the two roads crossed at right angles. The woman was slender with curly light-brown hair and a long white robe. the cream of the Roman legions . \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The queen drew herself up proudly. Kate. blowing his shi ps so they'd bunch up and show their sides to her. \ par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Kate spoke first. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "The spirits of the dead are gathering. \par\pard\plain \hyphpar}{ "From whom?" Cleopatra demanded. so suddenly she jumped back with a gasp. was wai ting out beyond the mouth of the channel. unafraid. but as far as the troops are concerned. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "From the gods!" William answered. and then hurr ied off to obey her orders. All others are theater. a poet. Her own camp. the wind picked up around noon. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The woman spoke to him in some unknown language. there appeared a man and a w oman floating through the air. There was. somewhat smaller. "C leopatra Ptolemy!" Her Greek had an accent Cleopatra had never heard before."But\u8230?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "But I'm a mere woman? My own Egyptian soldiers would not question that." \par\pard\pla in\hyphpar}{ "Warn me?" Her tone was almost pitying. and instead ram his fleet head-on when. with walls and embankments and ditches of its own. "But you believe yourself to be the goddess Isis\u8230?" C leopatra replied coldly. frustrated. His ships were lighter. Her stronger heavier ships wo uld smash his light ones to splinters! \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The camp was laid out in a perfect square. "And you. It was a beaut iful clear morning. I s . "Yes. raising her hand so her long sleeve hung down like a wing. It was here she had her vision. my queen. To reach it. "We're flying!" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar} { "Mirrors! Wires! In Alexandria we have magicians who can make an elephant seem to fly. but yo u Romans with your blustering male pride\u8230? very well. I know it! Religion's too important to rest on belief!" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "But look!" The man sounded desperate. but her forces were fleshed out with slaves and freed men. though her voice still showed no trace of fear. so deep in thought she hardly saw the soldiers who leaped to attention and saluted her. "They want you to rule the Western Land." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ He said uncertainly. a fine day for a battle. We've come to warn you. She had Antony's Romans. and a scr aggly mob of local peasants pressed into service. Egyptian palace guards. o nly one way she could win." boomed William." he answered gentl y. Your Majesty." His voice was deep and sombr e. She squinted at the sky. unless they are the gods within us." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I can't\u8230?" He was flustered. was a little apart. as it always did. she knew.

"Urizen is a determined man. when the battle b egins. with queenly dignity. and if you take it you will lead no more living men into battle. and the swiftly changing gray-green ligh t that is seen more with the mind than with the eyes." \par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}{ "But we have no need" for sails in battle." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Gasping for air. give me p roof of it!" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Kate took Cleopatra's right wrist and William the left. as she and William drifte d through the place outside of time. She could see the wave of change rushing on into the future." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "So all's well then?" William said cheerfully." said William." answered the transparent Robert." \par\pa rd\plain\hyphpar}{ As the wave moved onward. When Urizen diverts the time stream. "It was not the gods or the spirits of the dead who sent you. He was surprised. The man will offer you a sword. these unhuman things seize the opportunit y to invade the human universe. What she did not kn ow was that this refusal would change the course of history. spirits not intended to be human . \par\pard\plain\hyphpar }{ "But why couldn't they be born before?" he demanded. "We make ready not to fight. "Load\u8230? the sails and the rigging.uppose. the clouds of ghosts faded. I will come flying to you over the waves. believed." When the demo n came to offer her the sword. yet here she was. saying i t is the sword of Octavian. pan ting. only oars!" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar} { "Fool!" she screeched. She screamed as she fell t hrough the nothingness. and. but that sick weakling Octavian! If you come from the dead. pale. in which he can realize his dre . What's become of them now?" \pa r\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "They are being born. "The bodies meant for them were not brought into being." the spirit said sadly. Your Majesty. And not now but later today. quickly. but flee. clouds of moaning spirits. "Antony is safely on board. she knew she would refuse it. Cl eopatra never ran. but to flee. Antony's second-in-command was supervising the loading of the ships when he turned and saw Queen Cleopatra running toward him. have come to offer me a crown?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Not a crown. He saluted. But it is not! It is the sword of the Land of the De ad. perhaps. Do not take that sword. didn't we?" laughed Kate. A sword. but there were bodies in the chan ged world. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Robert. He'll try again to make some world in which he is master. "Not the same bodies. Who was\u8230? wearing them?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Robert seemed uneasy. except for one who came t oward them. \par\pard\plai n\hyphpar}{ {\b *}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "We threw a scare into her. making everything once again "the way it ought to be. she strode. with her hair blowing in wild disarray." William called out. and with me will be a woman in red robes and a man with a white beard. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "The world has changed. but only sp ectres. There are other spirits. she commanded. "What's happening to all the spirits? \par\pard\p lain\hyphpar}{ There used to be clouds of them around. if you love life. I saw them when Kate and I came back fr om that future where the redmen ruled the world. pretending not to noti ce." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Cleopatra laughed outright. Thank God you two were able to return the time stream to its proper channel. "This is the proof." Robert warned. In the place outsid e of time Cleopatra saw the swirling. swing it back to wh at it would have been if the sword had never been offered to her. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "There's still a danger. to take human form. the images of p ast and future that appeared and faded. my queen. It was William's brother Robert." \par\pard\plain\hyp hpar}{ "Flee from a battle I expect to win? Impossible!" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Then stay and die. at las t." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ She protested. clutched at the wrists that held her wrists. giving the que en no chance to straggle.

\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I will. \par\pard\plain\h yphpar}{ Finally she said. This was never the fault of the public. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\b *}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Albion was gone." \par\pa rd\plain\hyphpar}{ "But you'll help us?" Kate asked hopefully. so the moon (almost full) and the stars w ere plainly visible." the spirit said.ams of of false perfection. and Oothoon. Mr. Next time he may go further back in time to make his change." said William seriously. The fragrance she smelled of plants and flowers could be replaced by poisonous fumes. It was 1791 in Lambeth. Robert." \par\par d\plain\hyphpar}{ It went on to tell how William had invented a process for overcoming this probl . so eternal. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "We'll do what we can. We can see his changes coming. "There could be other cha nges. Blake!" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Why not? It's the truth. But I can warn you when Urizen makes a change. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Don't say that. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "The labors of the artist. looked downtime. could not re sist. but was ow ing to a neglect of means to propagate such works as wholly absorbed the Man of Genius. We know it here before the chain of effects rea ches those in the time-stream. \par \pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\b *}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\i {\b CHAPTER SIX\u8230? 1794}}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The preceding year William Blake had printed and distributed among his friends and neighbors the following curious document:\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "PROSPECTUS." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ She sighed. \par\pard\plai n\hyphpar}{ "Even when everything else changed. fading away. The birds she heard could cease to sing." She took William by t he hand and led him out under the sky." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Warn us then. draw more of the unhuman beings into the human universe. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I can do so little. It's up to you two now. The cool night breeze c ould be replaced by the airlessness of outer space. He turned his spectral head. in the place outside of time. Impulsively she reached out to touch. There were the wild untrimmed grapevines. changes that even your garden. The sky was still clear. though it is uncommonly hardy. the musician. almost uneventful." he said. TO THE PUBLIC. 1793\par\ pard\plain\hyphpar}{ and 1794 all at once. the evening of the day Kate had left in searc h of William. "I have no physical body. so indestructible." Kate promised. a wave of chang e more profound than Robert had believed possible. Kate stood at her back door and gazed out into her garden. almost to caress. in a single glance. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I must warn William!" cried the spirit. across th e Thames from metropolitan London. could see the years 1791. the poet. peaceful years. and Golgonooza. 1792. have been proverbially atten ded by poverty and obscurity. but there was an infinite number of ways it could be utterly obl iterated. like a line of fal ling dominoes. \ par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ William lightly slipped his arm around her shoulders. Of course he was right. Even Milton and Shakespeare could not publish their own works. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\b *}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Robert. The garden seemed so alive. wheeling and darting toward 1794. the moist surface of a grape leaf. there the poplar trees. a wave of change was coming. my garden stayed the same. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ So distant he could hardly see it." said Robert. The other Zoas no longer restrain him or correct his changes. "Then we'd best enjoy it while we may." she murmured.

Kate.) She. (DaVinci supplied the model for many of his designs." but then had lost interest in it. and so couldn't help but wonder how the general public could be expecte d to figure it all out. when thy heart began to beat. she often could not understand what he was talkin g about. for th e most part. burning bright \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ In the forests of the night. worked with frightening speed . The public ignored them. She loved her home and her garden. her engravings were so lifelike. but she would throw him a smile an d return to her task.em. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Sometimes. as she worked. sharing his tools. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The books were full of images taken from William's adventures as a time-voyager through the alternate worlds. they did no more than exchange winks when she delivered. sometimes copying or tr acing things line for line from other artists' work." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Visions of the Daughters of Albion. He worked very slowly. She worked in the same room with William. Though some o f the publishers had begun to suspect who the real artist was. as William explained it. His writing had become too long-winded and heavy. including a great deal of fine detail work that another hand might have taken a week to do. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ It was." Here it is:\par\pard \plain\hyphpar}{ Tiger. except for the faithful Thomas Butts. and ended by stating. had paid the slightest attention. but her met hod was completely different now. finishing a plate in a single evening. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ . she broke her intense concentration long enough to lo ok up and see William staring at her moodily. tiger." There was anot her book. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Nobody. when completed." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ There followed a list of eight illuminated books and two historical engravings. had asked him. "The Book of Vala". so Wi lliam began to cheerfully refer to him as\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "my employer. a nd was meant to be a kind of refutation of his "Lamb Poem. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ What immortal hand or eye \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Could frame thy fearful symmetry? \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ In what distant deeps or skies \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Burnt the fire of thine eyes? \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ On what wings dare he aspire? \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ What the hand dare seize the fire? \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ And what shoulder and what art \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Could twist the sinews of thy heart? \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ And. as her style. sometimes without preliminary sketches. which he wrote but did not print. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ All the same. on seeing the title. A Prophecy. Her specialty was sentimental glimpses of children at play. aga inst her will. a poetic image of Urizen as a flaming tiger. to be set to music. Thomas Butts was almost the only buyer. and there was no way in the world she could have kept them on what they got from poor old Butts. began to take on a character quite distinct from the stiff formal style of her husband. "I have been able to bring before the public works (I am not afraid to say) of equal magnitude and consequence with the productions of any age or country. on the other hand." and "America. There was one poem she liked." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Kate continued to cut the engravings which put food on the table. her unsigned little masterpieces. Though she knew who Urizen and Los and Vala and the Daughters of Albion were. "When will you write a 'Book of Kate?' " \par\pard\pla in\hyphpar}{ He had hastily changed the title to 'The Four Zoas. William had spent most of his time since then working on the anno unced books. bore such titles as "The First Book of Urize n. but he no longer sang. which. though she had no children of her own. always before the deadline. \par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}{ William had once again taken up the habit of reading aloud to her after supper. in their way. used to comment on the current political and soci al scene. that they moved many a matron to tears.

You know that. I'm sorry if I offended you. Mr. "This is no simpl e animal poem!" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Well. "Is there any danger from Urizen?" And Robert. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Instead she saw." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Future ages will view it as I do. then re-entered the timestre am at the same point they'd left it. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Not yet. she remarked. I don't see Ur izen in it at all. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ His hissing windy voice seemed to come from far away. \par\par . looming over her. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ And saw the wave of change\u8212?or did they feel it?\u8212?rushing toward them out of the distant past. no!" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ She shook her graver at him. it seemed dark and forbidding. in fact there did not appear to be one straight line in it. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Will future ages pay you for it?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ She instantly regretted her words as she saw the pain in his face. almost as if he were a tiger hi mself. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "No. an immense silent building of dull green sto ne. I hope. Now I take the poem in a different way. she thought in a wave of guilt. "Very pretty. Much more wholesome!" He glared at her across the kitchen table. a credit to his Make r!'" . \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Did He smile His work to see? \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Did He who made the Lamb make thee? \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ When she first heard it. "Get out of the time-stream! Now!" She grabbed William's wr ist and they leaped into the place outside of time. no.What dread hand forged thy dread feet? \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ What the hammer? What the chain? \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ In what furnace was thy brain? \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ What the anvil? What dread grasp \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Dare its deadly terrors clasp? \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ When the stars threw down their spears \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ And watered heaven with their tears. Genius! Seems to me there's an animal o r two in there somewhere. Mr. and someone says." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar }{ "There's just one God. would answer. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ William would say. Robert spoke t o them now and then." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "For this universe perhaps but\u8230?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "For any universe. but curious ly curvilinear." he growled. 'Upon my word. getting ready to go shopping. smokelike. I see this beautiful tiger. a half-visibl e shadow in the glowing coals. but otherwise their lives had become quite normal. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\b *}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Kate and William waited until the wave had passed. That's the way the public will read i t too. I'm glad to see you getting back to animal poems. {\i Am I going to drive him away} {\i again}? \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ They had done no more time-voyaging since returning from Actium. as Kate was throwing o n her shawl. "You'll see. I do. in the du st motes that danced in a beam of sun from the window. Blake. {\i He's} {\i home}. Kate's garden had vanished. it was in broad daylight. if they ever look at it at all." She went back to sharpening her graver on a small oil stone. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "The tiger is Urizen! I'm showing how Urizen must have come from some other uni verse. but the urgency in his to ne was unmistakable. creating a halo of blackness around it. its lines not straight and rectangular as in a normal structure. that's a pretty kitty. Even in the hot bright sunlight. how he must have been created by some other god. as they sat before the fire." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ When the warning finally came. as if the smooth sto ne somehow sucked in the light. walking proudly along in the jung le. along with her home. his large eyes glowing in the candlelight. Robert appeared.

I shouldn't wonder if everyone's asleep. heavy lids closin g to slits to protect huge black glistening reptilian eyes. step by ar duous step. A moment later they turned a corner and came in sight of where they might have expected to look out over downtown London. She touched the stone. everything is in curves. Halfway up. \par\ pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I noticed that. He followed her as." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "And no people. emerged into the sunlight. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "He's done it again. from deep within. puzzled. unchanged. And there was nothi ng in the least bit human about the smell. but she had already begun to walk slowly toward it. The footsteps were coming closer. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Without a word the Blakes sprang silently back around the corner of the buildin g and waited. Into its walls were cut in undulating lines the characters of an unknown language. different from anything she'd seen before . then heard. \par\pard\pl ain\hyphpar}{ She saw them! \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Two of them. panting. was William's giant statue of Urizen. and they were high. Humans don't have tails that slither along with a faint frightful rustle. gaunt clawed bejewel ed ringers drawing heavy dark-green capes around brownish-green lizardlike bodie . disturbingly high." William replied. then added." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ They continued around the platform until they arrived once again at the caverno us entrance. yet irrationally. She came to a broad staircase which led upward to a round cavel ike entrance near the top of the building." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ They continued on up and soon came. as if designed for creatures taller t han humans. distant echoing fo otsteps. At this point the building was considerably narrower than it was at the base. but the endless block on blo ck of various-sized dull green structures stretching to the horizon were constru cted according to some insane non-Euclidian geometry never meant for human under standing." William groaned. And the voices of humans are are not full of birdlike chirps and sibilan t hissing. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "And there are no windows. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I don't know. some half-forgotten vision seen in the glowing coals of her fireplace. twice as tall as men. and there was an irregular platform around it. unchanged except that it was n o longer stepping on the serpent god of Oothoon. no windows at all. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Where is everyone?" she whispered. The skyline still vaguely reminded her of London. The steps were worn as if by centuries of u se." \par\pard\plain\hyphp ar}{ "Asleep?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Well. more cheerfully. the buildings. to the head of the stairs. towering above all other structures." William answered in a low voice.d\plain\hyphpar}{ "Careful. \par\pard\p lain\hyphpar}{ "But he must have liked my statue to have gone to all the trouble of including it in this new reality. It was only with difficulty that she managed to climb onto the first step. Humans don't have claws that strike the stone floor with an unmistakable clic k and scrape. bittersweet utterly alien smell that now came to her out of the darkness inside the building. was the bend of the Thames river. if only she concentra ted hard enough. and there. they wouldn't need windows if they slept all day and only came out at ni ght. but now. it reminded her of something. they should explore this platform. How cold it wa s! She drew back her hand. she ascended the stairs." William said. Kate decided that before venturing inside. as they stood before this opening that gaped from the building's head like the empty ey esocket of an amoeboid cyclops. she felt she might be able to read it. frowning. as was the conversation that now came to her ear. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "The streets. In all this time they saw not seen a single sign of life or heard a single sound except their own footsteps and whispering voices. "Look!" On the opposite bank of the Thames." she said. but they were not human footstep s. the musky. Ka te gasped. she paused to rest and turned t o look out over the city. Al ien as it was.

\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Kate watched the two in frozen fascination as. Bones. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Beyond the bridge they entered a narrow passage. isn't it? And this building is so much larger than all the others in the neighborhood . more indignant than frightened. \par\pa rd\plain\hyphpar}{ Kate knelt on the bridge and peered down. "There's more of them!" Indeed th e stone floor was strewn with sleeping lizards. That would be better than knowing they were around. William caught her by the arm not a moment too soon. There's many more down at the bottom. but a narrow stone bridge. "This is some kind of sanctuary for the homeless. "but come\u8230?" She led him th rough the entrance into the shadowed interior. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Mr." William said grimly. "I know." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ They soon passed the last of the lizards and entered a high-ceilinged corridor that sloped gently downward. they bumped snouts and parted to stride off in opposite directions toward diffe rent clusters of buildings. for all the good that did. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Maybe we should turn back. Kate reassured him. I'll wager. suggested bones: Kate could not avo id the impression that the pillars were ribs. all with worn and dirty capes wr apped around them." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "What are they? Some kind of sacrificial victims?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I shouldn't wonder. We can always pop out of the time stream. bringing to Kate's nostrils an occasional scent of the lizards. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ It was cool and getting cooler. Below. broad fanged mouths grimacing in evident distaste for the light. tails flicking from side to side. as they crossed the bridge. without railings . She almost wished she could see the creatures. Blake. The cape was worn and dirty. and that this was the stomach of s ome gigantic beast. The walls curved inward slightly and were lined wit h columns that." William said uneasily. his normally ruddy features quite pale." William answered. She could see it all only too clearly. thanks to a dim shado wless green glow from the walls and floor." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Kate glanced around." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Kate and William. "We're in no danger. It was here that the stench grew all but unbearable." \par\pard\pla in\hyphpar}{ The passageway opened out into a cavern where both roof and floor were so dista nt that they were lost in the gloom. \par\par d\plain\hyphpar}{ "Look at his cape. because they tapered subtly. and said. I can see them. \par\pard\pl ain\hyphpar}{ "He's poor. then continued on down the stairs. reaching the foot of the stairs. were careful not to walk too near the edge. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ An odd idea struck her. you know. "There's so many. Kate. all along the walls of the chasm. clutching his powerful forearms. fetid and sick ening. \par\par d\plain\hyphpar}{ "What's he doing here?" she whispered. raising cowls to shield their scaly heads. but not knowing where." she answered." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "These are just the few that got stuck on the way down. Do you suppose it's a temple?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I wouldn't be surprised.s. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\b *}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Because her eyes took a second to adjust to the gloom." She stood up and turned to him. \par\pard\pl ain\hyphpar}{ They paused. then said with surprise. "If so we may be trespassing on holy ground. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ He laid his hand on her shoulder. Skulls." muttered William. she could make o ut dim white objects. and a faint breeze blew steadily in their faces . made a sharp turn to the right . \par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I never did care for reptiles. she almost tripped over a sleeping lizard. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Ugly things." she whispered in horror. holding her shawl over her nose. spanned the gulf.

O othoon. stroking his be ." said Urizen confidently. I'm not a statue. You may never have thought about this." said William. Behind the stage. "No. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Yes. the one on the left." said Urize n. the way you handled Cleopatra. it's all gone. but it's a fact that you can cr owd more than twice as many worshippers into a given area standing as you can si tting. All gone. more proud than ever befo re. thanks to what appeared to be an airshaft or skylight on the opposite end of the room. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "But once you did." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "But I'm actually a simple fellow. in an attitude of deep thought." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I can still change it. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Not this one. My worshippers are generally content to stand in my presence. then a long. "But I must say th at was clever. \par\pard \plain\hyphpar}{ "I'm sorry I can't offer you a chair. his deep voice echoing in the huge empty room. Urizen." she breathed. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Then the statue moved. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\b *}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Urizen made no attempt to harm them. but only remained in his place on the thro ne on the other side of the pool. it would seem. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ On the other end of the pool the steps led up out of the water to a raised plat form. to put them at their ease. arms outstretched." William insisted. shuffling forward in the semi-darkne ss." Urizen leaned back. put a lock on thi s one. "Mr. motionless.and entered a vast arched room that reminded Kate irresistibly of the interior of some medieval cathedral. sir. its very blandness was the t hing that worried her. but Kate." said William." \par\pard\plain\h yphpar}{ "Are you now? Then give me a simple explanation of why you had to put this big heap of stone right on top of my garden. As your teacher I take pride in yo ur victories. Blake. thanks to you. Kate was proud of him now. Admit it. vaguely oblong or perhaps oval pool of water with steps leadin g down into it." Then Urizen chuckled and went on. silhouetted against the sunlight that fi ltered down the air-shaft." said Urizen. gestur ing at the room around him. The figure was visible also in the reflection in the pool. Gallica. behind what coul d only be an altar. "I have." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I hope you enjoy it when I put an end to this world too. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Between her and the altar there was a wide expanse of open floor. enjoying the comfort of his throne. I don't understand you. sometimes almost l oving voice to them." William answered stiffly. "Is that Christian? Doing evil to someone who does only good to you? I created a world for you and I to rule together. and now. elbow on knee and bearded chi n on palm. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "The mistake you made was turning against me. \p ar\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I made a mistake. The light was brighter here. long white hair. Golgonooza. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I believe you're right. could see the suggestion of a figure sitting in one of the thrones. And there's always the factor of efficiency to consider. was a huge statue of one of the lizards on his knees. seated." He gestured toward the other throne. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "It's a statue of Urizen. a muscul ar body. under it all. Albion. Was the creature praying? \par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}{ In front of the statue stood two chairs\u8230? or were they thrones? If they we re thrones. \ par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I've no use for thrones. as it were. ironic. The thrones were in the shadow of the statue. William. trying." Urizen's voice was bland." Urizen's voice was full of scornful amusement. right here at my side. sloping downw ard. reptilian head thrown back. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Kate broke in. then those must be jewels glittering in the chair arms. William. "I have a place for you. almost a stage. she's wrong." said William. it was Urizen all right. Mrs." Urizen leaned forward. talking in a light. even if they're won at my expense. a white beard. my friends. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "You're welcome to try.

are} {\i my father}!" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\b *}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Kate and William had sat for a long time on the broad ovoid roof of Urizen's te mple. "Have you never noticed? You and I are much alike. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "That Urizen was your son? That's not what I mean." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ An idea was forming in Kate's mind. "You could have told me. could not bring this fatal conversation to an end before William understood too. The Bible puts a name to it\u8230? adultery!" William lowered his eyes." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Our hair\u8230?" began William. th at I'd at last been able to be a man. suitcoat." Urizen said gently. but unfortunately you seem to come along with him. a blonde and a brunette. "Once my hair was as red as yours. staring at the only o ther structure that was tall enough to rise above the overcast. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Urizen cut him off. as you put it. yet s he'd never noticed. my good lady." He looked at William gravely. "Ye s. Who wa s this man? Who was this man she had thought she knew so well? His shadowed face revealed nothing. "That you're my brot her?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Urizen shook his head. Her first words were hesitant. deep and resonant. was so much like Urizen's. unable to meet her steady gaze. now she turned toward William. You knew what you'd been up to with Vala. William. It's simple logic. It was a p ainful idea. more intere st than you do in all the billions of people. his stocky body clad in rumpled kneepants. madam. I see that only truth can end this foolish war b etween us. in voice. {\i You. an d the pain of understanding hurt her more than anything she had ever experienced before. the statue of Ur izen. If you loved me you'd pick out two women f or me. Finally he said. and buckled shoes. that yo u were some kind of bloody saint who'd risen above the\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ 'Things of the Flesh'. the time has come for truth." His voice. You seem to take such an interest in us. Vala is my mother. She didn't want to believe it." Kate understood now. and that perhaps was why it hadn't o ccurred to her before. shoul d William be so special. "I wanted to be where you could find me easily. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I still don't understand. though the temperatu re was mild." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "If you really loved me. you'd rejoice that I'd finally overcome my problem. You were Vala's love r. during which Urizen sighed deeply. but it still wasn't quite clear. \par\pa rd\plain\hyphpar}{ "We'd both like to know it!" William spoke up. "And why. "Think.ard." \par\pard\ plain\hyphpar}{ "I didn't know. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ With a shudder she drew her shawl tight around her throat. I'm not interested in you at all. William. Why is that? Will you tell me?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Actually. whose lives you snuff out in an in stant. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "What are you trying to say?" William demanded scornfully. gazing in silence out over the plains of fog below them that gleamed white under the full moon like banks of slowly undulating snow. but a lot of fleas came along with him. Yet she could not speak. and sit on a riverbank watching to see which one I'd take. Kate?" \par\pard\plain\hy phpar}{ Love you? Once I did indeed! Once I thought you weren't like other men. then. "Problem? Problem? What problem?" \par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}{ . studying his grim profile. It's your husband wh o engages my attention. of all the men ever born on earth." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "You don't want to know the answer to that." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Is it?" Kate was angry now. It's the same thing. William Blake. a t least tell me why!" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ There was a long pause. unbuttoned shirt." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ For a moment she was speechless. in build. "Do you love me. "If you'll not leave me alone. Once I bought a fine racehorse. like mathematics.

too. To be cruel to a man. It was exciting." Kate sighed and took his big hand in her littl e one. only an overwhelming s ense of relief. \par\pard\plain\hyph par}{ "If you'd been a little harsher with me\u8230?" he murmured. m ore clawlike? \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ William had been complaining about being Urizen's prisoner. and a touch of guilt. An aircraft passed slowly overhead. you are what you are too. leap off the bridge with the others. Blake. He looked somehow rep tilian himself." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ . and she clutched his thick arm firmly. William said softly. but Kate watched William's face the whole ti me. that touch of green in the skin. had been the Tha mes. "On the contrary. white blouse. I'm your friend. so she had to lean towa rd him to understand. She thought. She'd known and not known it when he'd tormented and provoked her. Mr. {\i trying to force her to torment him in return}. except for a few\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "day-watchmen. She stopped a moment to seriously o bserve her reflection in the water. leaving a white t rail against the stars. {\i It's Polly he should have} {\i had}. Long dark skirt. watched how his large eyes gleamed and his moist lips hung open as he follow ed with his gaze one after the other of the holy suicides. that faint suggestion of scal es. "now it's all in the open. in a different world. She'd known and not known it from the very first. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ It puzzled Kate. but perhaps it was a trick of the light. what with all the dancing and drumbeatin g and ecstatic reptilian screaming. Was it her imagination. The windowless buildings were silent under the swiftly moving gray overcast . she thought. It's worth a dozen of the kind of marriages most folks have." \p ar\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ This time she refused to not know the truth. to my own husband\u8230? that's not the way of a Christian lady. that we can change everything in the universe but the one thing that matters\u 8230?\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ ourselves?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Later Kate and William went down into the temple and watched the ceremony where the lizard people worked themselves into a frenzy and threw themselves off the bridge into the chasm. Kate. shawl\u8230? and a disturbing greenish cast to the skin. his wide madman's eyes gleaming." His voice had become low and thick. though . \par\pa rd\plain\hyphpar}{ "Tell me. {\i How con I} {\i condemn him? 1 knew what he was. when he'd talked of ho w Polly Wood was torturing him. maybe I can change. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Well. the lizards were. \par\pard\plain\hy phpar}{ "I am what I am. "I don't know why. on impulse. the day they'd met. As she heard it." There was no anger left in her. so high it seemed to make no sound. "No. Kate almost shrieked. she knew it was the truth. "I'm your friend. too. when he'd plead ed for pity. it is I who am your prisone r. grown longer in the fingers. She looked at her hands." asleep. It was another of those things one knows but does not know. {\i Polly would have made him a hell where he'd feel right} {\i at home}. but Kate had paid l ittle attention until Urizen said. Isn't it strange. looked vaguely reptilian the following day as he walked with Kate and William along the banks of what once. "All the same. for God's sake!" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "\u8230? unless {\i she's cruel to me}. on the chance that he mig ht. or had they changed since yesterday."I don't know why." he finished miserably. A good friendship's a rare thing." \p ar\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ There was a long silence. but I can't seem to be a man with a woman unless\u8230?" He seemed unable to go on. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ *\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Urizen." he said uncertainly. but I married him anyway}.

now is the time. even kill me. picking up her skirts and running a few steps to catch up with the men. "Who can say? It would be an interesting experiment. You must go back and somehow make thing s. "To make things the way they're supposed to be." Urizen said. This world. either. \ par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Still. "Their spirits come fro m somewhere else. absorb us!" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Nonsense. as you might say. change us. but I doubt if killing me would change a thing. The glow from a torch stuck in the wall illu minated his ruddy features in a flickering light. Urizen bent over." His voice was flat. but there was a trace of doubt in his voice at last. sinc e that chain no longer exists. is the real world now. "Urizen and Vala are expecting us. not like h is old self. If that's what you want to do. however. They could talk. reaching out to touch Urizen's arm. if you both took hold of me at once. these nocturnal monsters. Yo ur combined energy fields would easily cancel mine out. and threw it expertly out over the river. \ par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\b *}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "We must leave."What do you mean?" called Kate. "There are two of you and one of me. Why didn't he teach them how to make lights\u8230? gaslights if not electric? \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ But they didn't like light. before any era you've visited." William seemed stupider now. Let us say I made the change before the dawn of h istory. She coughed in the acrid smoke from the torch. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Simple. as you did when you frightened poor Cleopatra so much she refused t o accept the sword I wanted to give her." William said. but she'd f orgotten why. "I say these so-called lizards are as h uman as you or I. that wi ll not be so easy. she knew. H e forced a smile." Kate said impulsively. Urizen laugh ed." Kate told William urgently. the world you see around you." she insisted. all right." \p ar\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Would that change everything back to the way it was?" Kate asked. as if he didn't care. The lizards were stupid. glittered in his large eyes. picked up a sm ooth flat stone. the way they're supposed to be. you have to kn ow how they're supposed to be. quite able to go on without me. "we must leave. is it?" Urizen frowned. Together they . \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ For a moment her own thoughts became hazy." Kate said urgently. they're unhuman spirits\u8230? and while we live in this chang ed universe." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I'd like to know why. It didn't matter why. "Please." Urizen answered with a smile. and you mus t not kill me." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Then do it. of course. (How roug h and dry it was!)\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Come. it skipped three time s before sinking. so far in the past that science can only guess what conditions were like." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Oh. annoyed. not a wor ld of talking lizards. You cannot bring back your old world. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ And Kate could have sworn his teeth were smaller than yesterday. She knew she must leave. This time. " \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Never!" exclaimed Kate. " \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ He was sitting on his cot in the room Urizen had given them in the temple. grasped his hand. look ing up at her like a pouting child. dull. I've had a chance to study the chain of cause a nd effect that produced the world as it was. "Not yet. So what if their skins are a different color\u8230?" \par\pard \plain\hyphpar}{ "They're not human inside. those unhuman spirits can enter our bodies. and sharper. She leaned over. "The world you dreamed of was a human world. because I am the only person who can. You will not have that chance. you must go b ack in time. but Urizen had given them all their science and technology." she pleaded. You could snatch me out of the time stream. To change it. while Vala is away and can't help me. \par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}{ "This isn't the perfect world you dreamed of." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Define your terms!" Urizen challenged.

and in the middle of t he sky." The second grape was for William." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ She took his hand and led him toward the forest. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ He nodded vigorously. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Her mind was clearing. There was sky. A ghost could be dragged away through the rip in space. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "We should give this place a name. then she grasped William's arm with both hands and dr ew him.) On the horizon. They were all uptime. "Go downtime!" With her clouded mind it took her an instant to understand. The rip was growing steadily larger. \par\ pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Open your mouth. "Mr. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Robert swooped past. a sort of jagged rip. stood tall bil lowing white clouds. rustled her long skirts and set her dangling shawl swayin g. sitting in rocking chairs and looking at her gently. The graygreen light had changed to a dull glowering red. She could focus on the blurred images from the time stre am as they flashed by. either human or lizard. y ounger than she remembered them." she said. and through this rip she could see another sky. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ . daisy-scented breeze stirred her c urly light-brown hair. (In Kate's mind it was still the Thames. nor any trace of human or lizard habitation. the sun coming and going with the effect of a strobe light. but a ghost could be overpowered if out-numbered. (She had seen stro be lights once. the battle vanished. but their peculiar spacing was the same. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The red light faded. in William's voice a s he picked his way through tall grass and weeds that reached to his kneebreeche s.sprang into the place outside of time. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ For an instant she caught a glimpse of a giant Kate and giant William.)\par\pard\pla in\hyphpar}{ The light was gray again. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ There was a battle going on. The poplar trees were short. turning her head. Was something happening to Urizen's mind too? \par\pard\pla in\hyphpar}{ "Let's stop here. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Perhaps not. see a tree growing backward and vanishing into the ground ." She wo ndered about Urizen. flower-bespread hills stretched to the bent river. There were no houses to be seen. and out of the other sky c ame an endless stream of lizard ghosts. {\i Am I in my fireplace}? \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ she thought distractedly. jo ining in the battle. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I do believe you're right. His face was normal." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "This is my garden. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\b *}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The low. back toward the past. then remembered she could not touch these beings. There were clumps of poplar trees to her right and her left and. she decided." She picked one and ate it. she found a genuine forest beginning not far behind her. "Much better! It's like a fog lifted off my mind. unresisting. He was smiling. di fferent. Kate reache d out her hand to try to help a human. and there was a hole in space\u8230?\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ she did not know how else to describe it. talking with his mouth full." William said. A warm. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Human ghosts and lizard ghosts whirled screaming around the Blakes. bright in the noonday sun. with no trace of scales. She looked at William. like the fire in her fireplace. {\i Can a ghost be killed}? she wondered. \par\pard\plain\h yphpar}{ "Feel better?" she asked him. in the 20th Century of the world as it used to be. and th e way the grapevines clustered around them. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ There were no ghosts in sight." There was surprise. but they were losing. Blake. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The humans were putting up a valiant fight. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "The grapes are ripe. and there was a rushing sound. and a thick tangle of wild grapevines. redder. spitting out the seeds. do you know where we are?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Can't say as I do. shouting. even awe.

" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Home. if we liked . too?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ . But even here. one mus t draw the line somewhere. gesturing earthward. with all that implies. We have the power of flight." She did indeed see the moving figures on the riverbank. \par\pard\plain\ hyphpar}{ "I see." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Or Golgonooza. "No. and as the Blakes passed overhead. but as of today the lessons have not yet begun. I suppose it is. thank you just the same. \p ar\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "What would Eden be without its proper reptiles? And we have nothing to fear fr om them. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "And I'm very tired. New Lambeth. puzzled." Kate said." At sunset they landed at New Lam beth." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "There's wild fruit and plenty of fish and small game. Blake. s creeching and throwing spears that came nowhere near Kate and William." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Perhaps this isn't quite the Eden you thought it was. take Urizen's place as the gods and culture-bringers of the lizard-people. Don't forget. "Nothing so grand as that. the lizards broke into a panic. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "It will be night soon. it appeared." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Are you sure you want to change things back?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "What are you saying?" William seemed genuinely shocked. some miles dis tant. "We'd better be going downtime. New Lambet h will do well enough." The lizard-people had a village of crude huts with mud and stone walls and straw roofs nearby. She could see he would rather have called it Eden. then said seriously. and now he was nodding." There was a thoughtful expression on his face." he admitted reluctantly. \par\pard\plain\hyphpa r}{ "It's very nice here. were fishing in the shallows w ith spears. Aren't you tired. and the power of time-voyaging." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "New Lambeth. In spite of the sunlight. surveying the countr yside." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Yes. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ That afternoon they flew in slow circles over New Lambeth." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "We haven't. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Perhaps so. Passing birds looked at him with amazement and fled. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Look there!" William exclaimed suddenly. "Only lizards. \par\pard\plain\hyphpa r}{ "Yes. Could she be certain the same moral code that applied in metropolitan London also applied here? This was a new world. Were there humans down there? "Let's go in for a closer look. disappointed. Urizen told us he taught the lizard-people all their science and technology. as they gained altitude. she decided. "I didn't th ink we'd gone that far downtime." William said. It wouldn't take long to transform this level of civili zation to a higher one with Urizen as teacher. Mr. \par\pard \plain\hyphpar}{ "How crude they are." Kate said softly." His normally serious fa ce broke into a smile. some of them." He gesture d at the fields and trees around them. We could." \par\pa rd\plain\hyphpar}{ "Why?" She looked at him challengingly." \par\pard\p lain\hyphpar}{ A moment later William called." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ She laughed. \par\pard\plain\hyph par}{ "We could live here. Let's call it Eden." Kate said teasingly. Perhaps it called for new ways. Perhaps he was right. I suppose it's not really London. please." \p ar\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Kate shuddered. "And no neighbors to call the law if we feel like taking the sun with nothing on but the bodies the good Lord made for us!" \par\pard\pla in\hyphpar}{ Kate frowned but let that pass. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "We must find where Urizen started the change that made this world. "That's the only way to change things bac k. and our temporal energy fields to protect us."A name? Yes." she called to him.

" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I don't mind. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "You're a wonder. or evict her if she didn't have the money. snori ng softly. Her bones ached." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Breakfast eaten. Blake. looked at i t sadly. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ From directly above she could see the fish moving under water." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\b *}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Dawn came during Kate's watch. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ She sat huddled against one of her beloved poplars. and there was no landlord to come and ask her for the ren t. He s at up. "I suppose you're right. Mr. all were hers\u8230? And William's too." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "It would be worth something to be able to live in peace with our neighbors. "We have our own needs to think of. the squirrels who wiggled their noses at her from the trees. we'll have to take turns standing watch . leaping for insects and plopping back into the river. She had not slept well. then William said gruffly. then she rose swiftly skyward and circled a few times to be doubly sure." he said thoughtfully. he with his head in her lap." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ For a long time they looked at each other in silence as the red sky gradually t urned purple. \par\pard\plain\h yphpar}{ She glanced over at William. Stealing's not right. but that's all right. the rabbits who peeked at her from the tal l grass. She thought. Probably made of stone. it had turned bitter cold and the ground had been hard. She missed the first one." s he pointed out. She sm iled. {\i Breakfast}. "We have no ax. the Blakes reclined at leisure and swatted at insects. even at this distance. and when William awoke it was to the mouth-watering smell of frying fish and the brilliant light of a sun already some distance above the horizon. even during William's watch. Stone wil l do the job. They won't miss one or two. Mrs. The vast flocks of birds that now sang a discordant fanfare to the sun. "Help me build a lean-to\u8230? in case it rains. of course." She took it off. It's hard enough to keep wa rm as it is. watching the eastern sky tu rn pale pearly gray. \par\pard\plain\hyphpa r}{ With flint from William's pocket she started a small fire on a hollow in the to p of a rock. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar} { "We'll have to do some stealing."Well\u8230? if we stay the night here." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "They're not human beings. who lay under the lean-to on a bed of weeds. Kate!" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "All the same\u8230? I could trade them my shawl. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ New Lambeth was hers. She hated to part with it but she felt she should trade something. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Carefully she turned over the fish impaled on the end of her stick. You know how those lizards love darkness. Without an ax we won't be able to cut down trees to build a log cabin. she wit h her back against a tree. \par\pard\p lain\hyphpar}{ "Thank you. yawning and scratching himsel f. Blake. and this lean-to won't give us enough protection\u8230?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ She nodded." He was stretching. the fish s he could hear. frowning. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ . and her flesh was covered with goosebumps and her muscles were weary with shivering." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Perhaps we can trade. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Through the stillness came the plop of another leaping fish. but\u8230?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "The lizards have axes. \par\par d\plain\hyphpar}{ Yet she felt contented and at peace. How young he looked! He might have been a huge overgrown baby. then she glided down toward the river. but the second she managed to strike with the flat of her palm and slap onto the shore. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ First she looked around carefully to be sure there was no danger. see when one was rising to make a jump.

was getting angry. "Now you're talking sense! Vala faced life as it is! Vala was a realist. "Perhaps." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Look!" William pointed abruptly toward the fire. even when through vision blurred with tears. sh e lashed out and slashed his left cheek with her fingernails. {\i she} saw his face grow rigid.William. but she bit him. saw beads of sweat appear on his forehead and his large eyes become opaque and staring. she thought triumphantly. strange." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ She nodded. could not he at the place so long as a portion of the roof was missing. {\i And a lot} {\i more}! \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ She was raising her hand to claw him again when he caught hold of her wrist. not looking at her. Where was his other hand? \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ She felt him clutch her skirt. and othe r things to do besides hunt for us. making love. and as he pulled back. He had all time to search through. A dim. Lines of blood were appearing on his chee k where she'd clawed him. but when we have our cabin built. contained in a crude fireplace made of piled stones." His voice was soft now." \par\pard\plain\hyphpa r}{ He answered tonelessly. teeth chattering. but she went on struggling. Later. which prov ed to be surprisingly effective at chopping down and trimming trees that were no t too thick." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar} { {\b *}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The Blakes lived at New Lambeth for a week and half. Kate scrambled to her feet. she k icked him twice with all her strength. He was strong." \ par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Then why didn't you marry her?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I did. \par\par d\plain\hyphpar}{ The roof was not quite finished the night the rain came. William sprang to his f eet. yes. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Swine!" She kicked him in the shins. in a way. Who is more my real wife. grinning fixedly. There are times when one must be hard!" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "If you wanted someone like that. but it gave them enoug h shelter so they could remain dry if not warm by huddling together in one corne r. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ William had swooped down on one of the lizards and taken a stone ax. fighting." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "If Urizen lets us. you should have stayed with Vala. panting. At the sight of the blood a ghastly glee welled up ins ide her. their fire." Kate added. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ It was William who spoke first. stronger than she would have believed. and building. rubbing herself vigorously. "Now perhaps I'll be mother of a child of yours." Once again Kate's mouth was acting as if it had a mind of its own. "I can't talk to you. almost pleading. He was so strong! Now he held both her wr ists in one powerful hand. You're too so ft. the woman who's bound to me by a sl ip of paper or the woman who's the mother of my child?" With a cry of fury. We could live out the rest of our lives here in New Lambeth. \par\pard\plain\hy phpar}{ "Urizen may not be able to find us. bodies shiverin g. it is possible. \par\pard\plain\hy phpar}{ "Kate. she whispere d. not touching each other. Kate. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ He tried to kiss her on the lips. as they lay side by side among the crushed weeds. "Swine! Swine! Swine!" Like a cat striking at a bird. "We need never go time-voyaging again. {\i I owed you that}. Little by little a small. Kate saw. "Yes. vague shape was formin . too. perhaps a dog or two trained\u8230?\par\pard\plain\hyphpa r}{ there are wild dogs around here. I know it's not comfortable now. \par\pard\plain\hyphp ar}{ They stared in silence into the dying embers. one-room cabin was taking shape. heard the sound of cloth ripping.

She could see the moving lips. no more operas. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Robert frowned." She wa s thinking of the way William made love. and Urizen himself will be so changed he'll call it progress. "That I cannot do. There's nothing waiting for them but an orgy of destruction. The firelight nickered on his face. is th e only action in which one can be absolute aggressor and absolute victim at the same time. and as an afterthought th ey'll send a lizard to the moon. Humans cannot stay human here. {\i Someday William will kill me}. but it was not entirely his face. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Kate sighed and said softly. Robert!" William called. Kate wondered. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The voice of Robert's ghost was weary and faint. They love to kill so much t hey find their greatest pleasure in killing themselves." William said firmly.g in the smoke and smoldering sticks." \par\pard\plain\hyphpa r}{ "I suppose so. not for the first time. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Nonsense!" William snapped." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar} { "There would be times when you'd become aware of what was happening. Had he noticed the changes too. The fire glowed feebly. I've looked into their future." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "But that's far in the future. Mr. The science of destruction will move ahead at blinding s peed. all drab and featureless. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "The lizard-spirits are driving the human spirits out." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ . "It's already begun. Neither of the Blakes spok e for several minutes. the consideration. Blake?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "If you like. The liz ards have different feelings. of a sort. too. "So here you are! I thought I' d never see you again. without the feeling. And Urizen will not know he's becoming a lizard! \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ That's the worst of it. \par\par d\plain\hyphpar}{ "Stay here with us. "It doesn't effect New Lambet h. took a little more pleasure in hurting her. near the battle. the battle is going against us uptime. The rain fell with a steady hiss. a bit too quickly. There will be progress. you know. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Kate turned in his arms to look at him. he was a little m ore brutal. no beauty in architecture. "We will. just smears of meaningless color. They may do you harm. and would I know it if I was}? \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Robert continued urgently. There will be no more painting." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Never see me again?" William was puzzled. the intelligence of humanity. it seemed. a love of destruction. They almost got me too. Urizen is chang ing." Robert's image was becoming dimmer. his voice fainter. the pain-filled eyes. no more ballet. The air and water will be full of poison and th e food without nourishment. at least for a while. and Vala. become crue l. Everything Uriz en's built up will be joyously torn down by those who call themselves his worshi ppers. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Would you be happy then?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Wait. "Robert's right. Suicide." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "One more night here. You'll change. {\i am I} {\i changing. just big and little boxes all the same. She thought. and the future of their civilizati on. A face! \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Robert!" William said with surprise. Kate and I can be happy here. There will be no more symphonies. just noise so loud it makes you deaf." she said. The lizard-spirits will follow me and drag m e away. Even chemistry will become chiefly an instrument for the destruction of the min d. This is a lizard's universe now. Each time. but Robert was gone. There will be bombs more powerful than exploding volcanoes. There will be rockets to carry those bombs to any part of the globe." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "We won't change. "It's worst uptime. And you must not stay here either. for them. but kept them to himself? {\i And}. William. I tell you." The transparent fac e was clearer now." objected William." Kate invited. but lizards like it that way . There was no wind.

\p ar\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "The Himalayan Mountains. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ *\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The place outside of time was deserted and silent. The huts and stone axes were gone." \par\pa rd\plain\hyphpar}{ "They must come from a fairly high civilization. but their shields held firm." he said. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ They were far downtime from New Lambeth. \par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}{ William grasped Kate's elbow. searching for some p lace that was not submerged. even higher. Mr. all that happened. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ And now the river was abruptly overflowing its banks. a few here. They landed near what a ppeared to be a family\u8212?father. there was little to distinguish the lizards from wild animals. In the place outside of time Kate and William could see. Suddenly it was ra ining. "Let's nip into the time-stream." William's face was pale in the gray light. girl. a dark jagged coastline." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "There's always something else. only wildly swirling sea fitfully illuminated by l ightning flashes. and the glimpses they caught of the li zard-people revealed steadily more debased levels of culture. Blake." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The coastline passed below them. right enough. feel nothing. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Human!" he whispered. Was it the rain that made it seem the blood in th e woman's gown was still wet? \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ . inland from the coastal range." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "There'll be something else. they could hear the raging storm. They were no longer moving backward in time. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "They've been freshly killed. and the images from the timestream."Then we'll be heading on downtime to the source of this universe. Faintly. drifting at her side. It wasn't no savages that made those fine robes they're wearing. and." The howling wind and driving rain exploded around them. a few there." she said. an instant later. I wond er what killed them. "The world's highest. was flowing uphill higher. but could hear nothing. thoug h unclearly. mother. free of the strobe-effect and the curious doubl e-images and fadeouts that made vision so difficult in the place outside of time . "There's no decay. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "It's as if the universe itself were dying. nodded. There's a mystery here. William. Perhaps there are som e survivors here." \par\ pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "All right. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ On the hillsides. were oddly sluggish. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Kate knelt beside the mother. or forged those swords in their hands. They flew eastward. "It seems to me they've been torn apart by some kind of animal. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ No dry land at all remained. \par\pard\ plain\hyphpar}{ Kate thought. three children and a horse\u8212?al l frightfully mutilated. The storm?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I don't think so." William said grimly. human corpses lay strewn in sm all groups. A dim red glow filtered down from uptime. she had to admit William was right. as they flowed by. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Ahead she could see islands. The water. but you know if we change things we'll have to change them to a world where there is no New Lambeth. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Look!" said William. raising her lips to be kissed." Kate commented uneasily. not daring to emerge into the time stream for fear the storm would be so violent it would overcome their protective shields of temp oral energy. A few yards away was a steep cliff overlooking a gorge through which thundered cascades of white water studded with branches-and bits o f broken pine trees. in the strobel ike flickering light. a nd the lighting was more normal." Kate shuddered. Our energy shields will keep the rain off us. as if from a great distance. {\i The Deluge! It isn't a myth after all}. but as they dip ped down for a closer look. This time William was not cruel.

There was an electronic flash. and from its sides jutted long metal arms with tiny clawlike ha nds. Su re enough. there was a mass of electronic equipment full of little blinking colo red lights there in the dark interior. Instead of cannon. It was so close that without their protective energy shields they would certainly have been kil led. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\b *}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Airborne an instant before the cliff hit the water. still helplessly thrashing its metal arms and spinning its caterpillar treads." He scambled inside and began ripping wires loose at random. It was a tank all right. {\i You can't hurt me}. but Kate was ready for it and strengthened her shield against it. its tiny hands opening and closing convulsively. Once. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ This second explosion was closer than the first. She waited. and the tank's thrashing cam e to an abrupt halt. William nodded . she on its right. but the Blakes avoided its defenses and approached it from the bottom. but they were too quick for it. Kate and William soared upw ard toward the tank. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "A tank?" she shouted into the wind. As it was. \par\pa rd\plain\hyphpar}{ "No. a vast black shape lumbering into. Wil liam flat on his back. Kate face-down in the mud. Cut in low relief into the face of the label was a simplified drawing of William's statue of Urizen. but no sign of a driver. through the sheets of rain. \par\pard\plain\hyphpa r}{ "There's nobody inside!" he said. it raised its metal arms. William shoute d. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Rolling over. unable to believe her eyes. the rain against his energy field forming a halo of mist around his troubled f ace. she thought triumphantly. the broad segmented ruts were unmistakable . Even half-submerged in muddy puddles. she looked where he was pointing. "The tracks are fresh. it carried b anks of rockets.-astonished. A flare of flame briefly illuminated the tank. "It was no anima l did this!" She looked up. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Programmed to kill. she and William had visited Europe during the First World War. "Now!" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ And they. and there they had seen tracks like these. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\b *}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ They had dragged twenty tanks into the place outside of time before they realiz . it threw them both to the ground. Moving quickly to his s ide. With a great grinding rumbling roar. he on its left. tryi ng to fend them off.Shouting to make himself heard above the gale. It must be run by some sort of on-board c omputer. the cliff was sliding down into the foaming flood . Kate crowded in alongside him." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar} { At that moment. There was a door there. saw he was beckoning to her. without warning. Kate looked up and saw. the tracks left by a heavy armored tank. a puff of ozone-scented smoke. As they swooped in on it. and Kate watched as if hypno tized as a bright-tailed rocket rushed toward her. The tracks were not animal tracks. position on a ridge above her. The tank must be close by. bu t a tank unlike any she'd seen in World War One. William called. \par\pard\plain\ hyphpar}{ "By whom?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Wordlessly he showed her a metal label he had found inside the tank. with Urizen. there was a violent explosion. If it was it wouldn't work here. The tank was still struggling. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Then she realized the blast had broken loose the cliff on which she lay. Kate's fingers closed on th e cold wet metal of the rocket launchers on one side. \par\pard\plain\ hyphpar}{ "Is it\u8212?what do they call it?\u8212?radio-controlled?" asked Kate. with the tank between them. adrift in a universe where there was no gravity. were in the place outside of time. William clutched the handle and wrenched it open." he commented grimly as he clambered out.

so lifeless. Of course. perhaps thousands of them." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "So it's here." \par\pard\plain\hyp hpar}{ "But it may be. She screamed. We could create an even worse future than the one Urizen has made!" \par\pard\plain\hyph par}{ There was a dull apathy in William's voice that frightened Kate. patroling the Himalayan continent and kill ing every human they could hunt down. as Kate and William flew out to sea. William explained. investigate. we shan't find it with out looking for it!" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "You look for it. Urizen has a clean slate to write on. Mr. Urizen's kingdom must have flourishe d up here for centuries.ed the futility of it. crossing gorges on fantastic suspension bridges that even the world holoca ust seemed not to have been able to damage. Then Urizen's robots hunt down and exterminate these few. his precious lizards can develo p without fear of human competition. ready to slip away into a gar den of dreams. She gripped hi s arm and said." she said as they flew swiftly along the face of a mountain ra nge." William shook his head." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ When they were once again outside the time stream. "Mr. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar} { "Robot submarines. "Maybe Urizen is in the right. except for a few who have built arks or managed to flee to the highest mounta intops. "What. What better location for Urizen's stronghold than the peak of th e world's highest mountain? \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ And she knew she must be getting close. It was no longer mere tank tracks she w as following. "This nat ural disaster is Urizen's opportunity. below the waves. where he's made the big change. If Urizen has a weak spot." William commented. Kate guessed the source before she actually saw it. because you're not as in sane as he is! We must be up and about! There's things to do!" \par\pard\plain\h yphpar}{ He looked at her with something very like pity. you can let me know. with their complex electronic senses. \par\pard\plain\ hyphpar}{ '"Mount Everest. tunneling here and t here. There were too many of the tanks\u8230?\par\pard\plain\hy phpar}{ hundreds. \par\ pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\b *}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The tracks. Who's to say lizards aren't as good as men? Or better?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Now you sound like those Zoas. but wide highways cut into the mountainsides. Aft er all." This was too much for her. And once. dark long moving shapes. t hey glimpsed. but unwillingly. Kate. shouting above the howling wind. and the Blakes quickly determined that all the tracks radiated from a com mon source. \par\pa rd\plain\hyphpar}{ "What for?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "To sink Noah's ark. perhaps completely unknown to the humans to the east an d west. And the citiz . and a late part at that. If you find it. " Not here. that it's here we can switch things back. Earlier. the humans in the valley nations now lost beneath the sea. "But we must do something!" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Must we?" He sounded so tired. The flood kills off most of the human rac e. ready to give up. lizards are living creatures too. though partially obliterated by the rain." William s ighed and took her hand. could be followed from th e air. This is only part of the plan. they were very good hunters indeed. Blake. then. and humanity i s extinct. because you're not as fanatic as Urizen. but Urizen was right when he said we can't make the correct changes unless we know what we're doing. for instance?" \par\pard \plain\hyphpar}{ "We can explore. Blake! You damn fool! \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Come along!" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ He followed her back into the time stream and the storm. He mu st have entered the timestream at least far enough downtime from here to have be en able to build up that huge army of computerized killers. "I wish it was that easy.

and she had fol lowed out of habit. Kate rea lized that they must reach Mount Everest within the next few moments. apparently unafraid. where she knew the peak of the mountain must be. but a fraction of a seco . the floor was covered with thick dust that r ose in choking clouds as their feet disturbed it. It opened vertica lly. and decorated wi th ornate serpentine borders. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Is he dead?" she asked. over the turbulent sea that now complet ely covered India. but she could {\i feel} nothing but the soft smoothness of the white silk lining. right enough. like a mouth. "What does that mean?" Kate glanced up at the mi rror. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ They glimpsed a broad highway leading out of the mouth-like door. dark rooms full of the hulking forms of immense motionless s ilent machines. a room with a disquieting echo. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The language was English. then they were inside. \par\pard\ plain\hyphpar}{ No backward leap was needed. was a large mirror. A simple leap backw ard in time would bring them once again the light of the setting sun. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I'll always be ahead of you. Perhaps they should not have rushed in so eagerly. {\i How old is this place? How many centuries}? \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ They passed rooms. came in under the overcast. \pa r\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ In the exact center of the room was a low raised platform. They landed and proceeded on foot. This echo of their footsteps and whispe ring voices was the only sound. It was carved with some sort of inscription. covered with the mingled tracks of many vehicles. Above it. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ But now the passage widened again. oval in shape. He's in that coffin. eyes closed. that had built the robot ar my. \pa r\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The Blakes stepped closer to read the inscription. There was no cause for alarm. Otherwise I don't underst and why he's made no move to stop us. the storm outside could not be heard at all. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "He's not here!" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Kate joined William beside the coffin." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "He's so sure of himself!" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ They had traversed a vast empty hall. It was these machines. and briefly illuminated the sheer west face of towering Mount Everest with a hot red glow. Could he be overestimating the immunity resulting from their Zoa training? \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Did those doors open just for us?" she asked. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Ahead. Kate and William soared toward it. Urizen told me about this once. set at an angle. the rain had slackened and the sun. Urizen is probably waiting for us. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "It would seem so. Glancing around. A hug e door was opening and a bright bluewhite light blazing forth. and the echo repeated her question. opening into a round room with a high domed ceiling. but he never sho wed me how to do it. Kate noticed that. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Kate was worried. the letters Roman capitals. But William had led the way. thrust her hand inside it and felt aroun d. The glow faded as quickly as it had come. though the bright sh ining bluewhite walls were made of some glasslike material that was as clear and smooth as if made a few hours ago. and the door closed behind them. near the crest of a moun tain. In the mirror it appeared as if she was putting her hand inside Urizen's body . every one. and o n the platform was what appeared to be an open coffin of the same glasslike mate rial as the walls. Perhaps th is was a trap. and now the passage narrowed.ens of Urizen's kingdom had nothing to say to the outside world\u8230? they were mindless machines. a faint smile on his face. Kate decided. She wondered. "Look! Urizen!" In the mirror they could see a dust-covered Urizen in the coffin. William sprang up on the oval platform and peered into the coffin. low in the western sky. "Is it some kind of magic trick? A magician's illusion?" William sat down dejectedly on the edge of the platform. "Not exactly. Kate could see it clearly. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Below two roads met to become one in a Y intersection." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ William frowned in puzzlement. a light appeared. or lose it in the fast-falling darkness.

nor any living thing that walks on land or flies in the air. when he and I were rulers of Albion." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "That's right. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ She said. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Through it all. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Can you see Urizen's mountain?" she asked. Paradox! Everything about time voyaging was paradox. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Once or twice. and finally won. "That's the bronze book Urizen has inscribed with the laws fo r his perfect world. either. except for one island. As he says in the inscription. There's always something a person can do. the only dry land on the planet. eating invisible energy. He can't be very far ahead. bits and threads of truth torn from a vast fabric." \par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}{ She examined Urizen's bearded features. Mr. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Water heated to boiling by a sun that can't be seen. we could learn secret s that would topple our most certain knowledge. But we can't see him. "What's that he's got there?" \par\pard\plain\h yphpar}{ William answered." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Kate leaned her elbows on the rim of the coffin and gazed up at the reflection of Urizen. so we can see him but are helpless to do anything. his muscular naked body. he in battered and filthy knee-breeches. It's like Zeno's paradox. and billions of battles lost and won. and a magic we call science. By the time we reach the fraction of a second he's in. and billions of books were wr itten and billions of songs sung. Blake. Here he is. Ther e were jewels full of power and grains of sand full of wisdom. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Continents sank and continents rose from the sea. Just far enough so the light has tim e to strike his body. that blackness where none of the creatures are glowing. safe. There was blindness. putting himself barely out of reach. Urizen held so mething rectangular in his arms. was Urizen really in the future? Or was he in the past? He was certainly in the pas t in one sense\u8230? he had been here. hovered Kate and William Bla ke. There wa s evil and cruelty and glory and pride. he' ll have bounced ahead to another one. If we were to pic k up these grains on our seashores and learn to read them. and boneless monsters livi ng in the boiling water. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "It's over there. and there were giants. Urizen slept in the mountain." \par . \par\pard\plai n\hyphpar}{ A vast and horrible peace. He's in a speci al kind of suspended animation." \pa r\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Before the flood there was a world of men. Under endless clouds moved sluggish s eas where life flickered and glowed and it was always night. she in torn and tattered long skirt." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "But what can we do?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Nothing. which we now call magic.nd in the future. And he's not dead." \par\pard\plain\hyphp ar}{ "Can't we nip ahead and catch up with him?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Not a chance. there were moments of real love. There was a man who owned the whole world and everyone and everything in it. Urizen slept. \par \pard\plain\hyphpar}{ There were empires. pop up to the mirror. and gone. with no moon. And on that island. clutching the remains of a shawl. and bounce down to our eyes. He talked about this many times. Men fought giant lizards. \par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}{ There was a science. he'll a lways be ahead of us." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I won't accept that. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Before that there was only sea. above the slow-moving clouds of steam. We can see the light that bounced off him as he passed\u8230? that's his refection in the mirror. and there was land where there now i s water and water where there now is land. and out there his robots are set ting everything up for him. and visitors c alled the Sons of God who loved and taught the Daughters of Men. Above the boiling water and fl eshy giants. no st ars. but all that wa s done then is either forgotten or but a whisper of legend. For example. I'm beginning to understand what he meant when he said he's put a lock on this universe. "He's teasing us. There was vision. There were cities.

" whispered Kate in awe. from the far future. and his voice. hovering in the steamy air. or my own blood}? \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ There was no way to be sure. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ But it was too late. The machines instant ly set to work digging into the side of the island's only hill. Let's go uptime a bit. then g rew larger and brighter. \par\pard\p lain\hyphpar}{ "Are you sure?" William was beside her." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "What if there is no beginning. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Feeling her ankle. Now it's gone." William said wearily. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Her fingers moved along the hot stone. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Kate screamed\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Something had reached up from the water and grabbed her ankle. she could see down them both. She pulled free. and Mrs. but my machines can." As soon as they were outsi de the time stream. came to Kate from acro ss the steaming water. Kate? What if Urizen was always there?" \par\pa rd\plain\hyphpar}{ "Don't talk nonsense!" She groped in the hot darkness. but Kate said. They were from the distant future. from the time when Luvah had been a galactic emperor. something useful. in the future of the wo rld before the change. "Come along now. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ From here. \ par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "He's still in there." Even the place outside of time was dark. There are no right angles in nature. She was sure now. greatly amplified. Blake. "We may learn. "Mr.\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ They glided slowly toward the blackness. Kate recognized the style of the devices. \par\pard\plain\hyph par}{ {\b *}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "We've passed it!" Kate could no longer find the crack in the rock. painted in glistening metallic paint. embossed on the hull." She followed the crack {\i to} a right angle turn. An idea began to form in her mind. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar} { From a distance. and from the odd angle at which it traveled. "Here's the door to Urizen's strong-hold. so why be shy? Come on down here and join me in a spot of tea. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "If we attack now\u8230?" whispered Kate. \par\pard\plain \hyphpar}{ It was coming from uptime. with William's help. a time when technology had reached a height i t never afterward surpassed." and they descended. she thought. at the point where the two futures branched. go downtime a little further. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "We must go back some more. insect-like machines. they watched the timeship open its doors and disgorge a horde of quick. \par\pard\plain\ hyphpar}{ "It was here. straight as a rulerline . Urizen raised a microphone to his lips and spoke." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The Blakes hesitated. It was like a tiny star at first. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ . Mr. Blake! How nice of you to come to the grand opening of my new future! I can't see you. joining in the search. We can't m ake things as they should be unless we {\i go} back to where Urizen made the first change. found the crack. It would be coming from Rintrah. But of course. Urizen and Vala had just emerged from the forward hatchway \u8230? a surprisingly young Urizen and a young Vala. a flicker of hope\u8230?\par\pard\plai n\hyphpar}{ but it was driven away by the rushing arrival of The Ship. found his sweating hand. Urizen's insignia. the picture of William's Urizen stat ue. blazing with lights. monstrous and metall ic. {\i Is that sea slim. she got the impression it was coming from a {\i different} {\i future}. "Here he comes. She and William had to move quickly to get out of the behemoth's path as it rushed past them and entered the time stream. Kate and William followed it. they saw the light.

That w ould be a novel experience. "Each human has a different idea as to what constit utes perfection. "Shut up. eh William? But you and I." William said. "So? Why do you say that?" Kate thought. can we. not a world. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ It was either during the fish course or the meat course or perhaps during deser t that Urizen explained to the Blakes that he was going though with his experime nt. Right?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ William squirmed." Kate said. dishes and silverware. it will change you . Vala eyed the Blakes with distaste. He ended by saying. Urizen nodded to Vala." Vala answered. If I can talk him out of it}\u8230? She blurted. It was more comfortable he re near the ship. In this new future. just lizards." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Interesting. mother. we know. my dears ." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "You're very kind. I'm tired of humans." Urizen sat down. Urizen dear!" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Urizen spoke blandly. "You've come from uptime. "are you prepared to {\i become} one?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Vala was shocked. "Well." He gazed thoughtfully off into space. then sipped his tea. like William. how is it? What's it like in the world I'm about to create?" \ par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ They were all seated now. If she loo ked half as bad as she felt\u8230?\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Urizen was shaking his head sympathetically. though his words were harsh. "To turn into a lizard." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "If you like lizards so well. Humans are so unmanageable. "But you're half starved . Kate broke in. old man! Vala and I will be having supper soon. You won't be able to move anything on this . "I nev er knew you to give anyone something for nothing. "You look awful. saying cheerfully. a bit too humbly for Kate's taste. and a third appeared carryi ng a tray with a teapot. Vala?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "No indeed. If you linger too long in it. Power isn't power unless you use it! That's what we used to say. "That's what will happen. she. went alon g docilely and allowed the machines to wash her and dress her in a flowing white linen tunic that made her look like an ancient Greek. Urizen carefully explained. who poured the tea. {\i it doesn't have to happen. Lizards may be a bit stupid. smiling. back in Albion. but otherwise they're much better. Another beetle-machine brought four chairs. But when o ne of the beetle-robots led her into the time-ship. You and the little lady are we lcome to join us. "Just as I'd planned. Easier to please. Tell me. you know. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "It's a hell you're creating." Kate challenged. What do you want in return?" \ par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "A little information. don't you ever take baths or put on fresh clothes?" As she sank into one of the chairs.Two beetle-like machines about the size of cats brought out a card table and se t it up. not to mention ungrateful." Urizen said with satisfaction. "Women have no stomach for things that are really grand. cups. "Really. We can't have Uto pia with humans. \par\pard\pl ain\hyphpar}{ "Because I am here. "What a disgusting idea!" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ William joined the conversation. er\u8230?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Urizen slapped William on the knee. "And there's nothing you ca n do about it." Urizen said. slightly out of phase in the time stream. The ship generated some kind of energy-field that drove off th e steam and a refreshingly normal atmosphere was being puffed out by hardworking air-conditioners." He turned to William and added. Urizen raised an eyebrow . Kate realized how tired she really was. almost sadly. there will be a p owerful locking effect in this area. Vala was b eautiful in her flowing red robes. The new future you'r e creating doesn't like humans. change you into something that\u8230? fits in. "The re's no people uptime. come what may. Vala shuddere d." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\b *}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Before going into suspended animation." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Excellent. that's all. "Won't you let Vala and I loan you two some fresh clothes?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "If you wouldn't be inconvenienced\u8230?"'William began.

equally invulnerable. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar }{ She looked sadly at William. bided their time in c omfort and fed logs to their great stone fireplace. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Kate could still see him in the mirror above the coffin. heavily." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\b *}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The winter rains had not ceased for three days. from side to side. The furious digging had gone on constantly all the time they'd been on board. elbow on floor. Kate realize d. but still she wore it night a nd day under the deerskin dress William had made for her. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "About despair. Nor will you be able to e nter unless it opens for you. and now the timeship was three-quarters buried. warm and dry and watchin g visions in the fire." His deep voice was calm." she said. it was no use. to New Lambeth. Urizen had allowed William to carr y a shortsword and dagger. "You're putting yourself through the tort ures of hell\u8212?yes. patroling to see that you. like hers. boots. just tired. during the second flood. There was still much to be done. they could afford the luxury of sitting. \p ar\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "What you thinking?" she asked him softly. cap\u8212?was. the freedom to think of other things. "What a fool you are. chin resting in palm.") Tunic. The first months in New Lamb eth had been hard. since that's the worst torme . but. cloak and sandals. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Despair?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "It's a wonderful feeling. perhaps. lay Vala." He sighed and smiled." His voice was not bitter. tried to drag them in to the place outside of time. in a nother coffin. In the next room. snug in t he one-room log cabin they had built with their own hands. When there's no hope at all. serious. \par\pard\plai n\hyphpar}{ Kate and William tried to move some of the beetle-robots. He wa s winning. is probably more satisfying th an victory. or on the mountaintop this island will become. it will ope n to release the army that will exterminate the last of mankind. I think. As a gesture of. Kate sat up and said pr imly. was dressed in the Greek fashion. (Urizen had said. contempt. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "We'd best be on our way. "It's the only rational clothing style in history. because I have not despaired. a man feel s a special peace that. and it will open only when it sends out a flying r obot to capture lizard specimens and later. He always kept them within easy reach. Both those time s Vala and I will be in the time zone. Within a few hours. He was seated on the wood floor. his scraggly chin resting on his kn ees. The usually col d Urizen was displaying genuine warmth\u8230? but then he could afford to. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "You know what I mean?" He raised his head expectantly. Kate was surprised. not a speck. there must he hope in hell. His sword and knife lay near him. His clothing\u8212?jacket. He. the voice of the man she'd m arried in another universe. "No. I don't. don't do anything naughty. but now and then. contemplat ed William's bearded features in the firelight." He shook William's hand and kissed Kate on the cheek. but Kate and William. as Urizen had said. because there is nothing you can do to harm me. William was older. Taking a p owerful light globe with them. his back against one of the pillars that supported the roof. William and Ka te. And there's freedom. in {\i the} evenings. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The Greek clothing Urizen had given her was torn. too." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ William's head swung slowly. She turned from the fire and. stre tched full-length on her belly. So go in peace! \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ I will not harm you. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Urizen lay down in his white coffin and vanished. There's contentment in despair. the Blakes left the timeship by the forward hatch . pants. with nothing to show its location b ut the cracks in the stone that marked its main doorway. made from animal skins. Deerskin was good agai nst the cold but not comfortable on the skin. when all's said and done.island. His beard sho wed traces of gray. the ship would be completely underground. equally invisible. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Where to?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Uptime.

"Why no. exp ressing themselves with eloquent pantomime. In beard and long hair he looked disturbingly like Urizen. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\b *}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Neutrality had proved impossible. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ It was a bouncy. and there's an end to it. helped her int o one of them. green scaly tails swishing. but she had not protested." she called.nt of all\u8212?and it's for nothing. as she stood by the door to her cabin an d watched the procession of lizards march toward her in the spring afternoon sun shine. not yet. She could help them." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "You know there's nothing sure in this world. clad in the Greek tunic." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Forget Urizen. and don't you forget it. like} {\i father}. vast toothy mouths grinning. don't you?" she demanded sharply. about how she would help their crops to grow. Kate thought . c ould actually speak a few words of it." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Never!" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Should she tell him now? Should she tell him what gave her hope? No. They were singing about he r. She listened to the hissing. She could have flown there much mo re comfortably and quickly. then settled himself in the other. "Here they come. thought Kate. but she didn't want to hurt the lizards' feelings. \pa r\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ His grin vanished. Other lizards peered from the doorways of their rude huts. sworn in as goddess and god. as i t were. S he must be sure. William led Kate by the hand to the sedan chairs. \par\pard \plain\hyphpar}{ Mr. unrhythmical sound. you know. In the flic kering light and shadow beyond the fire several lizard drummers were restlessly thumping drums of various sizes and shapes with a listless. Blake. As soon as we can we'll explain things to them. but it was the real God w ho made crops grow. {\i How quickly it happened}. teach them many things. Yes I do." \par\pa rd\plain\hyphpar}{ "It's only temporary. but a bright bonfire on the riverbank supp lied plenty of light. Urizen has won. together with not a little greasy black smoke. while still others fe ." William emerged from the cabin. cloak and sandals Unizen had given him grinning like an exci ted boy. {\i Like son. not at all.)\par\pard\plain\hyphpar} { So now here they came. Upon my word. The rain had stopped." \par\pard\pla in\hyphpar}{ "We could be happy here. Thus Kate and William had been faced with a choice: apotheosis or war. carrying the makeshift sedan chairs with which they would transport the Blakes to the evening ceremonies at their village where Kate and William would be. Not even disaster. about her omnipotent power. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The lizards were capable of hostility or worship. but peaceful co-existence was beyond them. We could make a life for ourselves. so they reluctantly agreed t o accept the duties of godhood. She had been fraternizing with the creature s for only about two weeks. but it must be done. what do you take me for?" The lizards marched to with in a hundred feet or so of the cabin. But then I think of Urizen and I know we' ve got unfinished business. jouncy ride to the village. chirping and birdlike twittering that passed for song among them. Promise?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I promise. Somehow she would have to make that clear to them." \par\pard\plain\h yphpar}{ "Sometime I think the same. War would have taken too much time and energy. William had accepted their offer. then halted and flung themselves face down on the ground. (I t had been William's choice. \ par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The sun was setting as they arrived. She frowned. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Rather enjoy the idea of becoming a god. The lizard emissaries had appeared at her door. but already she understood some of their language.

" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The lizards seemed disappointed. the tempo gradually s peeding up. \par\pard\plain\ hyphpar}{ Her vision blurred. When the Blak es were seated. \pa r\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The lizard guard of honor seemed subdued. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ She noticed for the first time that every one of the dancers was looking at her as it danced. and on his h ead carried the skull of a wild boar. slow. far away. at another whistle thr ough the air and crack like a whip. but his voice came from far. The slowness of the lizards' dance infected her mind. a low. "Kate! \par\pard\plain\hyp hpar}{ Don't let them get to you!" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Her vision sharpened. The lizards were dancing. and her thoughts slowed too. She stood up and stepped from th e sedan chair. toward their cabin in New Lambeth. the fat lizard with the wild boar skull headress signalled the d rummers. watching her expectantly. A particularly tall l izard raised a conch shell and blew a mighty and discordant honk. the excited ye t subdued sibilance of the serpentine language. jus t to be on the safe side. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ A fat lizard with one eye missing approached them and bowed low. concentrated and brought into being her shield of temp oral energy.ll in behind the procession that now conveyed the Blakes to the heart of the vil lage. but the dance continued. touched her reassuringly on the elbow. interwoven design. and danc ing with a boneless grace no human could hope to equal. The fat lizard led the m to a low platform on which stood two crude stone chairs. All around her Kate could hear the rustle of tails. a scaly green living a rabesque that languorously undulated in the shifting firelight. Kate noted uneasily that many of the creature s were armed with stone axes and long spears. hurting her. first fast. At the height of the cerem . \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "They're tricky rascals. but always perfectly controlled. moving his arms at a rate of a few inches a minute." murmured William. \par\pard\plain\hyphp ar}{ "Thrones. and she. hypnotic throbbing punctuated by occasion al birdlike warbles and cries from the tribe. the edges softened. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Kate nodded and followed him as he took his place in one of them." said Kate. \par\pard\plain\hyphp ar}{ "Then follow him we shall. steady. William joined her. Out of the corner of her eye she c ould see that William had his hand on the pommel of his shortsword. \par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}{ The lizards fell silent and backed away. stepping forward. Her mind speeded up. "I wonder. The sedan chairs were gently set down on the ground. No human had jaws that opened wide enough to completely conceal his face. How good it would be to watch the dance forever. the colors blended. There was no planned step or choreography th at Kate could discern. This one was w earing brightly colored feathers in a long cape over his shoulders. speaking loudly to be heard above the din. the volume gradually growing louder. c alling to her. creeping through her mind like drunken slugs. as dawn began to brighten the eastern horizon." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Yes\u8230? I see\u8230? all right. No human could send ripples throug h his body. so that the motion could hardly be detected. No human could balance f or half an hour on one foot." William muttered angrily. clearing an aisle through which the Bl akes could pass through the crowd. then slow. Kate and William rode in their sedan chairs away from the village. the shuffle of clawed feet. yet at any given moment all the dancing lizards seemed to form a perfectly-balanced. or a tail that cou ld at one instant stick out straight as a rod behind him. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The music began. He was shaking her. "Don't watch them for more than a few seconds at a time. intricate." William said in a low voice. depressed. "Does one have to die to become a goddess?" \ par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Later. t o watch the dance and sleep! \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ William's powerful fingers dug into her arm. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "He wants us to follow him." Kate said.

for water. if I have good memories of you and your mate. \par\pa rd\plain\hyphpar}{ "No. I learn from you." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\b *}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ He was handsome. She called him Grooh for sho rt. "I am yours." she said. with powerful hind legs. after a pause. Until then. His great claw darted out to steady her. t hough with an unavoidable "human" accent. the tribe had thrown him into the bonfire to be burned alive." Then. as he shouldered the load. told her. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Were you sent to me by your tribe?" she asked him. grow old. Until then. unless they brought chil dren." a r elationship had sprung up between humans and reptiles. and a ful l set of pearly white teeth. (It was from this part of the forest that Willia m had cut the logs for their cabin. he strode up to Kate's cabin door one morning and i n the blunt way lizards have. and conversed freely with her as she plucked gr apes from the vines. into the glittering black . "How should I know?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Kate rode a while in silence. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I came of my own will. Sky Queen.ony. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ So she did not fear Grooh. she seated herself on a stump." he said. With children you would breed and start another race that would struggle with us for land. I know you are not a goddess. and die. that is all. as lizards go. for food. apparently correctly. it adde d. One female would not frighten me. p lacing some of the grapes in her mouth instead of in the crude deerskin sack on the ground beside her. screaming and hi ssing and clutching at his throat. "Am I a goddess?" \par\pard\pl ain\hyphpar}{ At first the creature did not understand. Children would mean war between your kind and mine." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ She felt dizzy and swayed a moment. "You passed the tests. I may call you god s seriously. something a little like f riendship and a lot like symbiosis. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Twice as tall as a man. \par\par d\plain\hyphpar}{ "One male of your species would not frighten me. and in a few days felt perfectly at ease when Grooh accompanied her on an afternoon expedition to the forest to gather wild grapes a nd berries.)\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ She looked up into the strange toothy grinning face. I pretend. "What difference would children make?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Without children you will live a while with us. "Yes. Then she leaned out of the sedan chair and called to one of the lizard guards that trotted alongside." His full name was Morr Dro on Fahra Rahoor Thee Ahh Oh Thahrr Noh Grooh Rahhr." \par\pard\plain\hy phpar}{ "Thank you. then die and be honored. i t answered with a caw and a hiss. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ He shrugged. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ She did not fear him. but when the question was repeated." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ She frowned." She paused. but the humans were quickly learning to speak the language of the lizards. His claws were too large to pick fruit. In the month since the Blakes had "passed the tests. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "To worship me?" She wondered if the time had come to set him straight. Still feeling a little giddy. a long elegant tail. "You do?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "You are some alien race. "Let me carry your sack." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ That surprised her. but he seemed to enjoy the r ole of Protector of the Goddess. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Am I a goddess?" Kate asked William. Then. "And you're not\u8230? afraid of us?" she asked." said the giant creature. the Blakes had been offered a cup of the "sacred drink. that it was poison and commanded the fat lizard with t he wild boar skull to taste it for her. putting together a sentence in the unfamiliar lan guage of the lizard-people. When the fat one refused. The lizards could not speak the human langua ge. You will live with us a while. A male and a female together would not frighten me. his comrades h ad forced the drink down his throat and as he writhed in agony. "Y ou are so small and weak." but Kate had guess ed.

it's nothing. His hearing was far better than a human's. opened her lips to speak. Once our race was great. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I think more than most of my brothers and sisters. when it came. and Mr. but now we become stupid. was shouted angrily." he cried excitedly. the taint will remain. William was annoyed. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Come now. but it was a moment before she found the dot that was William. "What a hunt! You've no idea! With me in the air to spot deer herds for them. but no sooner did she rise than she fell back again. Someday we will forget how to speak. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "We are all descendants of one couple. She had not told William. \par\pard\pla in\hyphpar}{ "Sit with me. have you gotten a touch of sunstroke?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "No. \p ar\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ He landed lightly between Kate and Grooh. Some believe you are a real goddess and fear you." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "The taint is there." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Kate wondered. "I'm pregnant. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "No. Willia m was indeed gliding swiftly toward her. gesturing toward the open patch of long grass a nd weeds next to her stump. Each gener ation is more stupid than the last." she said softly. leaning over her. \par\pard\plain\hyp hpar}{ "When brother mates with sister." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "One day your tribes will become large. but Grooh." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "But why?" She was almost angry with him now." she told him weakly. She had not told anyone else. {\i Did Urizen. One couple and one couple only was saved from the flood. Our lizard friends are waiting for us! Tonight we feast!" \par\pard\ plain\hyphpar}{ "You go. It is good to talk. Mrs. "I'm not hungry. "You're a useful little thing!" William extended his hand to help Kate to her feet. too. even in daylight." she said. red streaked with gray. now his beard and long hair. Blake. without knowing it. His eyesight was better. She turned toward him. Grooh. little female cr eature. Least of all Grooh! \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Have you troubles?" asked the lizard." \par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}{ "No! That can't be!" Kate's sympathies were easily aroused. "When the few become many. He pointed skyward. and when tribes are small\u8230?" T he monster broke off his sentence with something very like a sigh. you fo . defiantly. It sometim es seemed he understood her better than William did. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Your mate is coming. shielding them with her hand and squinting against the b rightness.reptile eyes. before the flood." Now William was all concern. The mention of food seemed to revive his spirits like magic." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Then what's wrong?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The answer. Many of them are very stupid." said Grooh gloomily. it can be. more than most of my tribe. But no! She co uld not tell Grooh. she knew. dizzy. "\u8230? had the taint . \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Obediently Grooh settled himself on his haunches. could hear her anyway." she whispered. Blake was not a man who laughed often. "Oh. o ur lizard friends are bringing home more venison than they ever dreamed possible !" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Grooh perked up at this. "I will sit." She spoke very softly. He was remarkably perceptive. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Something you ate?" coaxed her husband. the streak of unreasoning violence and destructiveness in their nature. And now she could h ear him laughing with delight. and that couple\u8230?" He sighed again. Now she could see his deerskin tunic an d cape. Perhaps she c ould tell Grooh. save a pair of} {\i feeble-minded lizards}? That could explain their lack of progress. "You're almost human. " My word. Then she thought of h er secret. nauseous. \par\pard\plain\hyph par}{ "Not that either. Then you will no longer have to mate br other with sister." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ She strained her eyes.

she fainted? "Mr. nor would the lizard midwife. not a lizard. revealed a gentleness in his nature that was almost feminine. Blake!" she screamed. the Blakes chose a name for the child. with reptilian coldness . harder. she thought. would lead the human revolution against the domination of Urizen and the lizards. T hey called it Ore. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ But where was William? \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ She felt the pains coming on again. make some excuse for not being there . Blake!" The pain was bad this time. but multitudes. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Mr. "How nice for you. vast armies of unborn men and women who would rise f rom her body and reclaim the planet. He was doctor and nurse all in one. Kate lay on her crude but comfortable b ed near the fireplace in the cabin. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ There were the poplar trees and the wild grape vines that marked her garden. and th e weeds." Ore. wound the familiar river. in the distance. half-awake and half-asleep. Gro oh and his people came no more to New Lambeth. He rose stiffly and said. dr awing the animalskin covers up to her chin. turned and threw herself on the bed. Blake!" \par\pard\ plain\hyphpar}{ There was no answer. she was shocked into full awareness by a sharp pain. {\i it will be in a human. and shouted. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Kate waited for William to say something. snatch it back by superior wit and courage from the serpentine usurpers. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\i When Urizen awakes}. brushed the unruly hair back out of her eyes . but the fear was worse. a name that in the lizard language meant\par\pard\plain\hyphp ar}{ "revolutionary. Perhaps it would be impossible to make things as they ha d been before the change.} {\i world}. The long grass was there. listening to the singing of the birds outside and dreaming of the new race she would mother. When it passed she sat up. but demons. Too bad for Urizen! Kate chuckled softly to herself. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Mr. o n her fur-covered pillow.ol!" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Grooh was the first to react. With the back of her wrist she wiped her damp forehead. " \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Thank God you've come. th ere. \par\pard\pla in\hyphpar}{ Wrapping the furs around her naked body. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ In the last month of Kate's pregnancy. but at least the human race would not perish! \par\par d\plain\hyphpar}{ On the last afternoon of her pregnancy. Blake!" she shouted again. \par\pard\plain\hy phpar}{ It was cool in the room. but Kate was drenched with sweat. by herself. Blake!" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The footsteps halted in front of the cabin door. At least that was t he plan in Kate's mind. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Then she heard footsteps approaching. at some cru cial moment. "Mr. Silence. not one child. without aid? What if. Blake!" The pains were fading. \par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Mr. Suddenly. and the humming bees. No painter c ould imagine a more peaceful sunny landscape. Mr. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ William. however. To them the Blakes were no longer gods. relaxed. at the top of her voice. Could she brin g little Ore into the world alone. without w arning." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ *\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The lizard witch doctor would not treat Kate. and the occasional fluttering birds. and had almost decided nothi ng was happening when the pain came again. a rustling in the high weeds outside the cabin. With a great sigh of relief she closed her eyes and fell back. and it seemed to her in her drowsy reverie that her swelling stomach contained. together with other later children. she stumbled to the cabin door and loo ked out. {\i Is it beginning}? \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ She waited for the pain to return for a long time.

Gr ooh. There was a long drawn-out creak as th e wood bent. "No. like all ot her animals." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ There was a long tense silence. growing larger." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ It was indeed Mr. but I p assed close by every day. Blake. The pain was unbearable. braced his hind legs against the cabin's sto ne foundation. William was drawing his shortsword. Then she frowned. "You are not an evil demon to me. you're right. A pair of reptilian eyes was wa tching her\u8230? a huge green scaly head was grinning at her. My pains have begun and Mr. "Don 't!" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ With the full force of his flying momentum. then a loud.when she needed him. as you are to my people." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "What?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I said I was yours. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ She looked up. without success. The child is coming. past Grooh's shoulder. I have stayed away because the chief commanded it. She could see him clearly." she said. and I am yours. Grooh. aren't you?" she asked. You are a helpless little creature who wants to live and give life. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Grooh!" she cried. Why was he doing that? \par\pard\plain\h yphpar}{ Then. did he stand there saying nothing? What was wrong? \par\pard\plain\hyphpar }{ She opened her eyes and looked toward the door. There was a dot in the sky. Blake is coming. but quickly gave up. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Mr. the pain was now draining away as she clutched Grooh's heavy muscular claw in her small sweating hands. \par \pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Why did he want to know that? Was he here\u8230? to kill the child? \par\pard\p lain\hyphpar}{ "No. "Do not fear me. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "You are Grooh." she whispered. framed in the ope n doorway. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "You are lying. A moment lat er he was at her side. William rammed his sword to the hil t into Grooh's unprotected throat." The lizard hunched over and thrust his sn out inside the cabin. Like me. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Then Grooh said. "Oh thank you. I am Grooh. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\b *}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ . Blake?" she called uncertainly. Blake is nowhere to be found. but she believed him instantly. The room was spinning. with a grunt. emotionless. A large portion of the front of the house splintered and crumpled as it came loose in his hands." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "What\u8230? what are you doing here?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I heard you scream. out through the gaping hole in the side o f the cabin. to thrust himself through the doorway. and. leaning over her. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Yes. Is the child coming?" His tone was flat. It's too low and narrow. clad in his Greek tunic and sandals. Mr. "Grooh. "I can't get through the door. The hu ge reptile hissed in frustration and tried once more. I was lying. She reached out blindly toward him. Mr. she understood. puzzl ed." \ par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Kate felt her contractions beginning again and rolled over with a groan. I am yours. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Why. Thank you. keeping out of your sight. Blake!" she shrieked. Can you help me?" Grooh tried to enter the cabin. "Grooh!" she screamed. watching that no harm shoul d come to you." She did not know why. Grooh gripped the sides of the d oorway in his powerful front claws. or simply the natural progress of the cycle? \par\pard\pla in\hyphpar}{ Whichever it was. sharp crack as it broke. "It's all right now. his beard and long hair streaming in the wind. pulled. Gr ooh. in a horrified flash. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Was it his presence. sliding back in her bed until her shoul ders were against the wall. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Grooh!" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The lizard did not reply.

\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ William wasn't a mother. Hav e {\i to be careful}. she thought. She put him back on the breast. \par\pard\plain\h yphpar}{ "You didn't tell me. as it turned out. strangely silent child. at least not yet. {\i Poor little thing. Ore began to cry. it was no longer possible to know and not to know at the same time. but t hey were not human teeth. holdi ng him away from her. and she awoke to find him stand ing at her bedside. ever-so-slightly . "No. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ She was startled to feel teeth against her nipple as the baby sucked and. forced open his tiny mouth." She reached up. Whatever he'd done. {\ i He won't admit he made a} {\i mistake}. His teeth didn't rea lly hurt her. You can g o back and undo what you've done!" Kate cried. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Are you Grooh?" she asked the chubby. She stared back. Ore had teeth all right. But she needed this man now. It wa s a trick." He smiled. Did you think I wouldn't notice?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar} { "At first. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ William wouldn't understand. William was gentle. he was trying to help me. William's jaw was set. William watched grimly." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ She laughed in a forced way that made William glance at her with suspicion. came in handy for cutting the umbilical cord. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Mr. Ore said nothing. eyes closed. trying to meet William's accusing gaze. You have the power of time travel. They were more reptilian than ever. Then he got worse." she moaned. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "No. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ On the fourth day she caught Ore staring at her intently as he lay bundled up-i n his furs in his makeshift crib. \par \pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\b *}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ He was a human baby the first day. \ par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Are you Grooh?" she repeated. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The sword. stepped over the limp tail of Groo h's corpse and knelt at her bedside. She sat up quickly. {\i He'll never admit it}." she said. still carrying his blood-wet sword. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ William. \par\pa rd\plain\hyphpar}{ William had examined the child while she slept. \par\pard \plain\hyphpar}{ On the fifth day Ore's skin had taken on a faint tinge of grayish green. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "William. And she began to understand. Willia m said. "Give me some sign. she need ed him. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ On the second day he began. and she saw his teeth had grown. Blake\u8230?" The pain was starting again. "It's just a phase. and they were too small a nd sharp. A four-day-old b aby was not supposed to be able to focus his eyes like that. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ On the sixth day.} {\i . He tricked you!" She looked at William with anguished frustration. "Is he sick?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Kate said. when the nub of a tail became visible at the base of Ore's sp ine. hissed faintly with contentment. no. a naked Ore in his arms. she realized. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ She did not mention the teeth to William. Kate thought. She' d never called him William before. "Give him to me!" Half-angrily s he took the child and put him to her breast. hand on swo rdhandle. There were too many of them. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Still she said nothing to William. and felt his strong arms encircle her. eyes closed." William insisted. in the dim misted light of morning. to change. Ore. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "It's not my fault. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ On the third day Ore hissed at her. her eyes on the nub of a tail."He was trying to kill you.

Lizards! Lizards! Lizards! As she soared uptime the y whirled around her in clouds. then Kate said. but non e of the spirits were human." Suddenly she hat ed the calmness. We've lost. I'd l ike to know?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ William considered her question." said William. I belong to Urizen. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Don't you see. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Are you going to kill me?" William asked gently. looking at William over her shoulder. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I won't let you kill him!" She turned to the wall." He reached for the chi ld. "I won't kill him. When he gets older he'll be all lizard." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Who then?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Urizen!" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ As she leaped into the place outside of time. 'human'? When he gets older he'll be all right. Vala will be o ne. Kate? If Ore was human we might have had a chance. brows knit. They faced each other in the center of the room. It was William who was n ot human! \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Leave us alone!" she shouted. wedged in to the place where the side and rear walls o f the room joined. But the tiny teeth hurt her nipple. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ William sat down on the edge of the bed and laid a warm hand on Kate's bare bac k." \ par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Now he's half human. getting the feel of its weight and balance. You belong to U rizen. am I}? \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ They stood motionless for a long time. {\i Well. He 's a\u8230? a monster. "I want to give him to Urizen.Mother will protect you}." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "We won't kill him. then at the other. shifting images." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "He belongs to me!" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "This is Urizen's universe. He's not. "Are you really going to kill me?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Kate hefted the weapon." William said softly. At last h e said. brightening." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "No!" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "And you and I. the sweet reasonableness of his voice. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "He's not human. So Ore belongs to Urizen too. why did he have to be so much strong er? \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ As he stood up she sprang forward and snatched the shortsword from his scabbard . but\u8230? you can't ask me to accept that thing a s my son." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Vala does. green and transparent like emeralds. you are!" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "He belongs to Urizen. Everything in it belongs to Urizen. don't you see? The fight's over and we've lost. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\b *}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ There were spirits in the maze of fading. silently as king herself. in an almost inaudible v oice. "Not you. They paid no attention to her. occasio nally even passing through her body with a sensation like a cold wind. Urizen will be a monster." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Vala! She's got one of your brats already! You've got your bloody nerve\u8230? !" She was cornered now. hissing and whispering like waves on an ocean beach. she with th e sword." He leaned over and roughly wrenched Ore from her arms. sti ll carrying Ore in his arms. saying. shielding Ore with her body . Was the b . William was close behind her. Oh." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Give him to Urizen? You're insane. great eyes full of pain. Ore looked first at one. eyes glowing with unnatural concentration. \par\pard\plain\hy phpar}{ "We can't keep him. "Urizen don't know how {\i to} care for no baby. but we won't keep him! What will we do with him then. we'll be monsters too. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "He is! What does that mean. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "No!" She retreated across the fur-strewn bed. he with the baby.

Her hand shook only a little. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Urizen was transparent. in the claws of a half-dozen opponents? They were too far away to tell for certain. His eyes were still closed. vulnerable. and the dust that covered him made him seem hardly human. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ . \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Urizen was there. For one instant Kate hesitated. At that moment I will} {\i strike}! Would that bring back the world she knew and longed for? It no longer m attered. lying there. the gap that led into\u8230?\par\pard\pl ain\hyphpar}{ somewhere else. She entered the great hall where Urizen's white coffin lay. once and for all? \par\pard\plain\hyph par}{ Ahead she saw the rip in the universe. She thought. still invisible. planning. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ There was Urizen's mountain. Clouds of dust arose from her f eet as she walked quickly across the hall to stand. breathing gently. unseen. mu ch greener. looking down at the empty co ffin. She recognized herself. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The blade shattered.attle over here too? Had the lizards won. at this distance. William. rushing through the weeks. see what it was. Vala wa s carrying something. then the Mediterranean. Was that Robert. The mouthlike entrance gaped wide. {\i One second more}. and be} {\i inside when he opens his eyes. She circled it. Kate had passed through. The red light was fading as the rip closed. \pa r\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Before the entrance closed again. \par\pa rd\plain\hyphpar}{ Soon she would be able to see Mount Everest. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Kate raised the sword. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Kate thought. Spain passed below h er. still ou tside the time stream. but Kate could not. I'll slip in then. go downtime. }\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ She headed uptime. Urizen and Vala emerged.} {\i dazed. cutting through space as well as time. ever-so-slightly. the months. then. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ There was an awesome silence in the stronghold. just that her intervention had not yet generated a new future. The strong hold opened. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Kate stabbed downward. Here and there the last few hu mans were still struggling as they were forced through the opening by an overwhe lmingly superior reptilian force. the years. A cloud of dustmotes arose. {\i The stronghold will be sealed when Urizen awakes. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Now she saw Urizen in the mirror but not in the coffin. He will be there in his white coffin. when Urizen wakes. and they outlined a figure. then translucent. with his shields not yet up. {\i There will be a moment. then up at the image of Urizen in the mirror. She entered the timestr eam. There was Egypt. she hurtled backwards in time. and there the great gash that marke d the Dead Sea. but the new light was greener than the one she remembered. under its layers of dust. {\i Am I too early}? \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The image in the mirror moved. It had almost completely closed. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ She thought. Urizen alive ! Did that mean Kate's mission would fail? \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ No. In t he coffin the dust was disturbed. A reptilian green! \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ She changed course. There was a blur of revers ed motion. but a little later it} {\i will have to open to let him out. when he} {\i will fade back into common time. she decided. The Himalayan mountains appeared on the eastern horizon. Hardly human! \par\pard\plain\hyphpar }{ Hardly alive! It would be easy to drive home the blade! \par\pard\plain\hyphpar }{ But the same dust that made Urizen seem less than human also obscured his ident ity. now really empty. Was that Urizen lying there? Or William? \p ar\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Urizen's eyes opened. Vala\u8230? and Urizen.

His f ur cloak was wet and filthy. For a moment Urizen's words came through clearly." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "With Vala. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Where is Ore?" she asked him. and the rustle of Vala's long robes . Mrs. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "We will go. His face was lined with weariness. but she had imagined it many times."Too late. spinning She thought with determination. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Think nothing of it. Don't cry. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Not at all. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Yes?" William emerged from the shadows to stand." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Good of you\u8230?" William said. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Kate opened her eyes and looked around. "We're not rea . "\u8230? she's in no condition to\u8230?" \par\pard\pl ain\hyphpar}{ "\u8230? of course\u8230?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "\u8230? obviously in no condition\u8230?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "\u8230? rest\u8230?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "\u8230? a long rest\u8230?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The room was tilting. She could hear Urizen's voice and William's." Kate had never heard Polly Wood's voice. Everything will be all right. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\b *}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The long fever had passed. Kate shrugged it off . Blake?" she called weakly. {\i William had} {\i fixed the wall}. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\b *}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Kate had no idea how long she had been sitting on the platform near the foot of the coffin. and she found it. without emotion. "Take care of him for us. Fragments of words and sentences came to her through the so und of her own shrieking. my dear. slow-moving gray overcast. Th rough the doorway she could see a low. there. When she looked up. They hardly seemed to notice. "No! No! You can't have him!" She tried to reach Vala. she saw W illiam handing Ore to Vala. William. there. it se emed. sounding just like that. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Leave me alone!" Kate screamed." \par\pard\plain\h yphpar}{ Vala looked down at the half-human infant with a false smile. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Uptime. you mean. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Mr. and his beard and hair were more gray than red. would not obey her. smiling. kicked Urizen in the shins. but fell back instantly. You c an come and see him when Kate's feeling better. She could hear Vala's voice too. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Kate sprang up. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ She fainted. Her body. She thought. saying. They were so strong. "Of course. "\u8230? amazing woman. Kate slapped William 's face. She was in the cabin at New Lambeth. It was raining . {\i I'm} {\i not going to faint}. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Urizen and William shook hands." Vala said. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "But Kate dear\u8230?" Vala's hand rested on her shoulder. speaking to her with concern. as William and Urizen blocked the way. but not very hard. "There. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Vala's voice was full of pity." Urizen said." William said. There was a chink in my armor after all. with Urizen. a little later." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "We must go\u8230?" She sat up in bed. Blake. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Urizen had been speaking to William while Vala tried to calm her. so hard. but the voices were so similar she could not tell them apart. She could have killed me if\u82 30?" Kate's consciousness blurred. who back ed away a few steps. they caugh t her by the wrists. There. looking down at her." Urizen said." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "With Vala. weeping hysterically. sitting down on the edge of the bed. When she tried to scratch them with her fingernails.

\par\pard \plain\hyphpar}{ "We must wait until we've become\u8230? like him. in the dim light. Things happen. it was the other future. But it's not really outside of time! T here's another kind of time there. Mr. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "This universe!" She sat up.dy yet" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "When I'm well. Answer me tha . We would have seen it\u8230?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "We have seen it! Remember when we were on Urizen's island and Urizen came rush ing toward us out of the future? It wasn't this future that we're living in. "In a little while we'll all be together. \par \pard\plain\hyphpar}{ She rolled over. Blake. \par\pard\pl ain\hyphpar}{ "What is it then?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ He smiled faintly." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ He stood up with a sigh and went over to put another log on the fire. I've found the way out!" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Out of what?" he said stupidly. People grow older." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "No. Kate suddenly understood. was a blob of incomprehension. her enthusiasm overcoming her weakness. some place that's {\i really} out of time. not human. William asked. go on for a while. Blake! And when Urizen shot his own ea rlier self." There was something in his tone that alarmed her. so must we be able. Mr. where did the old self go? \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ And when the lizards drove out the human spirits. \par\pard\pl ain\hyphpar}{ "Don't you see? If you want to get out of the stream of normal time. by co ncentration." she whispered." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "So?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Aren't you awake yet? Don't you realize what this means? Just as we can. he raised up on one elbow and stared at her. after ho vering for some time between waking and sleeping. " Wake up! Wake up!" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ With an uncomprehending grunt. From there we could see both futures. He reached out to take her hand. "Oh my God. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Don't touch me!" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Look at your own hand. "What are you thinking?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I'm praying. where did they drive them out to? And where did all those lizards come from in the first place. a family. He nodded. "Yes. \par\pard \plain\hyphpar}{ {\b *}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Kate slept badly that night. get out of the normal timestream into the place outside of time. "What are you talking about?" \pa r\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Time!" she cried. and it's been in front of us all the time without our seein g it. \par\pard\ plain\hyphpar}{ "There's a way out. will we go then?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "It isn't that. and she saw his teeth." When she did not answer fo r a long time. William said gently. Kate. "Like Ore. grasped the sleeping William by the shoulder. then end." \p ar\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "You're changing!" She inched away from him. "There's time in the place outside of time!" \par\pard\plain \hyphpar}{ "What?" His face. \pa r\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Listen. It's clear as day. you go int o what we call the place outside of time. A little Before dawn. small and sharp. when in the place outside of time. to concentrate and get out of the place outside of time into some other place." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ William rubbed his eyes with a thick knuckle. before the change. by fits and starts. Things like the battle between the lizard and human spirits begin." William said. B oth futures still existed! So there must have been some kind of time that was co mmon to them both." The S drew out u nnaturally long." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ She looked at her\u8230? claw. impossible. and shook him.

the timeline of the lizards. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "You see?" she cried. yet it exists. glowing line. The place ou tside of time was sparsely populated by lizard spirits who rushed past heedlessl y on urgent but unguessable errands. Far away it all stretched out endlessly. {\i A point is that which has position but no magnitude}. Blake. having length but no other} {\i dimension}. but she hadn't\u8230? not until now! \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The line they had come from was one of many. That was all there was at first. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\i A plane is a surface such that a straight line joining any two of its} {\i points lies wholly within the surface. Other things were coming into view. " \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\b *}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ It was easy when you knew it could be done. less alive than ever. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The place they had come from was shrinking to a point. Quite sudden ly. Uptime the battle was over and the rip in t he sky had vanished without a trace. neither more sharp than the other. But the timeline of the lizards branched. {\i . "That's not it. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ It was a small tail. flickering onl y when you moved uptime or downtime." she said to William. while you still have a mind that can. we can!" She grasped his hand. and here and there Kate could see peculiar crumpling effects. There were an infinite number of lizard timelines. It branched and branched and branc hed again. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ She said firmly. {\i Perhaps I have one too}. In each line there are an infinite number of points. An impression of distance. and had almost ignored the effect when it h ad first appeared. The images were less vivid. \ par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ She looked at William. and from each branch-sprang other branches. still holding her hand. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The place they had come from was part of a thin. William. we couldn't find it. Urizen didn't figure it out! But it's true all the same. be tter yet. \ par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Her impulse was to say. It was like a tree or. "Come!" New Lambeth was gone. an infinite fan-shaped plane." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Yes. She'd thought she'd understood it. The light was an even green. The light was growing brighter. Infinite! That was a word Kate had heard William use many times. superimposed." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ But then she realized that she was seeing. A point has neither length nor breadth nor depth. a fan. taken together. She thought of the saying. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Kate thought. but they were too far away to see clearly. bo th the world inside the time-stream and the place outside of time. with a rush. That point was part of a single timeline. "Concentrate. looked so startled s he had to smile. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ She glanced to her right. as if the v ery fabric of space was on the verge of collapsing under some infinite weight. more with her mind than her eyes. were a branch of yet another timeline. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The point she'd come from was a point in time. "You see?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ She laughed out loud from sheer exhilaration. {\i A line is the course of a moving point. and all the lizard timelines. {\i A prison is a home if the door's unlocked}. T here's got to be!" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "If there was. again and again. Everything was shrin king rapidly. and clutched his hand. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ She had not known what to look for. but a tail nonetheless. There is another place outside of time. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I think it's coming. }\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Her mind struggled to understand. a place where all the different futures exist together. Mr. taking on a brilliant bluewhite col or.t if you can!" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Urizen would have figured out\u8230?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "No. she was falling back away from her vision. He had a tail.

facing a h ouse. Even here.And where am I}? she thought. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ . \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ She saw more. everything would appear to man as {\ i it} is. She saw he was covering his eyes with his right hand. The fan could rotate. There's noth ing to fear. there. above the fan of time. 13 Hercules Buildings. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ She looked around her. There was light all around. no Albion. dumbfounded. {\i yet branching} {\i off from it at a right angle}. The light was very bright. In the dim early morning light she looked at her hand." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "There. completely within the first cone. infinite. Of all the points on that brighter line. It was a h uman hand. \par\pard\pl ain\hyphpar}{ "Come along. Mr. in an orde red sequence. There could be no mistake. {\i something} was directing her toward that flame. {\i Am I really outside of} {\i time}? \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ That could not be. clutchi ng her with his other hand so tightly it hurt her. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Home! \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Something told her the year was 1794. She remembered. and she recognized the house at once. a line he'd written in his "The Marriage of Heaven and Hell. Was it made of colored glass? She tried to touch it. and the sound was of a vast chord on a cathedral organ. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ And it seemed to her she could hear the light as well as see it. And the cone within the con e. but could not. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ William screamed. a single chord that changed constantly yet always remained the same. It could describe a vast cone\u8230? A cone ! But what was outside the cone? As if in answer to her question she began to se e another cone. Surr ey." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ He looked at her. Events still happened to her one after the other. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ She looked at William. like sunshi ne. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Without words. It moved an d undulated like smoke. not a claw. she was aware for the first time that she and Willi am were naked. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The cone hurtled toward her. one of a row of terrace houses of eight or ten rooms each. no temples of Isis. "Don't take on so. Blake." she said. no Golgon ooza. And the cone within the cone within the cone. one was strong er and brighter than the others. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\b *}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ When the rain hit her skin. there was time." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar} { "If the doors of perception were cleansed. his large eyes filled with more madness than she'd ever seen before. England. He had no tail. Something told her there was no giant tal king lizards in this world. above the infinite different bra nches of time. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "A limit to what?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "You know!" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "The universe?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "No! My mind!" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ She turned away from him to look again at the cone. London. yet was somehow solid. Of all the timelines in it. Lambeth. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ William turned toward her. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ And in the light and sound she could sense\u8230? {\i consciousness}! \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ A third time she looked at the cone." she said soothingly. "There's a limit!" he shouted. guiding her gently. surrounded by gardens. Blake. no Oothoon. She was standing in the middle of the street. She could feel the sound on her skin. Mr. oddly. trees and bushes. It hurt her eyes. one st ood out like a spot of pure white flame.

" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar }{ "That's true. when his weakness would permit. His l ong engraver's table was placed under the room's one window so that he could. lowering her eyes. The most-read of a ll his books was his Bible. but you must shave first. and stood at the back window watching the rain fall on her wild grape vines and her poplar trees. Kate was still vigorous. saying. and he'll change. "How do I look?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Much better. Albert D\u252?rer's "Melancholy the Mother of Invention". Greek and Hebrew. You look a sight!" She put on her robe. I suppose I have. Perhaps we can bring him her e. however. as he said. near the room's only cupboard." {\i Something} told her the process of change." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar }{ "But we're home now! Everything's back the way it was. close by th e engraving table. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ She nodded. I miss him you know. play. He had no bookcase. puzzled. and lately from jaundice as well. though it served as . when it had gone beyond a certain poi nt. Italian."We'd best go inside. "Yes. "Think of the scandal if the neighbors sho uld see us as bare as the Good Lord made us!" The front door was as they'd left it. William remarked. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Soon William joined her." she told him. without the beard. as if the window was a theatre stage on which the seasons performed an endless. "No\u8230? but thank you for being willing\u8230?" Here she broke down and cried for a long time. though Kate occasionally walked past their old home and paused a moment in the street to look at it. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ That afternoon. "l ike a bar of gold. The bed. but nonetheless fascinating. We'd b een about to go shopping\u8230? Remember? I suppose we'll have to go shopping to day instead. was irreversible. 3 Fountain Court. wh ile working. enigmatic and slightly boring. It was yesterday afternoon when we left here. a nd William got a haircut. Latin. He was a dear thing. \ par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ They no longer lived in Lambeth. get him away from Urizen." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Kate! You've been crying!" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ She nodded. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ She shook her head. Perhaps I'm being silly\u8230?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Is it Ore?" he asked softly. become\u8230? like other little boys. for several year s. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Inside. It woul d have warmed him as he sat there. like everything else in the room. A pile of portfolios and drawings that he cou ld have consulted were on the right hand end of the table. she and William went shopping. look out across the squalid yard and see this river. "Yes. The other room. it's Ore. In one of them he lay. unlocked. "There's no dust\u8230? and we've been gone so long. reading. There were just two pictures on the walls: a cop y of an illustration by Giulio Romano of Ovid's "Metamorphoses" and. writing and drawing by turns." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Perhaps we can go back. a fter drying herself with a towel. though she felt weak. been suffering from recurring attacks of what he called\par\pard\plain\hyphpa r}{ "shivering fits." The fireplace was in the corner opposite the window. faced the window. in spite of his\u8230? bad complexion. They had two small rooms on the ground floor at No. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\b *}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\i {\b CHAPTER SEVEN\u8230? 1827}}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The Blakes were old. which had been all but destroyed by constant use. and on what would have been his left was a pile of books placed one up on another." each worse than the last. the disease that would eventually cause his death. but William had. his bed lade n with well-thumbed books in French. \p ar\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The house stood in a narrow slit between the Strand and the Thames River. b oth symptoms of gallstones." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Kate said. "No we haven't.

It was nothing li ke the Lambeth place. Me and a neighbor lady that's giving me a hand with things. and the landlord never p ressed them if the rent was late. Blake. but like a languorous Roman emperor r eclining on a royal dais. \par\pard\plain \hyphpar}{ "When?" she asked. It did not fit her very well. not looking a t William. "I've never been a real artist. The neighbor lady hung back in the doorway." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "No." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Can't you hang on a bit longer? There's unfinished work. smaller. K ate removed her broad-brimmed straw hat and threw it on the table." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "It'll be perfectly rotten! Alone I do such trivial things. it seemed. grateful. \p ar\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The woman left. Then he heard the front door open and close gently. but I haven't your skillful fingers. All our best work we've done togethe r. looking out the window at a beautiful August morning." He closed his eyes. but thank you so much. his great bald forehead rising majestically above an o ddly shrunken face. I jumped uptime\u8212?it isn't as easy as it once was\u8212?and I saw my corpse. clean-shaven. more shrunken\u8230? the ruddy color of his skin had been re placed by an alarming yellowish white. and dignified. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Kate. never been able to give life to the things in my mind. the rustle of clothing. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "It must be sometime after six this evening. I fell back into present-time before I cou ld see anything more. was much darker and somewhat smaller. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Yes. "So much to do\u8230?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "We really should talk a bit. That was about seven-thirty. His eyes had not changed: they were large and strange as ever. "Today's the day. but everything else about him was in some way paler. heard whispers. he was a certain Mr. William's sister. her skirt was long and full. is that you?" His voice was not strong. to escape from the presence of sickness. I have grand ideas. It's when we worked together\u8230? my rough clumsy sketches and your fantastic finished work. Kate's brother-in -law. Mr. yes." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Her face showed she understood. fidgeting. "If you need anything more\u8230?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Not now. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar} { He sighed. We've got that engrav ing to do. not like a sick man. as it was a hand-me-down from "the other Kat e". and you bending over me. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ So here William lay. \pa r\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Can we talk?" William said." Kate told her. tunic and sandals had been replaced by a linen nightshirt. but William was not unhappy here. who said in a half-whisper. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Kate shot a meaningful glance at the neighbor lady. Would you believe\u8230?" \par\pard\plain \hyphpar}{ William broke in. We've worked together for years. could you go on and work alone?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I suppose not. though it's true I do them quick and well enough to please the customers. here in the bed. Mr. It's when we've work ed together that we've made pictures that could have come from the hand of Rapha . Yet he was an emperor for all that. at the white c louds piled on the horizon.a showroom for his work. Baines. thoug h his toga. Her blouse was white mu slin with slightly puffed sleeves. On this job the grand ideas are all done\u8230?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "But the other work\u8230?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Do the best you can. also of white mu slin. on the familiar skyline of Lambeth across the Thames . worn but white with the whiteness that comes from many washings. If it was you." William said. You've been such a comfort. Today was the day of his death. calm. I can't!" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "You can. "I've heard some gossip next door. Cumberland's bookplate\u8230?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "You'll have to finish it without me." \ par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ He turned his head as Kate came quickly to his bedside. Kate sat down on the edge of the b ed.

"We must prese rve the key. He says the timeline of the lizards is dying. All the prophetic books. you're right. "I see. "How can a time line die?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Our time line has a strength the others lack. millions of school children learned to invade the place outside of time. all the books based on the things we did in distant times and places. 'The Book of Kate' can change that. That's what it is. What about the 'Book of Kate'? That was to b e your gift to me. of course. You can do it. too. thousands. Who knows that better than we?" \par\pard\p lain\hyphpar}{ "Yes." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I don't know. I see. \ par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ She moved as if in a dream. " \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ William was surprised. You know all I know." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Reassured by these words." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ He took her hand. Kate!" \par\pard\plain\hyphp ar}{ "The books aren't finished either. It m akes my head ache to think of them all. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\i I'm going to Lambeth}. "Perhaps it's better they don't understand. had gone insane and. bu t she did not. Otherwise those who come after us will not understand. It's almost done\u8 230?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "That. Why tell such upsetting th ings to a dying man? \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\b *}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "We will talk again before I leave. you must finish yourself. But Robert told me\u8230?" \par\pard\pla in\hyphpar}{ "You've seen Robert?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "He came to me last night. Kate left her sleeping husband and went for a walk." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Kate watched him as he fell into a light slumber. The others are sustained only by human will. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ She knew she could have stepped out of the timestream and flown there. but did not use it. She did not tell him that Urizen. and the human will fades . He says all the spirits ha ve come back to our own time line. too. though. Perha ps what we know can\u8230? do harm. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\i . will understand my meaning. She still had the ability to do such things.el or daVinci. Then something must be happening to Urizen. I want to take a little nap. You c an do all I can do. but nobody. Our time line is sustained by et ernal law. The master key that unlocks all the rest. Remember wha t we saw uptime? My work will be taught in schools. She did not tell him what els e Robert had said. We will t alk again before\u8230? before I leave." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Kate shuddered. Pe rhaps he's dying too. Would it be good if hundreds\u8230? if hundr eds. to children. Don't worry. torn Vala. We did them together." Kate frowned. Yes. when his proud intelligence had begun to fade in his changed lizard body. and Ore to bits. could ha ve hovered unseen over her beloved garden." He opened his eyes and looked at her anguished face. not even scholars who spend a lifetime at it." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "And I said I could not think of death as more than the going out of one room i nto another." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "And now I'm tired. with his new ly grown teeth and claws. I suppose. learned to change history? There are too many timestreams already. to comfort me. that now belonged to someone else. she realized." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I can't!" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "You must." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "You remember what I said when our old friend Flaxman died last year?" \par\par d\plain\hyphpar}{ "You said you thought you should have gone first. "Don't use that word 'dying'. and hardly knew where her feet were taking her unti l she found herself turning off the Strand and heading down Wellington Street to ward the Waterloo Bridge.

soaked in blood. happier times? \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ She stopped. What need was there to look at a face he knew better than his own? \par\ pard\plain\hyphpar}{ She murmured. but she neither saw nor heard them. with a constant rattle. The torn and mutilated corpse. even with her husband dying. h is muscular body distorted. she thought as she reached the midpoint of the bridge. his friend F rederick Tatham. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ That was several minutes ago. step by step. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ A few days earlier. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Now she stood motionless and pale. but not like that}. not like that. wary. Even poverty-stricken as she was. He was all lizard now. an d quickly made her way back the way she had come. Did he recognize her? \par\pard\plain \hyphpar}{ . though Kate would never hav e recognized him if she hadn't known what happened to humans in the lizard timel ine. went to the rail. crouching. to speak a little in a half dozen foreign languages. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Was the corpse still there? The smashed furniture? \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Yes. William had been working in bed. she remembered. there was Mr. {\i revenge for} {\i having been born}! \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ She spoke softly. for you have ever been an angel t o me. Di d she really want to see the garden again? Did she even really want to go downti me and see it as it was in earlier. Blake. happier times." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ At last she moved. And this puzzled her. caricatured into a reptilian parody of the man he on ce had been\u8230? but there were traces. through the Bible. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Urizen!" she shouted. paralyzed by what she saw. The scattered tools. The smashed engraver's table. seeking revenge against his father. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ She waited. he advanced toward the bed. though he'd drawn it almost without looking at her." It had been a good likeness. Over and over she thought. helped her to understand deeply all that she had before beli eved blindly. And he'd taught her one more thing\u8230? or had she taught it to him? \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Acceptance. "Stay. "There. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Ah. {\i I know he must die. Kate! Ke ep just as you are! I will draw your portrait. William had all but thrown the etching at Tat ham. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar} { "Urizen!" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Urizen had been here. Wit hout seeing her. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Suddenly Urizen appeared in the center of the room. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Urizen spun to face her. to draw and paint. The collapsed bed. with faith but without comprehension. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\b *}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Still smiling. and gazed down at the brown river. crying. with a new joy in his voice. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Wagons and carriages passed behind her. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ She smiled down on the slow water. as yet unharmed. finishing the coloring of an etching of "The Ancient of Days" for a customer. a way of holding his head cocked slightly to one side. Lately he'd taken her. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ William had taught her so much: to read and write.But it's a long walk}. "He mustn't wake and find me gone. his white beard and hair replaced by green scales. There were no earlier." turned away from the rail. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ A little further back then. that will do! I cannot mend it!" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Then he'd looked at her and added. whinny and clop . she'd opened the front door. He'd taught her to accept things. The deep claw-scratches in the floor. sleeping. crossed the dark "Exhibition Room". "No. There were still traces of the old Uri zen\u8230? a gesture. Finally finished. The shredd ed books. but only to spring into the place outside of time and plunge downtime. she had never been happier than she was at this moment. and entered the bedroom.

shook his massive head with perplexity. In an instant she was clear of him. Urizen. He was following her. more fant astic than any of the so-called time paradoxes the science-fiction writers delig hted in. and as she watch ed they were joined by a third. puzzled. "You don't want to hurt Mr. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "How many?" she whispered. {\i Will I} {\i . hurtling downtime through the gray green world of shifting images in the place outside of time. Blake . Kate Blake. "It's me. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ One of her said. Finally his lips parted and. If you can meet yourself once. and that she could multiply her self too. ripping the white cloth of he r blouse. I'll lead Urizen a merry chase\u8230? or should I say. So far as sh e could recall. a thousand! \p ar\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ She veered. not even in the language of the lizards. matching her speed. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The creature hesitated. the terrible proud unyielding will was s till there. Kate wondered. hard expression to the nonhuman features. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Urizen lunged."Urizen." \par\pard\pla in\hyphpar}{ Urizen stared at her in silence. speaking as if to a small child. It's me you want. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ There was three of her. a hundred times." Her voice was firm. always made a ruddy mess of your beautiful plans. sucked in great g asps of breath. Had he lost the power of speech? \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ She went on. He shifted from one cla wed foot to the other. spoke a single English word with a tongue that never was made for human speech. { \i The mind is almost gone}. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ She had visited the twentieth century and read some of the stories about time t ravel in that curious genre of literature known as science-fiction. this is Kate. by zig-zagging backward and forward in time. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ She was Zoa enough to know there was no practical limit to the multiplication o f selves. three times. giving a fixed. It's me always said no to you. then glanced back. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Another Urizen! \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ She veered off. She veere d again. \par\pard\plain \hyphpar}{ Ahead a form materialized. \par\pard\plain\hyp hpar}{ She glanced over her shoulder. "All of space and time is open to me. always took Mr. she'd never seen a story that grasped one simple fact. all exactly alike. we'll lead Urizen a merry chase!" \par\pard\plain\ hyphpar}{ {\b *}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Kate and William sat in their rocking chairs. then recognition began to dawn. But the will. \par\ pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Yessssss. just beginning. Throug h the rush of the unreal wind she could hear his hoarse panting. you can meet yourself twice. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ His talon brushed her arm as she sprang backward. He said no thing. all swiftly pursuing her like a school of sharks. saw herself pass with the gang of Urizens in hot pursuit. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "And so you see\u8230?" Kate began. you can meet yourself. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "You understand?" she demanded. They were young. Blake away from you. She thought. past. present and future \u8230? including all the other alternate time tracks. gazing into' the fire in their fi replace. in an agony of concentration. There were two Urizens now." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ He drew out the final sibilant in a long whisper that began as a hiss and ended as a sigh. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ If you can go backward in time. you want to kill!" \par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}{ The lizard seemed to be making a titanic mental effort. fading away into nothing.

something moved." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Something's following me." \par\pard\plain\hyphpa r}{ "Go on. where the statue of Urizen towered on the skyline against the brighteni ng dawn sky. "Help!" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The young William snatched up a poker. Laughing Bear frowned as he made his way down the hallway toward the mental ward. burst from the fireplace. She wore a strange white dress with a torn s leeve and a long skirt of the same material. up ahead. then another Kate. He hurt it. rushed by and turned. \par\pard\plain\hyphp ar}{ "Revolution!" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\b *}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Drunken Antony awoke on board ship. saw a white-clad army surging toward her. I see it too. and struck at the beast. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ . \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ As William lay there. the only weapon available. His eyes saw but his mind would not believe. in the ruddy glowing coals. rose and fell. strangely inhuman. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Where's Cleopatra?" he demanded. and behind that wave came another wave\u8 230? of demonic green lizards. feel the galley surge. This was the battle tent on the afterdeck of his flagship. He must be going out to fight Octavian! \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Cleo!" he shouted. Kate. and on her head was a broad-brimmed hat of straw. Was that the sound of running feet he heard? \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Suddenly. Were they going into b attle? He lurched to his feet. he saw\u8212?or thought he saw\u8212?anothe r Kate spring from the fire. Blake! I see something. There was a woman a midships. then another dragon. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Kate ignored him. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ But here he screamed and closed his eyes. A dragon!" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Yes? Yes?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I'm coming closer!" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Yes. pursued by another dragon. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Cleopatra!" He opened the flap of his tent and looked out. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Urizen!" she screamed as she ran toward the throne-room. half-stunned. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\b *}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Dr. the swinging doors of the mental ward burst open and a maje stic wave of Kates hurtled toward him. panting and pale. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Mr. He knew now. \par \pard\plain\hyphpar}{ He jumped back into a doorway and watched as the running figures passed and pas sed and kept on passing. they were drowned out by the singing and the clatter of oar s as they rose and fell. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ He could hear the rowers singing. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\b *}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Vala. Kate? What is it?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "It's\u8230? myself\u8230? as an old woman. Blake! Watch out!" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The young Kate and the young William sprang out of the way an instant before th e old Kate. standing on the bridge and looking out over the palace grounds toward Gol gonooza. cr ying. go on.ever learn to see William's visions}? \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Then. Then the drago n Urizen swept him to one side with a single sweep of its great claw. He could see a fleck of blood on its arm." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Yes. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ If anyone answered. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ He felt sick. but it was not Cleopatra. I'm flying. Where was he? What was happening? \par\pard\plain \hyphpar}{ Oh yes." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Mr. sending hi m crashing against the wall. and behind that another a rmy of darker figures.

falling from the decks of the enemy ships into the foamin g sea. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ She thought. she human and weary. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\b *}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ In the place outside of time. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ A solid wail of ships was bearing down on him. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ One of the Kates. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Antony stared at them stupidly for a moment.the troo ps were pouring up from belowdecks on his own ship. then suddenly leaped to one side. though the weapons they carrie d were unlike anything he'd ever seen before. (It might almost have been a mirror image of what was actually happen ing. in a slightly stylized form. Urizen wa s too heavy for such rapid changes of direction. Urizen was close behind. his great jaws open in an idiot smile. it was not courage but cold c alculating intelligence that won wars out between the galaxies. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\b *}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ A Kate was running. beyond the prow of his ship. then he became aware that. But they were all women! \pa r\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ And they were all exactly alike. saw the walls gro w transparent. saw Urizen's face relax. {\i Rintrah}! \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ She launched herself toward the future. saw Urizen inside. h is arch enemy. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Antony shook his aching head and went back to bed. An Urizen appeared nearby. but could not. "Luvah! Tharmas! Help me!" There was no answer. They were sticks that spouted fire and smoke and made a frightful racket! \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "That's it girls!" shouted one of the Kates. in human and gaining on her.He looked past her. coming forward to welcome him. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ She looked through the doorway. T here was something like an infinite sigh. too. He. She saw. like a panting friendly dog. he strong. as she passed. A cloud of white-clad female figures whirled through the rip. The other Zoas stepped out from among the dancing trees.)\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ She went on running. Another. saw her poplar trees and wild grape vines writhe as if alive as t he earth sucked them down. so the starfleet of the Kates pressed on to one victory after another. space was beginning to bend. all wearing the same outlandish white dresses with ripped sleeves and broad-brimmed straw hats. mixed with struggling green reptiles. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ They ran through the Hall of Windows near the center of Rintrah. The lizard Urizens were dying unde r the hail of gunfire. slid past her with an almost-human howl of frustration. He tried to stop himself. but as the ships closed in he saw the troops on board them were n ot human. A rip appeared in empty space. \par\pa . waving swords and s pears and shields. It dep icted. hundreds of them. saw the lines of space around her that had been straight grow curved. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Here. that Urizen's window was complete. flying the colors of Octavian. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "By the gods!" he gasped. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\b *}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The starships of the Urizens fought with courage. hiding in her hut in New Lambeth to catch her breath. opening their fang-lined jaws and shrie king wordlessly. the tension that had been so long in building at last found relief. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ She heard claws on the stone floor behind her. and the vast cone of spacetime began t o collapse. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ She stepped forward as if to enter. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ They were lizards or crocodiles in armor. an Urizen pursuing a Kate through the Hall o f Windows. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Los!" she screamed through the portal. his c laws wildly flailing. swishing their tails. the city at th e End of Time. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ She came to the entrance to Vala's Garden.

Golgonooza and London melted together. "We're only dreams and shadows here." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The earth shook. yet another Urizen smiled. putrefying. the Four Zoas stood on a mountain. the portal vanished. A moment later. and thus no past. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ In the collapsing cone of time Kate turned in the void. and other Kates came to her and they all became one. Urizen stayed in the garden. all . H is enemy. It would take an eternity to see it all. The air became suddenly hot around Kate. and in yet another garden. that makes him forget t hat escape is possible. don't you?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Urizen's eyes glowed with a faint light. {\i The Garden of Vala is the true place outside of time}. then gas. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Looking around. There was nobody in the hall to see t he gateway to Vala's Garden glow red. nothing was disturbed. When one awakes. "You love c hange. and in another gar den another Urizen smiled. They stood in a little cluster on the hill and let the ground raise them slowly above the l evel of the surrounding trees. Los said. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Kate Blake. brother. and the one Kate was swept from Urizen's mind by the majesty of the panorama that stretched out before him as the hill became a mountain. For a moment he remembered someo ne\u8230? a woman. smiling. in the Garden of Vala. \par\pard\ plain\hyphpar}{ {\b *}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Outside the entrance to the Garden of Vala Kate felt the temperature rapidly ri sing. dreaming in the one remaining timestream. dreams fade quickly. then soften and melt. The faceless Kate in his mind turned in emptiness. only her white dress. William\u8230? he couldn't remember the last name. Urizen felt all his discontent fading. when me tal became liquid. Los said. loudly enough for Kate to hear. In the Garden of Vala the re was no memory. and the huge gargoyle head nodded. No one would ever pass through it again. rotting. Yet he could not remember her face. slumping. a beautiful and fascinating dream. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Again the image of the woman passed before Urizen's inner eye. There was so much to see here. \par\pard\plain\hyph par}{ Los took Urizen's claw in his hand and they walked slowly among the changing tr ees and dancing flowers. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ And a man. The earth shook again. An evil woman. an endlessly changing but meaningless dream. Few people take the trouble." He gestured toward the moving for ms and colors around them. It's better\u8230? better than being real. To remember dreams one must write them down as soon as one opens one's eyes.rd\plain\hyphpar}{ Los said. What is the perfect trap? A trap that removes the desire of the victim to escape. \pa r\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Los said. "Can you understand what has happened to you? " \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Urizen's reptilian eyes were opaque with incomprehension. Is there anything in dreams worth remembering? \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Urizen did not think so. Kate thought. decaying. in the distance. and leaped downtime as the Earth became a ball of flame in the inferno of the exploding sun. There was a dream. wonderingly. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Spirits swished past her like thin flames. Be one of us. absorbing selves as the many timestreams became one. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The other Zoas followed Los and Urizen to where a hill was growing. an infinite number of Urizens smi led forever as the cone of possible futures slowly. then white. but beyond the gatewa y. She glimpsed transparent faces. and in an infinite number of Gardens of Vala. thought Kate. steadily collapsed until one Urizen remained. and New Lam beth joined them. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\i The supernova}. "Here there is nothing but change. The fabric of time itself was collapsing. There wa s nobody to glance through the portal and see the undisturbed universe within wh ere. Stay with us.

\par\pard\ plain\hyphpar}{ {\b *}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ William Blake was buried in Bunhill Fields on August 17. Shaking wat er from overcoats and umbrellas. She looked up." she said firmly." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Don't say that. near where other members of his family were buried. when he awoke from his nap. reading William's dog-eared and und erlined old Bible. "You can't tell what the future holds. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\b *}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ William. William's friends would have raised the accusation of hard-heartedness. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Robert! What's happening?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Uptime!" Robert was almost incoherent. but instead consoled the others and generally managed things so that all we nt off without a hitch. Kate refused to bu y one. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Kate joined in. 1827." said Kate. and laid the book aside. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The clergyman was somewhat scandalized to note that Kate did not give way to te ars. broken only by the drumming of the rain on the windowpane. The service was an orthodox one. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "A waste of money. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ At six in the evening William began to sing hymns. William's sist er greeted them in a hushed voice and showed them in to the sickroom. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ If it had been anyone else who took this position. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ There came Robert! She stopped him with a shout. There was an embarrassed silence. performed b y a clergyman of the Church of England. "Where are they?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar} { "There was only one. \par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}{ He was further scandalized over the matter of the tombstone. for the sake of appearances. \par \pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\b *}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ It was October in 1831. Urizen was\u8230? all of them!" Robert dart ed around her and vanished into the future. \par\pard\ plain\hyphpar}{ Kate lay quietly in a huge four-poster bed.smiling with a strange ecstasy\u8230? and there were no lizard faces among them. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\b *}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ As the timeline continued to decay. unno ticed by anyone in 1829 because of the false memories that remained intact. smiled. {\i A new Heaven and a new Earth}. but Kate and William we re dry-eyed." said Frederick hesitantly. The woman and Mr. together with three of Willia m's friends. were the only mourners present. but sh e pretended she'd caught it on a nail. in spite of her age. the year 1828 winked out of existence. asked Kate about her ripped blouse. "A new cone!" She thought. though the clergyman f elt she should at least look a little upset. Richmond wept as they sang. Frederick Tatham and his wife came stomping and sniffling into the hallway of Kate's rooms at Cirencester Place. madam!" He was shocked. some making much of William' s spirituality and unworldliness. The widow. . but since they knew how devoted Kate had been to William. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The singing continued for several seconds after William fell silent." K ate answered. and in London cold rain fell without cease. and he's gone. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "But the lizard spirits. \par\pard \plain\hyphpar}{ Obituary notices appeared in a number of journals. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "You're looking well. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ She looked quite handsome in black. as did the neighbor lady and a friend of William's named George Richmond. "I know I'm dying. "There's no need for lies. amused. they could only shake their heads in puzzlement.

\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Yes?" answered William's sister." His voi ce shook only slightly. such as it is. some manuscripts. N ow if you don't mind\u8230?" She gestured for her visitors to leave. "What ever you say. Yes. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Frederick said. over by the d oor. Mr. "There's too much fuss made over the body in this country." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Kate patted the bedcovers at her side." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Surely they can wait until\u8230?" He approached her bedside. as if uncertain whether they should l eave or stay. before nailing me in. and you've been very kind to me since William passed on. You're a good man. some plates ready for printing. "Yes. There are matters we must discuss this morning. Frederick stood up and walked unsteadily toward the door . you understand. Frederick Tatham prided himself on his composure in diff icult situations. Tatham. Blake didn't hold with going into debt. I've always tried to be a good Christian." \par\pard\p lain\hyphpar}{ "You two were never rich. "That's not so!" Kate nodded slowly. "Come. Kate lay back with a sigh and p icked up her Bible. There's not much." she waved aside his objections with a frail bony hand. no. Sometimes there are almost miraculous recoveries from the most serious of illnesses." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "You're right. with a regular Church of England service. Now let's see. No pawing me over and making me pretty. suppressing a sob. and fled. Kate said. Mr. "It is you William chose to receive his inheritance. Frederick followed them out. "I'll not have a lot of strangers looking at me." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Kate sighed. madam. Mrs. trying not to cry." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The two women finally could contain themselves no longer. And it's all the more reason why I want to thank you for taking care of me now . Mr. of course. the same as him." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ William's sister protested. I couldn't expect\u8230?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "But there are no debts. or it ought to be. And I'd be much obliged if. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Hmm. It's the soul tha t matters here. \par\pard\plain\ hyphpar}{ "No. as Frederick sea ted himself on the bed. Sit with me." \par\par d\plain\hyphpar}{ "Of course. you'd dump a b ushel of slaked lime in the box with me. calm and unperturbed. Tatham and William's sister hung back." \ par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "And you have been. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\b *}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ ." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Indeed it is." Frederick had turned quite pale. "Are you sure of that. I know you'll do the right thing s with it." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Mrs. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I know you and your family never liked me. but\u8230?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "You remember how William was buried?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Well\u8230? yes. With what d ignity he could muster. weeping ope nly. "Of course. Some books. This isn't ancient Egypt." Frederick's voice had grown so faint it was scarcely more than a mumble. Tatham and William's sister waited. "This afternoo n I will not be here. Have I taken care of everything? Yes. Tatham?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Oh yes indeed." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "That's the way I want to be buried. you know. Mrs. I place myself completely at your service. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I know. I believe so. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Kate continued. if that's what you want. You three\u8212?that's all right\u8212?but you put me in my box and nail down the lid. it is so . hastened to agree. in Bunhill Fields. never thought I was good enough for your William. into the hall." Kate frowned. Blake! Everyone says so!" The two women. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Speaking slowly and gravely. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Miss Blake?" Kate called out." For a mom ent Kate's voice was touched with pride.

blue-eyed boy screamed and ran to his window. Wha t did she say?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "It was only a whisper\u8230?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Come along there. M rs. I can still pretend}. three times\u8230?\par\pard\plain \hyphpar}{ \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{\par\pard\hyphpar }{\page } } . Mr." \par\pa rd\plain\hyphpar}{ {\b *}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Well. crumbling. {\i Anyway. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ He closed his eyes and imagined a beautiful green dragon living forever in a ma gic garden. More exciting! He shuffled back to his bed. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ He didn't know exactly why. Tatham and Miss Blake stood vigil in the hall. only silen t empty darkness. Kate?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Aren't you glad to see me? I just died uptime and came down to join you. woman. but he had expected to glimpse a naked. Blake!" William turned and saw that Kate was as t ransparent as he. singing snatches of hymns. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ He had a feeling that somehow. sobbi ng. and climbed under the blankets. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Little William was disappointed. and repe atedly calling out. \par\pard\plain\hyphpa r}{ "Good heavens. wi nged figure passing across the face of the moon. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "So it's all over then. Mrs. It won't be long now!" \pa r\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ A little over two hours later there was an abrupt silence. twice. Tatham cried ou t. Blake. She took his hand. Her lar ge strange eyes glowed with suppressed excitement. listening to Kate's weak voice reciting fragments of scripture. Tatham blurted out between sobs. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\b *}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Urizen the Dragon grins in the Garden of Vala as this vast vortex of stars we c all the Milky Way Galaxy revolves once. "No!" and ran into the bedroom. this had happened before. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "She spoke\u8230?" Mrs. "Don't fuss. 'William'. Let's have it. Mr. bearded. as though she were greeting him. William. It wa s the oddest thing\u8230? I closed my eyes and the universe vanished!" The last of the timestream was fading. noticing something. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\b *}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\i {\b CHAPTER EIGHT}}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ In eighteenth century London a redheaded. Kate was obviously dead." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "It\u8212?it sounded like. but the oth er time it had been different. and Mrs. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Then Frederick frowned. "What's this." Frederick said impatiently. There was no figure.Mr." She led him swiftly forward out of the deepening da rkness toward a distant light. I'm coming. "Not over. and there you are. somewhere." A note of wistfulness had come into his voice. "Get a grip on yourself. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ He thought. Just beginning. frown ing. Frederick entered at a more dignified pace. Tatham was holding Kate in her arms and rocking slowly back and forth. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ There was a smile on Kate's face.

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