H.P.

Lovecraft
Collected Works

The Alchemist 5 At the Mountains of Madness 22 Azatoth 215 The Beast in the Cave 218 Beyond the Wall of Sleep 229 The Book 249 The Call of Cthulhu 255 The Case of Charles Dexter Ward 310 The Cats of Ulthar 542 Celphais 548 The Colour out of Space 559 Cool Air 612 Dagon 628 The Descendant 638 The Doom That Came to Sarnath 645 The Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath 657 Dreams in the Witch-House 845 The Dunwich Horror 913 The Evil Clergyman 992 Ex Oblivione 1000 Facts Concerning the Late Arthur Jermyn and His Family 1004 The Festival 1021 From Beyond 1037 The Haunter of the Dark 1051 He 1094 Herbert West: Reanimator 1113 The Horror at Red Hook 1169

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The Hound 1208 Hypnos 1222 Ibid 1235 Imprisoned with the Pharaos 1243 In the Vault 1293 The Lurking Fear 1308 Memory 1342 The Moon-Bog 1344 Nyarlathotep 1359 The Music of Erich Zann 1365 The Nameless City 1381 The Other Gods 1403 The Outsider 1412 Pickman’s Model 1424 The Picture in the House 1448 Polaris 1463 The Quest for Iranon 1470 The Rats in the Walls 1482 The Shadow out of Time 1518 The Shadow Over Innsmouth 1639 The Shunned House 1759 The Silver Key 1808 The Statement of Randolph Carter 1830 The Strange High House in the Mist 1841 The Street 1858 The Temple 1868 The Terrible Old Man 1892

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The Thing on the Doorstep 1898 The Tomb 1946 The Transition of Juan Romero 1965 The Tree 1978 The Unnamable 1986 The Very Old Folk 2000 What the Moon Brings 2012 The Whisperer in Darkness 2016 The White Ship 2134

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The Alchemist High up, crowning the grassy summit of a swelling mount whose sides are wooded near the base with the gnarled trees of the primeval forest stands the old chateau of my ancestors. For centuries its lofty battlements have frowned down upon the wild and rugged countryside about, serving as a home and stronghold for the proud house whose honored line is older even than the moss-grown castle walls. These ancient turrets, stained by the storms of generations and crumbling under the slow yet mighty pressure of time, formed in the ages of feudalism one of the most dreaded and formidable fortresses in all France. From its machicolated parapets and mounted battlements Barons, Counts, and even Kings had been defied, yet never had its spacious halls resounded to the footsteps of the invader. But since those glorious years, all is changed. A poverty but little above the level of dire want, together with a pride of name that forbids its alleviation by the pursuits of commercial life, have prevented the scions of our line from maintaining their estates in pristine splendour; and the falling stones of the walls, the overgrown vegetation in the parks, the dry and dusty moat, the ill-paved

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courtyards, and toppling towers without, as well as the sagging floors, the worm-eaten wainscots, and the faded tapestries within, all tell a gloomy tale of fallen grandeur. As the ages passed, first one, then another of the four great turrets were left to ruin, until at last but a single tower housed the sadly reduced descendants of the once mighty lords of the estate. It was in one of the vast and gloomy chambers of this remaining tower that I, Antoine, last of the unhappy and accursed Counts de C-, first saw the light of day, ninety long years ago. Within these walls and amongst the dark and shadowy forests, the wild ravines and grottos of the hillside below, were spent the first years of my troubled life. My parents I never knew. My father had been killed at the age of thirty-two, a month before I was born, by the fall of a stone somehow dislodged from one of the deserted parapets of the castle. And my mother having died at my birth, my care and education devolved solely upon one remaining servitor, an old and trusted man of considerable intelligence, whose name I remember as Pierre. I was an only child and the lack of companionship which this fact entailed upon me was augmented by the strange care exercised by my aged guardian, in excluding me from the society of the peasant children

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whose abodes were scattered here and there upon the plains that surround the base of the hill. At that time, Pierre said that this restriction was imposed upon me because my noble birth placed me above association with such plebeian company. Now I know that its real object was to keep from my ears the idle tales of the dread curse upon our line that were nightly told and magnified by the simple tenantry as they conversed in hushed accents in the glow of their cottage hearths. Thus isolated, and thrown upon my own resources, I spent the hours of my childhood in poring over the ancient tomes that filled the shadow haunted library of the chateau, and in roaming without aim or purpose through the perpetual dust of the spectral wood that clothes the side of the hill near its foot. It was perhaps an effect of such surroundings that my mind early acquired a shade of melancholy. Those studies and pursuits which partake of the dark and occult in nature most strongly claimed my attention. Of my own race I was permitted to learn singularly little, yet what small knowledge of it I was able to gain seemed to depress me much. Perhaps it was at first only the manifest reluctance of my old preceptor to discuss with me my paternal ancestry that gave rise to the terror which I ever felt

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at the mention of my great house, yet as I grew out of childhood, I was able to piece together disconnected fragments of discourse, let slip from the unwilling tongue which had begun to falter in approaching senility, that had a sort of relation to a certain circumstance which I had always deemed strange, but which now became dimly terrible. The circumstance to which I allude is the early age at which all the Counts of my line had met their end. Whilst I had hitherto considered this but a natural attribute of a family of short-lived men, I afterward pondered long upon these premature deaths, and began to connect them with the wanderings of the old man, who often spoke of a curse which for centuries had prevented the lives of the holders of my title from much exceeding the span of thirtytwo years. Upon my twenty-first birthday, the aged Pierre gave to me a family document which he said had for many generations been handed down from father to son, and continued by each possessor. Its contents were of the most startling nature, and its perusal confirmed the gravest of my apprehensions. At this time, my belief in the supernatural was firm and deep-seated, else I should have dismissed with scorn the incredible narrative unfolded before my eyes.

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The paper carried me back to the days of the thirteenth century, when the old castle in which I sat had been a feared and impregnable fortress. It told of a certain ancient man who had once dwelled on our estates, a person of no small accomplishments, though little above the rank of peasant, by name, Michel, usually designated by the surname of Mauvais, the Evil, on account of his sinister reputation. He had studied beyond the custom of his kind, seeking such things as the Philosopher's Stone or the Elixir of Eternal Life, and was reputed wise in the terrible secrets of Black Magic and Alchemy. Michel Mauvais had one son, named Charles, a youth as proficient as himself in the hidden arts, who had therefore been called Le Sorcier, or the Wizard. This pair, shunned by all honest folk, were suspected of the most hideous practices. Old Michel was said to have burnt his wife alive as a sacrifice to the Devil, and the unaccountable disappearance of many small peasant children was laid at the dreaded door of these two. Yet through the dark natures of the father and son ran one redeeming ray of humanity; the evil old man loved his offspring with fierce intensity, whilst the youth had for his parent a more than filial affection.

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One night the castle on the hill was thrown into the wildest confusion by the vanishment of young Godfrey, son to Henri, the Count. A searching party, headed by the frantic father, invaded the cottage of the sorcerers and there came upon old Michel Mauvais, busy over a huge and violently boiling cauldron. Without certain cause, in the ungoverned madness of fury and despair, the Count laid hands on the aged wizard, and ere he released his murderous hold, his victim was no more. Meanwhile, joyful servants were proclaiming the finding of young Godfrey in a distant and unused chamber of the great edifice, telling too late that poor Michel had been killed in vain. As the Count and his associates turned away from the lowly abode of the alchemist, the form of Charles Le Sorcier appeared through the trees. The excited chatter of the menials standing about told him what had occurred, yet he seemed at first unmoved at his father's fate. Then, slowly advancing to meet the Count, he pronounced in dull yet terrible accents the curse that ever afterward haunted the house of C-. 'May ne'er a noble of thy murd'rous line Survive to reach a greater age than thine!' spake he, when, suddenly leaping backwards into the black woods, he drew from his tunic a phial of

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colourless liquid which he threw into the face of his father's slayer as he disappeared behind the inky curtain of the night. The Count died without utterance, and was buried the next day, but little more than two and thirty years from the hour of his birth. No trace of the assassin could be found, though relentless bands of peasants scoured the neighboring woods and the meadowland around the hill. Thus time and the want of a reminder dulled the memory of the curse in the minds of the late Count's family, so that when Godfrey, innocent cause of the whole tragedy and now bearing the title, was killed by an arrow whilst hunting at the age of thirty-two, there were no thoughts save those of grief at his demise. But when, years afterward, the next young Count, Robert by name, was found dead in a nearby field of no apparent cause, the peasants told in whispers that their seigneur had but lately passed his thirty-second birthday when surprised by early death. Louis, son to Robert, was found drowned in the moat at the same fateful age, and thus down through the centuries ran the ominous chronicle: Henris, Roberts, Antoines, and Armands snatched from happy and virtuous lives when little below the age of their unfortunate ancestor at his murder.

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That I had left at most but eleven years of further existence was made certain to me by the words which I had read. My life, previously held at small value, now became dearer to me each day, as I delved deeper and deeper into the mysteries of the hidden world of black magic. Isolated as I was, modern science had produced no impression upon me, and I laboured as in the Middle Ages, as wrapt as had been old Michel and young Charles themselves in the acquisition of demonological and alchemical learning. Yet read as I might, in no manner could I account for the strange curse upon my line. In unusually rational moments I would even go so far as to seek a natural explanation, attributing the early deaths of my ancestors to the sinister Charles Le Sorcier and his heirs; yet, having found upon careful inquiry that there were no known descendants of the alchemist, I would fall back to occult studies, and once more endeavor to find a spell, that would release my house from its terrible burden. Upon one thing I was absolutely resolved. I should never wed, for, since no other branch of my family was in existence, I might thus end the curse with myself. As I drew near the age of thirty, old Pierre was called to the land beyond. Alone I buried him beneath the stones of the courtyard about which he

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had loved to wander in life. Thus was I left to ponder on myself as the only human creature within the great fortress, and in my utter solitude my mind began to cease its vain protest against the impending doom, to become almost reconciled to the fate which so many of my ancestors had met. Much of my time was now occupied in the exploration of the ruined and abandoned halls and towers of the old chateau, which in youth fear had caused me to shun, and some of which old Pierre had once told me had not been trodden by human foot for over four centuries. Strange and awesome were many of the objects I encountered. Furniture, covered by the dust of ages and crumbling with the rot of long dampness, met my eyes. Cobwebs in a profusion never before seen by me were spun everywhere, and huge bats flapped their bony and uncanny wings on all sides of the otherwise untenanted gloom. Of my exact age, even down to days and hours, I kept a most careful record, for each movement of the pendulum of the massive clock in the library told off so much of my doomed existence. At length I approached that time which I had so long viewed with apprehension. Since most of my ancestors had been seized some little while before they reached the exact age of Count Henri at his

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end, I was every moment on the watch for the coming of the unknown death. In what strange form the curse should overtake me, I knew not; but I was resolved at least that it should not find me a cowardly or a passive victim. With new vigour I applied myself to my examination of the old chateau and its contents. It was upon one of the longest of all my excursions of discovery in the deserted portion of the castle, less than a week before that fatal hour which I felt must mark the utmost limit of my stay on earth, beyond which I could have not even the slightest hope of continuing to draw breath that I came upon the culminating event of my whole life. I had spent the better part of the morning in climbing up and down half ruined staircases in one of the most dilapidated of the ancient turrets. As the afternoon progressed, I sought the lower levels, descending into what appeared to be either a mediaeval place of confinement, or a more recently excavated storehouse for gunpowder. As I slowly traversed the nitre-encrusted passageway at the foot of the last staircase, the paving became very damp, and soon I saw by the light of my flickering torch that a blank, water-stained wall impeded my journey. Turning to retrace my steps, my eye fell upon a small trapdoor with a ring, which lay directly be-

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neath my foot. Pausing, I succeeded with difficulty in raising it, whereupon there was revealed a black aperture, exhaling noxious fumes which caused my torch to sputter, and disclosing in the unsteady glare the top of a flight of stone steps. As soon as the torch which I lowered into the repellent depths burned freely and steadily, I commenced my descent. The steps were many, and led to a narrow stone-flagged passage which I knew must be far underground. This passage proved of great length, and terminated in a massive oaken door, dripping with the moisture of the place, and stoutly resisting all my attempts to open it. Ceasing after a time my efforts in this direction, I had proceeded back some distance toward the steps when there suddenly fell to my experience one of the most profound and maddening shocks capable of reception by the human mind. Without warning, I heard the heavy door behind me creak slowly open upon its rusted hinges. My immediate sensations were incapable of analysis. To be confronted in a place as thoroughly deserted as I had deemed the old castle with evidence of the presence of man or spirit produced in my brain a horror of the most acute description. When at last I turned and faced the seat of the sound, my eyes must have started from their orbits at the sight that they beheld.

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There in the ancient Gothic doorway stood a human figure. It was that of a man clad in a skull-cap and long mediaeval tunic of dark colour. His long hair and flowing beard were of a terrible and intense black hue, and of incredible profusion. His forehead, high beyond the usual dimensions; his cheeks, deep-sunken and heavily lined with wrinkles; and his hands, long, claw-like, and gnarled, were of such a deadly marble-like whiteness as I have never elsewhere seen in man. His figure, lean to the proportions of a skeleton, was strangely bent and almost lost within the voluminous folds of his peculiar garment. But strangest of all were his eyes, twin caves of abysmal blackness, profound in expression of understanding, yet inhuman in degree of wickedness. These were now fixed upon me, piercing my soul with their hatred, and rooting me to the spot whereon I stood. At last the figure spoke in a rumbling voice that chilled me through with its dull hollowness and latent malevolence. The language in which the discourse was clothed was that debased form of Latin in use amongst the more learned men of the Middle Ages, and made familiar to me by my prolonged researches into the works of the old alchemists and demonologists. The apparition spoke of the curse which had hovered over my house, told

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me of my coming end, dwelt on the wrong perpetrated by my ancestor against old Michel Mauvais, and gloated over the revenge of Charles Le Sorcier. He told how young Charles has escaped into the night, returning in after years to kill Godfrey the heir with an arrow just as he approached the age which had been his father's at his assassination; how he had secretly returned to the estate and established himself, unknown, in the even then deserted subterranean chamber whose doorway now framed the hideous narrator, how he had seized Robert, son of Godfrey, in a field, forced poison down his throat, and left him to die at the age of thirty-two, thus maintaing the foul provisions of his vengeful curse. At this point I was left to imagine the solution of the greatest mystery of all, how the curse had been fulfilled since that time when Charles Le Sorcier must in the course of nature have died, for the man digressed into an account of the deep alchemical studies of the two wizards, father and son, speaking most particularly of the researches of Charles Le Sorcier concerning the elixir which should grant to him who partook of it eternal life and youth. His enthusiasm had seemed for the moment to remove from his terrible eyes the black malevolence that had first so haunted me, but suddenly the

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fiendish glare returned and, with a shocking sound like the hissing of a serpent, the stranger raised a glass phial with the evident intent of ending my life as had Charles Le Sorcier, six hundred years before, ended that of my ancestor. Prompted by some preserving instinct of self-defense, I broke through the spell that had hitherto held me immovable, and flung my now dying torch at the creature who menaced my existence. I heard the phial break harmlessly against the stones of the passage as the tunic of the strange man caught fire and lit the horrid scene with a ghastly radiance. The shriek of fright and impotent malice emitted by the would-be assassin proved too much for my already shaken nerves, and I fell prone upon the slimy floor in a total faint. When at last my senses returned, all was frightfully dark, and my mind, remembering what had occurred, shrank from the idea of beholding any more; yet curiosity over-mastered all. Who, I asked myself, was this man of evil, and how came he within the castle walls? Why should he seek to avenge the death of Michel Mauvais, and how bad the curse been carried on through all the long centuries since the time of Charles Le Sorcier? The dread of years was lifted from my shoulder, for I knew that he whom I had felled was the source of

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all my danger from the curse; and now that I was free, I burned with the desire to learn more of the sinister thing which had haunted my line for centuries, and made of my own youth one longcontinued nightmare. Determined upon further exploration, I felt in my pockets for flint and steel, and lit the unused torch which I had with me. First of all, new light revealed the distorted and blackened form of the mysterious stranger. The hideous eyes were now closed. Disliking the sight, I turned away and entered the chamber beyond the Gothic door. Here I found what seemed much like an alchemist's laboratory. In one corner was an immense pile of shining yellow metal that sparkled gorgeously in the light of the torch. It may have been gold, but I did not pause to examine it, for I was strangely affected by that which I had undergone. At the farther end of the apartment was an opening leading out into one of the many wild ravines of the dark hillside forest. Filled with wonder, yet now realizing how the man had obtained access to the chauteau, I proceeded to return. I had intended to pass by the remains of the stranger with averted face but, as I approached the body, I seemed to hear emanating from it a faint sound, as though life were not yet wholly extinct. Aghast, I

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turned to examine the charred and shrivelled figure on the floor. Then all at once the horrible eyes, blacker even than the seared face in which they were set, opened wide with an expression which I was unable to interpret. The cracked lips tried to frame words which I could not well understand. Once I caught the name of Charles Le Sorcier, and again I fancied that the words 'years' and 'curse' issued from the twisted mouth. Still I was at a loss to gather the purport of his disconnnected speech. At my evident ignorance of his meaning, the pitchy eyes once more flashed malevolently at me, until, helpless as I saw my opponent to be, I trembled as I watched him. Suddenly the wretch, animated with his last burst of strength, raised his piteous head from the damp and sunken pavement. Then, as I remained, paralyzed with fear, he found his voice and in his dying breath screamed forth those words which have ever afterward haunted my days and nights. 'Fool!' he shrieked, 'Can you not guess my secret? Have you no brain whereby you may recognize the will which has through six long centuries fulfilled the dreadful curse upon the house? Have I not told you of the great elixir of eternal life? Know you not how the secret of Alchemy was solved? I tell

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you, it is I! I! I! that have lived for six hundred years to maintain my revenge, for I am Charles Le Sorcier!'

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At the Mountains of Madness I I am forced into speech because men of science have refused to follow my advice without knowing why. It is altogether against my will that I tell my reasons for opposing this contemplated invasion of the antarctic - with its vast fossil hunt and its wholesale boring and melting of the ancient ice caps. And I am the more reluctant because my warning may be in vain. Doubt of the real facts, as I must reveal them, is inevitable; yet, if I suppressed what will seem extravagant and incredible, there would be nothing left. The hitherto withheld photographs, both ordinary and aerial, will count in my favor, for they are damnably vivid and graphic. Still, they will be doubted because of the great lengths to which clever fakery can be carried. The ink drawings, of course, will be jeered at as obvious impostures, notwithstanding a strangeness of technique which art experts ought to remark and puzzle over. In the end I must rely on the judgment and standing of the few scientific leaders who have, on the one hand, sufficient independence of thought to weigh my data on its own hideously convincing merits or in the light of certain primordial and

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highly baffling myth cycles; and on the other hand, sufficient influence to deter the exploring world in general from any rash and over-ambitious program in the region of those mountains of madness. It is an unfortunate fact that relatively obscure men like myself and my associates, connected only with a small university, have little chance of making an impression where matters of a wildly bizarre or highly controversial nature are concerned. It is further against us that we are not, in the strictest sense, specialists in the fields which came primarily to be concerned. As a geologist, my object in leading the Miskatonic University Expedition was wholly that of securing deep-level specimens of rock and soil from various parts of the antarctic continent, aided by the remarkable drill devised by Professor Frank H. Pabodie of our engineering department. I had no wish to be a pioneer in any other field than this, but I did hope that the use of this new mechanical appliance at different points along previously explored paths would bring to light materials of a sort hitherto unreached by the ordinary methods of collection. Pabodie’s drilling apparatus, as the public already knows from our reports, was unique and radical in its lightness, portability, and capacity to combine the ordinary artesian drill principle with the prin-

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ciple of the small circular rock drill in such a way as to cope quickly with strata of varying hardness. Steel head, jointed rods, gasoline motor, collapsible wooden derrick, dynamiting paraphernalia, cording, rubbish-removal auger, and sectional piping for bores five inches wide and up to one thousand feet deep all formed, with needed accessories, no greater load than three seven-dog sledges could carry. This was made possible by the clever aluminum alloy of which most of the metal objects were fashioned. Four large Dornier aeroplanes, designed especially for the tremendous altitude flying necessary on the antarctic plateau and with added fuel-warming and quick-starting devices worked out by Pabodie, could transport our entire expedition from a base at the edge of the great ice barrier to various suitable inland points, and from these points a sufficient quota of dogs would serve us. We planned to cover as great an area as one antarctic season - or longer, if absolutely necessary would permit, operating mostly in the mountain ranges and on the plateau south of Ross Sea; regions explored in varying degree by Shackleton, Amundsen, Scott, and Byrd. With frequent changes of camp, made by aeroplane and involving distances great enough to be of geological significance, we expected to unearth a quite unprece-

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dented amount of material - especially in the preCambrian strata of which so narrow a range of antarctic specimens had previously been secured. We wished also to obtain as great as possible a variety of the upper fossiliferous rocks, since the primal life history of this bleak realm of ice and death is of the highest importance to our knowledge of the earth’s past. That the antarctic continent was once temperate and even tropical, with a teeming vegetable and animal life of which the lichens, marine fauna, arachnida, and penguins of the northern edge are the only survivals, is a matter of common information; and we hoped to expand that information in variety, accuracy, and detail. When a simple boring revealed fossiliferous signs, we would enlarge the aperture by blasting, in order to get specimens of suitable size and condition. Our borings, of varying depth according to the promise held out by the upper soil or rock, were to be confined to exposed, or nearly exposed, land surfaces - these inevitably being slopes and ridges because of the mile or two-mile thickness of solid ice overlying the lower levels. We could not afford to waste drilling the depth of any considerable amount of mere glaciation, though Pabodie had worked out a plan for sinking copper electrodes in

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thick clusters of borings and melting off limited areas of ice with current from a gasoline-driven dynamo. It is this plan - which we could not put into effect except experimentally on an expedition such as ours - that the coming StarkweatherMoore Expedition proposes to follow, despite the warnings I have issued since our return from the antarctic. The public knows of the Miskatonic Expedition through our frequent wireless reports to the Arkham Advertiser and Associated Press, and through the later articles of Pabodie and myself. We consisted of four men from the University - Pabodie, Lake of the biology department, Atwood of the physics department - also a meteorologist - and myself, representing geology and having nominal command - besides sixteen assistants: seven graduate students from Miskatonic and nine skilled mechanics. Of these sixteen, twelve were qualified aeroplane pilots, all but two of whom were competent wireless operators. Eight of them understood navigation with compass and sextant, as did Pabodie, Atwood, and I. In addition, of course, our two ships - wooden ex-whalers, reinforced for ice conditions and having auxiliary steam - were fully manned.

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The Nathaniel Derby Pickman Foundation, aided by a few special contributions, financed the expedition; hence our preparations were extremely thorough, despite the absence of great publicity. The dogs, sledges, machines, camp materials, and unassembled parts of our five planes were delivered in Boston, and there our ships were loaded. We were marvelously well-equipped for our specific purposes, and in all matters pertaining to supplies, regimen, transportation, and camp construction we profited by the excellent example of our many recent and exceptionally brilliant predecessors. It was the unusual number and fame of these predecessors which made our own expedition - ample though it was - so little noticed by the world at large. As the newspapers told, we sailed from Boston Harbor on September 2nd, 1930, taking a leisurely course down the coast and through the Panama Canal, and stopping at Samoa and Hobart, Tasmania, at which latter place we took on final supplies. None of our exploring party had ever been in the polar regions before, hence we all relied greatly on our ship captains - J. B. Douglas, commanding the brig Arkham, and serving as commander of the sea party, and Georg Thorfinnssen, commanding the

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barque Miskatonic - both veteran whalers in antarctic waters. As we left the inhabited world behind, the sun sank lower and lower in the north, and stayed longer and longer above the horizon each day. At about 62° South Latitude we sighted our first icebergs - table-like objects with vertical sides - and just before reaching the antarctic circle, which we crossed on October 20th with appropriately quaint ceremonies, we were considerably troubled with field ice. The falling temperature bothered me considerably after our long voyage through the tropics, but I tried to brace up for the worse rigors to come. On many occasions the curious atmospheric effects enchanted me vastly; these including a strikingly vivid mirage - the first I had ever seen in which distant bergs became the battlements of unimaginable cosmic castles. Pushing through the ice, which was fortunately neither extensive nor thickly packed, we regained open water at South Latitude 67°, East Longitude 175°. On the morning of October 26th a strong land blink appeared on the south, and before noon we all felt a thrill of excitement at beholding a vast, lofty, and snow-clad mountain chain which opened out and covered the whole vista ahead. At last we had encountered an outpost of the great

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unknown continent and its cryptic world of frozen death. These peaks were obviously the Admiralty Range discovered by Ross, and it would now be our task to round Cape Adare and sail down the east coast of Victoria Land to our contemplated base on the shore of McMurdo Sound, at the foot of the volcano Erebus in South Latitude 77° 9'. The last lap of the voyage was vivid and fancystirring. Great barren peaks of mystery loomed up constantly against the west as the low northern sun of noon or the still lower horizon-grazing southern sun of midnight poured its hazy reddish rays over the white snow, bluish ice and water lanes, and black bits of exposed granite slope. Through the desolate summits swept ranging, intermittent gusts of the terrible antarctic wind; whose cadences sometimes held vague suggestions of a wild and half-sentient musical piping, with notes extending over a wide range, and which for some subconscious mnemonic reason seemed to me disquieting and even dimly terrible. Something about the scene reminded me of the strange and disturbing Asian paintings of Nicholas Roerich, and of the still stranger and more disturbing descriptions of the evilly fabled plateau of Leng which occur in the dreaded Necronomicon of the mad Arab Abdul Alhazred. I was rather sorry,

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later on, that I had ever looked into that monstrous book at the college library. On the 7th of November, sight of the westward range having been temporarily lost, we passed Franklin Island; and the next day descried the cones of Mts. Erebus and Terror on Ross Island ahead, with the long line of the Parry Mountains beyond. There now stretched off to the east the low, white line of the great ice barrier, rising perpendicularly to a height of two hundred feet like the rocky cliffs of Quebec, and marking the end of southward navigation. In the afternoon we entered McMurdo Sound and stood off the coast in the lee of smoking Mt. Erebus. The scoriac peak towered up some twelve thousand, seven hundred feet against the eastern sky, like a Japanese print of the sacred Fujiyama, while beyond it rose the white, ghostlike height of Mt. Terror, ten thousand, nine hundred feet in altitude, and now extinct as a volcano. Puffs of smoke from Erebus came intermittently, and one of the graduate assistants - a brilliant young fellow named Danforth - pointed out what looked like lava on the snowy slope, remarking that this mountain, discovered in 1840, had undoubtedly been the source of Poe’s image when he wrote seven years later:

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- the lavas that restlessly roll Their sulphurous currents down Yaanek In the ultimate climes of the pole That groan as they roll down Mount Yaanek In the realms of the boreal pole. Danforth was a great reader of bizarre material, and had talked a good deal of Poe. I was interested myself because of the antarctic scene of Poe’s only long story - the disturbing and enigmatical Arthur Gordon Pym. On the barren shore, and on the lofty ice barrier in the background, myriads of grotesque penguins squawked and flapped their fins, while many fat seals were visible on the water, swimming or sprawling across large cakes of slowly drifting ice. Using small boats, we effected a difficult landing on Ross Island shortly after midnight on the morning of the 9th, carrying a line of cable from each of the ships and preparing to unload supplies by means of a breeches-buoy arrangement. Our sensations on first treading Antarctic soil were poignant and complex, even though at this particular point the Scott and Shackleton expeditions had preceded us. Our camp on the frozen shore below the volcano’s slope was only a provisional one, headquarters being kept aboard the Arkham. We landed all our drilling apparatus, dogs, sledges, tents, provi-

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sions, gasoline tanks, experimental ice-melting outfit, cameras, both ordinary and aerial, aeroplane parts, and other accessories, including three small portable wireless outfits - besides those in the planes - capable of communicating with the Arkham’s large outfit from any part of the antarctic continent that we would be likely to visit. The ship’s outfit, communicating with the outside world, was to convey press reports to the Arkham Advertiser's powerful wireless station on Kingsport Head, Massachusetts. We hoped to complete our work during a single antarctic summer; but if this proved impossible, we would winter on the Arkham, sending the Miskatonic north before the freezing of the ice for another summer’s supplies. I need not repeat what the newspapers have already published about our early work: of our ascent of Mt. Erebus; our successful mineral borings at several points on Ross Island and the singular speed with which Pabodie’s apparatus accomplished them, even through solid rock layers; our provisional test of the small ice-melting equipment; our perilous ascent of the great barrier with sledges and supplies; and our final assembling of five huge aeroplanes at the camp atop the barrier. The health of our land party - twenty men and fifty-five Alaskan sledge dogs - was remarkable,

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though of course we had so far encountered no really destructive temperatures or windstorms. For the most part, the thermometer varied between zero and 20° or 25° above, and our experience with New England winters had accustomed us to rigors of this sort. The barrier camp was semipermanent, and destined to be a storage cache for gasoline, provisions, dynamite, and other supplies. Only four of our planes were needed to carry the actual exploring material, the fifth being left with a pilot and two men from the ships at the storage cache to form a means of reaching us from the Arkham in case all our exploring planes were lost. Later, when not using all the other planes for moving apparatus, we would employ one or two in a shuttle transportation service between this cache and another permanent base on the great plateau from six hundred to seven hundred miles southward, beyond Beardmore Glacier. Despite the almost unanimous accounts of appalling winds and tempests that pour down from the plateau, we determined to dispense with intermediate bases, taking our chances in the interest of economy and probable efficiency. Wireless reports have spoken of the breathtaking, four-hour, nonstop flight of our squadron on November 21st over the lofty shelf ice, with vast

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peaks rising on the west, and the unfathomed silences echoing to the sound of our engines. Wind troubled us only moderately, and our radio compasses helped us through the one opaque fog we encountered. When the vast rise loomed ahead, between Latitudes 83° and 84°, we knew we had reached Beardmore Glacier, the largest valley glacier in the world, and that the frozen sea was now giving place to a frowning and mountainous coast line. At last we were truly entering the white, aeon-dead world of the ultimate south. Even as we realized it we saw the peak of Mt. Nansen in the eastern distance, towering up to its height of almost fifteen thousand feet. The successful establishment of the southern base above the glacier in Latitude 86° 7’, East Longitude 174° 23’, and the phenomenally rapid and effective borings and blastings made at various points reached by our sledge trips and short aeroplane flights, are matters of history; as is the arduous and triumphant ascent of Mt. Nansen by Pabodie and two of the graduate students - Gedney and Carroll - on December 13 - 15. We were some eight thousand, five hundred feet above sea-level, and when experimental drillings revealed solid ground only twelve feet down through the snow and ice at certain points, we made considerable use

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of the small melting apparatus and sunk bores and performed dynamiting at many places where no previous explorer had ever thought of securing mineral specimens. The pre-Cambrian granites and beacon sandstones thus obtained confirmed our belief that this plateau was homogeneous, with the great bulk of the continent to the west, but somewhat different from the parts lying eastward below South America - which we then thought to form a separate and smaller continent divided from the larger one by a frozen junction of Ross and Weddell Seas, though Byrd has since disproved the hypothesis. In certain of the sandstones, dynamited and chiseled after boring revealed their nature, we found some highly interesting fossil markings and fragments; notably ferns, seaweeds, trilobites, crinoids, and such mollusks as linguellae and gastropods all of which seemed of real significance in connection with the region’s primordial history. There was also a queer triangular, striated marking, about a foot in greatest diameter, which Lake pieced together from three fragments of slate brought up from a deep-blasted aperture. These fragments came from a point to the westward, near the Queen Alexandra Range; and Lake, as a biologist, seemed to find their curious marking unusu-

35

ally puzzling and provocative, though to my geological eye it looked not unlike some of the ripple effects reasonably common in the sedimentary rocks. Since slate is no more than a metamorphic formation into which a sedimentary stratum is pressed, and since the pressure itself produces odd distorting effects on any markings which may exist, I saw no reason for extreme wonder over the striated depression. On January 6th, 1931, Lake, Pabodie, Danforth, the other six students, and myself flew directly over the south pole in two of the great planes, being forced down once by a sudden high wind, which, fortunately, did not develop into a typical storm. This was, as the papers have stated, one of several observation flights, during others of which we tried to discern new topographical features in areas unreached by previous explorers. Our early flights were disappointing in this latter respect, though they afforded us some magnificent examples of the richly fantastic and deceptive mirages of the polar regions, of which our sea voyage had given us some brief foretastes. Distant mountains floated in the sky as enchanted cities, and often the whole white world would dissolve into a gold, silver, and scarlet land of Dunsanian dreams and adventurous expectancy under the magic of the low

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midnight sun. On cloudy days we had considerable trouble in flying owing to the tendency of snowy earth and sky to merge into one mystical opalescent void with no visible horizon to mark the junction of the two. At length we resolved to carry out our original plan of flying five hundred miles eastward with all four exploring planes and establishing a fresh subbase at a point which would probably be on the smaller continental division, as we mistakenly conceived it. Geological specimens obtained there would be desirable for purposes of comparison. Our health so far had remained excellent - lime juice well offsetting the steady diet of tinned and salted food, and temperatures generally above zero enabling us to do without our thickest furs. It was now midsummer, and with haste and care we might be able to conclude work by March and avoid a tedious wintering through the long antarctic night. Several savage windstorms had burst upon us from the west, but we had escaped damage through the skill of Atwood in devising rudimentary aeroplane shelters and windbreaks of heavy snow blocks, and reinforcing the principal camp buildings with snow. Our good luck and efficiency had indeed been almost uncanny.

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The outside world knew, of course, of our program, and was told also of Lake’s strange and dogged insistence on a westward - or rather, northwestward - prospecting trip before our radical shift to the new base. It seems that he had pondered a great deal, and with alarmingly radical daring, over that triangular striated marking in the slate; reading into it certain contradictions in nature and geological period which whetted his curiosity to the utmost, and made him avid to sink more borings and blastings in the west-stretching formation to which the exhumed fragments evidently belonged. He was strangely convinced that the marking was the print of some bulky, unknown, and radically unclassifiable organism of considerably advanced evolution, notwithstanding that the rock which bore it was of so vastly ancient a date - Cambrian if not actually pre-Cambrian - as to preclude the probable existence not only of all highly evolved life, but of any life at all above the unicellular or at most the trilobite stage. These fragments, with their odd marking, must have been five hundred million to a thousand million years old.

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II Popular imagination, I judge, responded actively to our wireless bulletins of Lake’s start northwestward into regions never trodden by human foot or penetrated by human imagination, though we did not mention his wild hopes of revolutionizing the entire sciences of biology and geology. His preliminary sledging and boring journey of January 11th to 18th with Pabodie and five others marred by the loss of two dogs in an upset when crossing one of the great pressure ridges in the ice - had brought up more and more of the Archaean slate; and even I was interested by the singular profusion of evident fossil markings in that unbelievably ancient stratum. These markings, however, were of very primitive life forms involving no great paradox except that any life forms should occur in rock as definitely pre-Cambrian as this seemed to be; hence I still failed to see the good sense of Lake’s demand for an interlude in our time-saving program - an interlude requiring the use of all four planes, many men, and the whole of the expedition’s mechanical apparatus. I did not, in the end, veto the plan, though I decided not to accompany the northwestward party despite Lake’s plea for my geological advice. While they were gone, I would remain at the base with Pabodie and

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five men and work out final plans for the eastward shift. In preparation for this transfer, one of the planes had begun to move up a good gasoline supply from McMurdo Sound; but this could wait temporarily. I kept with me one sledge and nine dogs, since it is unwise to be at any time without possible transportation in an utterly tenantless world of aeon-long death. Lake’s sub-expedition into the unknown, as everyone will recall, sent out its own reports from the shortwave transmitters on the planes; these being simultaneously picked up by our apparatus at the southern base and by the Arkham at McMurdo Sound, whence they were relayed to the outside world on wave lengths up to fifty meters. The start was made January 22nd at 4 A.M., and the first wireless message we received came only two hours later, when Lake spoke of descending and starting a small-scale ice-melting and bore at a point some three hundred miles away from us. Six hours after that a second and very excited message told of the frantic, beaver-like work whereby a shallow shaft had been sunk and blasted, culminating in the discovery of slate fragments with several markings approximately like the one which had caused the original puzzlement.

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Three hours later a brief bulletin announced the resumption of the flight in the teeth of a raw and piercing gale; and when I dispatched a message of protest against further hazards, Lake replied curtly that his new specimens made any hazard worth taking. I saw that his excitement had reached the point of mutiny, and that I could do nothing to check this headlong risk of the whole expedition’s success; but it was appalling to think of his plunging deeper and deeper into that treacherous and sinister white immensity of tempests and unfathomed mysteries which stretched off for some fifteen hundred miles to the half-known, halfsuspected coast line of Queen Mary and Knox Lands. Then, in about an hour and a half more, came that doubly excited message from Lake’s moving plane, which almost reversed my sentiments and made me wish I had accompanied the party: "10:05 P.M. On the wing. After snowstorm, have spied mountain range ahead higher than any hitherto seen. May equal Himalayas, allowing for height of plateau. Probable Latitude 76° 15’, Longitude 113° 10’ E. Reaches far as can see to right and left. Suspicion of two smoking cones. All peaks black and bare of snow. Gale blowing off them impedes navigation."

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After that Pabodie, the men and I hung breathlessly over the receiver. Thought of this titanic mountain rampart seven hundred miles away inflamed our deepest sense of adventure; and we rejoiced that our expedition, if not ourselves personally, had been its discoverers. In half an hour Lake called us again: "Moulton's plane forced down on plateau in foothills, but nobody hurt and perhaps can repair. Shall transfer essentials to other three for return or further moves if necessary, but no more heavy plane travel needed just now. Mountains surpass anything in imagination. Am going up scouting in Carroll’s plane, with all weight out. "You can’t imagine anything like this. Highest peaks must go over thirty-five thousand feet. Everest out of the running. Atwood to work out height with theodolite while Carroll and I go up. Probably wrong about cones, for formations look stratified. Possibly pre-Cambrian slate with other strata mixed in. Queer skyline effects - regular sections of cubes clinging to highest peaks. Whole thing marvelous in red-gold light of low sun. Like land of mystery in a dream or gateway to forbidden world of untrodden wonder. Wish you were here to study."

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Frightful work climbing. but hoped it could be easily mended. with plain signs of many other upheaved strata. at 11 P. vertical ramparts. and hard going at this altitude. came another call from Lake: "Up with Carroll over highest foothills. We were sorry. for Captain Douglas gave out a call congratulating everybody on the important find. hence can’t get any glimpses beyond.. but shall later. It must have been a good deal the same at McMurdo Sound. seconded his sentiments. Goes farther in either direction than we can see. Range looks like pre-Cambrian slate. Main summits exceed Himalayas. Don’t dare try really tall peaks in present weather.Though it was technically sleeping time. like the old Asian castles clinging to steep mountains in Roerich’s paintings. Then. Was wrong about volcanism. "Odd formations on slopes of highest mountains. and Sherman. about the damaged aeroplane. Impressive from 43 . Great range fairly solid.M. and very queer. Swept clear of snow above about twentyone thousand feet. of course. where the supply cache and the Arkham were also getting the messages. the cache operator. Great low square blocks with exactly vertical sides. not one of us listeners thought for a moment of retiring. and rectangular lines of low. but worth it.

Lake’s boring operations. in devilish. but that is probably weathering. Flew close to some.distance. Am up twenty-one thousand. hence of evidently crystalline origin. I replied that I would join him as soon as he could send a plane. five hundred myself." From then on for another half hour Lake kept up a running fire of comment. Close flying shows many cave mouths. would require a great deal for the new base which he 44 . You must come and investigate.just where and how to concentrate our supply in view of the expedition’s altered character. Think I saw rampart squarely on top of one peak. seem to be of lighter-colored rock than any visible strata on slopes proper. Most edges crumbled and rounded off as if exposed to storms and climate changes for millions of years. Obviously. but no flying danger so far. square or semicircular. and Carroll thought they were formed of smaller separate pieces. Wind whistles and pipes through passes and in and out of caves. especially upper parts. as well as his aeroplane activities. and expressed his intention of climbing some of the peaks on foot. and that Pabodie and I would work out the best gasoline plan . "Parts. Height seems about thirty thousand to thirty-five thousand feet. gnawing cold. some unusually regular in outline.

violent beyond anything we had so far encountered. and where repairs had already progressed somewhat. He spoke of the ineffable majesty of the whole scene. for it argued the occasional existence of prodigious gales. after all. A direct route across the unknown region between Lake and McMurdo Sound was what we really ought to establish. In connection with this business I called Captain Douglas and asked him to get as much as possible out of the ships and up the barrier with the single dog team we had left there. and he would sink some borings and blasts at that very point before making any sledge trips or climbing expeditions.planned to establish at the foot of the mountains. The ice sheet was very thin. Lake called me later to say that he had decided to let the camp stay where Moulton’s plane had been forced down. silent pinnacles whose ranks shot up like a wall reaching the sky at the world’s rim. Atwood’s theodolite observations had placed the height of the five tallest peaks at from thirty thousand to thirty-four thousand feet. with dark ground here and there visible. and it was possible that the eastward flight might not be made. this season. The windswept nature of the terrain clearly disturbed Lake. and the queer state of his sensations at being in the lee of vast. His camp lay a little more 45 .

new region disposed of as soon as possible. as well as for all the fuel it could carry. If we wintered in the antarctic we would probably fly straight from Lake’s base to the Arkham without 46 . and myself. It was agreed that one of Lake’s planes would come to my base for Pabodie. The rest of the fuel question. Eventually the old southern base ought to be restocked. as the case might be. In the morning I had a three-cornered wireless talk with Lake and Captain Douglas at their widely separated bases. the five men. strenuousness. I could almost trace a note of subconscious alarm in his words-flashed across a glacial void of seven hundred miles . and. He was about to rest now. depending on our decision about an easterly trip. but if we postponed the easterly trip we would not use it till the next summer. after a continuous day’s work of almost unparalleled speed. and results. Lake must send a plane to explore a direct route between his new mountains and McMurdo Sound. meanwhile.than five miles from where the higher foothills rose abruptly. Pabodie and I prepared to close our base for a short or long period. since Lake had enough for immediate camp heat and borings. could wait for a few days.as he urged that we all hasten with the matter and get the strange.

with now and then a glossy black outcropping suggesting a hard and slaty coal. whose plans all hinged on unearthing specimens more than five hundred million years older..returning to this spot. and now we decided to complete the job of making a permanent village. Most of the rocks glimpsed were apparently Jurassic and Comanchian sandstones and Permian and Triassic schists. and which formed so great a part of the colossal peaks that loomed up at a tantalizing distance from the camp. I wirelessed that Pabodie and I would be ready for the northwestward move after one day’s work and one night’s rest. were not very steady after 4 P. His working day had started unpropitiously. It was clear to him that in order to recover the Archaean slate vein in which he had found the odd markings.M. This rather discouraged Lake. since an aeroplane survey of the nearly-exposed rock surfaces showed an entire absence of those Archaean and primordial strata for which he was looking. Owing to a very liberal tent supply. Some of our conical tents had already been reinforced by blocks of hard snow. for about that time Lake began sending in the most extraordinary and excited messages. he 47 . however. Lake had with him all that his base would need. Our labors. even after our arrival.

full of minute fossil cephalopods. and that young Gedney the acting foreman . but when shortly afterward the drill head dropped through the stratum into appar- 48 . to do some local boring as part of the expedition’s general program. nevertheless.had been chosen for the first sampling. was important enough. The softest visible rock . and with occasional suggestions of siliceous sponges and marine vertebrate bones .a sandstone about a quarter of a mile from the camp . sharks. He had resolved. hence he set up the drill and put five men to work with it while the rest finished settling the camp and repairing the damaged aeroplane. echini. and ganoids. and the drill made excellent progress without much supplementary blasting. This. corals.would have to make a long sledge trip from these foothills to the steep slopes of the gigantic mountains themselves. following the first really heavy blast of the operation. They had struck a cave.rushed into the camp with the startling news.the latter probably of teleosts. as affording the first vertebrate fossils the expedition had yet secured. and spirifera. Early in the boring the sandstone had given place to a vein of Comanchian limestone. that the shouting of the drill crew was heard. It was about three hours afterward. in itself.

through a jagged aperture perhaps five feet across and three feet thick. and now. fan palms. and primitive angiosperms. there yawned before the avid searchers a section of shallow limestone hollowing worn more than fifty million years ago by the trickling ground waters of a bygone tropic world. fishes. birds.great and small. crustacean armor. a wholly new and doubly intense wave of excitement spread among the excavators. amphibians. Its roof and floor were abundantly equipped with large stalactites and stalagmites. known 49 . The hollowed layer was not more than seven or eight feet deep but extended off indefinitely in all directions and had a fresh. and other animal species than the greatest paleontologist could have counted or classified in a year. some of which met in columnar form: but important above all else was the vast deposit of shells and bones. and forests of Tertiary cycads. and early mammals . Washed down from unknown jungles of Mesozoic tree ferns and fungi. slightly moving air which suggested its membership in an extensive subterranean system. A good-sized blast had laid open the subterrene secret. which in places nearly choked the passage. this osseous medley contained representatives of more Cretaceous. reptiles.ent vacancy. Eocene. Mollusks.

No wonder Gedney ran back to the camp shouting. and no wonder everyone else dropped work and rushed headlong through the biting cold to where the tall derrick marked a newfound gateway to secrets of inner earth and vanished aeons. When Lake had satisfied the first keen edge of his curiosity. and titanotheres. deer. There was nothing as recent as a mastodon. Oreodons. and inaccessible state for at least thirty million years. This was my first word of the discovery. On the other hand. hence Lake concluded that the last deposits had occurred during the Oligocene Age.and unknown. dinosaur vertebrae and armor plates. and other bones of archaic mammals such as palaeotheres. he scribbled a message in his notebook and had young Moulton run back to the camp to dispatch it by wireless. or bovine animal. true camel. great mosasaur skull fragments. pterodactyl teeth and wing bones. bones of ganoids and placoderms. and that the hollowed stratum had lain in its present dried. remnants of labyrinthodonts and thecodonts. primitive bird skulls. Miocene sharks’ teeth. Archaeopteryx debris. Xiphodons. and it told of the identification of early shells. Eohippi. dead. 50 . the prevalence of very early life forms was singular in the highest degree. elephant.

the coming of the frightful ice in the Pleistocene some five hundred thousand years ago .the 51 .must have put an end to any of the primal forms which had locally managed to outlive their common terms.even rudimentary fishes. The inevitable inference was that in this part of the world there had been a remarkable and unique degree of continuity between the life of over three hundred million years ago and that of only thirty million years ago. Lake was not content to let his first message stand.Though the limestone formation was.and to the Arkham for relaying to the outside world . transmitting to me . After that Moulton stayed at the wireless in one of the planes. mollusks. positively and unmistakably Comanchian and not a particle earlier. and corals as remote as the Silunan or Ordovician. In any event. on the evidence of such typical imbedded fossils as ventriculites. the free fragments in the hollow space included a surprising proportion from organisms hitherto considered as peculiar to far older periods .a mere yesterday as compared with the age of this cavity . but had another bulletin written and dispatched across the snow to the camp before Moulton could get back. How far this continuity had extended beyond the Oligocene Age when the cavern was closed was of course past all speculation.

Joins up with my previous work and amplifies conclusions. Comanchian prints apparently more primitive or decadent. Those who followed the newspapers will remember the excitement created among men of science by that afternoon’s reports reports which have finally led. that earth has seen whole cycle or cycles of organic life before known one that begins with Archaeozoic cells. proving that source survived from over six hundred million years ago to Comanchian times without more than moderate morphological changes and decrease in average size. I had better give the messages literally as Lake sent them.frequent postscripts which Lake sent him by a succession of messengers. Was 52 . if anything. "Appears to indicate. as I suspected. to the organization of that very Starkweather-Moore Expedition which I am so anxious to dissuade from its purposes. and as our base operator McTighe translated them from the pencil shorthand: "Fowler makes discovery of highest importance in sandstone and limestone fragments from blasts. Emphasize importance of discovery in press. Several distinct triangular striated prints like those in Archaean slate. than older ones. after all these years. Will mean to biology what Einstein has meant to mathematics and physics.

Will extend search area underground by hacking away stalactites. Carroll.evolved and specialized not later than a thousand million years ago. Have found peculiar soapstone fragment about six inches across and an inch and a half thick. when planet was young and recently uninhabitable for any life forms or normal protoplasmic structure. Am sending to camp for electric torches. but no evidences to place its period.greenish. smooth depression in center of unbroken surface. and signs of other cleavage at inward angles and in center of surface. Examining certain skeletal fragments of large land and marine saurians and primitive mammals. Question arises when. Shaped like five-pointed star with tips broken off. and apparently hacking incisions. thinks he can 53 . One or two cases of cleanly severed bones." "Later. of two sorts . Not many specimens affected. wholly unlike any visible local formation . with magnifier. Arouses much curiosity as to source and weathering. find singular local wounds or injuries to bony structure not attributable to any known predatory or carnivorous animal of any period.straight. Has curious smoothness and regularity. and how development took place. Probably some freak of water action. Small. where." "Still later. penetrant bores.

Tough as leather. "Their wings seem to be membranous. Will report again when Mills gets back with light and we start on underground area. but astonishing flexibility retained in places. as of thinnish stalks.make out additional markings of geologic significance. stretched on frame work of glandular tubing. tapering to one foot at each end. working underground at 9:45 with light. Lateral breakages. Groups of tiny dots in regular patterns. Arrangement reminds one of certain monsters of primal myth." "10:15 P. which gives almost seven-foot wing spread. Must see if it has any peculiar odor. and seem to hate this soapstone. Six feet end to end. especially fabled Elder Things in Necronomicon. are at equator in middle of these ridges. All greatly damaged but one. Tissue evidently preserved by mineral salts.M. Marks of broken-off parts at ends and around sides. In furrows between ridges are curious growths combs or wings that fold up and spread out like fans. Apparent minute 54 . Dogs growing uneasy as we work. Like a barrel with five bulging ridges in place of staves. three and fivetenths feet central diameter. found monstrous barrel-shaped fossil of wholly unknown nature. Important discovery. probably vegetable unless overgrown specimen of unknown marine radiata. Orrendorf and Watkins.

" "11:30 P. and Fowler discover cluster of thirteen more at underground point forty feet from aperture. Having trouble with dogs. Matter of highest .importance. eight apparently perfect. Give close attention to description and repeat back for accuracy Papers must get this right.orifices in frame tubing at wing tips.star-shaped.I might say transcendent . Pabodie. but no marks of breakage except at some of the points. They cannot stand the things. Must dissect when we get back to camp. Boudreau. but these must wait. Mixed with curiously rounded and configured soapstone fragments smaller than one previously found . Strange barrel growth is the Archaean thing that left prints in rocks. Douglas. Additional scarred bones found. Attention. Many features obviously of almost incredible primitiveness. giving no clue to interior or to what has been broken off there. Can’t decide whether vegetable or animal. They can’t endure the new specimen. with all appendages. Arkham must relay to Kingsport Head Station at once. "Of organic specimens. 55 . Dyer. Have set all hands cutting stalactites and looking for further specimens. Have brought all to surface.M. and would probably tear it to pieces if we didn’t keep it at a distance from them. Ends of body shriveled. leading off dogs to distance. Mills.

with orifices at wing tips. Dark gray. "Head thick and puffy. and infinitely tough."Objects are eight feet long all over. fiveridged barrel torso three and five-tenths feet central diameter. Single stalks three inches diameter branch after six inches into five substalks. Like arms of primitive crinoid. spread out of furrows between ridges. with gill-like suggestions. giving each stalk a total of twenty-five tentacles. Wing framework tubular or glandular. "At top of torso blunt. each of which branches after eight inches into small. about two feet point to point. with three-inch flexible yellowish tubes projecting from each point. found folded. stave-like ridges are five systems of light gray flexible arms or tentacles found tightly folded to torso but expansible to maximum length of over three feet. Seven-foot membranous wings of same color. holds yellowish five-pointed starfish-shaped apparent head covered with three-inch wiry cilia of various prismatic colors. Slit in exact center of top probably breathing aperture. bulbous neck of lighter gray. of lighter gray. one at central apex of each of the five vertical. flexible. one foot end diameters. Spread wings have serrated edge. Around equator. Six-foot. tapering tentacles or tendrils. At end of each tube 56 .

holds greenish five-pointed starfish arrangement. "From inner angles of starfish arrangement project two-foot reddish tubes tapering from three inches 57 . "At bottom of torso.is spherical expansion where yellowish membrane rolls back on handling to reveal glassy. without gill suggestions.probably mouths. Flexibility surprising despite vast toughness. white tooth like projections . evidently an eye. This is the paddle. "Five slightly longer reddish tubes start from inner angles of starfish-shaped head and end in saclike swellings of same color which. "Tough. muscular arms four feet long and tapering from seven inches diameter at base to about two and five-tenths at point. rough but dissimilarly functioning counterparts of head arrangements exist. Bulbous light-gray pseudo-neck. open to bell-shaped orifices two inches maximum diameter and lined with sharp. fin. found folded tightly down. To each point is attached small end of a greenish five-veined membranous triangle eight inches long and six wide at farther end. and points of starfish head. red-irised globe. or pseudofoot which has made prints in rocks from a thousand million to fifty or sixty million years old. upon pressure. All these tubes. tubes and points clinging to bulbous neck and torso. cilia.

Four-foot arms with paddles undoubtedly used for locomotion of some sort. Probably represents incredibly advanced evolution of radiata without loss of certain primitive features. Orifices at tips. display suggestions of exaggerated muscularity. When moved. Echinoderm resemblances unmistakable despite local contradictory evidences. preceding even simplest Archaean protozoa hitherto known.diameter at base to one at tip. Symmetry is curiously vegetablelike. "Cannot yet assign positively to animal or vegetable kingdom. baffles all conjecture as to origin. As found. but odds now favor animal. corresponding to projections at other end. "Wing structure puzzles in view of probable marine habitat. all these projections tightly folded over pseudoneck and end of torso. All these parts infinitely tough and leathery. Dyer and Pabodie have read 58 . suggesting vegetable 's essential up-and-down structure rather than animal’s fore-and-aft structure. but may have use in water navigation. Fabulously early date of evolution. marine or otherwise. but extremely flexible. "Complete specimens have such uncanny resemblance to certain creatures of primal myth that suggestion of ancient existence outside antarctic becomes inevitable.

evidently owing to limestone action. "With nine men .Necronomicon and seen Clark Ashton Smith’s nightmare paintings based on text. Job now to get fourteen huge specimens to camp without dogs.Cthulhu cult appendages. Hard work hewing out. Massive stalagmites deposited above them. though wind is bad.three left to guard the dogs . No more found so far. judging from associated specimens. Students have always thought conception formed from morbid imaginative treatment of very ancient tropical radiata. but will resume search later. Dyer better kick himself for having tried to stop my westward trip.we ought to manage the three sledges fairly well. Wish I had a real laboratory here. but toughness prevented damage. Also like prehistoric folklore things Wilmarth has spoken of . Deposits probably of late Cretaceous or early Eocene period. But I’ve got to dissect one of these things before we take any rest. and will understand when I speak of Elder Things supposed to have created all earth life as jest or mistake. "Vast field of study opened. which bark furiously and can’t be trusted near them. Must establish plane communication with McMurdo Sound and begin shipping material. First the world’s 59 . etc. State of preservation miraculous.

Congrats. Of course. and my only wish was to get to Lake’s camp as quickly as I could. on the drill that opened up the cave. 60 . If this last isn’t the high spot of the expedition. Later. Now will Arkham please repeat description?" The sensations of Pabodie and myself at receipt of this report were almost beyond description. and my example was followed by Sherman from his station at the McMurdo Sound supply cache. McTighe. and then this. I added some remarks to be relayed through the Arkham to the outside world. and I sent Lake congratulations as soon as the Arkham’s operator had repeated back the descriptive parts as requested. as well as by Captain Douglas of the Arkham. I don’t know what is. who had hastily translated a few high spots as they came from the droning receiving set. wrote out the entire message from his shorthand version as soon as Lake’s operator signed off. rest was an absurd thought amidst this excitement.greatest mountains. It disappointed me when he sent word that a rising mountain gale made early aerial travel impossible. All appreciated the epoch-making significance of the discovery. as head of the expedition. Pabodie. nor were our companions much behind us in enthusiasm. We’re made scientifically.

to which the dogs could be brought for greater convenience in feeding. Lake was puzzled as to how he might make the requisite incisions without violence destructive enough to upset all the structural niceties he was looking for. He had. This dissection seemed to be a greater task than had been expected. It had been a hard pull. told of the completely successful transportation of the fourteen great specimens to the camp. despite the heat of a gasoline stove in the newly raised laboratory tent.But within an hour and a half interest again rose to banish disappointment. The specimens were laid out on the hard snow near the camp. Lake.lost nothing of their more than leathery toughness. save for one on which Lake was making crude attempts at dissection. though having remnants of the starfish arrange- 61 . seven more perfect specimens. the deceptively flexible tissues of the chosen specimen . Now some of the party were hurriedly building a snow corral at a safe distance from the camp. Accordingly he removed the specimen and dragged in one which.a powerful and intact one . for. for the things were surprisingly heavy. sending more messages. but these were too few to use up recklessly unless the cave might later yield an unlimited supply. but nine men had accomplished it very neatly. it is true.

undeteriorative. Nothing like delicacy or accuracy was possible with instruments hardly able to cut the anomalous tissue. all thirty-seven dogs had been brought to the still uncompleted corral near the camp. but the little that was achieved left us all awed and bewildered. were baffling and provocative indeed. There had been scarcely any mineral replacement. and even at that distance set up a savage 62 . and almost indestructible quality was an inherent attribute of the thing’s form of organization. and despite an age of perhaps forty million years. dark-green fluid apparently answering the same purpose. was badly crushed and partly disrupted along one of the great torso furrows. It was not blood. Existing biology would have to be wholly revised. but a thick. but as the heated tent produced its thawing effect. and pertained to some paleogean cycle of invertebrate evolution utterly beyond our powers of speculation. quickly reported over the wireless. The leathery. the internal organs were wholly intact. By the time Lake reached this stage.ments at both ends. Results. At first all that Lake found was dry. organic moisture of pungent and offensive odor was encountered toward the thing’s uninjured side. for this thing was no product of any cell growth science knows about.

barking and show of restlessness at the acrid. but internal inspection brought up so many vegetable evidences that Lake was left hopelessly at sea. diffusive smell. this provisional dissection merely deepened its mystery. Far from helping to place the strange entity. Cursorily.gills and pores. and probably adapted to long airless hibernation periods as well. 63 . Vocal organs seemed present in connection with the main respiratory system. and eliminated waste matter through the reddish tubes of its starfish-shaped base. but musical piping notes covering a wide range were highly probable. seemed barely conceivable. in the sense of syllable utterance. Clearly. one would say that its respiration apparatus handled oxygen rather than carbon dioxide. All guesses about its external members had been correct. it was amphibian. and there were odd evidences of air-storage chambers and methods of shifting respiration from the external orifice to at least two other fully developed breathing systems . but they presented anomalies beyond immediate solution. It had digestion and circulation. and on the evidence of these one could hardly hesitate to call the thing animal. The muscular system was almost prematurely developed. Articulate speech.

Probably it has more than five senses.much like the ants and bees of today. It was partly vegetable. But to give it a name at this stage was mere folly. so that its habits could not be predicted from any existing analogy. It must.The nervous system was so complex and highly developed as to leave Lake aghast. involving factors alien to any other terrestrial organism. Lake thought. but had threefourths of the essentials of animal structure. have been a creature of keen sensitiveness and delicately differentiated functions in its primal world . Though excessively primitive and archaic in some respects. and there were signs of a sensory equipment. It reproduced like the vegetable cryptogams. after all. the thing had a set of ganglial centers and connectives arguing the very extremes of specialized development. Its five-lobed brain was surprisingly advanced. That it was marine in origin. served in part through the wiry cilia of the head. especially the Pteridophyta. but was clearly something more. held a persistent 64 . It looked like a radiate. having spore cases at the tips of the wings and evidently developing from a thallus or prothallus. The wings. yet one could not be exact as to the limit of its later adaptations. its symmetrical contour and certain other attributes clearly indicated.

but quickly rejected this too-facile theory upon considering the advanced structural qualities of the older fossils. Atrophied and vestigial parts were surprisingly prevalent. he considered the possibility of the preCambrian prints having been made by a less evolved ancestor of the present specimens. and Lake fell back on mythology for a provisional name . How it could have undergone its tremendously complex evolution on a newborn earth in time to leave prints in Archaean rocks was so far beyond conception as to make Lake whimsically recall the primal myths about Great Old Ones who filtered down from the stars and concocted earth life as a joke or mistake. the nerves and organs just examined held singular suggestions of retrogression from forms still more complex. If anything. and the whole morphology seemed coarsened and simplified.suggestion of the aerial. The size of the pseudofeet had decreased. the later contours showed decadence rather than higher evolution." 65 .jocosely dubbing his finds "The Elder Ones. Naturally. Moreover. and the wild tales of cosmic hill things from outside told by a folklorist colleague in Miskatonic’s English department. Altogether. little could be said to have been solved.

He had to weight down the corners of the tent cloth with heavy blocks of snow to hold it in place amidst the rising gale. emerged from the laboratory tent. and crude aeroplane shelters with snow on the mountainward 66 . He did.M. and studied the intact specimens with renewed interest. That would also help to keep their possible scent away from the dogs. but Lake did not believe there was any danger of immediate decomposition in the almost subzero air. having decided to postpone further work and get a little rest.At about 2:30 A. for the titan mountains seemed about to deliver some gravely severe blasts. whose hostile unrest was really becoming a problem. however. The ceaseless antarctic sun had begun to limber up their tissues a trifle. new dog corral.. Early apprehensions about sudden antarctic winds were revived. move all the undissected specimens close together and throw a spare tent over them in order to keep off the direct solar rays. so that the head points and tubes of two or three showed signs of unfolding. he covered the dissected organism with a tarpaulin. and under Atwood’s supervision precautions were taken to bank the tents. even at their substantial distance and behind the higher and higher snow walls which an increased quota of the men were hastening to raise around their quarters.

These latter shelters. and we all agreed to get in touch by wireless at ten in the morning. begun with hard snow blocks during odd moments. Lake would send a plane for the party at my base. Both the excitement of Lake’s discovery and the mounting fury of the 67 . He held some friendly chat with Pabodie over the ether. Just before retiring I dispatched a final message to the Arkham with instructions about toning down the day’s news for the outside world. were by no means as high as they should have been. owning up that he was right about the western trip. and repeated his praise of the really marvelous drills that had helped him make his discovery. It was after four when Lake at last prepared to sign off and advised us all to share the rest period his outfit would take when the shelter walls were a little higher. Atwood also sent greetings and praises. slept very heavily or continuously that morning.side. since the full details seemed radical enough to rouse a wave of incredulity until further substantiated. If the gale was then over. and Lake finally detached all hands from other tasks to work on them. I imagine. I gave Lake a warm word of congratulations. III None of us.

for very little was blowing at McMurdo Sound. however. Reflecting that he had four planes.M. we could not imagine any ordinary accident capable of crippling all his wireless equipment at once. but invariably without results. get the Arkham. About noon a positive frenzy of wind stampeded out of the west. and Douglas told me that he had likewise been vainly trying to reach Lake. directly under the vast unknown peaks that bred and delivered it. causing us to fear for the safety of our camp. McTighe was awake at ten o’clock and tried to get Lake on the wireless. and when we thought of the delirious force the 68 . After three o’clock it was very quiet. and we redoubled our efforts to get Lake. even where we were. each provided with an excellent short-wave outfit. as agreed. We did. despite its persistent rage where we were. with only a moderate relapse at 2 P. but some electrical condition in the disturbed air to the westward seemed to prevent communication. Throughout the day we all listened anxiously and tried to get Lake at intervals. He had not known about the wind. that we could not help wondering how much worse it was at Lake’s camp. So savage was the blast.wind were against such a thing. Nevertheless the stony silence continued. but it eventually died down.

Sherman. Even so great a load would not be too much for one of the huge planes built to our special orders for heavy machinery transportation. with the sailors Gunnarsson and Larsen. We then talked over the personnel of the coming investigation party. By six o’clock our fears had become intense and definite. I got Sherman by wireless and ordered him to join me with the plane and the two sailors at the southern base as quickly as possible. the air conditions being apparently highly favorable. The fifth aeroplane. together with the sledge and dogs which I had kept with me. but all to no purpose. was in good shape and ready for instant use. and decided that we would include all hands.wind must have had in his locality we could not help making the more direful conjectures. At intervals I still tried to reach Lake with the wireless. They arrived at our base at midnight. and reported a quiet flight from several points on the wing. and it seemed that the very emergency for which it had been saved was now upon us. took off at 7:30. and all hands at once discussed 69 . and after a wireless consultation with Douglas and Thorfinnssen I resolved to take steps toward investigation. which we had left at the McMurdo Sound supply cache with Sherman and two sailors.

.M. of all that peace and balance which the normal mind possesses through its accustomed conception of external nature and nature’s laws. We turned in at two o’clock for a brief rest after some preliminary loading of the plane. for silence continued to answer all calls dispatched to the camp. at the age of fifty-four. at the end of our journey. but were up again in four hours to finish the loading and packing. The atmosphere was clear. fairly quiet. Our apprehensions were over what we might find.the next move. and relatively mild in temperature. we started flying northwestward under McTighe’s pilotage with ten men. It marked my loss. January 25th. Every incident of that four-and-a-half-hour flight is burned into my recollection because of its crucial position in my life. but no one drew back from what seemed like the plainest necessity.but the student Danforth and myself above all others - 70 . a sledge. At 7:15 A. Thenceforward the ten of us . seven dogs. and we anticipated very little trouble in reaching the latitude and longitude designated by Lake as the site of his camp. a fuel and food supply. It was risky business sailing over the antarctic in a single aeroplane without any line of bases. and other items including the plane’s wireless outfit. or fail to find.

hence we knew that they must be infinitely far off. they were very slow in gaining prominence. Little by little. allowing us to distinguish various bare.were to face a hideously amplified world of lurking horrors which nothing can erase from our emotions. they rose grimly into the western sky. and which we would refrain from sharing with mankind in general if we could. when our sensations could not be conveyed in any words the press would understand. and to catch the curious sense of fantasy which they inspired as seen in the reddish 71 . and visible only because of their abnormal height. our two battles with treacherous upper-air gales. however. and a latter point when we had to adopt an actual rule of strict censorship. and his shouts sent everyone to the windows of the great cabined plane. There came a point. The newspapers have printed the bulletins we sent from the moving plane. Despite our speed. bleak. blackish summits. though. The sailor Larsen was first to spy the jagged line of witchlike cones and pinnacles ahead. and our sight of a group of those strange fluffy snow cylinders noted by Amundsen and Byrd as rolling in the wind across the endless leagues of frozen plateau. telling of our nonstop course. our glimpse of the broken surface where Lake had sunk his mid-journey shaft three days before.

which Lake had mentioned in his messages. separateness. That seething.regularities like clinging fragments of perfect cubes. space. ethereal beyondness far more than terrestrially spatial. It was young Danforth who drew our notice to the curious regularities of the higher mountain skyline . and aeon-long death of this untrodden and unfathomed austral world.mountains of madness whose farther slopes looked out over some accursed ultimate abyss. nightmare spires marked the pylons of a frightful gateway into forbidden spheres of dream. and gave appalling reminders of the utter remoteness. desolation. on cloudy Asian mountaintops so subtly and strangely painted by Roerich. I could not help feeling that they were evil things . There was indeed something hauntingly Roerich-like about this whole unearthly continent of mountainous mys- 72 . and complex gulfs of remote time. It was as if these stark. halfluminous cloud background held ineffable suggestions of a vague.antarctic light against the provocative background of iridescent ice-dust clouds. In the whole spectacle there was a persistent. and ultra-dimensionality. and which indeed justified his comparison with the dreamlike suggestions of primordial temple ruins. pervasive hint of stupendous secrecy and potential revelation.

another wave of uneasy consciousness of Archaean mythical resemblances.or of his predecessors is long. A few daring mystics have hinted at a pre-Pleistocene origin for the fragmentary Pnakotic Manuscripts. Mythologists have placed Leng in Central Asia. was not a region I would care to be in or near. I felt. or talked so much with that unpleasantly erudite folklorist Wilmarth at the university. and it may well be that certain tales have come down from lands and mountains and temples of horror earlier than Asia and earlier than any human world we know. Leng. I had felt it in October when we first caught sight of Victoria Land. of how disturbingly this lethal realm corresponded to the evilly famed plateau of Leng in the primal writings. This mood undoubtedly served to aggravate my reaction to the bizarre mirage which burst upon us from the increasingly opalescent zenith as we drew 73 . nor did I relish the proximity of a world that had ever bred such ambiguous and Archaean monstrosities as those Lake had just mentioned. At the moment I felt sorry that I had ever read the abhorred Necronomicon. but the racial memory of man .tery. and I felt it afresh now. and have suggested that the devotees of Tsathoggua were as alien to mankind as Tsathoggua itself. too. wherever in space or time it might brood.

sometimes terraced or fluted. some of them quite as uncanny and fantastically vivid as the present example.near the mountains and began to make out the cumulative undulations of the foothills. with vast aggregations of night-black masonry embodying monstrous perversions of geometrical laws. There were truncated cones. surmounted by tall cylindrical shafts here and there bulbously enlarged and often capped with tiers of thinnish scalloped disks. but this one had a wholly novel and obscure quality of menacing symbolism. and occasional needle-like spires in curious clusters of five. and strange beetling. All of these febrile structures seemed knit together by tubular bridges 74 . There were composite cones and pyramids either alone or surmounting cylinders or cubes or flatter truncated cones and pyramids. table-like constructions suggesting piles of multitudinous rectangular slabs or circular plates or five-pointed stars with each one overlapping the one beneath. I had seen dozens of polar mirages during the preceding weeks. and I shuddered as the seething labyrinth of fabulous walls and towers and minarets loomed out of the troubled ice vapors above our heads. The effect was that of a Cyclopean city of no architecture known to man or to human imagination.

and the pall of probable disaster enveloping the greater part of our expedition. and saw that our journey’s end was not far off. with those dark. and could see amidst the snow. The general type of mirage was not unlike some of the wilder forms observed and drawn by the arctic whaler Scoresby in 1820. that anomalous elderworld discovery in our minds. ice. The higher foothills shot up between five and six miles away. and the implied scale of the whole was terrifying and oppressive in its sheer gigantism. though in the process the various nightmare turrets and cones assumed distorted. and bare patches of their main plateau a couple of darkish spots which we took to be Lake’s camp and boring. but at this time and place. we all seemed to find in it a taint of latent malignity and infinitely evil portent. We were over the lowest foothills now. temporary forms of even vaster hideousness. unknown mountain peaks soaring stupendously ahead. 75 . their curious regularities showing with startling clearness even without a field glass. As the whole illusion dissolved to churning opalescence we began to look earthward again.crossing from one to the other at various dizzy heights. I was glad when the mirage began to break up. The unknown mountains ahead rose dizzily up like a fearsome rampart of giants.

utter bewilderment. People pardoned our hazy lack of details through realization of the shock the sad event must have caused us.forming a range almost distinct from the terrifying line of more than Himalayan peaks beyond them. what I would not tell now but for the need of warning others off from nameless terrors. At length Ropes . has read the brief and unsatisfying bulletins of the rest of our antarctic sojourn. Eleven known dead. and believed us when we explained that the mangling action of the wind had rendered all eleven bodies unsuitable for transportation outside. Some hours after our landing we sent a guarded report of the tragedy we found. and reluctantly announced the wiping out of the whole Lake party by the frightful wind of the preceding day. Indeed. As he did so.the student who had relieved McTighe at the controls . Everyone. The tremendous significance lies in what we dared not tell. and soul-clutching horror. I flatter myself that even in the midst of our distress. McTighe sent out the last uncensored wireless message the world was to receive from our expedition. or of the night before that.began to head downward toward the left-hand dark spot whose size marked it as the camp. young Gedney missing. we scarcely went beyond the truth in any specific instance. 76 . of course.

was nearly pulverized . and all signs of tracks in the snow were completely obliterated. Whether all could have lived through it. It is also true that we found none of the Archaean biological objects in a condition to take outside as a whole. including several of the greenish soapstone fragments whose odd five-pointed rounding and faint patterns of grouped dots caused so many doubtful comparisons. it seems. and two of the small tents were flattened despite their snow banking. The storm.It is a fact that the wind had brought dreadful havoc. their hurriedly built snow inclosure near the camp being almost wholly 77 . among which were the most typical of the curiously injured specimens. We did gather some minerals from a vast. even without the other thing. tumbled pile. None of the dogs survived. The exposed metal of the grounded planes and drilling machinery was bruised into a high polish. is gravely open to doubt. had been left in a far too flimsy and inadequate state . One aeroplane shelter-wall. and some fossil bones.and the derrick at the distant boring was entirely shaken to pieces. must have been beyond anything our expedition had encountered before. Wooden surfaces left out in the blaster were pitted and denuded of paint. with its fury of madly driven ice particles.

The wind may have done that. suggests an outward leap or break of the frantic beasts themselves. so we used them to choke up that subtly disturbing gateway to the past which Lake had blasted. Spare tents and furs were either missing or badly out of condition.. The most we said about agitation concerned our dogs.in all.Sherman. and I think we did well to keep it as calm and noncommittal as we succeeded in doing. though much was rather unaccountably blown away. Danforth. that we sent our guarded message to the Arkham for relaying. All three sledges were gone. We brought back all the books. and we have tried to explain that the wind may have blown them off into the unknown. We likewise left at the camp the two most shaken up of the planes. McTighe. The drill and icemelting machinery at the boring were too badly damaged to warrant salvage. which was not the windward one. and other incidentals we could find.destroyed. after wide plane cruising had forced us to give Gedney up for lost. with Danforth in a poor nervous shape to navigate. and Ropes .M. scientific equipment. though the greater breakage on the side next the camp. whose frantic uneasiness near the biological 78 . since our surviving party had only four real pilots . It was approximately 4 P.

I think. About the fourteen biological specimens. We did not mention. their display of the same uneasiness when sniffing around the queer greenish soapstones and certain other objects in the disordered region-objects including scientific instruments. We had by that time agreed not to transmit anything suggesting madness on the part of Lake’s men. and it surely looked like madness to find six imperfect monstrosities carefully buried upright in nine-foot snow graves under five-pointed mounds punched over with groups of dots in patterns exactly those on the queer greenish soapstones dug up from Mesozoic or Tertiary times. We said that the only ones we discovered were damaged. and machinery. but that enough was left of them to prove Lake’s description wholly and impressively accurate.specimens was to be expected from poor Lake’s accounts. The eight perfect 79 . It was hard work keeping our personal emotions out of this matter . aeroplanes. both at the camp and at the boring. or otherwise tampered with by winds that must have harbored singular curiosity and investigativeness. whose parts had been loosened. moved. we were pardonably indefinite.and we did not mention numbers or say exactly how we had found those which we did find.

It was the fact that only a radically lightened plane could possibly cross a range of such height. so that part of my present story will be as new to Pabodie. a conventional comment on the regularity of the clinging cube and rampart 80 . one thing he will not tell even me.M. not to say anything more to the others than what we had agreed to relay outside. It took no persuasion to make him promise not to show our sketches and the other things we brought away in our pockets. As all know. Sherman. McTighe. and the rest as it will be to the world in general. but kept an admirably stiff upper lip. about the public’s general peace of mind. Danforth is closer mouthed than I: for he saw. and to hide our camera films for private development later on. Danforth was close to hysterics.a confirmation of Lake’s opinion that the great peaks are of Archaean slate and other very primal crumpled strata unchanged since at least middle Comanchian times.specimens mentioned by Lake seemed to have been completely blown away.. Ropes. too. hence Danforth and I said little about that frightful trip over the mountains the next day. or thinks he saw. Indeed. our report included a tale of a hard ascent . On our return at one A. We were careful. which mercifully limited that scouting tour to the two of us.

a decision that the cave mouths indicate dissolved calcaerous veins. I would have used every ounce of my persuasion to stop them . Pabodie.to a long mythical spell of adverse wind conditions.a longer time than our announced flying. McTighe. landing. This body of data is in every respect true so far as it goes.formations. 81 . Fortunately our tale sounded realistic and prosaic enough not to tempt any of the others into emulating our flight. a conjecture that certain slopes and passes would permit of the scaling and crossing of the entire range by seasoned mountaineers.twenty thousand feet in elevation. and it completely satisfied the men at the camp. While we were gone. with grotesque rock formations protruding through a thin glacial layer and with low gradual foothills between the general plateau surface and the sheer precipices of the highest peaks. Ropes. Sherman. and rock-collecting program called for .and I do not know what Danforth would have done. and a remark that the mysterious other side holds a lofty and immense superplateau as ancient and unchanging as the mountains themselves . and Williamson had worked like beavers over Lake’s two best planes. reconnoitering. and told truly of our landing on the farther foothills. We laid our absence of sixteen hours . Had any tried to do that.

January 27th . our return to the world was accomplished without further disasters. the Arkham and Miskatonic. and on the 28th we made McMurdo Sound in two laps. that was the safest way to work toward McMurdo Sound. The doubts and horrors around us . Even though indirect. As the public knows.fitting them again for use despite the altogether unaccountable juggling of their operative mechanism. and occasioned by a faulty rudder in the furious wind over the ice shelf after we had cleared the great plateau. with all hands and equipment on board. All planes reached the old base on the evening of the next day . were shaking clear of the thickening field ice and working up 82 . Further exploration was hardly feasible in view of our tragic decimation and the ruin of our drilling machinery. In five days more. the one pause being very brief.after a swift nonstop flight. for a straightline flight across the most utterly unknown stretches of the aeon-dead continent would involve many additional hazards. We decided to load all the planes the next morning and start back for our old base as soon as possible.which we did not reveal made us wish only to escape from this austral world of desolation and brooding madness as swiftly as we could.

Ross Sea with the mocking mountains of Victoria Land looming westward against a troubled antarctic sky and twisting the wind’s wails into a wideranged musical piping which chilled my soul to the quick. have made black and blasphemous alliances. though I think it would help his psychological state if he would consent to do so. there is one thing he thinks he alone saw which he will not tell even me. space and time. as I have said. and have kept certain doubts and guesses to ourselves with splendid unity and faithfulness. Since our return we have all constantly worked to discourage antarctic exploration.indeed. It might explain and relieve much. accursed realm where life and death. 83 . Less than a fortnight later we left the last hint of polar land behind us and thanked heaven that we were clear of a haunted.things which he repudiates vehemently as soon as he gets a grip on himself again. Even young Danforth. in the unknown epochs since matter first writhed and swam on the planet’s scarce-cooled crust. That is the impression I gather after those rare. though perhaps the thing was no more than the delusive aftermath of an earlier shock. with his nervous breakdown. has not flinched or babbled to his doctors . irresponsible moments when he whispers disjointed things to me .

even about that ultimate. and some of our efforts may directly harm our cause by drawing inquiring notice. We might have known from the first that human curiosity is undying. while Danforth and I have closely guarded the pictures we took or drew on the superplateau across the range. or our photographs of those specimens as they were found. But now that Starkweather-Moore party is organizing. So I must break through all reticences at last . and the crumpled things we smoothed. they will get to the innermost nucleus of the antarctic and melt and bore till they bring up that which we know may end the world. and with a thoroughness far beyond anything our outfit attempted.It will be hard work deterring others from the great white south. studied in terror. and brought away in our pockets. though we were sensible enough not to show the detached parts we had taken from the actual buried specimens. We also refrained from showing the more puzzling of the scarred bones and greenish soapstones. Lake’s reports of those biological monstrosities had aroused naturalists and paleontologists to the highest pitch. nameless thing beyond the mountains of madness. and that the results we announced would be enough to spur others ahead on the same age-long pursuit of the unknown. 84 . If not dissuaded.

from a world forty million years dead.indeed. only Danforth and I have thought of it at all. and to let hints stand for actual facts and ineluctable deductions. I do not recall whether I mentioned that upon checking up the canine bodies we found one dog missing. I tried to keep the men’s minds off those points. the deaths of men and dogs. the absence of Gedney. I am constantly tempted to shirk the details. the disarranged machinery. the varied uneasiness of our dogs. for it was so much simpler . that is. and the six insanely buried biological specimens. the rest. At the time. The principal things I have been keeping back relate to the bodies. strangely sound in texture for all their structural injuries. the damaged shelters. I have told of the wind-ravaged terrain. and to certain subtle points which may or may not lend a hideous and incredible kind of rationale to the apparent chaos.and to that other thing beyond the mountains of madness. I hope I have said enough already to let me glide briefly over the rest. We did not think much about that till later .IV It is only with vast hesitancy and repugnance that I let my mind go back to Lake’s camp and what we really found there . of the horror at the camp. the missing sledges and other items.so much more 85 .

they must have stampeded . From the look of things.men and dogs alike. But whatever had happened.normal . so far as we could judge. that demon mountain wind must have been enough to drive any man mad in the midst of this center of all earthly mystery and desolation. one could not say. It had been set some distance from the camp because of the hatred of the animals for those hellish Archaean organisms. was the condition of the bodies . and were torn and mangled in fiendish and altogether inexplicable ways. behind flimsy walls of insufficient height. The dogs had evidently started the trouble.to lay everything to an outbreak of madness on the part of some of Lake’s party. They had all been in some terrible kind of conflict. for the state of their ill-built corral bore witness to its forcible breakage from within. of course. but the precaution seemed to have been taken in vain. The crowning abnormality. Death.whether from the wind itself. Perhaps I had better put squeamishness aside and tell the worst at last - 86 . had in each case come from strangulation or laceration. or from some subtle. When left alone in that monstrous wind. it was hideous and revolting enough. increasing odor emitted by the nightmare specimens.

that the then missing Gedney was in no way responsible for the loathsome horrors we found. It was the same with dogs and men. as by a careful butcher. All the healthier. but was clearly mixed up with all the talk of fossil prints which poor Lake had been giving 87 . quadrupedal or bipedal. and subsequent winds had effaced all tracks which could have supplied any plausible theory. had had their most solid masses of tissue cut out and removed.which conjured up the most horrible associations.though with a categorical statement of opinion. It is useless to bring up the half impression of certain faint snow prints in one shielded corner of the ruined inclosure . I have said that the bodies were frightfully mangled. Scattered bits of clothing. fatter bodies. roughly slashed from the human incision subjects. based on the first-hand observations and most rigid deductions of both Danforth and myself.because that impression did not concern human prints at all. cold-blooded. Now I must add that some were incised and subtracted from in the most curious. and around them was a strange sprinkling of salt taken from the ravaged provision chests on the planes . hinted no clues. The thing had occurred in one of the crude aeroplane shelters from which the plane had been dragged out. and inhuman fashion.

the one with the trace of a peculiarly hateful odor . had something to reveal. we had already realized that one of the six imperfect and insanely buried things we had found . It was not as Lake had left it. Indeed. which we entered after investigating the monstrous graves.throughout the preceding weeks. On and around that laboratory table were strewn other things. for the covered parts of the primal monstrosity had been removed from the improvised table. One had to be careful of one’s imagination in the lee of those overshadowing mountains of madness. and the 88 . When we came on that terrible shelter we had missed two dogs and two men. though around it we found a curious litter of matches.must represent the collected sections of the entity which Lake had tried to analyze. I shall spare the feelings of survivors by omitting mention of the man’s identity. Lake’s anatomical instruments were missing. Gedney and one dog turned out to be missing in the end. and it did not take long for us to guess that those things were the carefully though oddly and inexpertly dissected parts of one man and one dog. but the fairly unharmed dissecting tent. The gasoline stove was also gone. but there were evidences of their careful cleansing. We buried the human parts beside the other ten men. As I have indicated.

fur suits. The profusion of scattered matches. heating apparatus. but other things were equally perplexing. intact. was utterly beyond sane conjecture. illustrated technical and scientific books. This formed the worst of the camp horror.as did the two or three tent cloths and fur suits which we found lying about with pe- 89 . writing materials. and the evidences of curious alien fumbling and experimentation around the planes and all other mechanical devices both at the camp and at the boring. the disappearance of certain staples. as were likewise the spatterfringed ink blots on certain pieces of paper.canine parts with the other thirty-five dogs. Concerning the bizarre smudges on the laboratory table. The dogs seemed to abhor this oddly disordered machinery. The disappearance of Gedney. and certain instruments. broken. electric torches and batteries. there was the upsetting of the larder. too. and the jarringly comical heap of tin cans pried open in the most unlikely ways and at the most unlikely places. the one dog. spare tents. and on the jumble of roughly handled illustrated books scattered near it. the eight uninjured biological specimens. we were much too bewildered to speculate. formed another minor enigma . and the like. food and fuel. Then. or spent. the three sledges.

The maltreatment of the human and canine bodies. and when we came on some of the soapstones themselves in the great mineral pile. we carefully photographed all the main evidences of insane disorder at the camp. we found the likeness very close indeed. The whole general formation. We could not help noticing the resemblance of these monstrous mounds. were all of a piece with this apparent disintegrative madness. In view of just such an eventuality as the present one. with their clusters of grouped dots. and the crazy burial of the damaged Archaean specimens. it must be made clear. to poor Lake’s descriptions of the strange greenish soapstones.centering in Gedney as the only possible surviving agent . Our first act after finding the bodies in the shelter was to photograph and open the row of insane graves with the five-pointed snow mounds. seemed abominably suggestive of the starfish head of the Archaean entities. For madness . and shall use the prints to buttress our pleas against the departure of the proposed Starkweather-Moore Expedition.was the explanation 90 . and we agreed that the suggestion must have worked potently upon the sensitized minds of Lake’s overwrought party.culiar and unorthodox slashings conceivably due to clumsy efforts at unimaginable adaptations.

without any diminution in height or essential structure. the regular cube and rampart formations were bolder and plainer. The distribution of cryptical cave mouths on the black snow-denuded summits seemed roughly even as far as the range could be traced. Pabodie. The party reported that the titan barrier range extended endlessly to right and left alike. In spite of all the prevailing horrors. but nothing came to light. Sherman.but not without a tentative plan for one or more range-crossing altitude flights in a lightened plane with aerial camera and geolo- 91 . sweeping the horizon with field glasses in quest of Gedney and of the various missing things. As our guarded messages stated. having doubly fantastic similitudes to Roerich-painted Asian hill ruins. we rested at midnight after our day of terror and bafflement . and McTighe made an exhaustive aeroplane cruise over all the surrounding territory in the afternoon. though. though I will not be so naive as to deny that each of us may have harbored wild guesses which sanity forbade him to formulate completely. we were left with enough sheer scientific zeal and adventurousness to wonder about the unknown realm beyond those mysterious mountains.spontaneously adopted by everybody so far as spoken utterance was concerned. On some of the peaks.

hints of the revelations which have finally driven Danforth to a nervous collapse. I have already repeated the noncommittal story we told the men at camp .M. All I can do is to repeat his later disjointed whispers about what set him shrieking as the plane soared back through the wind-tortured mountain pass after that real and tangible shock which I shared. beginning the following morning. intending an early flight. and we awaked at 7 A. I wish he would add a really frank word about the thing which he thinks he alone saw .and relayed outside . It is now my terrible duty to amplify this account by filling in the merciful blanks with hints of what we really saw in the hidden transmontane world . It was decided that Danforth and I try it first.or at least from prying too deeply beneath the surface of that ultimate waste 92 .and which was perhaps the last straw that put him where he is. This will form my last word. however. but he is firm against that.mentioned in our brief. If the plain signs of surviving elder horrors in what I disclose be not enough to keep others from meddling with the inner antarctic .after our return sixteen hours later. heavy winds . bulletin to the outside world .delayed our start till nearly nine o’clock.even though it was probably a nervous delusion .gist’s outfit.

we had to leave the cabin windows open. Nevertheless we were acutely conscious of the rarefied air and intense cold as we rose. dark and sinister above the line of crevasse-riven snow and interstitial glaciers. The ancient and windweathered rock strata fully verified all of Lake’s 93 . studying the notes made by Pabodie in his afternoon flight and checking up with a sextant. The camp itself.the responsibility for unnamable and perhaps immeasurable evils will not be mine. on account of visibility conditions. had calculated that the lowest available pass in the range lay somewhat to the right of us. of course.of forbidden secrets and inhuman. For this point. We were dressed. and about twenty-three thousand or twenty-four thousand feet above sea level. hence the actual height increase necessary was not so vast as it might seem. on foothills which sprang from a high continental plateau. As we drew near the forbidding peaks. we first headed in the lightened plane as we embarked on our flight of discovery. in our heaviest furs. then. and thought again of the strange Asian paintings of Nicholas Roerich. we noticed more and more the curiously regular formations clinging to the slopes. within sight of camp. was some twelve thousand feet in altitude. aeon-cursed desolation . for. Danforth and I.

bulletins. it was futile to guess. unlike any formation visible over broad areas of the general surface. their edges were crumbled and rounded from untold aeons of savage weathering. and proved that these pinnacles had been towering up in exactly the same way since a surprisingly early time in earth’s history . and that their regularity was extreme and uncanny to an extent which poor Lake had scarcely hinted. and cave mouths which fascinated and disturbed us most. but everything about this strange region pointed to obscure atmospheric influences unfavorable to change. especially those closest to the slopes. ramparts. and at times I relieved him at the controls though my aviation knowledge was purely an amateur’s . and calculated to retard the usual climatic processes of rock disintegration. But it was the mountainside tangle of regular cubes. Many parts. We could easily see that much of the material of the things was a lightish Archaean quartzite. How much higher they had once been. I studied them with a field glass and took aerial photographs while Danforth drove. As he had said. seemed identi- 94 .perhaps over fifty million years.in order to let him use the binoculars. but their preternatural solidity and tough material had saved them from obliteration.

and both Danforth and I obtained that occasional impression of separate Cyclopean blocks which Lake had attributed to his flight-companion Carroll. often approximately square or semicircular. despite Lake’s original suspicion of smoking cones.cal in substance with the surrounding rock surface. presented another albeit a lesser puzzle because of their regularity of outline.like the famous Giants’ Causeway in Ireland . Such glimpses as we secured did not extend far within the caverns. or the primal foundation walls of Kish as dug up by the Oxford Field Museum Expedition in 1929. How to account for such things in this place was frankly beyond me. and suggested that the whole region was honeycombed with tunnels dissolved out of limestone strata. and I felt queerly humbled as a geologist. The curious cave mouths. near which the odd formations seemed most abundant. Igneous formations often have strange regularities . as if the natural orifices had been shaped to greater symmetry by some magic hand. The whole arrangement looked like the ruins of Macchu Picchu in the Andes. as Lake’s bulletin had said. Their numerousness and wide distribution were remarkable. but we saw that they were apparently 95 . was above all else nonvolcanic in evident structure. They were.but this stupendous range.

As we advanced we occasionally looked down at the snow and ice of the land route. he hinted that the pittings vaguely resembled those baffling groups of dots sprinkled over the primeval greenish soapstones. and that despite the crevasses and other bad spots it would not have been likely to deter the sledges of a Scott. so hideously duplicated on the madly conceived snow mounds above those six buried monstrosities.clear of stalactites and stalagmites. We had risen gradually in flying over the higher foothills and along toward the relatively low pass we had selected. and upon reaching our chosen pass we found that its case formed no exception. 96 . wondering whether we could have attempted the trip with the simpler equipment of earlier days. or an Amundsen. Somewhat to our surprise we saw that the terrain was far from difficult as such things go. Outside. Some of the glaciers appeared to lead up to wind-bared passes with unusual continuity. and Danforth thought that the slight cracks and pittings of the weathering tended toward unusual patterns. Filled as he was with the horrors and strangenesses discovered at the camp. those parts of the mountain slopes adjoining the apertures seemed invariably smooth and regular. a Shackleton.

There was a cloudy note of reminiscent repulsion in this sound. after a slow ascent. and in the beckoning sea of opalescent sky glimpsed betwixt their summits. Even the wind’s burden held a peculiar strain of conscious malignity. and had left the region of clinging snow definitely below us. We were now. as complex and unplaceable as any of the other dark impressions.a thing mixed up with exotic poetry and paintings. even though we had no cause to think the regions beyond the range essentially different from those already seen and traversed. The touch of evil mystery in these barrier mountains. and for a second it seemed that the composite sound included a bizarre musical whistling or piping over a wide range as the blast swept in and out of the omnipresent and resonant cave mouths. and with archaic myths lurking in shunned and forbidden volumes. Up here were only dark. at a height of twenty-three thousand. was a highly subtle and attenuated matter not to be explained in literal words. five hundred and seventy feet according to the aneroid.Our sensations of tense expectancy as we prepared to round the crest and peer out over an untrodden world can hardly be described on paper. Rather was it an affair of vague psychological symbolism and aesthetic association . bare rock slopes and the start of 97 .

It seemed to be half lost in a queer antarctic haze .rough-ribbed glaciers . terror. Beyond it was a sky fretted with swirling vapors and lighted by the low polar sun . we did indeed stare across the momentous divide and over the unsampled secrets of an elder and utterly alien earth. as had been responsible for Lake’s early notion of volcanism. perhaps.the sky of that mysterious farther realm upon which we felt no human eye had ever gazed.but with those provocative cubes. exchanged eloquent glances. Danforth and I. the fantastic. having gained those last few feet.such a haze. A few more feet of altitude and we would behold that realm. and disbelief in our 98 . and the dreamlike. and echoing cave mouths to add a portent of the unnatural. The pass loomed directly before us. ramparts. I thought I could see the one mentioned by poor Lake. unable to speak except in shouts amidst the howling. with a rampart exactly on top. smooth and windswept between its jagged and malignly frowning pylons. Looking along the line of high peaks. And then. V I think that both of us simultaneously cried out in mixed awe. piping wind that raced through the pass and added to the noise of the unmuffled engines. wonder.

Perhaps we even half thought the sight a mirage like that we had seen the morning before on first approaching those mountains of madness. or the fantastically symmetrical wind-carved rocks of the Arizona desert. and in a climate deadly to habitation since a prehuman age not less than five hundred thousand years ago. Here. there stretched nearly to the vision’s limit a tangle of orderly stone which only the des- 99 . on a hellishly ancient table-land fully twenty thousand feet high. We must have had some such normal notions to fall back upon as our eyes swept that limitless. and geometrically eurythmic stone masses which reared their crumbled and pitted crests above a glacial sheet not more than forty or fifty feet deep at its thickest. regular. we must have had some natural theory in the back of our heads to steady our faculties for the moment. Of course. for some fiendish violation of known natural law seemed certain at the outset. and in places obviously thinner. tempest-scarred plateau and grasped the almost endless labyrinth of colossal.own senses as we finally cleared the pass and saw what lay beyond. Probably we thought of such things as the grotesquely weathered stones of the Garden of the Gods in Colorado. The effect of the monstrous sight was indescribable.

curved. yet now. and ineluctable reality. and angled blocks had features which cut off all comfortable refuge. for this Cyclopean maze of squared. It was. when man himself could scarcely have been differentiated from the great apes at the time when this region succumbed to the present unbroken reign of glacial death? Yet now the sway of reason seemed irrefutably shaken.there had been some horizontal stratum of ice dust in the upper air. Of course. as we saw that real source. any theory that the cubes and ramparts of the mountainsides were other than natural in origin. very clearly. 100 . How could they be otherwise. That damnable portent had had a material basis after all . so far as serious thought was concerned. the phantom had been twisted and exaggerated. and had contained things which the real source did not contain. objective. and this shocking stone survival had projected its image across the mountains according to the simple laws of reflection. we thought it even more hideous and menacing than its distant image. the blasphemous city of the mirage in stark. We had previously dismissed.peration of mental self-defense could possibly attribute to any but conscious and artificial cause.

The 101 . or abominable Snow Men of the Himalayas.Roof of the World . of the Mi-Go. For boundless miles in every direction the thing stretched off with very little thinning. at random. "Corona Mundi .of the demoniac plateau of Leng.perhaps millions . we decided that we could see no thinning at all except for an interruption at the left of the pass through which we had come. and of the Hyperborean legends of formless Tsathoggua and the worse than formless star spawn associated with that semientity. of the Pnakotic Manuscripts with their prehuman implications. of the Cthulhu cult. unhuman massiveness of these vast stone towers and ramparts had saved the frightful things from utter annihilation in the hundreds of thousands . indeed. a limited part of something of incalculable extent." All sorts of fantastic phrases sprang to our lips as we looked dizzily down at the unbelievable spectacle. I thought again of the eldritch primal myths that had so persistently haunted me since my first sight of this dead antarctic world .of years it had brooded there amidst the blasts of a bleak upland.Only the incredible. of the Necronomicon. as our eyes followed it to the right and left along the base of the low. gradual foothills which separated it from the actual mountain rim. We had merely struck.

The nameless stone labyrinth consisted. 102 . and domes had probably existed in the city’s heyday. though there were many perfect cylinders.though in several places it seemed to be carved out of a solid. as well as the queer cave mouths. and a peculiar sprinkling of angled edifices whose five-pointed ground plan roughly suggested modern fortifications.blocks in many cases as large as 4 x 6 x 8 feet . The buildings were far from equal in size.foothills were more sparsely sprinkled with grotesque stone structures. uneven bed rock of pre-Cambrian slate. and sandstone . of walls from ten to one hundred and fifty feet in ice-clear height. schist. for the most part. pyramidal. were as thick on the inner as on the outer sides of the mountains. These latter. there being innumerable honeycomb arrangements of enormous extent as well as smaller separate structures. or terraced. The general shape of these things tended to be conical. and of a thickness varying from five to ten feet. clusters of cubes. linking the terrible city to the already familiar cubes and ramparts which evidently formed its mountain outposts. It was composed mostly of prodigious blocks of dark primordial slate. and other rectangular forms. The builders had made constant and expert use of the principle of the arch. perfect cubes.

were roofless. some of which were closed with shutters of a petrified material originally wood. and we noticed the ice-preserved stone bridges which connected the different towers at varying distances above the ground.decorations including those curious groups of dots whose presence on the ancient soapstones now assumed a vastly larger significance. of course. and with uneven though wind-rounded upper edges. of a more sharply conical or pyramidal model or else protected by higher surrounding structures.The whole tangle was monstrously weathered. In many places the buildings were totally ruined and the ice sheet deeply riven from various geo- 103 . On the exposed walls we could detect the scarred places where other and higher bridges of the same sort had existed. though most gaped open in a sinister and menacing fashion. Where the glaciation was transparent we could see the lower parts of the gigantic piles. Closer inspection revealed countless largish windows. preserved intact outlines despite the omnipresent crumbling and pitting. whilst others. With the field glass we could barely make out what seemed to be sculptural decorations in horizontal bands . and the glacial surface from which the towers projected was strewn with fallen blocks and immemorial debris. Many of the ruins.

gulfs.was woefully awry. extending from the plateau’s interior. observe many things quite minutely. this was above all a region of caves. yet we kept enough poise to guide the plane. Looking back to our sensations. we concluded.to know what sort of beings had built and 104 . there burned a dominant curiosity to fathom more of this age-old secret .millions of years ago . and underground secrets beyond human penetration. we knew that something . I can only wonder that we preserved the semblance of equilibrium. which we did. or our own consciousness . to a cleft in the foothills about a mile to the left of the pass we had traversed. It probably represented. Of course. scientific theory. Certainly. and take a careful series of photographs which may yet serve both us and the world in good stead. was wholly free from buildings. In other places the stonework was worn down to the very level of the glaciation. for above all my bewilderment and sense of menace. and recalling our dazedness at viewing this monstrous survival from aeons we had thought prehuman. the course of some great river which in Tertiary times .chronology.logic causes. In my case. ingrained scientific habit may have helped.had poured through the city and into some prodigious subterranean abyss of the great barrier range. One broad swath.

It must have formed the primary nucleus and center of some archaic and unbelievable chapter of earth’s history whose outward ramifications. For this place could be no ordinary city. hence we 105 .not even of yesterday. Commoriom and Uzuldaroum. The plane’s fuel tank. recalled only dimly in the most obscure and distorted myths. a megalopolis ranking with such whispered prehuman blasphemies as Valusia. As we flew above that tangle of stark titan towers my imagination sometimes escaped all bounds and roved aimlessly in realms of fantastic associations . had been only partly filled. in the interest of greater lightness. had vanished utterly amidst the chaos of terrene convulsions long before any human race we know had shambled out of apedom.lived in this incalculably gigantic place. Ib in the land of Mnar. Here sprawled a Palaeogaean megalopolis compared with which the fabled Atlantis and Lemuria. and the Nameless city of Arabia Deserta. R’lyeh. are recent things of today .even weaving links betwixt this lost world and some of my own wildest dreams concerning the mad horror at the camp. and what relation to the general world of its time or of other times so unique a concentration of life could have had. and Olathoc in the land of Lomar.

Of these latter. while the other still bore a fantastic 106 . such as the carvings on the canyon where that broad river had once pierced the foothills and approached its sinking place in the great range. however. The headlands at the stream’s entrance had been boldly carved into Cyclopean pylons. it was generally hollowed out into some sort of rambling-stone edifice. and something about the ridgy. and noted various undulations in the terrain. We also came upon several star-shaped open spaces. and confusing semiremembrances in both Danforth and me. barrel-shaped designs stirred up oddly vague. Fifty miles of flight in each direction showed no major change in the labyrinth of rock and masonry that clawed up corpselike through the eternal ice. rather. evidently public squares. There seemed to be no limit to the mountain range. Where a sharp hill rose. we covered an enormous extent of ground . or to the length of the frightful stone city which bordered its inner foothills.now had to exert caution in our explorations.or. hateful. There were. some highly absorbing diversifications. air . but there were at least two exceptions. one was too badly weathered to disclose what had been on the jutting eminence. though. Even so.after swooping down to a level where the wind became virtually negligible.

we discovered that the city was not of infinite width. we succeeded about 12:30 P. while the land assumed a somewhat greater ruggedness.conical monument carved out of the solid rock and roughly resembling such things as the well-known Snake Tomb in the ancient valley of Petra. since our flight would be across the great range and back to camp. there grounding the plane and preparing to do some exploration on foot. low flying soon disclosed an ampler number of possible landing places. So far we had made no landing. and in ten more miles we came to an unbroken waste virtually without signs of sentient artifice. Flying inland from the mountains. After about thirty miles the grotesque stone buildings began to thin out. yet to leave the plateau without an attempt at entering some of the monstrous structures would have been inconceivable. depressed line. seeming to slope slightly upward as it receded in the mist-hazed west. we decided to find a smooth place on the foothills near our navigable pass. Though these gradual slopes were partly covered with a scattering of ruins.M. Selecting that nearest to the pass. The course of the river beyond the city seemed marked by a broad. Accordingly. even though its length along the foothills seemed endless. in effecting a landing on a smooth. hard snow 107 .

make drawings and topographical sketches. Fortunately we had a supply of extra paper to tear up. For our foot journey we discarded the heaviest of our flying furs. and that the vital parts of the mechanism were guarded against the cold. place in a spare specimen bag. This had been brought in case we found some cave system with air quiet enough to allow such a rapid and 108 . hand camera. outcropping. and use on the ancient principle of hare and hounds for marking our course in any interior mazes we might be able to penetrate. It did not seem necessary to protect the plane with a snow banking for so brief a time and in so comfortable an absence of high winds at this level. voluminous notebooks and paper. take ground pictures. and powerful electric torches with extra batteries. geologist’s hammer and chisel. and took with us a small outfit consisting of pocket compass. this equipment having been carried in the plane on the chance that we might be able to effect a landing. light provisions. hence we merely saw that the landing skis were safely lodged. specimen bags. and obtain rock specimens from some bare slope.field wholly devoid of obstacles and well adapted to a swift and favorable take-off later on. or mountain cave. coil of climbing rope.

was none the less awesome and potentially terrible in its implications of cosmic abnormality. we felt that we had established 109 .easy method in place of the usual rock-chipping method of trail blazing. we felt almost as keen a sense of imminent marvels as we had felt on approaching the unfathomed mountain pass four hours previously. and when at last we were actually able to touch its weathered Cyclopean blocks. It took only a few steps to bring us to a shapeless ruin worn level with the snow. we had become visually familiar with the incredible secret concealed by the barrier peaks. True. roofless rampart still complete in its gigantic five-pointed outline and rising to an irregular height of ten or eleven feet.before any known race of men could have existed . while ten or fifteen rods farther on there was a huge. For this latter we headed. Walking cautiously downhill over the crusted snow toward the stupendous stone labyrinth that loomed against the opalescent west. yet the prospect of actually entering primordial walls reared by conscious beings perhaps millions of years ago . Though the thinness of the air at this prodigious altitude made exertion somewhat more difficult than usual. and felt equal to almost any task which might fall to our lot. both Danforth and I found ourselves bearing up very well.

but did not attempt to disturb the glaciated floor.facts we had indeed guessed before. that there were no partitions remaining within. There was a row of arched loopholes or windows about four feet wide and five feet high. was built of Jurassic sandstone blocks of irregular size. when flying low over this rampart and others like it. Though lower parts must have originally existed. This rampart. all traces of such things were now wholly obscured by the deep layer of ice and snow at this point. shaped like a star and perhaps three hundred feet from point to point. and with the bottoms about four feet from the glaciated surface. We crawled through one of the windows and vainly tried to decipher the nearly effaced mural designs. averaging 6 x 8 feet in surface. Looking through these. Our orientation flights had indicated that many buildings in the city proper were less ice-choked. we could see that the masonry was fully five feet thick. and that there were traces of banded carvings or bas-reliefs on the interior walls . and that we might perhaps find wholly 110 .an unprecedented and almost blasphemous link with forgotten aeons normally closed to our species. spaced quite symmetrically along the points of the star and at its inner angles.

and were it not for the photographs.clear interiors leading down to the true ground level if we entered those structures still roofed at the top. The general type of masonry was identical with that of the rampart we had examined. We wished that Pabodie were present. and studied its mortar-less Cyclopean masonry with complete bewilderment. its outre and incredible forms impressing us afresh at every new angle of vision. with the upper wind shrieking vainly and savagely through the skyward peaks in the background. was something of which the smallest details will always remain engraved on my mind. Between us and the churning vapors of the west lay that monstrous tangle of dark stone towers. 111 . I would still doubt that such a thing could be. for his engineering knowledge might have helped us guess how such titanic blocks could have been handled in that unbelievably remote age when the city and its outskirts were built up. It was a mirage in solid stone. Before we left the rampart we photographed it carefully. but the extravagant shapes which this masonry took in its urban manifestations were past all description. The half-mile walk downhill to the actual city. Only in fantastic nightmares could any human beings but Danforth and me conceive such optical effects.

outspread below us. Our field glasses showed the external. terraces of every sort of provocative disproportion. and utterly alien exoticism. Of orderly streets there seemed to be none. where the ancient river had doubtless flowed through the town into the mountains. the only broad open swath being a mile to the left. it had been a complex tangle of twisted lanes and alleys. As we drew nearer we could see beneath certain transparent parts of the ice sheet. all of them deep canyons. Now. and some little better than tunnels because of the overhanging masonry or overarching bridges. There were geometrical forms for which an Euclid would scarcely find a name . horizontal bands of nearly effaced sculptures and dot groups to be very prevalent. broken columns in curious groups.cones of all degrees of irregularity and truncation. and five-pointed or five-ridged arrangements of mad grotesqueness. preternatural massiveness. and we could half imagine what the city must once have looked like . shafts with odd bulbous enlargements. As a whole. it loomed 112 .even though most of the roofs and tower tops had necessarily perished. and detect some of the tubular stone bridges that connected the crazily sprinkled structures at various heights.Even the pictures illustrate only one or two phases of its endless variety.

we believed.which I resented all the more because I could not help sharing certain conclusions forced upon us by many features of this morbid survival 113 . When at last we plunged into the town itself. the effect was subtly menacing in a way I can never hope to depict. Even the faint howling and piping of the unfelt wind in the great mountain passes behind us took on a wilder note of purposeful malignity. there must be a flight of steps or its equivalent. that sun encountered a denser obstruction and plunged the scene into temporary shadow. The last stage of our descent to the town was unusually steep and abrupt. Under the glaciation. clambering over fallen masonry and shrinking from the oppressive nearness and dwarfing height of omnipresent crumbling and pitted walls. Danforth was frankly jumpy. our sensations again became such that I marvel at the amount of self-control we retained. and a rock outcropping at the edge where the grade changed led us to think that an artificial terrace had once existed there.like a dream fantasy against a westward mist through whose northern end the low. and when. for a moment. reddish antarctic sun of early afternoon was struggling to shine. and began making some offensively irrelevant speculations about the horror at the camp .

The ceaseless five-pointedness of the surrounding architecture and of the few distinguishable mural arabesques had a dimly sinister suggestiveness we could not escape. The speculations worked on his imagination.he insisted that he saw faint traces of ground markings which he did not like. he said.where a debris-littered alley turned a sharp corner . Nothing in the great outer walls seemed to date from later than the Jurassic and Comanchian periods. and gave us a touch of terrible subconscious certainty concerning the primal entities which had reared and dwelt in this unhallowed place. whilst elsewhere he stopped to listen to a subtle. Nevertheless. We wished a rather full set in order to draw better conclusions regarding the age of the place. our scientific and adventurous souls were not wholly dead. we were wandering amidst a death 114 . too. yet somehow disturbingly different. imaginary sound from some undefined point . nor was any piece of stone in the entire place of a greater recency than the Pliocene Age.from nightmare antiquity. not unlike that of the wind in the mountain caves. for in one place . and we mechanically carried out our program of chipping specimens from all the different rock types represented in the masonry.a muffled musical piping. In stark certainty.

In the placing of these shutters . though spacious and inviting.usage seemed to be varied .which had reigned at least five hundred thousand years. and were impressed by the fabulous antiquity implied in the still discernible grain. opened on a seemingly bottomless abyss without visible means of descent. Now and then we had a chance to study the petrified wood of a surviving shutter. These things had come from Mesozoic gymnosperms and conifers . As we proceeded through this maze of stoneshadowed twilight we stopped at all available apertures to study interiors and investigate entrance possibilities. One. and in all probability even longer.especially Cretaceous cycads .whose edges showed the former presence of queer and longvanished hinges . whilst others led only into ice-choked ruins as unroofed and barren as the rampart on the hill.some being on the outer and some on the inner side of the deep embrasures. 115 . thus surviving the rusting of their former and probably metallic fixtures and fastenings.and from fan palms and early angiosperms of plainly Tertiary date. They seemed to have become wedged in place. Some were above our reach. Nothing definitely later than the Pliocene could be discovered.

which led into a vast. well-preserved room with stone flooring. were flush with upperstory floors. though. That across the alley. The building thus accessible was a series of rectangular terraces on our left facing westward. marking the former end of an aerial bridge which had spanned an alley about five feet above the present level of glaciation.After a time we came across a row of windows . and our electric torches showed bold. This enormous room was probably a hall or concourse of some sort. but these were too high in the room to permit descent without a rope. These archways. and in this case one of the floors still existed. distinct. horizontal bands separated by equally broad strips of conventional arabesques. We had a rope with us. an archway about six feet wide and ten feet high. We took careful note of this spot.in the bulges of a colossal five-edged cone of undamaged apex . Finally. where the other arch- 116 . and potentially startling sculptures arranged round the walls in broad. but did not wish to bother with this twenty-foot drop unless obliged to-especially in this thin plateau air where great demands were made upon the heart action. we did encounter exactly the opening we wished. planning to enter here unless a more easily gained interior were encountered. of course.

and seemed to form the outlet of a long. Hitherto our compasses. it required fresh resolution to carry us actually inside a complete and surviving building of a fabulous elder world whose nature was becoming more and more hideously plain to us. For though we had penetrated into this tangle of archaic mystery. yet for a moment we hesitated before taking advantage of the longwished chance. was a decrepit cylinder with no windows and with a curious bulge about ten feet above the aperture. and the archway seemed to open on a well of illimitable emptiness. we decided that we must begin our system of hare-and-hound trail blazing. and scrambled up over the rubble into the gaping embrasure. the artificial substitute would be necessary. had been enough to prevent our losing our way. together with frequent glimpses of the vast mountain range between the towers in our rear. It was totally dark inside. Heaped debris made the entrance to the vast lefthand building doubly easy. however. In the end.way yawned. Observing the many inner archways which led off from it. we made the plunge. Accord- 117 . The floor beyond was of great slate slabs. high corridor with sculptured walls. and realizing the probable complexity of the nest of apartments within. but from now on.

or if our paper supply should give out. since there did not appear to be any strong air currents inside the primordial masonry. it was impossible to guess without a trial. This method would probably gain us immunity from straying. The close and frequent connection of the different buildings made it likely that we might cross from one to another on bridges underneath the ice. one gained a curious impression that this place had been deliberately closed and deserted in some dim. Just how extensive a territory we had opened up. we could of course fall back on the more secure though more tedious and retarding method of rock chipping. Indeed. and prepared to use them as economically as safety would allow. for very little glaciation seemed to have entered the massive constructions.ingly we reduced our extra paper to shreds of suitable size. except where impeded by local collapses and geologic rifts. placed these in a bag to be carried by Danforth. If such should develop. Almost all the areas of transparent ice had revealed the submerged windows as tightly shuttered. rather than overwhelmed by any sudden calamity or even 118 . bygone aeon. as if the town had been left in that uniform state until the glacial sheet came to crystallize the lower part for all succeeding time.

very plainly. Our flashlight photographs of those carvings will do much toward proving the truth of what we are now disclosing. aeon-dead honeycomb of primal masonry that monstrous lair of elder secrets which now echoed for the first time. had helped to create the special state now observable. and perhaps some flood from the river. This is especially true because so much of the horrible drama and revelation came from a mere study of the omnipresent mural carvings. and it is lamentable that we had not a larger film supply with 119 . VI It would be cumbrous to give a detailed. Had the coming of the ice been foreseen. to the tread of human feet. after uncounted epochs. Perhaps the pressure of accumulated snows had been responsible. Imagination could conceive almost anything in connection with this place. or from the bursting of some ancient glacial dam in the great range. and had a nameless population left en masse to seek a less doomed abode? The precise physiographic conditions attending the formation of the ice sheet at this point would have to wait for later solution. consecutive account of our wanderings inside that cavernous.gradual decay. It had not. been a grinding drive.

and 20 feet in height. The rooms we encountered were of all imaginable shapes and proportions.us. though many larger apartments existed. Labyrinthine complexity. and we should certainly have been lost at the very outset but for the trail of torn paper left behind us. ranging from five-pointed stars to triangles and perfect cubes. but on the lower levels were excellently preserved. We decided to explore the more decrepit upper parts first of all. It might be safe to say that their general average was about 30 x 30 feet in floor area. involving curiously irregular difference in floor levels. transversely ribbed stone ramps or inclined planes which everywhere served in lieu of stairs. The inner partitions were less massive than the outer walls. hence climbed aloft in the maze for a distance of some one hundred feet. After thoroughly examining the upper re- 120 . The building which we had entered was one of great size and elaborateness. As it was. to where the topmost tier of chambers yawned snowily and ruinously open to the polar sky. and gave us an impressive notion of the architecture of that nameless geologic past. characterized the entire arrangement. Ascent was effected over the steep. we made crude notebook sketches of certain salient features after all our films were used up.

that this monstrous city was many million years old. and there was something vaguely but deeply unhuman in all the contours. We cannot yet explain the engineering principles used in the anomalous balancing and adjustment of the vast rock masses. we descended. but its preponderance was overwhelming. Often. There were exceptions to this rule of arrangement. though the function of the arch was clearly much relied on. story by story. and constructional nuances of the blasphemously archaic stonework. from what the carvings revealed. how- 121 . We soon realized. The prime decorative feature was the almost universal system of mural sculpture. which tended to run in continuous horizontal bands three feet wide and arranged from floor to ceiling in alternation with bands of equal width given over to geometrical arabesques. dimensions. a circumstance which sustained our belief in the city’s deliberate desertion. where indeed we soon saw we were in a continuous maze of connected chambers and passages probably leading over unlimited areas outside this particular building.gions and the glacial level. into the submerged part. The rooms we visited were wholly bare of all portable contents. The Cyclopean massiveness and gigantism of everything about us became curiously oppressive. decorations. proportions.

Their method of design hinged on a singular juxtaposition of the cross section with the two-dimensional silhouette. was mature.ever. a series of smooth car-touches containing oddly patterned groups of dots would be sunk along one of the arabesque bands. The arabesques displayed a profound use of mathematical principles. and were made up of obscurely symmetrical curves and angles based on the quantity of five. The minutest details of elaborate vegetation. notwithstanding the intervening gulf of vast geologic periods. and involved a peculiar treatment of perspective. and aesthetically evolved to the highest degree of civilized mastery. In delicacy of execution no sculpture I have ever seen could approach it. accomplished. though utterly alien in every detail to any known art tradition of the human race. were rendered with astonishing vividness despite the bold scale of the carvings. but had an artistic force that moved us profoundly. It is useless to try to compare this art with any represented in our museums. The pictorial bands followed a highly formalized tradition. and embodied an analytical psychology beyond that of any known race of antiquity. or of animal life. Those who see our photographs will 122 . whilst the conventional designs were marvels of skillful intricacy. The technique. we soon saw.

Certain touches here and there gave vague hints of latent symbols and 123 .evidently as inscriptions in some unknown and primordial language and alphabet . the very conventions themselves served to symbolize and accentuate the real essence or vital differentiation of every object delineated. though for the most part the untold aeons had disintegrated and banished any pigments which may have been applied. that besides these recognizable excellences there were others lurking beyond the reach of our perceptions. the more one admired the things. We felt. Beneath their strict conventionalization one could grasp the minute and accurate observation and graphic skill of the artists. whose depth on unweathered walls varied from one to two inches.probably find its closest analogue in certain grotesque conceptions of the most daring futurists. When cartouches with dot groups appeared . too.the depression of the smooth surface was perhaps an inch and a half. The arabesque tracery consisted altogether of depressed lines. and indeed. The more one studied the marvelous technique. In some specimens marks of a former coloration could be detected. their background being depressed about two inches from the original wall surface. and of the dots perhaps a half inch more. The pictorial bands were in countersunk low relief.

might have made of profound and poignant significance to us. and contained a large proportion of evid e n t h i s t o r y. In certain rooms the dominant arrangement was varied by the presence of maps. The subject matter of the sculptures obviously came from the life of the vanished epoch of their creation. and which caused us to place their photography and transcription above all other considerations. through coincidence.stimuli which another mental and emotional background. It would be tragic if any were to be allured to that realm of death and horror by the very warning meant to discourage them. I can only hope that my account will not arouse a curiosity greater than sane caution on the part of those who believe me at all. and a fuller or different sensory equipment.a chance circumstance operating. astronomical charts. miraculously in our favor . both 124 . I t i s t h i s a b n o r m a l h i s t o r i c mindedness of the primal race . In hinting at what the whole revealed. Interrupting these sculptured walls were high windows and massive twelve-foot doorways.which made the carvings so awesomely informative to us.these things giving a naive and terrible corroboration to what we gathered from the pictorial friezes and dadoes. and other scientific designs of an enlarged scale .

Window frames with odd transparent panes . litter. but farther down this condition decreased. In some of the lower chambers and corri- 125 . generally empty. Ceilings tended to be plain. and the like-of a sort suggested in many of the carvings. lighting.now and then retaining the petrified wooden planks . mostly fallen now. Other apertures were undoubtedly connected with bygone mechanical facilities . though in no considerable quantity. but the sculptures gave a clear idea of the strange devices which had once filled these tomblike. Floors were also paved with such tiles. though plain stonework predominated.heating. and debris. but some of the doors remained in place and had to be forced aside as we progressed from room to room. All metal fixtures had long ago vanished.survived here and there. echoing rooms. but once in a while containing some bizarre object carved from green soapstone which was either broken or perhaps held too inferior to warrant removal. but had sometimes been inlaid with green soapstone or other tiles. all furniture and other movables were absent. There were also frequent niches of great magnitude. As I have said.mostly elliptical . Above the glacial sheet the floors were generally thick with detritus.elaborately carved and polished-of the actual shutters and doors.

one must correlate a hopelessly bewildering chaos of fugitive moods. however. A central court . To form even a rudimentary idea of our thoughts and feelings as we penetrated this aeon-silent maze of unhuman masonry. so that we seldom had to use our electric torches in the upper rooms except when studying sculptured details.as in other structures we had seen from the air . where rifts or collapses had occurred.a truth which it would be 126 .dors there was little more than gritty dust or ancient incrustations. the lower levels were as littered as the upper ones.saved the inner regions from total darkness. and impressions. The moment we came upon a perfect section of carving. and the revelations all too soon effected by the terrible mural sculptures around us. it took only a brief study to give us the hideous truth . memories. but added to these elements were the recent unexplained horror at the camp. Of course. The sheer appalling antiquity and lethal desolation of the place were enough to overwhelm almost any sensitive person. while occasional areas had an uncanny air of newly swept immaculateness. and in many parts of the tangled ground level there was an approach to absolute blackness. where no ambiguity of interpretation could exist. Below the ice cap. the twilight deepened.

I can scarcely bear to write it down in black and white even now. There could now be no further merciful doubt about the nature of the beings which had built and inhabited this monstrous dead city millions of years ago. But this lone refuge was now stripped from us.naive to claim Danforth and I had not independently suspected before. as the decorative motifs of Minoan Crete exalted the sacred bull.each to himself . and we were forced to face definitely the reason-shaking realization which the reader of these pages has doubtless long ago anticipated. when man’s ancestors were primitive archaic mammals. The things once rearing and dwelling in this frightful masonry in the age of dinosaurs were not 127 . though we had carefully refrained from even hinting it to each other. and vast dinosaurs roamed the tropical steppes of Europe and Asia. those of Rome the wolf and the eagle. and those of various savage tribes some chosen totem animal. We had previously clung to a desperate alternative and insisted . those of Egypt the scarabaeus.that the omnipresence of the five-pointed motifs meant only some cultural or religious exaltation of the Archaean natural object which had so patently embodied the quality of five-pointedness. but perhaps that will not be necessary.

and it was fully three o’clock before we got started on our actual tour of systematic re- 128 .the beings whose substance an alien evolution had shaped. Mere dinosaurs were new and almost brainless objects . and whose powers were such as this planet had never bred.rocks laid down before the true life of earth had existed at all. and above all doubt the originals of the fiendish elder myths which things like the Pnakotic Manuscripts and the Necronomicon affrightedly hint about.rocks laid down before the true life of earth had advanced beyond plastic groups of cells . but far worse. They were the great "Old Ones" that had filtered down from the stars when earth was young . And to think that only the day before Danforth and I had actually looked upon fragments of their millennially fossilized substance and that poor Lake and his party had seen their complete outlines .indeed dinosaurs. After the first shock of the certain revelation. They were the makers and enslavers of that life. and had left certain traces in rocks even then laid down well nigh a thousand million years .It is of course impossible for me to relate in proper order the stages by which we picked up what we know of that monstrous chapter of prehuman life.but the builders of the city were wise and old. we had to pause a while to recuperate.

and in other universes . biological. I would refrain from telling what I found and inferred. with one tremendous exception.and embodied an art which would be called decadent in comparison with that of specimens we found in older buildings after crossing bridges under the glacial sheet. that we encountered.to the lower Eocene or upper Cretaceous . Of course. Were it not for the support of those flashlights soon to be made public. One edifice hewn from the solid rock seemed to go back forty or possibly even fifty million years . That was. The sculptures in the building we entered were of relatively late date . lest I be confined as a madman.and contained bas-reliefs of an artistry surpassing anything else.representing the preterrestrial life of the star-headed beings on other planets.search. in other galaxies. we have since agreed. the oldest domestic structure we traversed. yet such parts sometimes involved designs and diagrams so uncannily close to the latest findings of mathematics and astrophysics that I scarcely know what to think.can readily be interpreted as the fantastic mythology of those beings themselves. the infinitely early parts of the patchwork tale . Let others 129 . and astronomical features .perhaps two million years ago-as checked up by geological.

and much of that was obtained later on from a study of the photo- 130 . Of course.judge when they see the photographs I shall publish. though. no one set of carvings which we encountered told more than a fraction of any connected story. since certain chapters of experience. and certain summaries or phases of racial history. Naturally.a cavern perhaps two hundred feet square and sixty feet high. I still wonder that we deduced so much in the short time at our disposal. which had almost undoubtedly been an educational center of some sort. Some of the vast rooms were independent units so far as their designs were concerned. The best of the maps and diagrams were on the walls of a frightful abyss below even the ancient ground level . had evidently been favorites with different decorators or dwellers. Sometimes. whilst in other cases a continuous chronicle would be carried through a series of rooms and corridors. we even now have only the barest outline . variant versions of the same theme proved useful in settling debatable points and filling up gaps. nor did we even begin to come upon the various stages of that story in their proper order. There were many provoking repetitions of the same material in different rooms and buildings.

will eventually appear in an official bulletin of Miskatonic University. Here I shall sketch only the salient highlights in a formless. and the coming of many other alien entities such as at certain times embark upon spatial pioneering. But it had to be. the sculptures told of the coming of those star-headed things to the nascent. Myth or otherwise. and the issuance of that warning is a prime necessity.their coming. VII The full story. They seemed able to traverse the interstellar ether on their vast membranous wings . so far as deciphered. It may be the effect of this later study .graphs and sketches we made. rambling way. for we could not issue our warning intelligently without the fullest possible information.which has been the immediate source of Danforth’s present breakdown. lifeless earth out of cosmic space .the revived memories and vague impressions acting in conjunction with his general sensitiveness and with that final supposed horror-glimpse whose essence he will not reveal even to me .thus oddly confirming some 131 . Certain lingering influences in that unknown antarctic world of disordered time and alien natural law make it imperative that further exploration be discouraged.

They had done the same thing on other planets. having manufactured not only necessary foods. Their preternatural toughness of organization and simplicity of natural wants made them peculiarly able to live on a high plane without the more specialized fruits of artificial manufacture. It was under the sea. though they made use of its more widespread and elaborate forms only when obliged to. at first for food and later for other purposes. The more elaborate experiments came after the annihilation of various cosmic enemies. but certain multicellular protoplasmic masses capable of molding their tissues into all sorts of tem- 132 . except for occasional protection against the elements.curious hill folklore long ago told me by an antiquarian colleague. They had lived under the sea a good deal. building fantastic cities and fighting terrific battles with nameless adversaries by means of intricate devices employing unknown principles of energy. Some of the sculptures suggested that they had passed through a stage of mechanized life on other planets. Evidently their scientific and mechanical knowledge far surpassed man’s today. that they first created earth life using available substances according to longknown methods. and even without garments. but had receded upon finding its effects emotionally unsatisfying.

and probably retained many traditions of land construction. The tops of the buildings. low cities under the sea grew to vast and imposing labyrinths of stone not unlike those which later rose on land.porary organs under hypnotic influence and thereby forming ideal slaves to perform the heavy work of the community. including that whose aeon-dead corridors we were even then traversing. extirpating any whose presence became troublesome. even to ourselves. These viscous masses were without doubt what Abdul Alhazred whispered about as the "Shoggoths" in his frightful Necronomicon. With the aid of the Shoggoths. they allowed other cell groups to develop into other forms of animal and vegetable life for sundry purposes. the highly adaptable Old Ones had lived much on land in other parts of the universe. whose expansions could be made to lift prodigious weights. though even that mad Arab had not hinted that any existed on earth except in the dreams of those who had chewed a certain alkaloidal herb. which in 133 . As we studied the architecture of all these sculptured palaeogean cities. we were impressed by a curious coincidence which we have not yet tried to explain. Indeed. When the star-headed Old Ones on this planet had synthesized their simple food forms and bred a good supply of Shoggoths. the small.

cast by a dead city whence such skyline features had been absent for thousands and tens of thousands of years.the writing accomplished with a stylus on waterproof waxen surfaces.the actual city around us had. and had practiced the arts of sculpture and of writing in quite the usual way . horizontal scalloped disks capping cylindrical shafts. though they used a curious phosphorescent organism to furnish light. Of the life of the Old Ones. This was exactly what we had seen in that monstrous and portentous mirage. delicate finials on certain cone and pyramid apexes. volumes could be written. Those lower down in the ocean depths. Their forms of 134 . Those in shallow water had continued the fullest use of the eyes at the ends of their five main head tentacles. both under the sea and after part of them migrated to land. pieced out their vision with obscure special senses operating through the prismatic cilia on their heads senses which rendered all the Old Ones partly independent of light in emergencies. and showed vast clusters of needle-like spires. and tiers of thin. which loomed on our ignorant eyes across the unfathomed mountains of madness as we first approached poor Lake’s ill-fated camp. were clearly displayed in the bas-reliefs. been weathered into shapeless ruins ages ago. of course.

flexible. The fact that they covered their vertically inhumed dead with fivepointed inscribed mounds set up thoughts in Danforth and me which made a fresh pause and recuperation necessary after the sculptures revealed it. The many slender tentacles into which the crinoid arms branched were infinitely delicate.using the lateral crinoid arms .which the basreliefs could not make clear to us. and accurate in muscular-nervous coordination . 135 . The beings moved in the sea partly by swimming .sculpture and writing had changed curiously during the descent. Even the terrific pressure of the deepest sea bottoms appeared powerless to harm them.ensuring the utmost skill and dexterity in all artistic and other manual operations. The toughness of the things was almost incredible.probably to secure phosphorescence . strong. On land they locally used the pseudofeet. and their burial places were very limited. Very few seemed to die at all except by violence. embodying certain apparently chemical coating processes . Occasionally they accomplished long swoops with the auxiliary use of two or more sets of their fanlike folding wings. but now and then flew to great heights or over long distances with their wings.and partly by wriggling with the lower tier of tentacles containing the pseudofeet.

When the great chill of the Pleistocene drew on. but had the same foundations and essentials. to derive nourishment from inorganic substances. but cooked their viands on land. like vegetables. Though able. and consequent lack of replacement needs. The prevailing intellectual and aesthetic life was highly evolved. and produced a tenaciously enduring set of customs and institutions which I shall describe more fully in my coming monograph.like vegetable pteridophytes. The young matured swiftly. owing to their prodigious toughness and longevity. as Lake had suspected but. they did not encourage the large-scale development of new prothallia except when they had new regions to colonize. They resisted all ordinary temperatures marvelously. They ate uncooked marine life under the sea. however nearly a million years ago-the land dwellers had to 136 . they vastly preferred organic and especially animal food. and received an education evidently beyond any standard we can imagine. These varied slightly according to sea or land residence. and in their natural state could live in water down to freezing.The beings multiplied by means of spores . They hunted game and raised meat herds .slaughtering with sharp weapons whose odd marks on certain fossil bones our expedition had noted.

including artificial heating . In furnishing their homes they kept everything in the center of the huge rooms.congenial mental association. Being nonpairing and semivegetable in structure. breathing. was accomplished by a device probably electro-chemical in nature. they absorbed certain chemicals and became almost independent of eating.but by the time of the great cold they had lost track of the method. leaving all the wall spaces free for decorative treatment.until at last the deadly cold appears to have driven them back into the sea. but seemed to organize large households on the principles of comfortable spaceutility and . For their prehistoric flights through cosmic space. Lighting.and racks for hinged sets of dotted surfaces forming their books.as we deduced from the pictured occupations and diversions of co-dwellers .resort to special measures. or heat conditions . the Old Ones had no biological basis for the family phase of mammal life. 137 . chairs and couches like cylindrical frames . In any case they could not have prolonged the artificial state indefinitely without harm. legend said. in the case of the land inhabitants. Both on land and under water they used curious tables.for they rested and slept upright with folded-down tentacles .

certain small. some agriculture and much stock raising existed. both local and between different cities . since in land. Though the culture was mainly urban.animal and vegetable. flat counters. They had been suffered to develop unchecked 138 . and a curious variety of primitive vertebrates in the later years of land existence. though no certainties in this regard could be deduced from the sculptures we saw.Government was evidently complex and probably socialistic. five-pointed and inscribed. Mining and a limited amount of manufacturing were also practiced. Probably the smaller of the various greenish soapstones found by our expedition were pieces of such currency.were the products of unguided evolution acting on life cells made by the Old Ones. serving as money. marine. but permanent migration seemed relatively rare except for the vast colonizing movements by which the race expanded. Travel was very frequent. were drawn by beasts of burden .Shoggoths under the sea. as well as an infinity of other life forms . There was extensive commerce. air. For personal locomotion no external aid was used. however. These vertebrates. terrestrial. and aerial . but escaping beyond their radius of attention. and water movement alike the Old Ones seemed to possess excessively vast capacities for speed. Loads.

According to one of the sculptured maps the whole globe was then under water. Another map shows a vast bulk of dry land around the 139 . Their original place of advent to the planet was the Antarctic Ocean. In the building of land cities the huge stone blocks of the high towers were generally lifted by vastwinged pterodactyls of a species heretofore unknown to paleontology. of course. with stone cities scattered farther and farther from the antarctic as aeons passed. whose vaguely simian and human foreshadowings were unmistakable. It interested us to see in some of the very last and most decadent sculptures a shambling. and it is likely that they came not long after the matter forming the moon was wrenched from the neighboring South Pacific. used sometimes for food and sometimes as an amusing buffoon by the land dwellers. The persistence with which the Old Ones survived various geologic changes and convulsions of the earth’s crust was little short of miraculous. Though few or none of their first cities seem to have remained beyond the Archaean Age.because they had not come in conflict with the dominant beings. were mechanically exterminated. primitive mammal. Bothersome forms. there was no interruption in their civilization or in the transmission of their records.

Then suddenly the lands of the Pacific sank again. Another race . From then on. where it is evident that some of the beings made experimental settlements. Later maps. and Joly. for this region of first arrival was sacred. uphold in a striking way the theories of continental drift lately advanced by Taylor. though their main centers were transferred to the nearest sea bottom.a land race of beings shaped like octopi and probably corresponding to fabulous prehuman spawn of Cthulhu . and sending certain detached parts northward. the antarctic remained the center of the Old Ones’ civilization. yet that was not the worst misfortune. Wegener.the greatest of them in the antarctic.south pole.soon began filtering down from cosmic infinity and precipitated a -monstrous war which for a time drove the Old Ones wholly back to the sea . Some of the marine cities were hopelessly shattered. which display the land mass as cracking and drifting. 140 . New land cities were founded . Later peace was made. and the new lands were given to the Cthulhu spawn whilst the Old Ones held the sea and the older lands.a colossal blow in view of the increasing land settlements. and all the cities built there by the Cthulhu spawn were blotted out. With the upheaval of new land in the South Pacific tremendous events began. as before.

On land the great reptiles proved highly tractable. the art of creating new life from inorganic matter had been lost. but the Shoggoths of the sea. They had always been controlled through the hypnotic suggestions of the Old Ones. though the ocean was never wholly deserted. and had mod- 141 . reproducing by fission and acquiring a dangerous degree of accidental intelligence.a movement encouraged by the rise of new land masses. so that the Old Ones had to depend on the molding of forms already in existence. so that the Old Ones were again supreme on the planet except for one shadowy fear about which they did not like to speak. as the sculptures sadly confessed. With the march of time. The steady trend down the ages was from water to land . Another cause of the landward movement was the new difficulty in breeding and managing the Shoggoths upon which successful sea life depended. presented for a time a formidable problem. At a rather later age their cities dotted all the land and water areas of the globe .taking with them the frightful stone city of R’lyeh and all the cosmic octopi.hence the recommendation in my coming monograph that some archaeologist make systematic borings with Pabodie’s type of apparatus in certain widely separated regions.

and each averaged about fifteen feet in diameter when a sphere. and in various imitative forms implanted by past suggestion. They had. when a veritable war of resubjugation was waged upon them by the marine Old Ones. Sculptured images of these Shoggoths filled Danforth and me with horror and loathing. They seem to have become peculiarly intractable toward the middle of the Permian Age. held a marvelously fearsome quality despite the intervening abyss of untold ages. either spontaneously or according to suggestion. slime-coated fashion in which the Shoggoths typically left their slain victims. however. perhaps one hundred and fifty million years ago. developed a semistable brain whose separate and occasionally stubborn volition echoed the will of the Old Ones without always obeying it. it seems. but now their selfmodeling powers were sometimes exercised independently. They were normally shapeless entities composed of a viscous jelly which looked like an agglutination of bubbles. Pictures of this war. They had. and of the headless. The Old Ones 142 . and speech in imitation of their masters.throwing out temporary developments or forming apparent organs of sight. hearing. a constantly shifting shape and volume .eled their tough plasticity into various useful temporary limbs and organs.

though 143 .since their usefulness on land would hardly have been commensurate with the trouble of their management. it was now definitely lost to the race. Thereafter the sculptures showed a period in which Shoggoths were tamed and broken by armed Old Ones as the wild horses of the American west were tamed by cowboys. During the Jurassic Age the Old Ones met fresh adversity in the form of a new invasion from outer space . this transition was not encouraged . or abominable Snow Men. Though during the rebellion the Shoggoths had shown an ability to live out of water. Whatever the old secret of interstellar travel had been. and remembered in the Himalayas as the Mi-Go.had used curious weapons of molecular and atomic disturbances against the rebel entities.creatures undoubtedly the same as those figuring in certain whispered hill legends of the north. half-crustacean creatures . despite all traditional preparations.this time by half-fungous. In the end the Mi-Go drove the Old Ones out of all the northern lands. for the first time since their terrene advent. found it no longer possible to leave the earth’s atmosphere. To fight these beings the Old Ones attempted. to sally forth again into the planetary ether. and in the end had achieved a complete victory. but.

The Old Ones. and must have had their absolute origin within the known space-time continuum whereas the first sources of the other beings can only be guessed at with bated breath. It was curious to note from the pictured battles that both the Cthulhu spawn and the Mi-Go seem to have been composed of matter more widely different from that which we know than was the substance of the Old Ones. It is significant that their annals failed to mention many advanced and potent races of beings whose mighty cultures and 144 .they were powerless to disturb those in the sea. since historical interest and pride obviously formed their chief psychological element. assuming that the non-terrestrial linkages and the anomalies ascribed to the invading foes are not pure mythology. of course. the Old Ones might have invented a cosmic framework to account for their occasional defeats. were strictly material. Conceivably. but for their abnormal toughness and peculiar vital properties. and seem therefore to have originally come from even remoter gulfs of the cosmic space. All this. Little by little the slow retreat of the elder race to their original antarctic habitat was beginning. They were able to undergo transformations and reintegrations impossible for their adversaries.

towering cities figure persistently in certain obscure legends. and the antarctic continent. The changing state of the world through long geologic ages appeared with startling vividness in many of the sculptured maps and scenes. and Joly that all the continents are fragments of an original antarctic land mass which cracked from centrifugal force and drifted apart over a technically viscous lower surface .an hypothesis suggested by such things as the complementary outlines of Africa and South America. As I have said. Maps evidently showing the Carboniferous world of an hundred million or more years ago displayed significant rifts and chasms destined later to separate Africa from the once continuous realms of Europe (then the Valusia of primal legend). Asia. while in other cases its bold deductions are magnificently confirmed. the Americas. and the way the great mountain chains are rolled and shoved up .and most significantly one in connection with the founding fifty million years ago of the vast dead city around us . Other charts . In certain cases existing science will require revision. Wegener. the hypothesis of Taylor.showed all the present continents well differentiated. And in the latest 145 .receives striking support from this uncanny source.

In the Carboniferous map the whole globe-ocean floor and rifted land mass alike . The vast dead megalopolis that yawned around us seemed to be the last general center of the race - 146 . The final Pliocene specimen showed no land cities except on the antarctic continent and the tip of South America. and it was curious to observe how fewer and fewer replacements were made as the ages wore on. was a matter of common record. Destruction of cities through the upthrust of mountains. of North America with Europe through Greenland. Knowledge and interest in the northern world.dating perhaps from the Pliocene Age . had evidently declined to zero among the Old Ones. and of South America with the antarctic continent through Graham Land. the centrifugal rending of continents. but in the later charts the gradual recession toward the antarctic became very plain.the approximate world of today appeared quite clearly despite the linkage of Alaska with Siberia. and other natural causes.discoverable specimen . save for a study of coast lines probably made during long exploration flights on those fanlike membranous wings. nor any ocean cities north of the fiftieth parallel of South Latitude. the seismic convulsions of land or sea bottom.bore symbols of the Old Ones’ vast stone cities.

where reputedly the first Old Ones had settled on a primal sea bottom. which thrust up to light after long epochs in the course of the general crumbling of strata. Of this local material there was naturally a vast abundance. though somewhat damaged by a neighboring rift. and on the tangled ground level of the city we were lucky enough to find a house of very late date whose walls. but which stretched fully a hundred miles along the mountain range in each direction beyond the farthest limits of our aerial survey . VIII Naturally. In the new city .many of whose features we could recognize in the sculptures. It appeared that this general region was the most sacred spot of all.there were reputed to be preserved certain sacred stones forming part of the first sea-bottom city. Danforth and I studied with especial interest and a peculiarly personal sense of awe everything pertaining to the immediate district in which we were. contained sculptures of decadent workmanship carrying the story of the region much beyond the period of the Pliocene map whence we derived our last 147 .built early in the Cretaceous Age after a titanic earth buckling had obliterated a still vaster predecessor not far distant.

Certainly. whilst others approached it with 148 . E. it was infinitely the most ancient. That grim honor is beyond doubt reserved for something which half the sculptures hesitated to record at all. E. weirdest.starting as a low range at Luitpold Land on the east coast of Weddell Sea and virtually crossing the entire continent. That really high part stretched in a mighty arc from about Latitude 82°. since what we found there gave us a fresh immediate objective. Longitude 115°. The great mountain chain was tremendously long .general glimpse of the prehuman world. with its concave side toward our camp and its seaward end in the region of that long. we were in one of the strangest. icelocked coast whose hills were glimpsed by Wilkes and Mawson at the antarctic circle. Longitude 60° to Latitude 70°. Yet even more monstrous exaggerations of nature seemed disturbingly close at hand. Of all existing lands. but the sculptures forbid me to say that they are earth’s highest. This was the last place we examined in detail. The conviction grew upon us that this hideous upland must indeed be the fabled nightmare plateau of Leng which even the mad author of the Necronomicon was reluctant to discuss. I have said that these peaks are higher than the Himalayas. and most terrible of all the corners of earth’s globe.

E. Cities built there had crumbled before their time. E.which had come to be shunned as vaguely and namelessly evil. from the stars . 149 .less than three hundred miles away from the dead city. Their northern end must likewise be visible from the long antarctic circle coast line at Queen Mary Land. Longitude 100° . If the scale of the carvings was correct. it appeared.the first part that ever rose from the waters after the earth had flung off the moon and the Old Ones had seeped down. opalescent haze. Then when the first great earth buckling had convulsed the region in the Comanchian Age. a frightful line of peaks had shot suddenly up amidst the most appalling din and chaos .obvious repugnance and trepidation. It seems that there was one part of the ancient land . and had been found suddenly deserted. so that we would have spied their dreaded summits in the dim western distance had it not been for that vague. from about Latitude 77°.radically vaster than even the shocking mountains of madness we had crossed. Longitude 70° to Latitude 70°. They extended.and earth had received her loftiest and most terrible mountains. these abhorred things must have been much over forty thousand feet high .

No human eye had ever seen them. and many carvings showed what grotesque and fantastic towers had pierced the sky where now we saw only the curiously clinging cubes and ramparts. I prayed that none ever might. Soon after the founding of the city the great mountain range became the seat of the principal temples. I am not as sceptical about old tales and fears as I used to be. But the terrain close at hand was hardly less strange.and I thank Heaven no one has been able to land and climb those hills. in the decadent days. There may be a very real and very monstrous meaning in the old Pnakotic whispers about Kadath in the Cold Waste.Some of the Old Ones. In the course of ages the caves had appeared. There are protecting hills along the coast beyond them Queen Mary and Kaiser Wilhelm Lands . With the 150 . even if less namelessly accursed.but none ever went near them or dared to guess what lay beyond. had made strange prayers to those mountains . and as I studied the emotions conveyed in the carvings. and that an unexplained glow shone from one of those terrible pinnacles all through the long polar night. and I do not laugh now at the prehuman sculptor’s notion that lightning paused meaningfully now and then at each of the brooding crests. and had been shaped into adjuncts of the temples.

and which had formerly turned at the base of the Old Ones’ range and flowed beside that chain into the Indian Ocean between Budd and Totten Lands on Wilkes’s coast line. Finally its whole bulk emptied into the hollow hills and left the old bed toward the ocean dry. The Old Ones. the foothills. and exercising their always keen artistic sense. This vast nighted gulf had undoubtedly been worn by the great river which flowed down from the nameless and horrible westward mountains. till at last its sapping currents reached the caverns of the ground waters and joined with them in digging a deeper abyss. Much of the later city as we now found it had been built over that former bed. Many graphic sculptures told of explorations deep underground.advance of still later epochs. 151 . Little by little it had eaten away the limestone hill base at its turning. understanding what had happened. and the plains below them were a veritable network of connected caverns and galleries. and of the final discovery of the Stygian sunless sea that lurked at earth’s bowels. had carved into ornate pylons those headlands of the foothills where the great stream began its descent into eternal darkness. all the limestone veins of the region were hollowed out by ground waters. so that the mountains.

and the like . so that we were able to sketch a hasty but careful map of the salient features . It must have had a marvelous and mystic beauty. important buildings. aeon-dead history. and as I thought of it. the denizens of that city had themselves known the clutch of oppressive terror.This river. Yet according to certain carvings.never allowed to appear in the design . I almost forgot the clammy sense of sinister oppression with which the city’s inhuman age and massiveness and deadness and remoteness and glacial twilight had choked and weighed on my spirit. was plainly the one whose extinct course we had seen in our aeroplane survey. for there was a somber and recurrent type of scene in which the Old Ones were shown in the act of recoiling affrightedly from some object .squares. once crossed by scores of noble stone bridges. for the sculptures told us exactly what the buildings and mountains and squares and suburbs and landscape setting and luxuriant Tertiary vegetation had looked like.for guidance in further explorations. We could soon reconstruct in fancy the whole stupendous thing as it was a million or ten million or fifty million years ago. Its position in different carvings of the city helped us to orient ourselves to the scene as it had been at various stages of the region’s age-long.found in the great 152 .

Undoubtedly there must have been many sculptures of the same age elsewhere. indeed. 153 . of course.for after all hope of a long future occupancy of the place had perished among the Old Ones. was the coming of the great cold which once held most of the earth in thrall.the great cold that.river and indicated as having been washed down through waving. very certain evidence of the existence of others came to us shortly afterward. even allowing for the slackened energies and aspirations of a stressful and uncertain period. put an end to the fabled lands of Lomar and Hyperborea. though. there could not but have been a complete cessation of mural decoration. but as I have said. at the world’s other extremity. it would be hard to say in terms of exact years. It was only in the one late-built house with the decadent carvings that we obtained any foreshadowing of the final calamity leading to the city’s desertion. and which has never departed from the ill-fated poles . have been a limit . But this was the first and only set we directly encountered. There would. vine-draped cycad forests from those horrible westward mountains. We meant to look farther later on. Just when this tendency began in the antarctic. The ultimate blow. immediate conditions dictated another present objective.

depicting a constantly growing migration to the nearest refuges of greater warmth .five hundred thousand years ago .the continuous band arrangement being frequently interrupted in these late carvings . and winter travelers were represented as muffled in protective fabrics.some fleeing to cities under the sea off the far-away coast.Nowadays we set the beginning of the general glacial periods at a distance of about five hundred thousand years from the present. but it is quite likely that the decadent sculptures were made considerably less than a million years ago. and that the actual desertion of the city was complete long before the conventional opening of the Pleistocene . but at the poles the terrible scourge must have commenced much earlier.as reckoned in terms of the earth’s whole surface. Heating devices were shown in the houses. All quantitative estimates are partly guesswork. In the decadent sculptures there were signs of thinner vegetation everywhere. 154 . and of a decreased country life on the part of the Old Ones. and some clambering down through networks of limestone caverns in the hollow hills to the neighboring black abyss of subterrene waters. Then we saw a series of cartouches .

The depth of 155 . including the chiseling of numerous direct tunnels from the ancient metropolis to the black abyss sharply down-pointing tunnels whose mouths we carefully drew. The linkage of old and new abodes was made more effective by means of several gradings and improvements along the connecting routes. but the Old Ones built their new city under water . The abyss.no doubt because of its greater certainty of uniform warmth. and for retaining the vast land city as a place of summer residence and base of communication with various mines. had shelving shores of dry land at certain places. and the other perhaps twice that distance in the opposite direction. to the traditional sacredness of this special region. but may have been more conclusively determined by the opportunities it gave for continuing the use of the great temples on the honeycombed mountains. It was obvious that at least two of these tunnels lay within a reasonable exploring distance of where we were . no doubt.In the end it seems to have been the neighboring abyss which received the greatest colonization.both being on the mountainward edge of the city. one less than a quarter of a mile toward the ancient river course. on the guide map we were compiling. This was partly due. it seems. according to our most thoughtful estimates.

the hidden sea appears to have been very great. The Old Ones had gone about it scientifically .and eventually. Decadent though their style undoubtedly was. so that the earth’s internal heat could ensure its habitability for an indefinite period. and employing expert workers from the nearest submarine city to perform the construction according to the best methods. and other protoplasmic matter to mold into phosphorescent organisms for lighting purposes. these latest carvings had a truly epic quality where they told of the building of the new city in the cavern sea. of course. and how they had habitually bathed on the deep bottom of their great river. whole-time residence under water.quarrying insoluble rocks from the heart of the honeycombed mountains. These workers brought with them all that was necessary to establish the new venture . The darkness of inner earth could likewise have been no deterrent to a race accustomed to long antarctic nights.Shoggoth tissue from which to breed stone lifters and subsequent beasts of burden for the cavern city. There were many sculptures which showed how they had always frequently visited their submarine kinsfolk elsewhere. The beings seemed to have had no trouble in adapting themselves to part-time . since they had never allowed their gill systems to atrophy. 156 .

and were represented as taking and executing orders with marvelous quickness. in a similar age of decline. They seemed to converse with the Old Ones by mimicking their voices .At last a mighty metropolis rose on the bottom of that Stygian sea. its architecture much like that of the city above. though of course with a certain decadence. stripped Greece and Asia of their finest art to give his new Byzantine capital greater splendors than its own 157 . They were. and doubtless atoned for the loss of the familiar polar auroras of the outer-world night. and in many cases anticipated the policy of Constantine the Great by transplanting especially fine blocks of ancient carving from their land city. kept in admirable control. The Old Ones seemed to realize this falling off themselves. and its workmanship displaying relatively little decadence because of the precise mathematical element inherent in building operations. if poor Lake’s dissection had indicated aright . Art and decoration were pursued. just as the emperor. The phosphorescent organisms supplied light With vast effectiveness.a sort of musical piping over a wide range.and to work more from spoken commands than from hypnotic suggestions as in earlier times. The newly bred Shoggoths grew to enormous size and singular intelligence. however.

people could create. By this time the ultimate doom of the land city must have been recognized. and the terrible snows of the winter no longer melted completely even in midsummer. and the mammals were standing it none too well. By the time total abandonment did occur . The saunan livestock were nearly all dead. like other movables. had been taken away. as I have said. and sometimes trading with the sea-bottom cities off the antarctic coast. the latest we could find in our limited search.or had ceased to recognize the superior merit of the older carvings. the aeon-silent ruins around us had certainly undergone no wholesale sculptural denudation. for the sculptures showed many signs of the cold’s malign encroachments. At any rate. The decadent cartouches and dadoes telling this story were. To keep on with 158 .the Old Ones had perhaps become satisfied with their decadent art .and it surely must have occurred before the polar Pleistocene was far advanced . That the transfer of sculptured blocks had not been more extensive was doubtless owing to the fact that the land city was not at first wholly abandoned. though all the best separate statues. Vegetation was declining. They left us with a picture of the Old Ones shuttling back and forth betwixt the land city in summer and the sea-cavern city in winter.

and men of the sea have fished up curious objects at times. grotesque penguins. in the lightless and unplumbed abysses of earth’s deepest waters? Those things had seemingly been able to withstand any amount of pressure .the work of the upper world it had become necessary to adapt some of the amorphous and curiously cold-resistant Shoggoths to land life . What had happened afterward we could only guess. How long had the new sea-cavern city survived? Was it still down there. even to this day. save only the great. and the upper sea had lost most of its denizens except the seals and whales. Had the frightful Mi-Go been still a menace in the outer land world of the north? Could one be sure of what might or might not linger. And has the killer-whale theory really explained the savage and mysterious scars on antarctic seals noticed a generation ago by Borchgrevingk? 159 .a thing the Old Ones had formerly been reluctant to do. The great river was now lifeless. a stony corpse in eternal blackness? Had the subterranean waters frozen at last? To what fate had the ocean-bottom cities of the outer world been delivered? Had any of the Old Ones shifted north ahead of the creeping ice cap? Existing geology shows no trace of their presence. All the birds had flown away.

and indeed the cavern itself.the amount and nature of the missing material . for their geologic setting proved them to have lived at what must have been a very early date in the land city’s history. and we reflected that in their day the sea-cavern city. a younger land city of flourishing arts around them. and were prepared to believe and keep silent about many appalling and incredible secrets of primal nature. and the queer vital freaks the sculptures now showed the race to have . according to their location. and a great river sweeping northward along the base of the mighty mountains toward a far-away tropic ocean. And yet we could not help thinking about these specimens . 160 .the strange things we had tried so hard to lay to somebody’s madness . with lush Tertiary vegetation everywhere.Gedney . They were.the unearthly toughness of those archaic monstrosities.especially about the eight perfect ones that were missing from Lake’s hideously ravaged camp.those frightful graves . They would have remembered an older scene. certainly not less than thirty million years old. had had no existence. There was something abnormal about that whole business .Danforth and I had seen a good deal in the last few hours.The specimens found by poor Lake did not enter into these guesses.

of whose existence we had not known before.yet we realized we must begin the quest at once if we expected to include it in our present trip. and despite the special dry cell formula.. We had done so much studying and copying below the glacial level that our battery supply had had at least five hours of nearly continuous use. This. down whose sides paths. we might 161 . To behold this fabulous gulf in stark reality was a lure which seemed impossible of resistance once we knew of the thing . led to the rocky shore of the hidden and nighted ocean. From the evident scale of the carvings we deduced that a steeply descending walk of about a mile through either of the neighboring tunnels would bring us to the brink of the dizzy. sunless cliffs about the great abyss. It was now 8 P. but which we were now eager to find and traverse. improved by the Old Ones. except for especially interesting or difficult places. had to do with the chiseled avenues to the black inner world. would obviously be good for only about four more though by keeping one torch unused.IX I have said that our study of the decadent sculptures brought about a change in our immediate objective. and we did not have enough battery replacements to let our torches burn on forever.M. of course.

on the angle nearest the foothills . but we did let one large notebook go.manage to eke out a safe margin beyond that. even in case of really lost direction. It would not do to be without a light in these Cyclopean catacombs. The opening itself would be in the basement .curiosity having long ago got the better of horror .of a vast five-pointed structure of evidently pub- 162 . to work up to full daylight by one channel or another if granted sufficient time for plentiful trial and error. the intervening space showing solidlooking buildings quite likely to be penetrable still at a sub-glacial level. hence in order to make the abyss trip we must give up all further mural deciphering. and we were reluctant to sacrifice spare notebooks or sketching paper to augment it. Of course we intended to revisit the place for days and perhaps weeks of intensive study and photography . Our supply of trail-blazing paper was far from unlimited. If worse came to worst we could resort to rock chipping .but just now we must hasten. According to the carvings from which we had made our map. the desired tunnel mouth could not be much more than a quarter of a mile from where we stood.and of course it would be possible. So at last we set off eagerly in the indicated direction of the nearest tunnel.

No such structure came to our minds as we recalled our flight. In the latter case the tunnel would probably turn out to be choked. or that it had been totally shattered in an ice rift we had noticed. and indeed. clambering up ramps. which we tried to identify from our aerial survey of the ruins. hence we concluded that its upper parts had been greatly damaged. and once in a while striking the bottom of an open shaft through which daylight poured or trickled down .lic and perhaps ceremonial nature. so that we would have to try the next nearest one .about a mile beyond our second choice. encountering choked doorways and piles of debris.we were re- 163 .traversing rooms and corridors in every stage of ruin or preservation. crossing upper floors and bridges and clambering down again. The intervening river course prevented our trying any of the more southern tunnels on this trip. As we threaded our dim way through the labyrinth with the aid of map and compass .the one less than a mile to the north. if both of the neighboring ones were choked it was doubtful whether our batteries would warrant an attempt on the next northerly one . taking false leads and retracing our way (in such cases removing the blind paper trail we had left). hastening now and then along finely preserved and uncannily immaculate stretches.

and only the prospect of later visits reconciled us to the need of passing them by. Many must have told tales of immense historical importance. we would certainly have paused briefly to photograph certain bas-reliefs. I come now once more to a place where the temptation to hesitate.M. I suppose we would have been warned before. shortly before 8:30 P.peatedly tantalized by the sculptured walls along our route. It is necessary. or to hint rather than state.when.. If we had had more films. We had wormed our way very close to the computed site of the tunnel’s mouth having crossed a second-story bridge to what seemed plainly the tip of a pointed wall. Danforth’s keen young nostrils gave us the first hint of something unusual. however. but after a few seconds our memories reacted 164 . and descended to a ruinous corridor especially rich in decadently elaborate and apparently ritualistic sculptures of late workmanship . we slowed down once in a while and turned on our second torch. At first we could not precisely say what was wrong with the formerly crystal-pure air. but timeconsuming hand-copying was clearly out of the question. As it was. to reveal the rest in order to justify my course in discouraging further exploration. If we had had a dog with us. is very strong.

only too definitely. we did not retreat without further investigation. There were several conceivable explanations. and unmistakably akin to what had nauseated us upon opening the insane grave of the horror poor Lake had dissected. There was an odor . and we did a good deal of indecisive whispering. for having come this far. Such things did not happen in any normal world. for it was likewise he who first noticed the queer aspect of the debris after we had passed many half-choked arches leading to chambers and corridors on the ground level. Let me try to state the thing without flinching.and that odor was vaguely.and which softened our progress to a cautious tiptoeing and crawling over the increasingly littered floor and heaps of debris. what we must have suspected was altogether too wild to believe. Most important of all. It did not look quite as it ought after countless thousands of years of 165 . Danforth’s eyes as well as nose proved better than mine. we were loath to be balked by anything short of certain disaster. Of course the revelation was not as clearly cut at the time as it sounds now. Anyway. It was probably sheer irrational instinct which made us dim our single torch tempted no longer by the decadent and sinister sculptures that leered menacingly from the oppressive walls . subtly.

less frightful intrinsically.drive us on. Our motivation after that is something I will leave to psychologists. Yet in the end we did let sheer burning curiosity-or anxiety-or autohypnotism .desertion.simultaneously this time .present or at least recent just ahead.for the odor was the plain and familiar one of common petrol every-day gasoline. It was during that pause that we caught . and when we cautiously turned on more light we saw that a kind of swath seemed to have been lately tracked through it.or what not . but in the smoother places there were suggestions of the dragging of heavy objects. The irregular nature of the litter precluded any definite marks.the other odor ahead. This was what made us pause again.or vague thoughts of responsibility toward Gedney . hence could not doubt any longer the existence of nameless conditions . Once we thought there was a hint of parallel tracks as if of runners.unless. Gedney . but infinitely appalling in this place under the known circumstances . it was both a less frightful and more frightful odor . of course. Danforth whispered again of the print he thought he had seen at the alley 166 . We knew now that some terrible extension of the camp horrors must have crawled into this nighted burial place of the aeons. Paradoxically.

and the smell of gasoline grew stronger. whispered of how the camp was left of what had disappeared. or even ourselves.a wild trip across the monstrous mountains and a descent into the unknown. We had turned off all light as we stood still. and vaguely noticed that a trace of deeply filtered upper day kept the blackness from being absolute. of anything definite. and of the faint musical piping . and we were not even going to be able 167 . we guided ourselves by occasional flashes from our torch. The disturbed debris formed an impression we could not shake off.potentially of tremendous significance in the light of Lake’s dissection report. despite its close resemblance to the cave-mouth echoes of the windy peaks .turning in the ruins above. I. Our tunnel quest was a blind one. Having automatically begun to move ahead. and of how the madness of a lone survivor might have conceived the inconceivable . in my turn. We had been all too correct in our pessimistic guess about that rift glimpsed from the air.which he thought he had shortly afterward half heard from unknown depths below.But we could not convince each other. until very soon we saw that the forward way was about to cease. More and more ruin met our eyes and hampered our feet. primal masonry .

we believed the direct avenue toward it was now plainly manifest. and we turned on both torches full strength. Though what we saw in that light was actually simple and trifling.there remained no recent object of instantly discernible size.to reach the basement out of which the abyssward aperture opened. For amidst the littered expanse of that sculptured Crypt . for a farther doorway. our first impression was one of anticlimax. when we did venture inside that black arch.a perfect cube with sides of about twenty feet . In another moment. I am none the less re- 168 . we saw that beyond a doubt there had been a slight and recent clearing away of debris from that particular opening. showed several doorways in various states of obstruction. The torch.came with especial distinctness. flashing over the grotesquely carved walls of the blocked corridor in which we stood. however. Danforth’s sharp vision had descried a place where the floor debris had been disturbed. and from one of them the gasoline odorquite submerging that other hint of odor . though in vain. so that we looked instinctively. I do not think anyone will wonder that we waited an appreciable time before making any further motion. As we looked more steadily. Whatever the lurking horror might be. And yet.

It was a rough leveling of the debris.luctant to tell of it because of what it implied. It was all bad enough but when we smoothed out the papers and looked at what was on them. a folder that came with our type of tent heater. an empty ink bottle with its pictorial and instructional carton. We had found certain inexplicably blotted papers at the camp which might have prepared us. In other words. some oddly snipped fragments of fur and tent cloth. The scattered objects were. and consisted of tin cans as queerly opened as those we had seen at that ravaged place. all from Lake’s camp. had been turned back by the unexpectedly choked way to the abyss. it could not be other than a sort of camp . a broken fountain pen. and at one corner of which a considerable amount of gasoline must have been spilled lately enough to leave a strong odor even at this extreme superplateau altitude. yet the effect of the sight down 169 . we felt we had come to the worst. and a sprinkling of crumpled papers. like us. many spent matches. a used electric battery with circular of directions. three illustrated books more or less curiously smudged. Let me be plain.a camp made by questing beings who. upon which several small objects lay carelessly scattered. so far as substance was concerned.

for those before us were quite obviously compiled.to the present five-pointed structure and the tunnel mouth therein.the characteristic and unmistakable technique of the Old Ones themselves in the dead city’s heyday. as our own had been. A mad Gedney might have made the groups of dots in imitation of those found on the greenish soapstones.a place we identified as a great cylindrical tower in the carvings and as a vast circular gulf glimpsed in our aerial survey . and he might conceivably have prepared rough. from late sculptures somewhere in the glacial labyrinth.varying in their accuracy or lack of it which outlined the neighboring parts of the city and traced the way from a circularly represented place outside our previous route . I repeat. But what the art-blind bungler could never have done was to execute those sketches in a strange and assured technique perhaps superior.there in the prehuman vaults of a nightmare city was almost too much to bear. to any of the decadent carvings from which they were taken . just as the dots on those insane fivepointed grave mounds might have been made. 170 . He might. despite haste and carelessness. though not from the ones which we had seen and used. hasty sketches . have prepared such sketches.

too. Or if that entrance.or those which we knew had been there. Half paralyzed with terror though we were. they would have gone on to the north seeking another.the ultimate gulf they had never seen.in the men who stalk deadly beasts through African jungles to photograph them or study their habits.notwithstanding their wildness . but we felt that they must be gone by now. They would by this time have found the other neighboring entrance to the abyss.albeit in a less extreme form . since our conclusions were now . we remembered. was blocked. They were.There are those who will say Danforth and I were utterly mad not to flee for our lives after that. to whatever night-black fragments of the past might await them in the ultimate gulf . Perhaps we were mad .completely fixed. partly independent of light. and of a nature I need not even mention to those who have read my account as far as this. there was nevertheless fanned within us a blazing flame of awe and curiosity which triumphed in the end. and have passed within. 171 . Of course we did not mean to face that .for have I not said those horrible peaks were mountains of madness? But I think I can detect something of the same spirit .

but appearing only as a prodigious round aperture from above. Moreover. could not but be highly significant. though there was interposed a new goal in the form of that great circular place shown on the crumpled sketches we had found. Something about the impressiveness of its rendering.a shorter route than the one we were so 172 . We certainly did not mean to face what we feared . Its carvings.Looking back to that moment. It was certainly of incredible age according to the sculptures in which it figured .yet I will not deny that we may have had a lurking. made us think that its subglacial levels must still form a feature of peculiar importance. even in these hasty diagrams. We had at once recognized it as a monstrous cylindrical tower figuring in the very earliest carvings. Probably we had not given up our zeal to glimpse the abyss itself. if preserved. it might form a good present link with the upper world . Perhaps it embodied architectural marvels as yet unencountered by us. unconscious wish to spy certain things from some hidden vantage point.being indeed among the first things built in the city. I can scarcely recall just what precise form our new emotions took just what change of immediate objective it was that so sharpened our sense of expectancy.

noting in almost every case the well-nigh omnipresent sculptures. I need not speak of our journey during which we continued to leave an economical trail of paper . At any rate. The other neighboring gate to the abyss would lie beyond that. we sometimes gave the rays of our single torch a furtive sweep along the walls. Every now and then we could trace certain disturbing marks in the debris or litter underfoot.. After the way had branched from our former course. we were again faintly conscious . which indeed seem to have formed a main aesthetic outlet for the Old Ones.M. About 9:30 P.of that more hideous and more persistent scent. the thing we did was to study the terrible sketches . except that it tended to adhere more closely to the ground level and even descend to basement corridors. vaulted corridor whose increasingly glaciated floor seemed 173 . and probably that by which those others had descended.for it was precisely the same in kind as that by which we had reached the cul-desac. while traversing a long.which quite perfectly confirmed our own . the course which our nameless predecessors must have traversed twice before us.and start back over the indicated course to the circular place.spasmodically . and after we had passed outside the radius of the gasoline scent.carefully blazing.

fully two hundred feet in diameter strewn with debris and containing many choked archways corresponding to the one we were about to cross. an artistic splendor far beyond anything we had encountered before. Only the rapidity of our flight. but we could see much through it even before we emerged. despite the destructive weathering caused by the openness of the spot. wound spirally up the stupendous cylindrical wall like an inside counterpart of those once climbing outside the monstrous towers or ziggurats of antique Babylon. The littered floor was quite heavily glaciated.in available spaces boldly sculptured into a spiral band of heroic proportions.somewhat below the ground level and whose roof grew lower as we advanced. eluding the archways by a sharp turn outward into the open floor. But the salient object of the place was the titanic stone ramp which. and the perspective 174 . we began to see strong daylight ahead and were able to turn off our torch. It appeared that we were coming to the vast circular place. and we fancied that the true bottom lay at a considerably lower depth. Beyond there stretched a prodigious round space . and displayed. and that our distance from the upper air could not be very great. The walls were . The corridor ended in an arch surprisingly low for these megalithic ruins.

According to the sculptures. The thing was excellently preserved up to the present top of the tower .fifty million years old. but what we saw seemed inadequate to the function performed. Pabodie might have been able to tell what sort of engineering held it in place. We could see mighty stone corbels and pillars here and there. since the yawning gulf we had seen from the plane had been at the top of an approximately twenty-foot mound of crumbled masonry.and its shelter had done much to protect the bizarre and disturbing cosmic sculptures on the walls.a highly remarkable circumstance in view of its exposure . had prevented our noticing this feature from the air. we recalled from our aerial survey. meant an outside glaciation of some forty feet. but Danforth and I could merely admire and marvel. somewhat sheltered for three-fourths of its circumference by the massive curving walls of a line of higher ruins. 175 .we saw that the ramp-traversed sides stretched dizzily up to a height of fully sixty feet. and without doubt the most primally ancient structure ever to meet our eyes . This.which confounded the descent with the tower’s inner wall. and thus caused us to seek another avenue to the subglacial level. As we stepped out into the awesome half daylight of this monstrous cylinder bottom .

and had been perhaps five hundred or six hundred feet high.even after all we had seen and guessed. there came a sight which for the time excluded all other matters. Then. with tiers of horizontal disks near the top. and any further subglacial exploration we might make on this trip would lie in this general region. and that this would be the logical route for our own ascent despite the long trail of paper we had left elsewhere. whilst the choking was such that all the archways at the bottom seemed to have been recently cleared. Most of the masonry had obviously toppled outward rather than inward . As it was. we were still thinking about possible later trips . as we picked our way cautiously over the debris of the great floor. the ramp showed sad battering.a fortunate happening. The tower’s mouth was no farther from the foothills and our waiting plane than was the great terraced building we had entered.the original tower had stood in the center of an immense circular plaza. and a row of needlelike spires along the upper rim. Oddly. 176 . since otherwise the ramp might have been shattered and the whole interior choked. It took us only a moment to conclude that this was indeed the route by which those others had descended.

They were the bodies of young Gedney and the missing dog.It was the neatly huddled array of three sledges in that farther angle of the ramp’s lower and outward-projecting course which had hitherto been screened from our view. patched with adhesive plaster where some wounds around the neck had occurred.everything derived from Lake’s equipment. and contained things memorably familiar enough: the gasoline stove. and wrapped with care to prevent further damage. There they were the three sledges missing from Lake’s camp shaken by a hard usage which must have included forcible dragging along great reaches of snowless masonry and debris. tarpaulins obviously bulging with books. and some bulging with less obvious contents . as well as much hand portage over utterly unnavigable places. They were carefully and intelligently packed and strapped. for there were two here. we were in a measure prepared for this encounter. perfectly preserved. It seems that others as well as Lake had been interested in collecting typical specimens. fuel cans. both stiffly frozen. 177 . provision tins. instrument cases. After what we had found in that other room. The really great shock came when we stepped over and undid one tarpaulin whose outlines had peculiarly disquieted us.

We had replaced the tarpaulin over poor Gedney and were standing in a kind of mute bewilderment when the sounds finally reached our consciousness . Well-known and mundane though they were.and which.X Many people will probably judge us callous as well as mad for thinking about the northward tunnel and the abyss so soon after our somber discovery. and I am not prepared to say that we would have immediately revived such thoughts but for a specific circumstance which broke in upon us and set up a whole new train of speculations.since they gave a fresh upsetting to all our notions of cosmic harmony.it would have had a kind of hellish congruity with the aeon-dead region around us. indeed. their presence in this remote world of death was more unexpected and unnerving than any grotesque or fabulous tones ‘could possibly have been . our overwrought fancies had been reading into every wind howl we had heard since coming on the camp horror . A voice from other epochs belongs 178 . Had it been some trace of that bizarre musical piping over a wide range which Lake’s dissection report had led us to expect in those others .the first sounds we had heard since descending out of the open where the mountain wind whined faintly from its unearthly heights.

where such things ought not to be.all our tacit acceptance of the inner antarctic as a waste utterly and irrevocably void of every vestige of normal life. Instead.it was simply the raucous squawking of a penguin. it was a thing so mockingly normal and so unerringly familiarized by our sea days off Victoria Land and our camp days at McMurdo Sound that we shuddered to think of it here. As it was.in a world whose surface was one of age-long and uniform lifelessness . however. To be brief .regions manifestly in the direction of that other tunnel to the vast abyss.in a graveyard of other epochs. resuming our trail blazing . repeated. What we heard was not the fabulous note of any buried blasphemy of elder earth from whose supernal toughness an agedenied polar sun had evoked a monstrous response. and seemed at times to come from more than one throat. we entered an archway from which much debris had been cleared. hence our first thought was to verify the objective reality of the sound.could lead to only one conclusion. the noise shattered all our profoundly seated adjustments . Seeking its source.with an added paper supply 179 . The muffled sound floated from subglacial recesses nearly opposite to the corridor whence we had come . indeed. It was. The presence of a living water bird in such a direction .

and once Danforth found a distinct print of a sort whose description would be only too superfluous. Those other ones.when we left daylight behind. but we did not pause to examine any of these. and we were glad to find that a bridgeless thoroughfare on the ground and basement levels seemed open. Along our path the single torch showed a customary profusion of carvings. yet we had now discarded all caution concerning them as 180 . dragging tracks. The tunnel. Suddenly a bulky white shape loomed up ahead of us. It is odd how wholly this new quest had turned our minds from earlier fears of what might lurk near. The course indicated by the penguin cries was precisely what our map and compass prescribed as an approach to the more northerly tunnel mouth. ought to start from the basement of a large pyramidal structure which we seemed vaguely to recall from our aerial survey as remarkably wellpreserved. having left their supplies in the great circular place.taken with curious repugnance from one of the tarpaulin bundles on the sledges . we plainly discerned some curious. As the glaciated floor gave place to a litter of detritus. and we flashed on the second torch. must have planned to return after their scouting trip toward or into the abyss. according to the chart.

yet we seemed to realize at once that it was not one of those others. Then came a flash of anticlimax as the white shape sidled into a lateral archway to our left to join two others of its kind which had summoned it in raucous tones. This white. But to say that the white thing did not profoundly frighten us would be vain. and. For it was only a penguin . according to the sculptures.albeit of a huge. and monstrous in its combined albinism and virtual eyelessness. We were indeed clutched for an instant by primitive dread almost sharper than the worst of our reasoned fears regarding those others. their motion over land surfaces was a swift. waddling thing was fully six feet high. When we had followed the thing into the archway and turned both our torches on the indifferent and unheeding group of three. unknown species larger than the greatest of the known king penguins.completely as if they had never existed. and it did not take us long to conclude that they were descended from the same stock- 181 . They were larger and dark. we saw that they were all eyeless albinos of the same unknown and gigantic species. assured matter despite the queerness of their sea-born tentacle equipment. Their size reminded us of some of the archaic penguins depicted in the Old Ones’ sculptures.

whilst the manifest indifference of the trio to our presence made it seem odd that any passing party of those others should have startled them.that we could not photograph these anomalous creatures. We wondered.in a flare-up of the old spirit of pure science . too. what had caused these three birds to venture out of their usual domain. That their present habitat was the vast abyss we sought.undoubtedly surviving through a retreat to some warmer inner region whose perpetual blackness had destroyed their pigmentation and atrophied their eyes to mere useless slits. and this evidence of the gulf’s continued warmth and habitability filled us with the most curious and subtly perturbing fancies. The state and silence of the great dead city made it clear that it had at no time been an habitual seasonal rookery. Was it possible that those others had taken some aggressive action or tried to increase their meat supply? We doubted whether that pungent odor which the dogs had hated could cause an equal antipathy in these penguins. Regretting . 182 . was not for a moment to be doubted. since their ancestors had obviously lived on excellent terms with the Old Ones .an amicable relationship which must have survived in the abyss below as long as any of the Old Ones remained.

It was the entrance to the great abyss. Not long afterward a steep descent in a long. and perhaps even a 183 . but indifferent and unseeing. and heard others immediately ahead. and that one yawning cavernously with a black. Then the corridor ended in a prodigious open space which made us gasp involuntarily . We had passed two more penguins. descending grade. The black tunnel yawned indefinitely off at a steep. From that cryptical mouth we fancied a current of slightly warmer air.we shortly left them to their squawking and pushed on toward the abyss whose openness was now so positively proved to us. obviously deep underground. a few albino penguins waddled .a perfect inverted hemisphere. its aperture adorned with grotesquely chiseled jambs and lintel. arched aperture which broke the symmetry of the vault to a height of nearly fifteen feet. whose concave roof was impressively though decadently carved to a likeness of the primordial celestial dome. doorless. and peculiarly sculptureless corridor led us to believe that we were approaching the tunnel mouth at last. fully a hundred feet in diameter and fifty feet high. and whose exact direction occasional penguin tracks made clear.aliens there. low. In this vast hemisphere. with low archways opening around all parts of the circumference but one.

and whether the waters of that sunless sea were hot.about fifteen feet each way sides. We wondered. Entering the tunnel. whether the trace of mountaintop smoke at first suspected by poor Lake. The floor was quite clear. decadent style. except for a slight detritus bearing outgoing penguin tracks and the inward tracks of these others. floor. and arched roof composed of the usual megalithic masonry. The sides were sparsely decorated with cartouches of conventional designs in a late. The farther one advanced.suspicion of vapor proceeded. We wondered whether there were any actually igneous manifestations below. and all the construction and carving were marvelously well-preserved. might conceal. though the tunnel kept the 184 . might not be caused by the tortuous-channeled rising of some such vapor from the unfathomed regions of earth’s core. so that we were soon unbuttoning our heavy garments. too. Alter a short distance the masonry gave place to solid rock. and we wondered what living entities other than penguins the limitless void below. as well as the odd haze we had ourselves perceived around the rampart-crowned peak. and the contiguous honeycombings of the land and the titan mountains. we saw that its outline was at least at the start . the warmer it became.

The nameless scent of such things was very distinct. but our previous wanderings had shown us that matters of scale were not wholly to be depended on. Several times we noted the mouths of small lateral galleries not recorded in our diagrams. but this was doubtless due to the lack of contrasting cooler air. it was just such a lure which had brought us to this unearthly polar waste in the first place. and all of them welcome as possible refuges in case we met unwelcome entities on their way back from the abyss. The carvings had led us to expect a steep downhill walk of about a mile to the abyss.indeed.same proportions and presented the same aspect of carved regularity. We saw several penguins as we passed along. There was no visible vapor as at the mouth. The temperature was rap- 185 . Occasionally its varying grade became so steep that grooves were cut in the floor. Alter about a quarter of a mile that nameless scent became greatly accentuated. and we kept very careful track of the various lateral openings we passed. Doubtless it was suicidally foolish to venture into that tunnel under the known conditions. and speculated on the distance we would have to traverse. none of them such as to complicate the problem of our return. but the lure of the unplumbed is stronger in certain persons than most suspect .

The nameless scent was now curiously mixed with another and scarcely less offensive odor . and concluded that the densely honeycombed region beneath the higher foothills must now have been reached. natural-looking elliptical cavern with a level floor. some seventyfive feet long and fifty broad. and we did not pause to study the bizarre forms into which the fabrics had been slashed.idly ascending. vaulted roof was thick with stalactites. The walls were rough.of what nature we could not guess. though we thought of decaying organisms and perhaps unknown subterranean fungi. an inspection with both torches suggested that it had been formed by the artificial destruction of several walls between adjacent honeycombings. and we were not surprised to come upon a careless heap of material shudderingly familiar to us.a broadening and rising into a lofty. Then came a startling expansion of the tunnel for which the carvings had not prepared us . and the high. and with many immense side passages leading away into cryptical darkness. Though this cavern was natural in appearance. It was composed of furs and tent cloth taken from Lake’s camp. Slightly beyond this point we noticed a decided increase in the size and number of the side galleries. but the solid rock floor had been 186 .

Except for the avenue through which we had come. Nevertheless we resolved to resume our paper trailblazing if any further complexity should develop. as well as the larger proportion of penguindroppings there.smoothed off. Upon resuming our direct progress we cast a beam of torchlight over the tunnel walls . prevented all confusion as to the right course amidst this plethora of equally great cave mouths. for dust tracks. detritus. this was true of the floors of all the great galleries opening off from it. of course. so much so that it destroyed all trace of the other. The curious new fetor which had supplemented the nameless scent was excessively pungent here. or even dust to a positively abnormal extent.and stopped short in amazement at the supremely radical change which had come over the carvings in this part of the passage. of course. Something about this whole place. the great decadence of the Old Ones’ sculpture at the time of the tunneling. and the singularity of the condition was such as to set us vainly puzzling. and 187 . with its polished and almost glistening floor. We realized. could no longer be expected. and was free from all debris. The regularity of the passage immediately ahead. struck us as more vaguely baffling and horrible than any of the monstrous things we had previously encountered.

a difference in basic nature as well as in mere quality. It was countersunk with exaggerated depth in bands following the same general line as the sparse cartouches of the earlier sections.had indeed noticed the inferior workmanship of the arabesques in the stretches behind us. But now.an alien element. In nature it was wholly decorative and conventional. and involving so profound and calamitous a degradation of skill that nothing in the hitherto observed rate of decline could have led one to expect it. This new and degenerate work was coarse. and consisted of crude spirals and angles roughly following the quintile mathematical tradition of the Old Ones. yet seemingly more like a parody than a perpetuation of that tradition. but the height of the reliefs did not reach the level of the general surface.a sort of palimpsest formed after the obliteration of a previous design. there was a sudden difference wholly transcending explanation . that was responsible for the laborious 188 . bold. We could not get it out of our minds that some subtly but profoundly alien element had been added to the aesthetic feeling behind the technique . Danforth guessed. and wholly lacking in delicacy of detail. in this deeper section beyond the cavern. Danforth had the idea that it was a second carving .

we resumed our advance after a cursory look. yet disturbingly unlike. Puffs of visible vapor ahead bespoke increasing contrasts in temperature. and we could detect scarcely a sign of that other nameless scent.substitution. It was like. we saw certain obstructions on the polished floor ahead . though the carvings were in places rather sparse because of the numerous mouths of smoothfloored lateral tunnels. We saw and heard fewer penguins. The new and inexplicable odor was abominably strong. Nothing of the sort was perceived. but thought we caught a vague suspicion of an infinitely distant chorus of them somewhere deep within the earth. and I was persistently reminded of such hybrid things as the ungainly Palmyrene sculptures fashioned in the Roman manner. Then.obstructions which were 189 . quite unexpectedly. That others had recently noticed this belt of carving was hinted by the presence of a used flashlight battery on the floor in front of one of the most characteristic cartouches. though frequently casting beams over the walls to see if any further decorative changes developed. Since we could not afford to spend any considerable time in study. what we had come to recognize as the Old Ones’ art. and the relative nearness of the sunless sea cliffs of the great abyss.

even from a distance. as I have said. now quite plainly mixed with the nameless stench of those others which had gone before. as lacking .quite definitely not penguins .and turned on our second torch after making sure that the objects were quite stationary. We saw.in completeness as most of those we had unearthed . and leave only such an added sensitiveness that memory reinspires all the original horror. XI Still another time have I come to a place where it is very difficult to proceed. but there are some experiences and intimations which scar too deeply to permit of healing. and I may add that our nostrils were assailed almost simultaneously by a very curious intensification of the strange prevailing fetor. The light of the second torch left no doubt of what the obstructions were.though it grew plain from the thick. I ought to be hardened by this stage. that they were quite as past all harming power as had been the six similar specimens unearthed from the monstrous star-mounded graves at poor Lake’s camp. dark green pool gathering 190 . indeed. and we dared approach them only because we could see. They were. certain obstructions on the polished floor ahead.

for penguins’ beaks against the tough tissues Lake had dissected could hardly account for the terrible damage our approaching glance was beginning to make out. and were the absent four responsible? If so. then. the huge blind birds we had seen appeared to be singularly peaceful. been a struggle among those others.around them that their incompleteness was of infinitely greater recency. where were they? Were they close at hand and likely to form an immediate menace to us? We glanced anxiously at some of the smooth-floored lateral passages as we continued our slow and frankly reluctant approach. retaliate savagely with their beaks. Besides. There seemed to be only four of them. attacked in a body. and we wondered what sort of monstrous struggle had occurred down here in the dark. Had there. Whatever the conflict was. Penguins. To find them in this state was wholly unexpected. Had those others disturbed such a place and aroused murderous pursuit? The obstructions did not suggest it. it had clearly been that which had frightened the penguins into their unaccustomed wandering. 191 . and our ears now made certain the existence of a rookery far beyond. whereas Lake’s bulletins would have suggested no less than eight as forming the group which had preceded us.

I say that we approached those sprawling and incomplete obstructions slowly and reluctantly. 192 . with the weaker party seeking to get back to the cached sledges when their pursuers finished them. Would to Heaven we had never approached them at all.It must. have arisen near that faintly heard rookery in the incalculable gulf beyond. From each one the tentacled starfish head had been removed. there had been a hideous running fight. compressed. their chief common injury was total decapitation. since there were no signs that any birds had normally dwelt here. and ruptured as they were. One could picture the demoniac fray between namelessly monstrous entities as it surged out of the black abyss with great clouds of frantic penguins squawking and scurrying ahead. then. Perhaps. Mauled. before we had seen what we did see. twisted. so that we soon realized the dominant factor in their incompleteness. but had run back at top speed out of that blasphemous tunnel with the greasily smooth floors and the degenerate murals aping and mocking the things they had superseded-run back. and before our minds were burned with something which will never let us breathe easily again! Both of our torches were turned on the prostrate objects. we reflected.

too. Their noisome dark-green ichor formed a large.those whom the frightful Shoggoths had characteristically slain and sucked to a ghastly headlessness in the great war of resubjugation. They were infamous. bygone things.and as we drew near we saw that the manner of removal looked more like some hellish tearing or suction than like any ordinary form of cleavage. unexplainable fetor to any immediate source . I came only just short of echoing his cry myself. palimpsest carvings. remembering certain very vivid sculptures of the Old Ones’ history in the Permian Age one hundred and fifty million years ago. for I had seen those primal sculptures. here more pungent than at any other point along our route. spreading pool. gave vent to a nerve-tortured cry which echoed hysterically through that vaulted and archaic passage with the evil. and had shudderingly admired the way the nameless artist had suggested that hideous slime coating found on certain incomplete and prostrate Old Ones . but its stench was half overshadowed by the newer and stranger stench. nightmare sculptures even when telling of age-old. Only when we had come very close to the sprawling obstructions could we trace that second.and the instant we did so Danforth. for Shoggoths and their work ought not to be seen by hu- 193 .

they were not evil things of their kind. more and more amphibious.rubbery fifteenfoot spheroids infinitely plastic and ductile .man beings or portrayed by any beings.for all too well did we suspect they would do no harm again. Nature had 194 . when Danforth and I saw the freshly glistening and reflectively iridescent black slime which clung thickly to those headless bodies and stank obscenely with that new.more and more sullen. The mad author of the Necronomicon had nervously tried to swear that none had been bred on this planet. more and more imitative! Great God! What madness made even those blasphemous Old Ones willing to use and carve such things? And now. It was not fear of those four missing others . Poor devils! After all. builders of cities .viscous agglutinations of bubbling cells .we understood the quality of cosmic fear to its uttermost depths. and that only drugged dreamers had even conceived them. unknown odor whose cause only a diseased fancy could envisage clung to those bodies and sparkled less voluminously on a smooth part of the accursedly resculptured wall in a series of grouped dots . Formless protoplasm able to mock and reflect all forms and organs and processes . They were the men of another age and another order of being. more and more intelligent.slaves of suggestion.

whatever they had been.. frantically barking quadrupeds. what intelligence and persistence! What a facing of the incredible.as it will on any others that human madness. monstrosities.played a hellish jest on them . and poor Old Ones! Scientists to the last . They had not been even savages-for what indeed had they done? That awful awakening in the cold of an unknown epoch . just as those carven kinsmen and forbears had faced things only a little less incredible! Radiates...and this was their tragic homecoming.perhaps an attack by the furry. They had tried to reach their living fellows in fabled depths of blackness they had never seen . poor Gedney. or cruelty may hereafter dig up in that hideously dead or sleeping polar waste . and a dazed defense against them and the equally frantic white simians with the queer wrappings and paraphernalia . they were men! They had crossed the icy peaks on whose templed slopes they had once worshipped and roamed among the tree ferns. callousness. They had found their dead city brooding under its curse. and had read its carven latter days as we had done..what had they done that we would not have done in their place? God. poor Lake. star spawn .and what had they found? All this flashed in unison through the 195 . vegetables.

penguin-fringed abyss.thoughts of Danforth and me as we looked from those headless. and up that archaic spiral ramp in a frenzied. pallid mist curled forward as if veritably driven by some remoter advancing bulk-and then came a sound which upset much of what we had just decided. and in so doing broke the spell and enabled us to run like mad past squawking. 196 . and it is only through later conversations that we have learned of the complete identity of our thoughts at that moment. slime-coated shapes to the loathsome palimpsest sculptures and the diabolical dot groups of fresh slime on the wall beside them looked and understood what must have triumphed and survived down there in the Cyclopean water city of that nighted. It seemed aeons that we stood there. motionless statues. whence even now a sinister curling mist had begun to belch pallidly as if in answer to Danforth’s hysterical scream. along ice-sunken megalithic corridors to the great open circle. The shock of recognizing that monstrous slime and headlessness had frozen us into mute. That hateful. but actually it could not have been more than ten or fifteen seconds. confused penguins over our former trail back to the city. automatic plunge for the sane outer air and light of day.

At the risk of seeming puerile I will add another thing.The new sound. because it was what poor Lake’s dissection had led us to attribute to those we had judged dead. upset much that we had decided. It will be remembered that in that fantastic tale there is a word of unknown but terrible and prodigious significance connected with the antarctic and screamed eternally by the gigantic spectrally snowy birds of that malign region’s core. as I have intimated. I may admit. Danforth later told me. Of course common reading is what prepared us both to make the interpretation. too. It was. precisely what he had caught in infinitely muffled form when at that spot beyond the alley corner above the glacial level. is exactly what we thought we heard conveyed by that sudden sound behind the advancing white mist-that insidious musical piping over a singularly wide range. "Tekelili! Tekeli-li!" That. if only because of the surprising way Danforth’s impressions chimed with mine. 197 . though Danforth has hinted at queer notions about unsuspected and forbidden sources to which Poe may have had access when writing his Arthur Gordon Pym a century ago. and it certainly had a shocking resemblance to the wind pipings we had both heard around the lofty mountain caves.

rather than in flight from any other entity. Concealment being futile at this juncture. After all. however. a complete and living specimen of those others? Again came that insidious musical piping. Would we see. since it was very obviously approaching in answer to Danforth’s scream. at last. if such an one had nothing to fear for itself. Of the whereabouts of that less conceivable and less mentionable nightmare . we used our torch for a running glance behind. and perceived that the mist was thinning. however. noting that we were actually gaining on our pursuer. that nonaggressive conduct and a display of kindred reason might cause such a being to spare us in case of capture. though we knew that the swiftness of the Old Ones would enable any scream-roused and pursuing survivor of the slaughter to overtake us in a moment if it really wished to do so.We were in full flight before three notes or syllables had been uttered."Tekelili! Tekeli-li!" Then. unglimpsed mountain of slime-spewing protoplasm whose race had conquered the abyss and sent land pioneers to recarve 198 . We could take no chances. We had a vague hope. if only from scientific curiosity. it occurred to us that the entity might be wounded. it would have no motive in harming us. The timing was too close to admit of doubt.that fetid.

and it cost us a genuine pang to leave this probably crippled Old One-perhaps a lone survivor .to the peril of recapture and a nameless fate. and was driving ahead with increased speed. There 199 . Once more came that sinister. Thank Heaven we did not slacken our run. Our recklessly used torch now revealed ahead of us the large open cavern where various ways converged. Another thought which the advent of the cave inspired was the possibility of losing our pursuer at this bewildering focus of large galleries. The curling mist had thickened again. whilst the straying penguins in our rear were squawking and screaming and displaying signs of a panic really surprising in view of their relatively minor confusion when we had passed them.and squirm through the burrows of the hills ."Tekeli-li! Tekeli-li!" We had been wrong.we could form no guess. We could never know what that demon message was . and we were glad to be leaving those morbid palimpsest sculptures almost felt even when scarcely seen-behind. wide-ranged piping .but those burials at Lake’s camp had shown how much importance the beings attached to their dead. The thing was not wounded. but had merely paused on encountering the bodies of its fallen kindred and the hellish slime inscription above them.

In fact. since the consequences of loss in those unknown foothill honeycombings would be unthinkable. for those indicated special senses which made the Old Ones partly. If at that point we dimmed our torch to the very lowest limit of traveling need. screen our true course. The penguins alone could not have saved us. even. and it seemed clear that their fear of the oncoming entity was extreme to the point of unaccountability. the littered and unglistening floor of the main tunnel beyond this point. and somehow set up a false lead. the frightened squawking motions of the huge birds in the mist might muffle our footfalls.were several of the blind albino penguins in the open space. as differing from the other morbidly polished burrows. of course. independent of light in emergencies. though imperfectly. could hardly form a highly distinguishing feature. The fact that we survived and emerged is sufficient proof that the thing did take a wrong gallery whilst we providentially hit on the right one. Amidst the churning. but in conjunction with the mist they seem to have done 200 . we were somewhat apprehensive lest we go astray ourselves in our haste. decided to keep straight on toward the dead city. spiraling fog. so far as we could conjecture. For we had. keeping it strictly in front of us.

desperately fearful glance backward before dimming the torch and mixing with the penguins in the hope of dodging pursuit. If the fate which screened us was benign. for they were constantly shifting and threatening to vanish. so that we actually caught one first and only half glimpse of the oncoming entity as we cast a final. Only a benign fate kept the curling vapors thick enough at the right moment. Afterward we realized what it was-that our retreat from the fetid slime coating on those headless obstructions. that which gave us the half glimpse was infinitely the opposite. In the midst of our flight. Indeed. Our exact motive in looking back again was perhaps no more than the immemorial instinct of the pursued to gauge the nature and course of its pursuer. or perhaps it was an automatic attempt to answer a subconscious question raised by one of our senses. with all our faculties centered on the problem of escape. they did lift for a second just before we emerged from the nauseously resculptured tunnel into the cave. our latent brain cells must have wondered at the message brought them by our nostrils. and the coincident approach of the pur- 201 . for to that flash of semivision can be traced a full half of the horror which has ever since haunted us. we were in no condition to observe and analyze details.so. yet even so.

or in a less primitive but equally unconscious effort to dazzle the entity before we dimmed our light and dodged among the penguins of the labyrinth center ahead.in stating what we saw. paid much more dearly for a backward glance. though no doubt the incipient motion of one prompted the imitation of the other. And again came that shocking. As we did so we flashed both torches full strength at the momentarily thinned mist.even if I cannot bear to be quite direct ."Tekelili! Tekeli-li!" I might as well be frank . This it had not done . though at the time we felt that it was not to be admitted even to each other. it would appear.for instead. Unhappy act! Not Orpheus himself. but by this time it ought to have largely given place to the nameless stench associated with those others. In the neighborhood of the prostrate things that new and lately unexplainable fetor had been wholly dominant. and growing more and more poisonously insistent each second. the newer and less bearable smell was now virtually undiluted. So we glanced back simultaneously.suing entity. The words reaching the reader can 202 . had not brought us the exchange of stenches which logic called for. or Lot’s wife. either from sheer primitive anxiety to see all we could. wide-ranged piping .

Danforth was totally unstrung.Harvard . Of reason we certainly had little enough left. and the first thing I remember of the rest of the journey was hearing him lightheadedly chant an hysterical formula in which I alone of mankind could have found anything but insane irrelevance. reverberated through the vaultings ahead. and to strike the right tunnel toward the dead city. "South Station Under . He could not have begun it at once . though if that was what saved us.Washington Under .Central . It crippled our consciousness so completely that I wonder we had the residual sense to dim our torches as planned." The poor fellow was chanting the familiar stations of the Boston-Cambridge tunnel that burrowed through our peaceful native soil thousands of miles away in New England. It reverberated in falsetto echoes among the squawks of the penguins.Park Street Under-Kendall . yet to me the ritual had nei- 203 .never even suggest the awfulness of the sight itself. we paid a high price.perhaps better than reason could have done. andthank God-through the now empty vaultings behind.else we would not have been alive and blindly racing. I shudder to think of what a shade of difference in his nervous reactions might have brought. Instinct alone must have carried us through .

but of that entity we had formed a clear idea. and with myriads of temporary eyes forming and un-forming as pustules of 204 .was something altogether different. It had only horror.the great black front looming colossally out of infinite subterranean distance. because I knew unerringly the monstrous. faintly self-luminous. We had expected.ther irrelevance nor home feeling. It was a terrible. But we were not on a station platform. upon looking back. nefandous analogy that had suggested it.for the mists were indeed all too maliguly thinned . We were on the track ahead as the nightmare. plastic column of fetid black iridescence oozed tightly onward through its fifteen-foot sinus. and immeasurably more hideous and detestable. to see a terrible and incredible moving entity if the mists were thin enough. onrushing subway train as one sees it from a station platform . and its nearest comprehensible analogue is a vast. rethickening cloud of the pallid abyss vapor. objective embodiment of the fantastic novelist’s "thing that should not be". indescribable thing vaster than any subway train a shapeless congeries of protoplasmic bubbles. What we did see . It was the utter. constellated with strangely colored lights and filling the prodigious burrow as a piston fills a cylinder. gathering unholy speed and driving before it a spiral.

and plastic organ patterns solely by the Old Ones. XII Danforth and I have recollections of emerging into the great sculptured hemisphere and of threading our back trail through the Cyclopean rooms and corridors of the dead city. mocking cry. thought. Still came that eldritch. causation. 205 .had likewise no voice save the imitated accents of their bygone masters. They have a strange and titanic mausoleum. or physical exertion. and I hope the end of this planet will find them still undisturbed. or orientation. crushing the frantic penguins and slithering over the glistening floor that it and its kind had swept so evilly free of all litter. and having no language save that which the dot groups expressed . It was as if we floated in a nebulous world or dimension without time.given life. yet these are purely dream fragments involving no memory of volition."Tekeli-li! Tekelili!" and at last we remembered that the demoniac Shoggoths .greenish light all over the tunnel-filling front that bore down upon us. but we did not go near those cached sledges or look again at poor Gedney and the dog. details. The gray half-daylight of the vast circular space sobered us somewhat.

The sky above was a churning and opalescent mass of tenuous icevapors. we found ourselves on a great mound of tumbled blocks. and the cold clutched at our vitals. There was something vaguely appropriate about our departure from those buried epochs. written fifty million years ago. The low antarctic sun of midnight peered redly from the southern horizon through rifts in the jagged ruins.It was while struggling up the colossal spiral incline that we first felt the terrible fatigue and short breath which our race through the thin plateau air had produced. for as we wound our panting way up the sixty-foot cylinder of primal masonry. Finally scrambling out at the top. Wearily 206 . with the curved walls of higher stonework rising westward. and the brooding peaks of the great mountains showing beyond the more crumbled structures toward the east. we glimpsed beside us a continuous procession of heroic sculptures in the dead race’s early and undecayed technique . and the terrible age and deadness of the nightmare city seemed all the starker by contrast with such relatively known and accustomed things as the features of the polar landscape. but not even fear of collapse could make us pause before reaching the normal outer realm of sun and sky.a farewell from the Old Ones.

the restless ice-vapors having moved up to the zenith.by which we had descended. Halfway uphill toward our goal we paused for a momentary breathing spell. and turned to look again at the fantastic tangle of incredible stone shapes below us-once more outlined mystically against an unknown west. There now lay revealed on the ultimate white horizon behind the grotesque city a dim. we rebuttoned our heavy garments for the stumbling climb down the mound and the walk through the aeon-old stone maze to the foothills where our aeroplane waited.resting the outfit-bags to which we had instinctively clung throughout our desperate flight. As we did so we saw that the sky beyond had lost its morning haziness. In less than a quarter of an hour we had found the steep grade to the foothills-the probable ancient terrace . where their mocking outlines seemed on the point of settling into some bizarre pattern which they feared to make quite definite or conclusive. elfin line of pinnacled violet whose needle-pointed heights loomed dreamlike against the beckoning rose color 207 . Of what had set us fleeing from that darkness of earth’s secret and archaic gulfs we said nothing at all. and could see the dark bulk of our great plane amidst the sparse ruins on the rising slope ahead.

but visited by the sinister lightnings and sending strange beams across the plains in the polar night . then. Up toward this shimmering rim sloped the ancient table-land. untrodden by any living thing on earth. must have been tremendous beyond all comparison . harborers of nameless horrors and Archaean secrets. the depressed course of the bygone river traversing it as an irregular ribbon of shadow.beyond doubt the unknown archetype of that dreaded Kadath in the Cold Waste beyond abhorrent Leng. whereof primal legends hint evasively. yet none the less sharply did their dim elfin essence appear above that remote and snowy rim. and then vague horror began to creep into our souls.carrying them up 208 . shunned and prayed to by those who feared to carve their meaning.of the western sky. like the serrated edge of a monstrous alien planet about to rise into unaccustomed heavens. Their height. If the sculptured maps and pictures in that prehuman city had told truly. For a second we gasped in admiration of the scene’s unearthly cosmic beauty. For this far violet line could be nothing else than the terrible mountains of the forbidden land highest of earth’s peaks and focus of earth’s evil. these cryptic violet mountains could not be much less than three hundred miles away.

ruin-crusted slopes reared up starkly and hideously against the east. and hoped that no evil fate would give Sir Douglas and his men a glimpse of what might lie beyond the protecting coastal range. where even at that moment Sir Douglas Mawson’s expedition was doubtless working less than a thousand miles away. Yet long before we had passed the great starshaped ruin and reached our plane. I recalled how their northerly end must come near the coast at Queen Mary Land. our fears had become transferred to the lesser but vast-enough range whose recrossing lay ahead of us. again reminding us of those strange Asian paintings of Nicholas Roerich. and when we thought of the frightful amorphous entities that might have 209 . From these foothills the black. Such thoughts formed a measure of my overwrought condition at the time .and Danforth seemed to be even worse.and wondered how much sense and how much folly had lain in the fears of those Old Ones who carved them so reticently. I thought nervously of certain sculptured hints of what the great bygone river had washed down into the city from their accursed slopes . Looking at them.into tenuous atmospheric strata peopled only by such gaseous wraiths as rash flyers have barely lived to whisper of after unexplainable falls.

since the ice-dust clouds of the zenith were doing all sorts of fantastic things. and of the blasphemous. horror-fostering abyss whence all such vapors came. At a very high level there must have been great disturbance. Below us the primal Cyclopean masonry spread out as it had done when first we saw it. we could not face without panic the prospect of again sailing by those suggestive skyward cave mouths where the wind made sounds like an evil musical piping over a wide range. but at twenty-four thousand feet.pushed their fetidly squirming way even to the topmost hollow pinnacles. we saw distinct traces of local mist around several of the summits-as poor Lake must have done when he made that early mistake about volcanism .and thought shiveringly of that kindred mist from which we had just escaped. and we clumsily hauled on our heavy flying furs. we found navigation quite practicable. All was well with the plane. As we drew close to the jutting peaks the wind’s strange piping again became 210 . the height we needed for the pass. of that. and we began rising and turning to test the wind for our crossing through the pass. To make matters worse. and we made a very smooth take-off over the nightmare city. Danforth got the engine started without trouble.

But Danforth. and upward at the seething. and stared at the sector of reddish farther sky betwixt the walls of the passresolutely refusing to pay attention to the puffs of mountain-top vapor. just as I was trying to steer safely through the pass. I thought at that moment that I might be a better navigator than he in effecting the dangerous crossing between pinnacles. I felt him turning and wriggling about as he looked back at the terrible receding city. sidewise at the bleak sea of snowy. that his mad shrieking brought us so close to disaster by shattering my tight hold on myself and causing me to fumble helplessly with the controls for a moment. It was then. and when I made motions to change seats and take over his duties he did not protest. grotesquely clouded sky. ahead at the cave-riddled. could not keep quiet. and wishing that I had waxstopped ears like Ulysses’ men off the Siren’s coast to keep that disturbing windpiping from my consciousness. released from his piloting and keyed up to a dangerous nervous pitch. Rank amateur that I was. cube-barnacled peaks. I tried to keep all my skill and selfpossession about me.manifest. and I could see Danforth’s hands trembling at the controls. rampart-strewn foothills. A second afterward my resolution triumphed and we 211 .

All that Danforth has ever hinted is that the final horror was a mirage. dead corners and unplumbed depths be let alone.yet I am afraid that Danforth will never be -the same again. that some of earth’s dark. I have said that Danforth refused to tell me what final horror made him scream out so insanely-a horror which. at any cost.made the crossing safely . I feel sadly sure. We had snatches of shouted conversation above the wind’s piping and the engine’s buzzing as we reached the safe side of the range and swooped slowly down toward the camp. for the peace and safety of mankind. vaporous. but that had mostly to do with the pledges of secrecy we had made as we prepared to leave the nightmare city. but a 212 . anything connected with the cubes and caves of those echoing. is mainly responsible for his present breakdown. It is absolutely necessary. It was not. we had agreed. and others. lest sleeping abnormalities wake to resurgent life. were not for people to know and discuss lightlyand I would not speak of them now but for the need of heading off that Starkweather-Moore Expedition. and blasphemously surviving nightmares squirm and splash out of their black lairs to newer and wider conquests. he declares. Certain things. wormily-honeycombed mountains of madness which we crossed.

and of the actual though unrecognized mirage of the dead transmontane city experienced near Lake’s camp the day before. indeed.single fantastic. demoniac glimpse." "the carven rim. was surely vaporous and disturbed enough." "the windowless solids with five dimensions. The higher sky. the undying. and al- 213 . It is very probable that the thing was a sheer delusion born of the previous stresses we had passed through." "the protoShoggoths." "the nameless cylinder." "the eyes in darkness. is known to be among the few who have ever dared go completely through that wormriddled copy of the Necronomicon kept under lock and key in the college library." "the moon-ladder. among the churning zenith clouds. but it was so real to Danforth that he suffers from it still." "Yog-Sothoth. He has on rare occasions whispered disjointed and irresponsible things about "The black pit." "the primal white jelly." "the original." "the color out of space. as we crossed the range. Danforth. of what lay back of those other violet westward mountains which the Old Ones had shunned and feared. the eternal. but when he is fully himself he repudiates all this and attributes it to his curious and macabre reading of earlier years." "the wings." and other bizarre conceptions." "the elder Pharos.

Danforth did not hint any of these specific horrors till after his memory had had a chance to draw on his bygone reading. mad word of all too obvious source: "Tekeli-li! Tekeli-li!" 214 . of course.though I did not see the zenith.and. At the time. Imagination. I can well imagine that its swirls of ice dust may have taken strange forms. and magnified by such layers of restless cloud. He could never have seen so much in one instantaneous glance. knowing how vividly distant scenes can sometimes be reflected. might easily have supplied the rest . his shrieks were confined to the repetition of a single. refracted.

and childish hopes had gone forever. when learning stripped the Earth of her mantle of beauty and poets sang no more of twisted phantoms seen with bleared and inward looking eyes. coming home at evening to a room whose one window opened not to open fields and groves but on to a dim court where other windows stared in dull despair.Azatoth When age fell upon the world. yet it is said that both were obscure. for they were of the waking world only. the dweller 215 . when grey cities reared to smoky skies tall towers grim and ugly. Of the name and abode of this man little is written. except sometimes when one leaned so far out and peered at the small stars that passed. It is enough to say that he dwelt in a city of high walls where sterile twilight reigned. And because mere walls and windows must soon drive a man to madness who dreams and reads much. there was a man who traveled out of life on a quest into spaces whither the world's dreams had fled. when these things had come to pass. From that casement one might see only walls and windows. that he toiled all day among shadow and turmoil. and wonder went out of the minds of men. in whose shadow none might dream of the sun or of Spring's flowering meads.

swirling out of the ultimate spaces and heavy perfumes from beyond the worlds. and to follow them in fancy when they glided regretfully out of sight. Opiate oceans poured there. Noiseless infinity eddied around the dreamer and wafted him away without touching the body that leaned stiffly from the lonely window. till at length his vision opened to many secret vistas whose existance no common eye suspected. There came to that room wild streams of violet midnight glittering with dust of gold. After years he began to call the slow sailing stars by name. and the dream haunted skies swelled down to the lonely watcher's window to merge with the close air of his room and to make him a part of their fabulous wonder. And one night a mighty gulf was bridged. litten by suns that the eye may never behold and having in their whirlpools strange dolphins and sea-nymphs of unrememberable depths. vortices of dust and fire.in that room used night after night to lean out and peer aloft to glimpse some fragment of things beyond the waking world and the tall cities. a green shore 216 . and for days not counted in men's calandars the tides of far spheres that bore him gently to join the course of other cycles that tenderly left him sleeping on a green sunrise shore.

fragrant with lotus blossums and starred by red camalotes. 217 ...

or scan the pleasant bills and dales of the beautiful world outside. for although I had frequently read of the wild frenzies into which were thrown the victims of similar situations. Hope had departed. completely. then was this terrible yet majestic cavern as welcome a sepulchre as that which any churchyard might afford. I reflected. indoctrinated as I was by a life of philosophical study. That nevermore should I behold the blessed light of day. Turn as I might. in no direction could my straining vision seize on any object capable of serving as a guidepost to set me on the outward path. Nor did the thought that I had probably wandered beyond the utmost limits of an ordinary search cause me to abandon my composure even for a moment. I was lost. but stood quiet as soon as I clearly realised the loss of my bearings. a con- 218 .The Beast in the Cave The horrible conclusion which had been gradually intruding itself upon my confused and reluctant mind was now an awful certainty. Yet. I derived no small measure of satisfaction from my unimpassioned demeanour. my reason could no longer entertain the slightest unbelief. If I must die. hopelessly lost in the vast and labyrinthine recess of the Mammoth Cave. I experienced none of these.

I remembered the accounts which I had heard of the colony of consumptives. of this I was certain. I had seen the sad remains of their ill-made cottages as I passed them by with the party. taking their residence in this gigantic grotto to find health from the apparently salubrious air of the underground world. wandering for over an hour in forbidden avenues of the cave. Already my torch had begun to expire. pure air. unsteady light. soon I would be enveloped by the total and almost palpable blackness of the bowels of the earth. Some. but I felt that this end would not be mine. who. had found. had found myself unable to retrace the devious windings which I had pursued since forsaking my companions. My disaster was the result of no fault save my own. instead. and peaceful quiet. death in strange and ghastly form. since unknown to the guide I had separated myself from the regular party of sightseers. As I stood in the waning. I knew. Starving would prove my ultimate fate. had gone mad under circumstances such as these. with its steady.ception which carried with it more of tranquillity than of despair. uniform temperature. and. I idly wondered over the exact circumstances of my coming end. and had wondered what unnatural influence a long sojourn in this immense and 219 .

magnified and reflected by the numberless ramparts of the black maze about me. As the last fitful rays of my torch faded into obscurity. All at once. I was on the point of renewing my cries.silent cavern would exert upon one as healthy and vigorous as I. then. Was my deliverance about to be accomplished so soon? Had. I resolved to leave no stone unturned. all my horrible apprehensions been for naught. so. I set up a series of loud shoutings. in the vain hope of attracting the attention of the guide by my clamour. however. having marked my unwarranted absence from the party. as I called. I believed in my heart that my cries were to no purpose. in order that my discovery might come the sooner. fell upon no ears save my own. my attention was fixed with a start as I fancied that I heard the sound of soft approaching steps on the rocky floor of the cavern. provided that want of food should not bring me too speedy a departure from this life. 220 . and that my voice. and was the guide. Yet. following my course and seeking me out in this limestone labyrinth? Whilst these joyful queries arose in my brain. no possible means of escape neglected. Now. summoning all the powers possessed by my lungs. my opportunity for settling this point had arrived. I grimly told myself.

never wholly dormant. for my ever acute ear. I seemed to trace the falls of four instead of two feet. the Almighty had chosen for me a swifter and more merciful death than that of hunger. now sharpened in even greater degree by the complete silence of the cave. the tread of the booted guide would have sounded like a series of sharp and incisive blows. In the unearthly stillness of this subterranean region. when I listened carefully. bore to my benumbed understanding the unexpected and dreadful knowledge that these footfalls were not like those of any mortal man. yet the instinct of self-preservation.when in an instant my delight was turned to horror as I listened. perhaps a mountain lion which had accidentally strayed within the cave. I determined nevertheless to part with my life at as high a price as I could command. Besides. Accordingly. 221 . I was now convinced that I had by my own cries aroused and attracted some wild beast. These impacts were soft. and though escape from the on-coming peril might but spare me for a sterner and more lingering end. as of the paws of some feline. I considered. was stirred in my breast. Perhaps. I became very quiet. Strange as it may seem. and stealthy. my mind conceived of no intent on the part of the visitor save that of hostility.

could doubtless be followed at great distance. I thought. and thus pass me by. the animal evidently having obtained my scent. walking with a singular lack of unison betwixt hind and fore feet. Certainly. awaited with resignation the inevitable result. Meanwhile the hideous pattering of the paws drew near. Seeing therefore that I must be armed for defense against an uncanny and unseen attack in the dark. But this hope was not destined for realisation. in the absence of a guiding sound. and grasping one in each hand for immediate use. the conduct of the creature was exceedingly strange. it must.in the hope that the unknown beast would. be some unfortunate beast who had paid for its curiosity to investigate one of the entrances of the fearful grotto with a life-long confinement in 222 . lose its direction as had I. for the strange footfalls steadily advanced. the tread seemed to be that of a quadruped. which in an atmosphere so absolutely free from all distracting influences as is that of the cave. I wondered what species of animal was to confront me. yet at brief and infrequent intervals I fancied that but two feet were engaged in the process of locomotion. I groped about me the largest of the fragments of rock which were strewn upon all parts of the floor of the cavern in the vicinity. Most of the time.

I was petrified.its interminable recesses. I doubted if my right arm would allow me to hurl its missile at the oncoming thing when the crucial moment should arrive. bats and rats of the cave. nearer. I occupied my terrible vigil with grotesque conjectures of what alteration cave life might have wrought in the physical structure of the beast. My disordered fancy conjured up hideous and fearsome shapes from the sinister darkness that surrounded me. as my torch had long since been extinct. I should never behold its form. as well as some of the ordinary fish that are wafted in at every freshet of Green River. and that actually seemed to press upon my body. of 223 . It seemed that I must give vent to a piercing scream. The tension on my brain now became frightful. rooted to the spot. remembering the awful appearances ascribed by local tradition to the consumptives who had died after long residence in the cave. which communicates in some occult manner with the waters of the cave. Now the steady pat. It doubtless obtained as food the eyeless fish. Then I remembered with a start that. pat. the dreadful footfalls approached. yet had I been sufficiently irresolute to attempt such a thing. my voice could scarce have responded. and I was entirely unprovided with matches. Nearer. even should I succeed in felling my antagonist.

My right hand. and I did not approach the body.the steps was close at hand. and. wonderful to relate. Almost overpowered by the great relief which rushed over me. Suddenly the spell broke. whence I realised that I had no more than wounded the creature. now very close. threw with full force the sharp-angled bit of limestone which it contained. this time most effectively. it nearly reached its goal. landing at a distance away. and terror-struck as I was. Having readjusted my aim. superstitious fear had entered my brain. in heavy. guided by my ever trustworthy sense of hearing. I reeled back against the wall. where it seemed to pause. The breathing continued. And now all desire to examine the thing ceased. gasping inhalations and expirations. for with a flood of joy I listened as the creature fell in what sounded like a complete collapse and evidently remained prone and unmoving. and was correspondingly fatigued. nor did I continue to cast stones at it in order to complete the extinction of 224 . toward that point in the darkness from which emanated the breathing and pattering. At last something allied to groundless. I discharged my second missile. I could hear the laboured breathing of the animal. for I heard the thing jump. I realised that it must have come from a considerable distance.

a regular succession of sounds. This time there was no doubt. screamed. and had. despite my boasted reserve. The guide had noted my absence upon the arrival of the party at the entrance of the cave. Instead. from his own intuitive sense of direction. yelled. In another Instant they had resolved themselves into a series of sharp. At length. was lying upon the ground at the feet of the guide. metallic clicks. proceeded to make a thorough canvass of by-passages just ahead of where he had last spoken to me.its life. locating my whereabouts after a quest of about four hours. It was the guide. and at the same time overwhelming my auditor with protestations of gratitude. I awoke to something like my normal consciousness. pouring out my terrible story. embracing his boots and gibbering. And then I shouted. the direction from which I had come. in a most meaningless and idiotic manner. I ran at full speed in what was. and before I could completely understand what had occurred. even shrieked with joy as I beheld in the vaulted arches above the faint and glimmering effulgence which I knew to be the reflected light of an approaching torch. I ran to meet the flare. as nearly as I could estimate in my frenzied condition. 225 . Suddenly I heard a sound or rather.

however. an object whiter even than the gleaming limestone itself. and suggested that we ascertain.By the time he had related this to me. The inclination of the limbs was very singular. The face was turned away from us. this was in surpassing degree the strangest. but it was also surprisingly thin. escaped. the alternation in their use which I bad before noted. a thing due no doubt to the bleaching action of a long existence within the inky confines of the cave. Cautiously advancing. by the flashlight's aid. what manner of creature was my victim. It appeared to be an anthropoid ape of large proportions. this time with a courage born of companionship. being indeed largely absent save on the head. whereby the 226 . from some itinerant menagerie. as the creature lay almost directly upon it. perhaps. began to reflect upon the strange beast which I had wounded but a short distance back in the darkness. explaining. where it was of such length and abundance that it fell over the shoulders in considerable profusion. I. Soon we descried a white object upon the floor. we gave vent to a simultaneous ejaculation of wonderment. emboldened by his torch and his company. to the scene of my terrible experience. for of all the unnatural monsters either of us had in our lifetimes beheld. Accordingly I retraced my steps. Its hair was snow-white.

No tail seemed to be present. With a jerk. the white body rolled over 227 . The sound. which I might feebly attempt to classify as a kind of deep-tone chattering. a fact that I ascribed to that long residence in the cave which. The paws went through a convulsive motion. The sound was of a nature difficult to describe. and I wonder if this unnatural quality were not the result of a long continued and complete silence. and the limbs contracted. and the guide had drawn his pistol with the evident intent of despatching the creature. The hands or feet were not prehensile. broken by the sensations produced by the advent of the light. All at once a fleeting spasm of energy seemed to pass through the frame of the beast. The respiration had now grown very feeble. long rat-like claws extended. and on other occasions but two for its progress. a thing which the beast could not have seen since its first entrance into the cave. was faintly continued. seemed evident from the allpervading and almost unearthly whiteness so characteristic of the whole anatomy. as I before mentioned. It was not like the normal note of any known species of simian. From the tips of the fingers or toes. when a sudden sound emitted by the latter caused the weapon to fall unused.beast used sometimes all four.

and several sounds issued from them. The nose was quite distinct. casting weird moving shadows on the walls. or had at one time been a MAN!!! 228 . after which the thing relaxed in death. The guide clutched my coat sleeve and trembled so violently that the light shook fitfully.so that its face was turned in our direction. The creature I had killed. For a moment I was so struck with horror at the eyes thus revealed that I noted nothing else. As I looked more closely. compassion. The fear left. and were entirely destitute of iris. those eyes. and infinitely less hairy. and wonder. the strange beast of the unfathomed cave. I made no motion. I saw that they were set in a face less prognathous than that of the average ape. for the sounds uttered by the stricken figure that lay stretched out on the limestone had told us the awesome truth. and reverence succeeded in its place. they were deeply sunken in their orbits. deep jetty black. Like those of other cave denizens. my horrified eyes fixed upon the floor ahead. As we gazed upon the uncanny sight presented to our vision. awe. in hideous contrast to the snow-white hair and flesh. but stood rigidly still. was. the thick lips opened. They were black.

yet separated from that life by an all but impassable barrier.Freud to the contrary with his puerile symbolism. and that time and space do not exist as our waking selves compre- 229 . as the earth knows such things. From my experience I cannot doubt but that man. We may guess that in dreams life. matter. and of the obscure world to which they belong. yet prove little. and whose vaguely exciting and disquieting effect suggests possible minute glimpses into a sphere of mental existence no less important than physical life. when lost to terrestrial consciousness.there are still a certain remainder whose immundane and ethereal character permit of no ordinary interpretation. Whilst the greater number of our nocturnal visions are perhaps no more than faint and fantastic reflections of our waking experiences. are not necessarily constant. is indeed sojourning in another and uncorporeal life of far different nature from the life we know. From those blurred and fragmentary memories we may infer much.Beyond the Wall of Sleep I have often wondered if the majority of mankind ever pause to reflect upon the occasionally titanic significance of dreams. and vitality. and of which only the slightest and most indistinct memories linger after waking.

It was from a youthful revery filled with speculations of this sort that I arose one afternoon in the winter of 1900-01. rather than advance with their more fortunately placed brethren of the thickly settled districts. cer- 230 . was Joe Slater. law and morals are non-existent. His name. Sometimes I believe that this less material life is our truer life. as given on the records. Among these odd folk. and that our vain presence on the terraqueous globe is itself the secondary or merely virtual phenomenon. when to the state psychopathic institution in which I served as an intern was brought the man whose case has ever since haunted me so unceasingly. who came to the institution in the vigilant custody of four state policemen. one of those strange.hend them. Joe Slater. who correspond exactly to the decadent element of "white trash" in the South. and their general mental status is probably below that of any other section of native American people. or Slaader. repellent scions of a primitive Colonial peasant stock whose isolation for nearly three centuries in the hilly fastnesses of a little-traveled countryside has caused them to sink to a kind of barbaric degeneracy. and who was described as a highly dangerous character. and his appearance was that of the typical denizen of the Catskill Mountain region.

He himself was generally as terrified and baffled as his 231 . and upon waking would often talk of unknown things in a manner so bizarre as to inspire fear even in the hearts of an unimaginative populace. since among his kind neither family records nor permanent family ties exist. but the tone and tenor of his utterances were of such mysterious wildness. the head surgeon wrote him down as a man of about forty. that none might listen without apprehension. hunter and trapper. he was given an absurd appearance of harmless stupidity by the pale. and of somewhat brawny frame. sleepy blueness of his small watery eyes.tainly presented no evidence of his perilous disposition when I first beheld him. Though well above the middle stature. Not that his form of language was at all unusual. had always been strange in the eyes of his primitive associates. a vagabond. He had habitually slept at night beyond the ordinary time. the scantiness of his neglected and never-shaven growth of yellow beard. for he never spoke save in the debased patois of his environment. From the medical and court documents we learned all that could be gathered of his case: this man. and from the decayed condition of his teeth. His age was unknown. but from the baldness of his head in front. and the listless drooping of his heavy nether lip.

with ululations so horrible and unearthly that they brought several neighbors to his cabin . As two men of moderate size sought to restrain him.a filthy sty where he dwelt with a family as indescribable as himself. the while shouting his determination to reach some "big.auditors. the man had roused himself most suddenly. At length. it appeared. One day near noon. relapsing into a bovine. and within an hour after awakening would forget all that he had said. or at least all that had caused him to say what he did. he had flung his arms aloft and commenced a series of leaps directly upward in the air. half-amiable normality like that of the other hilldwellers. his matutinal aberrations had gradually increased in frequency and violence. after temporarily felling one of his detain- 232 . after a profound sleep begun in a whiskey debauch at about five of the previous afternoon. big cabin with brightness in the roof and walls and floor and the loud queer music far away". Rushing out into the snow. screaming of his desire and need to find and kill a certain "thing that shines and shakes and laughs". till about a month before his arrival at the institution had occurred the shocking tragedy which caused his arrest by the authorities. As Slater grew older. he had struggled with maniacal force and fury.

but when several mornings later they heard his screams from a distant ravine they realized that he had somehow managed to survive.ers with a sudden blow. and finally joined the seekers. he said. and when the more courageous of them returned. Family and neighbors had now fled in a panic. shrieking fiendishly that he would "jump high in the air and burn his way through anything that stopped him". Then had followed an armed searching-party. He had 233 . whose purpose (whatever it may have been originally) became that of a sheriff's posse after one of the seldom popular state troopers had by accident observed. leaving behind an unrecognizable pulp-like thing that had been a living man but an hour before. he had flung himself upon the other in a demoniac ecstasy of bloodthirstiness. None of the mountaineers had dared to pursue him. He had. then questioned. gone to sleep one afternoon about sundown after drinking much liquor. On the third day Slater was found unconscious in the hollow of a tree. and taken to the nearest jail. Slater was gone. and it is likely that they would have welcomed his death from the cold. To them he told a simple story. where alienists from Albany examined him as soon as his senses returned. and that his removal in one way or another would be necessary.

Doctor Barnard. thought he noticed in the pale blue eyes a certain gleam of peculiar quality. he burst forth into a frenzy so powerful that the combined efforts of four men were needed to bind him in a straightjacket. After some show of uneasiness in sleep. The alienists listened with keen attention to his words. Horrified. the mangled corpse of his neighbor Peter Slader at his feet. and in the flaccid lips an all but imperceptible tightening. he had taken to the woods in a vague effort to escape from the scene of what must have been his crime. Beyond these things he seemed to know nothing. nor could the expert questioning of his interrogators bring out a single additional fact. who had been watching the patient.awakened to find himself standing bloody-handed in the snow before his cabin. Slater relapsed into the habitual vacancy of the mountaineer. as if of intelligent determination. But when questioned. and only reiterated what he had said on the preceding day. since their curiosity had been aroused to a high pitch by the suggestive yet mostly conflicting and incoherent stories of his family and neighbors. On the third morning occurred the first of the man's mental attacks. and the next morning he awakened with no singular feature save a certain alteration of expression. That night Slater slept quietly. Slater 234 .

On the source of Slater's visions they speculated at length. The fire of madness died from his eyes. and to kill it in triumphant revenge was his paramount desire. when he succeeded in persuading Slater to don it of his own volition. Barnard unbuckled the leather harness and did not restore it till night. Within a week two more attacks appeared. babbling in his backwoods dialect of green edifices of light.raved for upward of fifteen minutes. and had apparently never heard a legend or fairy-tale. but from them the doctors learned little. until with the greatest suddenness he ceased. and in dull wonder he looked at his questioners and asked why he was bound. vague personality seemed to have done him a terrible wrong. oceans of space. But most of all did he dwell upon some mysterious blazing entity that shook and laughed and mocked at him. he would soar through abysses of emptiness. though he knew not why. he said. and shadowy mountains and valleys. The man had now admitted that he sometimes talked queerly. This vast. his gorgeous imagery was quite inexplicable. In order to reach it. That it could not come from any known myth or romance 235 . burning every obstacle that stood in his way. for since he could neither read nor write. strange music. Dr. Thus ran his discourse. for his own good.

dreams whose vividness could for a time completely dominate the waking mind of this basically inferior man. and the gentle manner in which I questioned him. things which he claimed to have experienced. when I hung breathlessly upon his chaotic but cosmic word-pictures. when he would sit by his barred window weaving baskets of straw and willow. Not that he ever recognized me during his attacks. born no doubt of the interest I could not conceal. but which he could not have learned through any normal or connected narration. The alienists soon agreed that abnormal dreams were the foundation of the trouble. He seemed to sense a certain friendliness in me. but he knew me in his quiet hours. and committed to the institution wherein I held so humble a post. He raved of things he did not understand and could not interpret. With due formality Slater was tried for murder.was made especially clear by the fact that the unfortunate lunatic expressed himself only in his own simple manner. acquitted on the ground of insanity. and from this you may judge of the eagerness with which I applied myself to the study of the new patient as soon as I had fully ascertained the facts of his case. and perhaps pining for the mountain 236 . I have said that I am a constant speculator concerning dream-life.

were assuredly things which only a superior or even exceptional brain could conceive How. after the manner of decadent mountain folk. titanic visions. that in a kind of semi-corporeal dream-life Slater wandered 237 . By degrees I commenced to feel an overwhelming wonder at the mad and fantastic conceptions of Joe Slater. The man himself was pitiably inferior in mentality and language alike. I often asked myself. could the stolid imagination of a Catskill degenerate conjure up sights whose very possession argued a lurking spark of genius? How could any backwoods dullard have gained so much as an idea of those glittering realms of supernal radiance and space about which Slater ranted in his furious delirium? More and more I inclined to the belief that in the pitiful personality who cringed before me lay the disordered nucleus of something beyond my comprehension. probably it had found another temporary head. And yet I could extract nothing definite from the man.freedom he could never again enjoy. though described in a barbarous disjointed jargon. something infinitely beyond the comprehension of my more experienced but less imaginative medical and scientific colleagues. His family never called to see him. The sum of all my investigation was. but his glowing.

cities. which the maniac (if maniac he were) yearned to avenge. From the manner in which Slater alluded to their dealings. This thing had done Slater some hideous but unnamed wrong. that there he was no peasant or degenerate. or as aught save a thing. since Slater never referred to it as a man. oral language was not its medium for the transmission of thought. that in his dream existence the man was himself a luminous thing of the same race as his enemy. and palaces of light. gardens. meadows. Could it be that the dream soul inhabiting this inferior body was desperately struggling to speak 238 . in a region unbounded and unknown to man. and who did not appear to be of human shape.or floated through resplendent and prodigious valleys. who seemed to be a being of visible yet ethereal structure. but a creature of importance and vivid life. moving proudly and dominantly. Yet these conceptions were formulated in rustic words wholly inadequate to convey them. and checked only by a certain deadly enemy. I judged that he and the luminous thing had met on equal terms. a circumstance which drove me to the conclusion that if a dream world indeed existed. This impression was sustained by his frequent references to flying through space and burning all that impeded his progress.

These I had tested with a fellow-student. pre-radio period. that my mind needed a rest. convertible into ether waves or radiant energy like heat.things which the simple and halting tongue of dullness could not utter? Could it be that I was face to face with intellectual emanations which would explain the mystery if I could but learn to discover and read them? I did not tell the older physicians of these things. Now. but achieving no result. had soon packed them away with other scientific odds and ends for possible future use. and disinclined to accept new ideas. cynical. Besides. for middle age is skeptical. in my intense desire to probe into the dreamlife of Joe Slater. light and electricity. and I had in my college days prepared a set of transmitting and receiving instruments somewhat similar to the cumbrous devices employed in wireless telegraphy at that crude. the head of the institution had but lately warned me in his paternal way that I was overworking. It had long been my belief that human thought consists basically of atomic or molecular motion. and spent several days in repairing them for ac- 239 . I sought these instruments again. This belief had early led me to contemplate the possibility of telepathy or mental communication by means of suitable apparatus.

though informing no one of their nature. but afterward gave me a nervepowder and arranged for the half-year's vacation on which I departed the next week. That fateful night I was wildly agitated and perturbed. and sometimes wonder if old Doctor Fenton was not right when he charged it all to my excited imagination. I recall that he listened with great kindness and patience when I told him. that the thing occurred. Joe Slater was unmistakably dying. At each outburst of Slater's violence. for despite the excellent care he had received. As I look back across the years I realize how unreal it seems. I would fit the transmitter to his forehead and the receiver to my own. or perhaps the turmoil in his brain had grown too acute for his rather sluggish physique. but I felt certain that I could detect and interpret them. Perhaps it was his mountain freedom that he missed. if successfully conveyed. 1901. It was on the twenty-first of February. but at all 240 . I had but little notion of how the thought-impressions would. Accordingly I continued my experiments.tion. constantly making delicate adjustments for various hypothetical wave-lengths of intellectual energy. arouse an intelligent response in my brain. When they were complete once more I missed no opportunity for their trial.

and as darkness fell he dropped off into a troubled sleep. I did not strap on the straightjacket as was customary when he slept. The sound of weird lyric melody was what aroused me. even if he woke in mental disorder once more before passing away. I myself. a mediocre fellow who did not understand the purpose of the apparatus. while on my ravished sight burst the stupendous spectacle ultimate beauty. Walls. extending upward to an infinitely high vaulted dome of indescribable 241 . columns. and architraves of living fire blazed effulgently around the spot where I seemed to float in air. Chords.events the flame of vitality flickered low in the decadent body. lulled by the rhythmical breathing of the healthy and the dying man. since I saw that he was too feeble to be dangerous. but I did not disturb him. and harmonic ecstasies echoed passionately on every hand. In the cell with us was one nurse. vibrations. must have nodded a little later. or think to inquire into my course. As the hours wore on I saw his head droop awkwardly in sleep. He was drowsy near the end. But I did place upon his head and mine the two ends of my cosmic "radio". hoping against hope for a first and last message from the dream world in the brief time remaining.

Amidst this elysian realm I dwelt not as a stranger. supplanting it at times in kaleidoscopic rotation.splendor. Then the resplendent aura of my brother of light drew near and held colloquy with me. with silent and perfect interchange of thought. just as it had been for uncounted eons of eternity before. and preparing to follow the accursed oppressor even unto the uttermost fields of ether. which in consistency partook as much of spirit as of matter. were glimpses of wide plains and graceful valleys. for each vista which appeared to me was the one my changing mind most wished to behold. escaping forever. high mountains and inviting grottoes. for each sight and sound was familiar to me. or rather. Blending with this display of palatial magnificence. As I gazed. The hour was one of approaching triumph. covered with every lovely attribute of scenery which my delighted eyes could conceive of. yet formed wholly of some glowing. I perceived that my own brain held the key to these enchanting metamorphoses. and would be for like eternities to come. soul to soul. ethereal plastic entity. for was not my fellow-being escaping at last from a degrading periodic bondage. that upon it might be wrought a flaming cosmic vengeance which would shake the spheres? We floated thus for a little 242 .

for it gradually brought its discourse toward a conclusion. too. A few more thoughts were exchanged. though probably for the last time. A well-defined shock separates my final impression of the fading scene of light from my sudden and somewhat shamefaced awakening and straightening up in my chair as I saw the dying figure on the couch move hesitantly. in less than an hour my fellow would be free to pursue the oppressor along the Milky Way and past the hither stars to the very confines of infinity. The 243 .time. when I perceived a slight blurring and fading of the objects around us. and I knew that the luminous one and I were being recalled to bondage. As I looked more closely. though for my brother of light it would be the last time.where I least wished to go. I saw that in the sallow cheeks shone spots of color which had never before been present. The lips. and itself prepared to quit the scene. fading from my sight at a rate somewhat less rapid than that of the other objects. as if by the force of a stronger character than had been Slater's. Joe Slater was indeed awaking. being tightly compressed. as though some force were recalling me to earth . The form near me seemed to feel a change also. seemed unusual. The sorry planet shell being well-nigh spent.

The man who had been Joe Slater. intent to catch any parting message the dreamer might have to deliver. My 244 ." came the soul-petrifying voice of an agency from beyond the wall of sleep.whole face finally began to grow tense. Each transmitted idea formed rapidly in my mind. I closed my eyes to concentrate my thoughts more profoundly and was rewarded by the positive knowledge that my long-sought mental message had come at last. Neither mania nor degeneracy was visible in that gaze. and the head turned restlessly with closed eyes. the Catskill decadent. I did not rouse the sleeping nurse. and though no actual language was employed. At this juncture my brain became aware of a steady external influence operating upon it. but readjusted the slightly disarranged headband of my telepathic "radio". "Joe Slater is dead. causing me to stare in blank amazement at what I beheld. and I felt beyond a doubt that I was viewing a face behind which lay an active mind of high order. my habitual association of conception and expression was so great that I seemed to be receiving the message in ordinary English. expanding eyes whose blue seemed subtly to have deepened. All at once the head turned sharply in my direction and the eyes fell open. was gazing at me with a pair of luminous.

opened eyes sought the couch of pain in curious horror. or in the cruel empire of Tsan Chan which is to come three thousand years hence. and the countenance was still intelligently animated. It is not permitted me to tell your waking earth-self of your real self. but we are all roamers of vast spaces and travelers in many ages. ought it to know for its own tranquility! 245 . too little a man. His gross body could not undergo the needed adjustments between ethereal life and planet life. You and I have drifted to the worlds that reel about the red Arcturus. indeed. but the blue eyes were still calmly gazing. I am your brother of light. and have floated with you in the effulgent valleys. "I am an entity like that which you yourself become in the freedom of dreamless sleep. How little does the earth self know life and its extent! How little. yet it is through his deficiency that you have come to discover me. Next year I may be dwelling in the Egypt which you call ancient. for he was unfit to bear the active intellect of cosmic entity. for the cosmic and planet souls rightly should never meet. "He is better dead. He has been in my torment and diurnal prison for forty-two of your terrestrial years. and dwelt in the bodies of the insect-philosophers that crawl proudly over the fourth moon of Jupiter. He was too much an animal.

commenced to glaze fishily. for the body of Joe Slater grows cold and rigid. "I cannot speak longer.you who without knowing idly gave the blinking beacon the name of Algol. Tonight I go as a Nemesis bearing just and blazingly cataclysmic vengeance. and pulseless. held back by bodily encumbrances." At this point the thought-waves abruptly ceased. We shall meet again . perhaps in unremembered dreams tonight. perhaps in some other form an eon hence. stiff. You on earth have unwittingly felt its distant presence . and the thick lips fell open.perhaps in the shining mists of Orion's Sword."Of the oppressor I cannot speak. The sallow cheeks paled again. the Demon-Star. Watch me in the sky close by the Demon-Star. when the solar system shall have been swept away. but found it cold. In a half-stupor I crossed over to the couch and felt of his wrist. and the coarse brains are ceasing to vibrate as I wish. You have been my only friend on this planet .or can I say dead man? . disclosing the repulsively rotten fangs of the de- 246 . the pale eyes of the dreamer .the only soul to sense and seek for me within the repellent form which lies on this couch. perhaps on a bleak plateau in prehistoric Asia. It is to meet and conquer the oppressor that I have vainly striven for eons.

The climax? What plain tale of science can boast of such a rhetorical effect? I have merely set down certain things appealing to me as facts. denies the reality of everything I have related. He assures me on his professional honor that Joe Slater was but a lowgrade paranoiac. Professor Garrett P. whose fantastic notions must have come from the crude hereditary folk-tales which circulated in even the most decadent of communities. my superior. and badly in need of a long vacation on full pay which he so generously gave me. allowing you to construe them as you will. He vows that I was broken down with nervous strain. pulled a blanket over the hideous face. Then I left the cell and went silently to my room. I had an instant and unaccountable craving for a sleep whose dreams I should not remember. old Doctor Fenton. All this he tells me . which may perhaps supply the climax you expect. another pen must add this final testimony. and awakened the nurse. I will quote the following account of the star Nova Persei verbatim from the pages of that eminent astronomical authority. Lest you think me a biased witness. I shivered. Serviss: 247 .generate Joe Slater.yet I cannot forget what I saw in the sky on the night after Slater died. As I have already admitted.

" 248 . a marvelous new star was discovered by Doctor Anderson of Edinburgh. not very far from Algol. and in the course of a few months it was hardly discernible with the naked eye. 1901. Within twenty-four hours the stranger had become so bright that it outshone Capella."On February 22. In a week or two it had visibly faded. No star had been visible at that point before.

of course. These cycles of experience.perhaps from some utterly monstrous outgrowth of my cycles of unique. I am not even certain how I am communicating this message. While I know I am speaking.in a dimly lighted place near the black. incredible experience. besides. My identity. There were. formless infinity. great formless heaps of books on the floor and in crude bins. is bewilderingly cloudy. but it fell open to- 249 . That place was very old. There is even much doubt as to where they begin. while at other times it seems as if the present moment were an isolated point in a grey. I have a vague impression that some strange and perhaps terrible mediation will be needed to bear what I say to the points where I wish to be heard. I seem to have suffered a great shock. and the ceiling-high shelves full of rotting volumes reached back endlessly through windowless inner rooms and alcoves.The Book My memories are very confused. too. oily river where the mists always swirl. I never learned its title. all stem from that worm-riddled book. for the early pages were missing. for at times I feel appalling vistas of years stretching behind me. I remember when I found it. and it was in one of these heaps that I found the thing.

and which lead to freedoms and discoveries beyond the three dimensions and realms of life and matter that we know. Not for centuries had any man recalled its vital substance or known where to find it. The centuried. No printing-press. He had refused to take pay for it.a guide. but the hand of some half-crazed monk.ward the end and gave me a glimpse of something which sent my senses reeling. something which I had read of before in furtive paragraphs of mixed abhorrence and fascination penned by those strange ancient delvers into the universe's guarded secrets whose decaying texts I loved to absorb. It was a key.which I recognized as something black and forbidden. had traced these ominous Latin phrases in uncials of awesome antiquity. mist-cloaked waterfront streets I had a frightful impression of being stealthily followed by softly padding feet. There was a formula.to certain gateways and transitions of which mystics have dreamed and whispered since the race was young. I remember how the old man leered and tittered.a sort of list of things to say and do. tottering houses on both sides 250 . but this book was very old indeed. winding. As I hurried home through those narrow. and only long afterwards did I guess why. and made a curious sign with his hand when I bore it away.

251 . for I had not gone up till after midnight.I recall the relentless dripping of the wax. diamond-paned windows that leered. I seemed to keep track of those chimes with a peculiar intentness. and have had all my notions of time dissolved and refashioned.whitefaced. and locked in the attic room that I had long devoted to strange searchings. . as if I feared to hear some very remote. The great house was very still.with eyelike. I felt that those walls and over-hanging gables of mildewed brick and fungoid plaster and timber. Just what the year was I cannot say.though the details are very uncertain.could hardly desist from advancing and crushing me .and I know there were many servants.and there were chimes that came every now and then from distant belfries. intruding note among them.seemed alive with a fresh and morbid malignity. yet I had read only the least fragment of that blasphemous rune before closing the book and bringing it away. I remember how I read the book at last. for since then I have known many ages and dimensions. I think I had a family then. It was by the light of candles that I read.as if some hitherto closed channel of evil understanding had abruptly been opened. .

and with each new gateway crossed. I had evoked.Then came the first scratching and fumbling at the dormer window that looked out high above the other roofs of the city.in hidden. Mixed with the present scene was always a little of the past and a little of the future. and every once-familiar object loomed alien in the new perspective brought by my widened sight. and never again can he be alone.and pushed 252 . It came as I droned aloud the ninth verse of that primal lay. Dogs had a fear of me. That night I passed the gateway to a vortex of twisted time and vision. the less plainly could I recognise the things of the narrow sphere to which I had so long been bound. none else saw. Nor could I ever after see the world as I had known it. From then on I walked in a fantastic dream of unknown and half-known shapes. But still I read more. forgotten books and scrolls to which my new vision led me. and when morning found me in the attic room I saw in the walls and shelves and fittings that which I had never seen before. What I saw about me. For he who passes the gateways always wins a shadow.and the book was indeed all I had suspected. and I knew amidst my shudders what it meant. and I grew doubly silent and aloof lest I be thought mad. for they felt the outside shadow which never left my side.

for I had no wish to be cut off 253 . but there was more of terror because I knew I was closer to those outside gulfs and worlds than I had ever been before. After a while there was utter blackness. I screamed and struggled. In that night's wandering there was no more of strangeness than in many a former night's wandering. Finally I saw a green-litten plain far below me. The walls melted away. alien constellations.through fresh gateways of space and being and life-patterns toward the core of the unknown cosmos. and stood in the innermost one chanting that monstrous litany the messenger from Tartary had brought. and I was swept by a black wind through gulfs of fathomless grey with the needle-like pinnacles of unknown mountains miles below me. Thereafter I was more cautious with my incantations. I remember the night I made the five concentric circles of fire on the floor. and then the light of myriad stars forming strange. As I floated closer to that city I saw a great square building of stone in an open space. and after a blankness was again in my attic room sprawled flat over the five phosphorescent circles on the floor. and discerned on it the twisted towers of a city built in no fashion I had ever known or read or dreamed of. and felt a hideous fear clutching at me.

. 254 ..from my body and from the earth in unknown abysses whence I could never return.

But it is not from them that there came the single glimpse of forbidden eons which chills me when I think of it and maddens me when I dream of it. The sciences. each straining in its own direction. and it was not meant that we should voyage far. The Horror In Clay The most merciful thing in the world. that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the light into the peace and safety of a new dark age. is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. flashed out from an accidental piecing together of separated things . have hitherto harmed us little. and of our frightful position therein.The Call of Cthulhu I. I think. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity. but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality. They have hinted at strange survivals in terms which would freeze the blood if not masked by a bland optimism. I hope that 255 .in this case an old newspaper item and the notes of a dead professor. Theosophists have guessed at the awesome grandeur of the cosmic cycle wherein our world and human race form transient incidents. like all dread glimpses of truth. That glimpse.

and that he would have destroyed his notes had not sudden death seized him. certainly. induced by the brisk ascent of so steep a hill by so elderly a man. Professor Angell was widely known as an authority on ancient inscriptions. but concluded after perplexed debate that some obscure lesion of the heart. as witnesses said. after having been jostled by a nautical-looking negro who had come from one of the queer dark courts on the precipitous hillside which formed a short cut from the waterfront to the deceased's home in Williams Street. George Gammell Angell. too intented to keep silent regarding the part he knew. Providence. was responsible 256 . Rhode Island.no one else will accomplish this piecing out. interest was intensified by the obscurity of the cause of death. and had frequently been resorted to by the heads of prominent museums. I shall never knowingly supply a link in so hideous a chain. if I live. so that his passing at the age of ninety-two may be recalled by many. The professor had been stricken whilst returning from the Newport boat. Locally. Professor Emeritus of Semitic Languages in Brown University. falling suddenly. I think that the professor. Physicians were unable to find any visible disorder. My knowledge of the thing began in the winter of 1926-27 with the death of my great-uncle.

and which I felt much averse from showing to other eyes. Much of the material which I correlated will be later published by the American Archaeological Society. As my great-uncle's heir and executor. The bas-relief was a rough rectangle less than an inch thick and about five by six inches in area. and for that purpose moved his entire set of files and boxes to my quarters in Boston. indeed. ramblings. but there was one box which I found exceedingly puzzling.for the end. Then. in his latter years become credulous of the most superficial impostures? I resolved to search out the eccentric sculptor responsible for this apparent disturbance of an old man's peace of mind. but latterly I am inclined to wonder .and more than wonder. but when I did so seemed only to be confronted by a greater and more closely locked barrier. for he died a childless widower. ob- 257 . It had been locked and I did not find the key till it occurred to me to examine the personal ring which the professor carried in his pocket. I succeeded in opening it. At the time I saw no reason to dissent from this dictum. I was expected to go over his papers with some thoroughness. and cuttings which I found? Had my uncle. For what could be the meaning of the queer clay bas-relief and the disjointed jottings.

It seemed to be a sort of monster. a dragon. I shall not be unfaithful to the spirit of the thing. Above these apparent hieroglyphics was a figure of evident pictorial intent. 258 . however. though its impressionistic execution forbade a very clear idea of its nature.viously of modern origin. Behind the figure was a vague suggestions of a Cyclopean architectural background. If I say that my somewhat extravagant imagination yielded simultaneous pictures of an octopus. were far from modern in atmosphere and suggestion. despite much the papers and collections of my uncle. or even hint at its remotest affiliations. A pulpy. but it was the general outline of the whole which made it most shockingly frightful. and a human caricature. though my memory. Its designs. of a form which only a diseased fancy could conceive. although the vagaries of cubism and futurism are many and wild. failed in any way to identify this particular species. for. or symbol representing a monster. And writing of some kind the bulk of these designs seemed certainly to be. tentacled head surmounted a grotesque and scaly body with rudimentary wings. they do not often reproduce that cryptic regularity which lurks in prehistoric writing.

aside from a stack of press cuttings. New Orleans. . Mtg. Wilcox. some of them citations from theosophical books and magazines (notably W. the first of which was headed "1925 . The cuttings largely alluded to outré mental illness and outbreaks of group folly or mania in the spring of 1925. with references to passages in such mythological and anthropological source-books as Frazer's Golden Bough and Miss Murray's Witch-Cult in Western Europe. and the second. R.Notes on Same. Scott-Elliot's Atlantis and the Lost Lemuria).The writing accompanying this oddity was. 259 . some of them accounts of the queer dreams of different persons. in Professor Angell's most recent hand.". La. and the rest comments on long-surviving secret societies and hidden cults. at 1908 A. & Prof. "Narrative of Inspector John R.A... This manuscript was divided into two sections. S. What seemed to be the main document was headed "CTHULHU CULT" in characters painstakingly printed to avoid the erroneous reading of a word so unheard-of. A. 7 Thomas St. and made no pretense to literary style. Providence.. Webb's Acct.Dream and Dream Work of H. 121 Bienville St." The other manuscript papers were brief notes. I. Legrasse.

The first half of the principal manuscript told a very particular tale. 1925. anxious to preserve its conservatism. and had from chidhood excited attention through the strange stories and odd dreams he was in the habit of relating. and my uncle had recognized him as the youngest son of an excellent family slightly known to him. which was then exceedingly damp and fresh. His card bore the name of Henry Anthony Wilcox. but the staid folk of the ancient commercial city dismissed him as merely "queer. Even the Providence Art Club. He called himself "psychically hypersensitive". who had latterly been studying sculpture at the Rhode Island School of Design and living alone at the Fleur-deLys Building near that institution." Never mingling much with his kind. Wilcox was a precocious youth of known genius but great eccentricity. the sculptor abruptly asked for the benefit of his host's archeological knowledge in 260 . ran the professor's manuscript. he had dropped gradually from social visibility. a thin. On the ocassion of the visit. dark young man of neurotic and excited aspect had called upon Professor Angell bearing the singular clay bas-relief. had found him quite hopeless. and was now known only to a small group of esthetes from other towns. It appears that on March 1st.

or the contemplative Sphinx. Hieroglyphics had covered the walls and pillars. indeed. "It is new. was of a fantastically poetic cast which must have typified his whole conversation.identifying the hieroglyphics of the bas-relief. all dripping with green ooze and sinister with latent horror. or gardengirdled Babylon. He spoke in a dreamy." It was then that he began that rambling tale which suddenly played upon a sleeping memory and won the fevered interest of my uncle. Young Wilcox's rejoinder. He said. stilted manner which suggested pose and alienated sympathy. he had had an unprecedented dream of great Cyclopean cities of Titan blocks and sky-flung monoliths. and dreams are older than brooding Tyre. and which I have since found highly characteristic of him. There had been a slight earthquake tremor the night before. and my uncle showed some sharpness in replying. and from some undetermined point below had come a 261 . for I made it last night in a dream of strange cities. and Wilcox's imagination had been keenly affected. Upon retiring. which impressed my uncle enough to make him recall and record it verbatim. for the conspicuous freshness of the tablet implied kinship with anything but archeology. the most considerable felt in New England for some years.

and studied with frantic intensity the bas-relief on which the youth had found himself working. but which he attempted to render by the almost unpronounceable jumble of letters: "Cthulhu fhtagn. When Professor Angell became convinced that the sculptor was indeed ignorant of any cult or system of cryptic lore. and Wilcox could not understand the repeated promises of silence which he was offered in exchange for an admission of membership in some widespread mystical or paganly religious body. when waking had stolen bewilderingly over him. especially those which tried to connect the latter with strange cults or societies. chilled and clad only in his night clothes. during which he related startling fragments of noc- 262 . for after the first interview the manuscript records daily calls of the young man. My uncle blamed his old age." This verbal jumble was the key to the recollection which excited and disturbed Professor Angell. Many of his questions seemed highly out of place to his visitor. He questioned the sculptor with scientific minuteness.voice that was not a voice. he besieged his visitor with demands for future reports of dreams. Wilcox afterwards said. a chaotic sensation which only fancy could transmute into sound. This bore regular fruit. for his slowness in recognizing both hieroglyphics and pictorial design.

apparently. calling often at the Thayer Street office of Dr. and the doctor shuddered now and then as he spoke of them. He had cried out in the night. and inquiries at his quarters revealed that he had been stricken with an obscure sort of fever and taken to the home of his family in Waterman Street.turnal imaginery whose burden was always some terrible Cyclopean vista of dark and dripping stone. as repeated by Dr. 263 . The two sounds frequently repeated are those rendered by the letters "Cthulhu" and "R'lyeh. The youth's febrile mind. Wilcox failed to appear. the manuscript continued. and from that time forward kept close watch of the case. He at no time fully described this object but occasional frantic words." On March 23. whom he learned to be in charge. was dwelling on strange things. arousing several other artists in the building. They included not only a repetition of what he had formerly dreamed. but touched wildly on a gigantic thing "miles high" which walked or lumbered about. My uncle at once telephoned the family. Tobey. with a subterrene voice or intelligence shouting monotonously in enigmatical senseimpacts uninscribable save as gibberish. and had manifested since then only alternations of unconsciousness and delirium. Tobey.

in fact. He sat upright in bed. oddly enough. Pronounced well by his physician. but the whole condition was otherwise such as to suggest true fever rather than mental disorder. but to Professor Angell he was of no further assistance. that only the ingrained skepticism then forming my philosophy can account for my continued distrust of the artist. astonished to find himself at home and completely ignorant of what had happened in dream or reality since the night of March 22. was not greatly above normal. On April 2 at about 3 P. was invariably a prelude to the young man's subsidence into lethargy. All traces of strange dreaming had vanished with his recovery.so much. The notes in question were those de- 264 . he returned to his quarters in three days.M. His temperature. Reference to this object. Here the first part of the manuscript ended.convinced the professor that it must be identical with the nameless monstrosity he had sought to depict in his dream-sculpture. but references to certain of the scattered notes gave me much material for thought . the doctor added. and my uncle kept no record of his night-thoughts after a week of pointless and irrelevant accounts of thoroughly usual visions. every trace of Wilcox's malady suddenly ceased.

at the very least. Scientific men were little more affected. and the dates of any notable visions for some time past. and I know that panic would have broken loose had they been able to compare notes. but his notes formed a thorough and really significant digest. and in one case there is mentioned a dread of something abnormal. always between March 23 and and April 2 . have received more responses than any ordinary man could have handled without a secretary. had quickly instituted a prodigiously far-flung body of inquires amongst nearly all the friends whom he could question without impertinence. it seems. My uncle.New England's traditional "salt of the earth" . The reception of his request seems to have varied. This original correspondence was not preserved. 265 . It was from the artists and poets that the pertinent answers came.scriptive of the dreams of various persons covering the same period as that in which young Wilcox had had his strange visitations. Average people in society and business .gave an almost completely negative result. asking for nightly reports of their dreams. though four cases of vague description suggest fugitive glimpses of strange landscapes. though scattered cases of uneasy but formless nocturnal impressions appear here and there. but he must.the period of young Wilcox's delirium.

went violently insane on the date of young Wilcox's seizure. and some of the dreamers confessed acute fear of the gigantic nameless thing visible toward the last. From February 28 to April 2 a large proportion of them had dreamed very bizarre things. I half suspected the compiler of having asked leading questions. a widely known architect with leanings toward theosophy and occultism.As it was. Over a fourth of those who reported anything. the intensity of the dreams being immeasurably the stronger during the period of the sculptor's delirium. reported scenes and half-sounds not unlike those which Wilcox had described. That is why I continued to feel that Wilcox. One case. I should have attempted some corroboration and personal investigation. somehow cognizant of the old data which my uncle had possessed. was very sad. The subject. lacking their original letters. had been imposing on the veteran scientist. or of having edited the correspondence in corroboration of what he had latently resolved to see. Had my uncle referred to these cases by name instead of merely by number. but as it was. These responses from esthetes told disturbing tale. I succeeded 266 . which the note describes with emphasis. and expired several months later after incessant screamings to be saved from some escaped denizen of hell.

It is well that no explanation shall ever reach them. Professor Angell must have employed a cutting bureau. however. Here likewise a rambling letter to the editor of a paper in South America. All of these. Here was a nocturnal suicide in London. and a fantastic painter named ArdoisBonnot hangs a blasphemous Dream Landscape in the Paris spring salon of 1926. as I have intimated.in tracing down only a few. bore out the notes in full. too. is full of wild rumour and legendry. The press cuttings. A dispatch from California describes a theosophist colony as donning white robes en masse for some "glorious fulfiment" which never arrives. and eccentricity during the given period. and the sources scattered throughout the globe. whilst items from India speak guardedly of serious native unrest toward the end of March 22-23. mania. The west of Ireland. where a fanatic deduces a dire future from visions he has seen. And so numerous are the recorded troubles in insane asylums that only a miracle can have stopped the medical fra- 267 . for the number of extracts was tremendous. I have often wondered if all the the objects of the professor's questioning felt as puzzled as did this fraction. where a lone sleeper had leaped from a window after a shocking cry. touched on cases of panic.

and heard the ominous syllables which can be rendered only as "Cthulhu". and I can at this date scarcely envisage the callous rationalism with which I set them aside. seventeen years before. But I was then convinced that young Wilcox had known of the older matters mentioned by the professor. had had a prominent part in all the deliberations. A weird bunch of cuttings. when the American Archaeological Society held its annual meeting in St. and was one of the first to be approached by the several outsiders who 268 . Professor Angell had seen the hellish outlines of the nameless monstrosity. all told. it appears. Professor Angell. Once before. puzzled over the unknown hieroglyphics. The older matters which had made the sculptor's dream and bas-relief so significant to my uncle formed the subject of the second half of his long manuscript. The Tale of Inspector Legrasse. and all this in so stirring and horrible a connexion that it is small wonder he pursued young Wilcox with queries and demands for data. Louis. This earlier experience had come in 1908. as befitted one of his authority and attainments. II.ternity from noting strange parallelisms and drawing mystified conclusions.

With him he bore the subject of his visit. On the contrary. fetish. It must not be fancied that Inspector Legrasse had the least interest in archaeology. repulsive. was a commonplace-looking middle-aged man who had travelled all the way from New Orleans for certain special information unobtainable from any local source. and so singular and hideous were the rites connected with it. a grotesque. that the police could not but realise that they had stumbled on a dark cult totally unknown to them. and in a short time the focus of interest for the entire meeting. The statuette. The chief of these outsiders. apart from the erratic and unbelievable tales extorted from the captured 269 . had been captured some months before in the wooded swamps south of New Orleans during a raid on a supposed voodoo meeting. Of its origin. and he was by profession an Inspector of Police. idol. His name was John Raymond Legrasse.took advantage of the convocation to offer questions for correct answering and problems for expert solution. or whatever it was. and infinitely more diabolic than even the blackest of the African voodoo circles. and apparently very ancient stone statuette whose origin he was at a loss to determine. his wish for enlightenment was prompted by purely professional considerations.

Inspector Legrasse was scarcely prepared for the sensation which his offering created. but with an octopus-like head whose face was a mass of feelers. This thing. and long. hence the anxiety of the police for any antiquarian lore which might help them to place the frightful symbol. which seemed instinct with a fearsome and unnatural malignancy.members. which was finally passed slowly from man to man for close and careful study. was of 270 . One sight of the thing had been enough to throw the assembled men of science into a state of tense excitement. narrow wings behind. prodigious claws on hind and fore feet. It represented a monster of vaguely anthropoid outline. a scaly. and they lost no time in crowding around him to gaze at the diminutive figure whose utter strangeness and air of genuinely abysmal antiquity hinted so potently at unopened and archaic vistas. and through it track down the cult to its fountain-head. was between seven and eight inches in height. rubbery-looking body. absolutely nothing was to be discovered. yet centuries and even thousands of years seemed recorded in its dim and greenish surface of unplaceable stone. No recognised school of sculpture had animated this terrible object. The figure. and of exquisitely artistic workmanship.

and incalculable age was unmistakable. crouching hind legs gripped the front edge and extended a quarter of the way clown toward the bottom of the pedestal. The cephalopod head was bent forward. the seat occupied the centre. curved claws of the doubled-up. and the more subtly fearful because its source was so totally unknown. its very material was a mystery. despite a representation of half the world's expert learning in this field. for the soapy. awesome. and squatted evilly on a rectangular block or pedestal covered with undecipherable characters. Its vast. The tips of the wings touched the back edge of the block. The characters along the base were equally baffling. They.a somewhat bloated corpulence. greenish-black stone with its golden or iridescent flecks and striations resembled nothing familiar to geology or mineralogy. could form the least notion of even their remotest linguistic kinship. like the subject and material. and no member present. The aspect of the whole was abnormally life-like. belonged to something horri- 271 . Totally separate and apart. whilst the long. yet not one link did it shew with any known type of art belonging to civilisation's youth . so that the ends of the facial feelers brushed the backs of huge fore paws which clasped the croucher's elevated knees.or indeed to any other time.

Professor Webb had been engaged.bly remote and distinct from mankind as we know it. Professor of Anthropology in Princeton University. forty-eight years before. something frightfully suggestive of old and unhallowed cycles of life in which our world and our conceptions have no part. as the members severally shook their heads and confessed defeat at the Inspector's problem. saying that it had come down from horribly ancient aeons before ever the world was made. and who presently told with some diffidence of the odd trifle he knew. chilled him with its deliberate bloodthirstiness and repulsiveness. and whilst high up on the West Greenland coast had encountered a singular tribe or cult of degenerate Esquimaux whose religion. a curious form of devil-worship. This person was the late William Channing Webb. and which they mentioned only with shudders. and an explorer of no slight note. in a tour of Greenland and Iceland in search of some Runic inscriptions which he failed to unearth. It was a faith of which other Esquimaux knew little. Besides nameless rites and human sacrifices there were certain queer hereditary rituals addressed to a supreme elder 272 . And yet. there was one man in that gathering who suspected a touch of bizarre familiarity in the monstrous shape and writing.

the professor stated. and he began at once to ply his informant with questions. And so far as he could tell. What. Having noted and copied an oral ritual among the swamp cult-worshippers his men had arrested. But just now of prime significance was the fetish which this cult had cherished. There then followed an exhaustive comparison of details. This data. comprising a hideous picture and some cryptic writing. both the Esquimaux wizards and the Louisiana swamp-priests had chanted to 273 . and of this Professor Webb had taken a careful phonetic copy from an aged angekok or wizard-priest. received with suspense and astonishment by the assembled members. a very crude bas-relief of stone. and a moment of really awed silence when both detective and scientist agreed on the virtual identity of the phrase common to two hellish rituals so many worlds of distance apart. in substance. proved doubly exciting to Inspector Legrasse. It was. and around which they danced when the aurora leaped high over the ice cliffs. expressing the sounds in Roman letters as best he knew how. he besought the professor to remember as best he might the syllables taken down amongst the diabolist Esquimaux.devil or tornasuk. it was a rough parallel in all essential features of the bestial thing now lying before the meeting.

telling a story to which I could see my uncle attached profound significance." Legrasse had one point in advance of Professor Webb. in response to a general and urgent demand. Inspector Legrasse related as fully as possible his experience with the swamp worshippers. were in the grip of stark terror from an unknown thing which had sto- 274 . It savoured of the wildest dreams of myth-maker and theosophist. On November 1st. ran something like this: "In his house at R'lyeh dead Cthulhu waits dreaming. 1907. as given. and disclosed an astonishing degree of cosmic imagination among such half-castes and pariahs as might be least expected to possess it. there had come to the New Orleans police a frantic summons from the swamp and lagoon country to the south. The squatters there. This text. mostly primitive but good-natured descendants of Lafitte's men." And now.their kindred idols was something very like this: the word-divisions being guessed at from traditional breaks in the phrase as chanted aloud: "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn. for several among his mongrel prisoners had repeated to him what older celebrants had told them the words meant.

Ugly roots and malignant hanging nooses of Spanish moss beset them. the people could stand it no more. and a curdling shriek came at infrequent intervals when the 275 . So a body of twenty police. and. hove in sight. and for miles splashed on in silence through the terrible cypress woods where day never came. At the end of the passable road they alighted. far ahead. but voodoo of a more terrible sort than they had ever known. and some of their women and children had disappeared since the malevolent tom-tom had begun its incessant beating far within the black haunted woods where no dweller ventured. the frightened messenger added. filling two carriages and an automobile. a miserable huddle of huts. had set out in the late afternoon with the shivering squatter as a guide.len upon them in the night. apparently. and hysterical dwellers ran out to cluster around the group of bobbing lanterns. There were insane shouts and harrowing screams. The muffled beat of tom-toms was now faintly audible far. soul-chilling chants and dancing devilflames. At length the squatter settlement. and now and then a pile of dank stones or fragment of a rotting wall intensified by its hint of morbid habitation a depression which every malformed tree and every fungous islet combined to create. It was voodoo.

There were legends of a hidden lake unglimpsed by mortal sight. so Inspector Legrasse and his nineteen colleagues plunged on unguided into black arcades of horror that none of them had ever trod before. and to see it was to die. but that location was bad enough. each one of the cowed squatters refused point-blank to advance another inch toward the scene of unholy worship. on the merest fringe of this abhorred area. They said it had been there before d'Iberville. formless white polypous thing with luminous eyes. The present voodoo orgy was. Reluctant even to be left alone again. hence perhaps the very place of the worship had terrified the squatters more than the shocking sounds and incidents. in which dwelt a huge. before the Indians.wind shifted. It was nightmare itself. too. seemed to filter through pale undergrowth beyond the endless avenues of forest night. substantially unknown and untraversed by white men. and so they knew enough to keep away. and before even the wholesome beasts and birds of the woods. But it made men dream. and squatters whispered that bat-winged devils flew up out of caverns in inner earth to worship it at midnight. A reddish glare. The region now entered by the police was one of traditionally evil repute. before La Salle. 276 . indeed.

In a natural glade of the swamp stood a grassy island of perhaps an acre's extent. and it is terrible to hear the one when the source should yield the other. clear of trees and 277 . Four of them reeled. Now and then the less organized ululation would cease. Legrasse dashed swamp water on the face of the fainting man. There are vocal qualities peculiar to men. Animal fury and orgiastic license here whipped themselves to daemoniac heights by howls and squawking ecstacies that tore and reverberated through those nighted woods like pestilential tempests from the gulfs of hell. and from what seemed a well-drilled chorus of hoarse voices would rise in sing-song chant that hideous phrase or ritual: "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn." Then the men. and two were shaken into a frantic cry which the mad cacophony of the orgy fortunately deadened. and vocal qualities peculiar to beasts. having reached a spot where the trees were thinner. one fainted. and all stood trembling and nearly hypnotised with horror.Only poetry or madness could do justice to the noises heard by Legrasse's men as they ploughed on through the black morass toward the red glare and muffled tom-toms. came suddenly in sight of the spectacle itself.

Void of clothing. incongruous in its diminutiveness.tolerably dry. bellowing. It may have been only imagination and it may have been only echoes which induced one of the men. on top of which. to fancy he heard antiphonal responses to the ritual from some far and unillumined spot deeper within the wood of ancient legendry and horror. Joseph D. this hybrid spawn were braying. stood a great granite monolith some eight feet in height. I later met and questioned. and of a 278 . in the centre of which. From a wide circle of ten scaffolds set up at regular intervals with the flame-girt monolith as a centre hung. an excitable Spaniard. and he proved distractingly imaginative. Galvez. On this now leaped and twisted a more indescribable horde of human abnormality than any but a Sime or an Angarola could paint. the general direction of the mass motion being from left to right in endless Bacchanal between the ring of bodies and the ring of fire. rested the noxious carven statuette. and writhing about a monstrous ringshaped bonfire. It was inside this circle that the ring of worshippers jumped and roared. the oddly marred bodies of the helpless squatters who had disappeared. revealed by occasional rifts in the curtain of flame. This man. He indeed went so far as to hint of the faint beating of great wings. head downward.

and escapes were made. Duty came first. whom he forced to dress in haste and fall into line between two rows of policemen. largely West Indians or Brava Portuguese from the Cape Verde Islands. gave a colouring of voodooism to the heterogene- 279 . but in the end Legrasse was able to count some forty-seven sullen prisoners. the police relied on their firearms and plunged determinedly into the nauseous rout. Examined at headquarters after a trip of intense strain and weariness. For five minutes the resultant din and chaos were beyond description. mixed-blooded. of course. and two severely wounded ones were carried away on improvised stretchers by their fellowprisoners. Wild blows were struck.glimpse of shining eyes and a mountainous white bulk beyond the remotest trees but I suppose he had been hearing too much native superstition. the horrified pause of the men was of comparatively brief duration. was carefully removed and carried back by Legrasse. and a sprinkling of Negroes and mulattoes. the prisoners all proved to be men of a very low. The image on the monolith. and mentally aberrant type. and although there must have been nearly a hundred mongrel celebrants in the throng. Actually. shots were fired. Most were seamen. Five of the worshippers lay dead.

Degraded and ignorant as they were. but their dead bodies had told their secrets in dreams to the first men. Those Old Ones were gone now. should rise and bring the earth again beneath his sway. who formed a cult which had never died. But these were not the Great 280 . and who came to the young world out of the sky. the Great Old Ones who lived ages before there were any men. Some day he would call. But before many questions were asked. Meanwhile no more must be told. the creatures held with surprising consistency to the central idea of their loathsome faith.ous cult. from his dark house in the mighty city of R'lyeh under the waters. it became manifest that something far deeper and older than Negro fetishism was involved. hidden in distant wastes and dark places all over the world until the time when the great priest Cthulhu. for shapes came out of the dark to visit the faithful few. inside the earth and under the sea. and the prisoners said it had always existed and always would exist. so they said. They worshipped. There was a secret which even torture could not extract. when the stars were ready. and the secret cult would always be waiting to liberate him. Mankind was not absolutely alone among the conscious things of earth. This was that cult.

No man had ever seen the Old Ones. who claimed to have sailed to strange ports and talked with undying leaders of the cult in the mountains of China. The carven idol was great Cthulhu. Old Castro remembered bits of hideous legend that paled the speculations of theosophists and made man and the world seem recent and transient indeed. The chanted ritual was not the secret . and They had had great cities. only whispered. and averred that the killing had been done by Black Winged Ones which had come to them from their immemorial meeting-place in the haunted wood. What the police did extract. There had been aeons when other Things ruled on the earth.Old Ones. The chant meant only this: "In his house at R'lyeh dead Cthulhu waits dreaming.that was never spoken aloud. 281 . came mainly from the immensely aged mestizo named Castro. All denied a part in the ritual murders. and the rest were committed to various institutions. but none might say whether or not the others were precisely like him. but things were told by word of mouth. No one could read the old writing now." Only two of the prisoners were found sane enough to be hanged. But of those mysterious allies no coherent account could ever be gained.

and brought Their images with Them. but there were arts which could revive Them when the stars had come round again to the right positions in the cycle of eternity. were still be found as Cyclopean stones on islands in the Pacific.Remains of Them. They had. They had shape . and They could only lie awake in the dark and think whilst uncounted millions of years rolled by. They knew all that was occurring in the uni- 282 .for did not this star-fashioned image prove it? . come themselves from the stars. preserved by the spells of mighty Cthulhu for a glorious surrection when the stars and the earth might once more be ready for Them.but that shape was not made of matter. They could plunge from world to world through the sky. But although They no longer lived. They could not live. They all died vast epochs of time before men came. but when the stars were wrong. were not composed altogether of flesh and blood. But at that time some force from outside must serve to liberate Their bodies. he said the deathless Chinamen had told him. The spells that preserved them intact likewise prevented Them from making an initial move. These Great Old Ones. When the stars were right. indeed. They all lay in stone houses in Their great city of R'lyeh. Castro continued. They would never really die.

idols brought in dim eras from dark stars. for Their mode of speech was transmitted thought. Then.verse. In the elder time chosen men had talked with the entombed Old Ones in dreams. the Great Old Ones spoke to the sensitive among them by moulding their dreams. That cult would never die till the stars came right again. after infinities of chaos. for then mankind would have become as the Great Old Ones. but then something 283 . When. the first men came. Even now They talked in Their tombs. and all the earth would flame with a holocaust of ecstasy and freedom. The time would be easy to know. for only thus could Their language reach the fleshly minds of mammals. free and wild and beyond good and evil. Then the liberated Old Ones would teach them new ways to shout and kill and revel and enjoy themselves. and the secret priests would take great Cthulhu from His tomb to revive His subjects and resume His rule of earth. Meanwhile the cult. with laws and morals thrown aside and all men shouting and killing and revelling in joy. whispered Castro. by appropriate rites. those first men formed the cult around tall idols which the Great Ones shewed them. must keep alive the memory of those ancient ways and shadow forth the prophecy of their return.

The size of the Old Ones. and the high-priests said that the city would rise again when the stars were right. The great stone city R'lyeh. Of the cult. though the deathless Chinamen said that there were double meanings in the Necronomicon of the mad Arab Abdul Alhazred which the initiated might read as they chose. full of the one primal mystery through which not even thought can pass. too. and full of dim rumours picked up in caverns beneath forgotten seabottoms. No book had ever really hinted of it. the City of Pillars. where Irem. he curiously declined to mention. It was not allied to the European witch-cult. he said that he thought the centre lay amid the pathless desert of Arabia. mouldy and shadowy. and the deep waters. And with strange aeons even death may die. Then came out of the earth the black spirits of earth. He cut himself off hurriedly. had cut off the spectral intercourse. and was virtually unknown beyond its members. 284 . dreams hidden and untouched. especially the much-discussed couplet: That is not dead which can eternal lie. and no amount of persuasion or subtlety could elicit more in this direction. But memory never died.happened. with its monoliths and sepulchres. had sunk beneath the waves. But of them old Castro dared not speak much.

The feverish interest aroused at the meeting by Legrasse's tale. although scant mention occurs in the formal publications of the society. had told the truth when he said that it was wholly secret. had inquired in vain concerning the historic affiliations of the cult. That my uncle was excited by the tale of the sculptor I did not wonder. corroborated as it was by the statuette. after a knowledge of what Legrasse had learned of the cult. Legrasse for some time lent the image to Professor Webb. and now the detective had come to the highest authorities in the country and met with no more than the Greenland tale of Professor Webb. apparently. Caution is the first care of those accustomed to face occasional charlatanry and imposture. but at the latter's death it was returned to him and remains in his possession. The authorities at Tulane University could shed no light upon either cult or image. deeply impressed and not a little bewildered. where I viewed it not long ago. is echoed in the subsequent correspondence of those who attended. Castro.Legrasse. and unmistakably akin to the dream-sculpture of young Wilcox. for what thoughts must arise upon hearing. It is truly a terrible thing. of a sensitive young man who had dreamed not only the figure and exact hi- 285 .

a hideous Victorian imitation of seventeenth century Breton Architecture which flaunts its stuccoed front amidst the lovely olonial houses on the ancient hill.eroglyphics of the swamp-found image and the Greenland devil tablet. after thoroughly studying the manuscript again and correlating the theosophical and anthropological notes with the cult narrative of Legrasse. strong corroboration. Wilcox still lived alone in the Fleur-de-Lys Building in Thomas Street. and under the very 286 . of course. The dream-narratives and cuttings collected by the professor were. Professor Angell's instant start on an investigation of the utmost thoroughness was eminently natural. So. I made a trip to Providence to see the sculptor and give him the rebuke I thought proper for so boldly imposing upon a learned and aged man. and of having invented a series of dreams to heighten and continue the mystery at my uncle's expense. but the rationalism of my mind and the extravagance of the whole subject led me to adopt what I thought the most sensible conclusions. though privately I suspected young Wilcox of having heard of the cult in some indirect way. but had come in his dreams upon at least three of the precise words of the formula uttered alike by Esquimaux diabolists and mongrel Louisianans?.

I found him at work in his rooms. some time be heard from as one of the great decadents. but sought with some subtlety to draw him out. yet had never explained the reason for the study. for he spoke of the dreams in a manner none could mistake. They and their subconscious residuum had influenced his art profoundly. for my uncle had excited his curiosity in probing his strange dreams. and at once conceded from the specimens scattered about that his genius is indeed profound and authentic. and he shewed me a morbid statue whose contours almost made me shake with the potency of its black suggestion. and Clark Ashton Smith makes visible in verse and in painting. he displayed some interest. I did not enlarge his knowledge in this regard. for he has crystallised in clay and will one day mirror in marble those nightmares and phantasies which Arthur Machen evokes in prose. frail.shadow of the finest Georgian steeple in America. he turned languidly at my knock and asked me my business without rising. Then I told him who I was. but the outlines had formed themselves in- 287 . He will. In a short time I became convinced ofhis absolute sincerity. and somewhat unkempt in aspect. Dark. I believe. He could not recall having seen the original of this thing except in his own dream basrelief.

he soon made clear. and I felt deeply moved despite my rational beliefs. was all wrong . by virtue of its sheer impressiveness. it had found subconscious expression in dreams. and in the terrible statue I now beheld. save from what my uncle's relentless catechism had let fall. Wilcox. Later. and again I strove to think of some way in which he could possibly have received the weird impressions. no doubt. he oddly said." These words had formed part of that dread ritual which told of dead Cthulhu's dream-vigil in his stone vault at R'lyeh. in the bas-relief. making me see with terrible vividness the damp Cyclopean city of slimy green stone . "Cthulhu fhtagn. which I could never like. The youth was of a type. It was. but I was will- 288 . He talked of his dreams in a strangely poetic fashion.and hear with frightened expectancy the ceaseless. so that his imposture upon my uncle had been a very innocent one. I was sure. and had soon forgotten it amidst the mass of his equally weird reading and imagining. at once slightly affected and slightly illmannered.whose geometry.sensibly under his hands. That he really knew nothing of the hidden cult. the giant shape he had raved of in delirium. halfmental calling from underground: "Cthulhu fhtagn". had heard of the cult in some casual way.

and I discounted with almost inexplicable perversity the coincidence of the dream notes and odd cuttings collected by Professor Angell. unfortunately. for I felt sure that I was on the track of a very real. saw the frightful image. as l wish it still were. is that my uncle's death was far from natural. after a careless push from a Negro 289 . Old Castro. excited me afresh. What I now heard so graphically at first-hand. I visited New Orleans. and at times I had visions of personal fame from researches into its origin and connexions. I took leave of him amicably. and which I now fear I know. He fell on a narrow hill street leading up from an ancient waterfront swarming with foreign mongrels. and very ancient religion whose discovery would make me an anthropologist of note. and even questioned such of the mongrel prisoners as still survived. though it was really no more than a detailed confirmation of what my uncle had written. My attitude was still one of absolute materialism.ing enough now to admit both his genius and his honesty. very secret. talked with Legrasse and others of that old-time raiding-party. The matter of the cult still remained to fascinate me. One thing I began to suspect. had been dead for some years. and wish him all the success his talent promises.

or because he was likely to learn too much. I think Professor Angell died because he knew too much. for I have learned much now. It had escaped even the cutting bureau which had at the time of its issuance been avidly collecting material for my uncle's research. It was nothing on which I would naturally have stumbled in the course of my daily round. and would not be surprised to learn of secret methods and rites and beliefs. Whether I shall go as he did remains to be seen. Legrasse and his men. Might not the deeper inquiries of my uncle after encountering the sculptor's data have come to sinister ears?. The Madness from the Sea If heaven ever wishes to grant me a boon. and was visiting a learned friend in Paterson. III. I did not forget the mixed blood and marine pursuits of the cult-members in Louisiana. it will be a total effacing of the results of a mere chance which fixed my eye on a certain stray piece of shelf-paper. have been let alone. I had largely given over my inquiries into what Professor Angell called the "Cthulhu Cult". the Sydney Bulletin for April 18. it is true. 1925.sailor. but in Norway a certain seaman who saw things is dead. for it was an old number of an Australian journal. New 290 .

having in tow the battled and 291 . and I carefully tore it out for immediate action. Rescued Seaman Refuses Particulars of Strange Experience. It read as follows: MYSTERY DERELICT FOUND AT SEA Vigilant Arrives With Helpless Armed New Zealand Yacht in Tow. The Morrison Co. It was the Sydney Bulletin I have mentioned. Eagerly clearing the sheet of its precious contents. bound from Valparaiso. however. One Survivor and Dead Man Found Aboard. was of portentous significance to my flagging quest. What it suggested.'s freighter Vigilant. Examining one day the reserve specimens roughly set on the storage shelves in a rear room of the museum. Odd Idol Found in His Possession. I scanned the item in detail. my eye was caught by an odd picture in one of the old papers spread beneath the stones. arrived this morning at its wharf in Darling Harbour. Tale of Desperate Battle and Deaths at Sea. Inquiry to Follow. and the picture was a half-tone cut of a hideous stone image almost identical with that which Legrasse had found in the swamp.Jersey. and was disappointed to find it of only moderate length. for my friend had wide affiliations in all conceivable foreign parts. the curator of a local museum and a mineralogist of note.

regarding whose nature authorities at Sydney University. and which the survivor says he found in the cabin of the yacht. told an exceedingly strange story of piracy and slaughter. The Emma.Z. W.. a Norwegian of some intelligence. and though apparently deserted.disabled but heavily armed steam yacht Alert of Dunedin. and the Museum in College Street all profess complete bafflement. about foot in height. He is Gustaf Johansen. This man. and on April 2nd was driven considerably south of her course by exceptionally heavy storms and monster waves. he says. the Royal Society. with one living and one dead man aboard. after recovering his senses. which was sighted April 12th in S. The Vigilant left Valparaiso March 25th. The living man was clutching a horrible stone idol of unknown origin. On April 12th the derelict was sighted. and had been second mate of the twomasted schooner Emma of Auckland. was delayed and thrown widely south of her course by the great 292 . which sailed for Callao February 20th with a complement of eleven men. N. Longitude 152°17'. Latitude 34°21'. was found upon boarding to contain one survivor in a half-delirious condition and one man who had evidently been dead for more than a week. in a small carved shrine of common pattern.

The next day. Being ordered peremptorily to turn back. encountered the Alert. and on March 22nd. Collins refused. grappling with the savage crew on the yacht's deck. including Capt. Capt. Three of the Emma's men.storm of March 1st. it appears. going ahead in their original direction to see if any reason for their ordering back had existed. says the survivor. whereupon the strange crew began to fire savagely and without warning upon the schooner with a peculiarly heavy battery of brass cannon forming part of the yacht's equipment. Longitude 128°34'. Collins and First Mate Green. because of their particularly abhorrent and desperate though rather clumsy mode of fighting. and the remaining eight under Second Mate Johansen proceeded to navigate the captured yacht. although none is known to exist in that part of the ocean. and six of the men somehow died ashore. and being forced to kill them all. the number being slightly superior. though Johansen is queerly reticent about this 293 . were killed. they raised and landed on a small island. and though the schooner began to sink from shots beneath the water-line they managed to heave alongside their enemy and board her. Latitude 49°51' W. in S. The Emma's men shewed fight. manned by a queer and evillooking crew of Kanakas and half-castes.

and he does not even recall when William Briden. and speaks only of their falling into a rock chasm. It was owned by a curious group of half-castes whose frequent meetings and night trips to the woods attracted no little curiosity. and bore an evil reputation along the waterfront. at which every effort will be made to induce Johansen to speak more freely than he has done hitherto. From that time till his rescue on the 12th the man remembers little. it seems. The admiralty will institute an inquiry on the whole matter beginning tomorrow. and Johansen is described as a sober and worthy man. and was probably due to excitement or exposure. but what a train of ideas it started in my mind! Here were new treasuries of data on the Cthulhu Cult. Briden's death reveals no apparent cause. his companion. Later. Our Auckland correspondent gives the Emma and her crew an excellent reputation.part of his story. and evidence that it had strange in- 294 . together with the picture of the hellish image. This was all. and it had set sail in great haste just after the storm and earth tremors of March 1st. died. Cable advices from Dunedin report that the Alert was well known there as an island trader. but were beaten about by the storm of April 2nd. he and one companion boarded the yacht and tried to manage her.

and about which the mate Johansen was so secretive? What had the viceadmiralty's investigation brought out. and on that date the dreams of sensitive men assumed a heightened vividness and darkened with dread of a giant monster's malign pursuit. whilst an architect had gone mad and a sculptor had lapsed suddenly 295 .terests at sea as well as on land. and what was known of the noxious cult in Dunedin? And most marvellous of all. dank Cyclopean city whilst a young sculptor had moulded in his sleep the form of the dreaded Cthulhu. From Dunedin the Alert and her noisome crew had darted eagerly forth as if imperiously summoned. what deep and more than natural linkage of dates was this which gave a malign and now undeniable significance to the various turns of events so carefully noted by my uncle? March 1st . What motive prompted the hybrid crew to order back the Emma as they sailed about with their hideous idol? What was the unknown island on which six of the Emma's crew had died.the earthquake and storm had come. March 23rd the crew of the Emma landed on an unknown island and left six men dead. and on the other side of the earth poets and artists had begun to dream of a strange.or February 28th according to the International Date Line .

they must be horrors of the mind alone. and had thereafter sold his cottage in West Street and sailed with his wife to his old home in Oslo. however. starborn Old Ones and their coming reign. In Auckland I learned that Johansen had returned with yellow hair turned white after a perfunctory and inconclusive questioning at Sydney. for in some way the second of April had put a stop to whatever monstrous menace had begun its siege of mankind's soul. their faithful cult and their mastery of dreams? Was I tottering on the brink of cosmic horrors beyond man's power to bear? If so.and of those hints of old Castro about the sunken. I found that little was known of the strange cult-members who had lingered in the old sea-taverns. during which faint drumming and red flame were noted on the distant hills. That evening.into delirium! And what of this storm of April 2nd . though there was vague talk about one inland trip these mongrels had made. after a day of hurried cabling and arranging. Waterfront scum was far too common for special mentnon. I bade my host adieu and took a train for San Francisco. and Wilcox emerged unharmed from the bondage of strange fever? What of all this . Of his stir- 296 . In less than a month I was in Dunedin. where.the date on which all dreams of the dank city ceased.

at Circular Quay in Sydney Cove. terrible antiquity. and had brought Their images with Them. the curator told me. Sailing for London. Johansen's address.ring experience he would tell his friends no more than he had told the admiralty officials. had found it a monstrous puzzle. dragon body. and all they could do was to give me his Oslo address. I saw the Alert. The crouching image with its cuttlefish head. I dis- 297 ." Shaken with such a mental revolution as I had never before known. "They had come from the stars. but gained nothing from its non-committal bulk. and I studied it long and well. Then I thought with a shudder of what Old Castro had told Legrasse about the Old Ones. and unearthly strangeness of material which I had noted in Legrasse's smaller specimen. and hieroglyphed pedestal. was preserved in the Museum at Hyde Park. Geologists. and with the same utter mystery. and one autumn day landed at the trim wharves in the shadow of the Egeberg. After that I went to Sydney and talked profitlessly with seamen and members of the vice-admiralty court. for they vowed that the world held no rock like it. now sold and in commercial use. I reembarked at once for the Norwegian capital. scaly wings. finding it a thing of balefully exquisite workmanship. I now resolved to visit Mate Johansen in Oslo.

He had not long survived his return. said his wife. am at rest. which kept alive the name of Oslo during all the centuries that the greater city masqueraded as "Christiana. a bundle of papers falling from an attic window had knocked him down. too.of "technical matters" as he said . During a walk rough a narrow lane near the Gothenburg dock.covered. and I was stung th disappointment when she told me in halting English that Gustaf Johansen was no more. "accidentally" or otherwise. lay in the Old Town of King Harold Haardrada. Two Lascar sailors at once helped him to his feet. Physicians found no adequate cause the end. and knocked with palpitant heart at the door of a neat and ancient building with plastered front.written in English. but had left a long manuscript . for the doings sea in 1925 had broken him. Persuad-g the widow that my connexion with her husband's "technical matters" 298 . He had told her no more than he told the public. and laid it to heart trouble and a weakened constitution. I now felt gnawing at my vitals that dark terror which will never leave me till I. A sad-faced woman in black answered my summons. but before the ambulance could reach him he was dead. evidently in order to guard her from the peril of casual perusal." I made the brief trip by taxicab.

had cleared Auckland on February 20th. rambling thing . It was a simple. thank God.and strove to recall day by day that last awful voyage. and had felt the full force of that earthquake-born tempest which must have heaved up from the sea-bottom the horrors that filled men's dreams.a naive sailor's effort at a post-facto diary . known and favoured by a nightmare cult ready and eager to loose them upon the world whenever another earthquake shall heave their monstrous stone city again to the sun and air. I cannot attempt to transcribe it verbatim in all its cloudiness and redundance. but I shall never sleep calmly again when I think of the horrors that lurk ceaselessly behind life in time and in space. Once more 299 . Johansen. even though he saw the city and the Thing. in ballast. did not know quite all. and of those unhallowed blasphemies from elder stars which dream beneath the sea. Johansen's voyage had begun just as he told it to the vice-admiralty. The Emma. but I will tell its gist enough to shew why the sound the water against the vessel's sides became so unendurable to me that I stopped my ears with cotton. I bore the document away and began to read it on the London boat.was sufficient to entitle me to his manuscript.

after cycles incalculable. loathsome shapes that seeped down from the dark stars. and weedy Cyclopean masonry which can be nothing less than the tangible substance of earth's supreme terror .the nightmare corpse-city of R'lyeh. and Johansen shews ingenuous wonder at the charge of ruthlessness brought against his party during the proceedings of the court of inquiry. the ship was making good progress when held up by the Alert on March 22nd. come upon a coastline of mingled mud. There was some peculiarly abominable quality about them which made their destruction seem almost a duty. ooze. the men sight a great stone pillar sticking out of the sea. Latitude 47°9'. 300 . W.under control. Longitude l23°43'. Of the swarthy cultfiends on the Alert he speaks with significant horror. and I could feel the mate's regret as he wrote of her bombardment and sinking. driven ahead by curiosity in their captured yacht under Johansen's command. Then. hidden in green slimy vaults and sending out at last. the thoughts that spread fear to the dreams of the sensitive and called imperiously to the faithfull to come on a pilgrimage of liberation and restoration. and in S. that was built in measureless aeons behind history by the vast. There lay great Cthulhu and his hordes.

is poignantly visible in every line of the mates frightened description. the hideous monolith-crowned citadel whereon great Cthulhu was buried.surfaces too great to belong to anything right or proper for this earth. for instead of describing any definite structure or building. When I think of the extent of all that may be brooding down there I almost wish to kill myself forthwith. at the dizzying height of the great carven monolith. Johansen achieved something very close to it when he spoke of the city. and impious with horrible images and hieroglyphs. but God knows he soon saw enough! I suppose that only a single mountain-top. actually emerged from the waters. Johansen and his men were awed by the cosmic majesty of this dripping Babylon of elder daemons. he dwells only on broad impressions of vast angles and stone surfaces . Awe at the unbelievable size of the greenish stone blocks. and must have guessed without guidance that it was nothing of this or of any sane planet. Without knowing what futurism is like. I mention his talk about angles because it suggests something Wilcox had 301 . and at the stupefying identity of the colossal statues and bas-reliefs with the queer image found in the shrine on the Alert.All this Johansen did not suspect.

told me of his awful dreams. as it proved . Each would have fled had he not feared the scorn of the others. He said that the geometry of the dream-place he saw was abnormal. and looked curiously at the immense carved door with the now 302 . Something very like fright had come over all the explorers before anything more definite than rock and ooze and weed was seen.for some portable souvenir to bear away. It was Rodriguez the Portuguese who climbed up the foot of the monolith and shouted of what he had found. and twisted menace and suspense lurked leeringly in those crazily elusive angles of carven rock where a second glance shewed concavity after the first shewed convexity.vainly. The very sun of heaven seemed distorted when viewed through the polarising miasma welling out from this sea-soaked perversion. Johansen and his men landed at a sloping mudbank on this monstrous Acropolis. non-Euclidean. and clambered slipperily up over titan oozy blocks which could have been no mortal staircase. Now an unlettered seaman felt the same thing whilst gazing at the terrible reality. The rest followed him. and it was only half-heartedly that they searched . and loathsomely redolent of spheres and dimensions apart from ours.

Then Donovan felt over it delicately around the edge. In this phantasy of prismatic distortion it moved anomalously in a diagonal way. As Wilcox would have said. Then. so that all the rules of matter and perspective seemed upset. and everyone watched the queer recession of the monstrously carven portal. and they all felt that it was a door because of the ornate lintel. It was. the geometry of the place was all wrong.that is. the acre-great lintel began to give inward at the top.familiar squid-dragon bas-relief. threshold. and jambs around it. 303 . hence the relative position of everything else seemed phantasmally variable. Briden pushed at the stone in several places without result. He climbed interminably along the grotesque stone moulding . pressing each point separately as he went. like a great barn-door. Johansen said. One could not be sure that the sea and the ground were horizontal. one would call it climbing if the thing was not after all horizontal and the men wondered how any door in the universe could be so vast. and they saw that it was balauced Donovan slid or somehow propelled himself down or along the jamb and rejoined his fellows. very softly and slowly. though they could not decide whether it lay flat like a trap-door or slantwise like an outside cellar-door.

The aperture was black with a darkness almost material. That tenebrousness was indeed a positive quality; for it obscured such parts of the inner walls as ought to have been revealed, and actually burst forth like smoke from its aeon-long imprisonment, visibly darkening the sun as it slunk away into the shrunken and gibbous sky on flapping membraneous wings. The odour rising from the newly opened depths was intolerable, and at length the quick-eared Hawkins thought he heard a nasty, slopping sound down there. Everyone listened, and everyone was listening still when It lumbered slobberingly into sight and gropingly squeezed Its gelatinous green immensity through the black doorway into the tainted outside air of that poison city of madness. Poor Johansen's handwriting almost gave out when he wrote of this. Of the six men who never reached the ship, he thinks two perished of pure fright in that accursed instant. The Thing cannot be described - there is no language for such abysms of shrieking and immemorial lunacy, such eldritch contradictions of all matter, force, and cosmic order. A mountain walked or stumbled. God! What wonder that across the earth a great architect went mad, and poor Wilcox raved with fever in that telepathic instant? The Thing of the

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idols, the green, sticky spawn of the stars, had awaked to claim his own. The stars were right again, and what an age-old cult had failed to do by design, a band of innocent sailors had done by accident. After vigintillions of years great Cthulhu was loose again, and ravening for delight. Three men were swept up by the flabby claws before anybody turned. God rest them, if there be any rest in the universe. They were Donovan, Guerrera, and Angstrom. Parker slipped as the other three were plunging frenziedly over endless vistas of green-crusted rock to the boat, and Johansen swears he was swallowed up by an angle of masonry which shouldn't have been there; an angle which was acute, but behaved as if it were obtuse. So only Briden and Johansen reached the boat, and pulled desperately for the Alert as the mountainous monstrosity flopped down the slimy stones and hesitated, floundering at the edge of the water. Steam had not been suffered to go down entirely, despite the departure of all hands for the shore; and it was the work of only a few moments of feverish rushing up and down between wheel and engines to get the Alert under way. Slowly, amidst the distorted horrors of that indescribable scene, she began to churn the lethal waters; whilst on the masonry of that charnel shore that was not of earth

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the titan Thing from the stars slavered and gibbered like Polypheme cursing the fleeing ship of Odysseus. Then, bolder than the storied Cyclops, great Cthulhu slid greasily into the water and began to pursue with vast wave-raising strokes of cosmic potency. Briden looked back and went mad, laughing shrilly as he kept on laughing at intervals till death found him one night in the cabin whilst Johansen was wandering deliriously. But Johansen had not given out yet. Knowing that the Thing could surely overtake the Alert until steam was fully up, he resolved on a desperate chance; and, setting the engine for full speed, ran lightning-like on deck and reversed the wheel. There was a mighty eddying and foaming in the noisome brine, and as the steam mounted higher and higher the brave Norwegian drove his vessel head on against the pursuing jelly which rose above the unclean froth like the stern of a daemon galleon. The awful squid-head with writhing feelers came nearly up to the bowsprit of the sturdy yacht, but johansen drove on relentlessly. There was a bursting as of an exploding bladder, a slushy nastiness as of a cloven sunfish, a stench as of a thousand opened graves, and a sound that the chronicler could not put on paper. For an instant the ship was befouled by an acrid and blinding

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green cloud, and then there was only a venomous seething astern; where - God in heaven! - the scattered plasticity of that nameless sky-spawn was nebulously recombining in its hateful original form, whilst its distance widened every second as the Alert gained impetus from its mounting steam. That was all. After that Johansen only brooded over the idol in the cabin and attended to a few matters of food for himself and the laughing maniac by his side. He did not try to navigate after the first bold flight, for the reaction had taken something out of his soul. Then came the storm of April 2nd, and a gathering of the clouds about his consciousness. There is a sense of spectral whirling through liquid gulfs of infinity, of dizzying rides through reeling universes on a comets tail, and of hysterical plunges from the pit to the moon and from the moon back again to the pit, all livened by a cachinnating chorus of the distorted, hilarious elder gods and the green, bat-winged mocking imps of Tartarus. Out of that dream came rescue-the Vigilant, the vice-admiralty court, the streets of Dunedin, and the long voyage back home to the old house by the Egeberg. He could not tell - they would think him mad. He would write of what he knew before death came, but his wife must not guess. Death

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would be a boon if only it could blot out the memories. That was the document I read, and now I have placed it in the tin box beside the bas-relief and the papers of Professor Angell. With it shall go this record of mine - this test of my own sanity, wherein is pieced together that which I hope may never be pieced together again. I have looked upon all that the universe has to hold of horror, and even the skies of spring and the flowers of summer must ever afterward be poison to me. But I do not think my life will be long. As my uncle went, as poor Johansen went, so I shall go. I know too much, and the cult still lives. Cthulhu still lives, too, I suppose, again in that chasm of stone which has shielded him since the sun was young. His accursed city is sunken once more, for the Vigilant sailed over the spot after the April storm; but his ministers on earth still bellow and prance and slay around idol-capped monoliths in lonely places. He must have been trapped by the sinking whilst within his black abyss, or else the world would by now be screaming with fright and frenzy. Who knows the end? What has risen may sink, and what has sunk may rise. Loathsomeness waits and dreams in the deep, and decay spreads over the tottering cities of men. A time will come -

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but I must not and cannot think! Let me pray that, if I do not survive this manuscript, my executors may put caution before audacity and see that it meets no other eye.

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The Case of Charles Dexter Ward I. A Result and a Prologe 1 From a private hospital for the insane near Providence, Rhode Island, there recently disappeared an exceedingly singular person. He bore the name of Charles Dexter Ward, and was placed under restraint most reluctantly by the grieving father who had watched his aberration grow from a mere eccentricity to a dark mania involving both a possibility of murderous tendencies and a profound and peculiar change in the apparent contents of his mind. Doctors confess themselves quite baffled by his case, since it presented oddities of a general physiological as well as psychological character. In the first place, the patient seemed oddly older than his twenty-six years would warrant. Mental disturbance, it is true, will age one rapidly; but the face of this young man had taken on a subtle cast which only the very aged normally acquire. In the second place, his organic processes shewed a certain queerness of proportion which nothing in medical experience can parallel. Respiration and heart action had a baffling lack of symmetry; the voice was lost, so that no sounds above a whisper

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were possible; digestion was incredibly prolonged and minimised, and neural reactions to standard stimuli bore no relation at all to anything heretofore recorded, either normal or pathological. The skin had a morbid chill and dryness, and the cellular structure of the tissue seemed exaggeratedly coarse and loosely knit. Even a large olive birthmark on the right hip had disappeared, whilst there had formed on the chest a very peculiar mole or blackish spot of which no trace existed before. In general, all physicians agree that in Ward the processes of metabolism had become retarded to a degree beyond precedent. Psychologically, too, Charles Ward was unique. His madness held no affinity to any sort recorded in even the latest and most exhaustive of treatises, and was conjoined to a mental force which would have made him a genius or a leader had it not been twisted into strange and grotesque forms. Dr. Willett, who was Ward's family physician, affirms that the patient's gross mental capacity, as gauged by his response to matters outside the sphere of his insanity, had actually increased since the seizure. Ward, it is true, was always a scholar and an antiquarian; but even his most brilliant early work did not shew the prodigious grasp and insight displayed during his last examinations by the alie-

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nists. It was, indeed, a difficult matter to obtain a legal commitment to the hospital, so powerful and lucid did the youth's mind seem; and only on the evidence of others, and on the strength of many abnormal gaps in his stock of information as distinguished from his intelligence, was he finally placed in confinement. To the very moment of his vanishment he was an omnivorous reader and as great a conversationalist as his poor voice permitted; and shrewd observers, failing to foresee his escape, freely predicted that he would not be long in gaining his discharge from custody. Only Dr. Willett, who brought Charles Ward into the world and had watched his growth of body and mind ever since, seemed frightened at the thought of his future freedom. He had had a terrible experience and had made a terrible discovery which he dared not reveal to his sceptical colleagues. Willett, indeed, presents a minor mystery all his own in his connexion with the case. He was the last to see the patient before his flight, and emerged from that final conversation in a state of mixed horror and relief which several recalled when Ward's escape became known three hours later. That escape itself is one of the unsolved wonders of Dr. Waite's hospital. A window open above a sheer drop of sixty feet could hardly explain it, yet after that

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talk with Willett the youth was undeniably gone. Willett himself has no public explanations to offer, though he seems strangely easier in mind than before the escape. Many, indeed, feel that he would like to say more if he thought any considerable number would believe him. He had found Ward in his room, but shortly after his departure the attendants knocked in vain. When they opened the door the patient was not there, and all they found was the open window with a chill April breeze blowing in a cloud of fine bluish-grey dust that almost choked them. True, the dogs howled some time before; but that was while Willett was still present, and they had caught nothing and shewn no disturbance later on. Ward's father was told at once over the telephone, but he seemed more saddened than surprised. By the time Dr. Waite called in person, Dr. Willett had been talking with him, and both disavowed any knowledge or complicity in the escape. Only from certain closely confidential friends of Willett and the senior Ward have any clues been gained, and even these are too wildly fantastic for general credence. The one fact which remains is that up to the present time no trace of the missing madman has been unearthed. Charles Ward was an antiquarian from infancy, no doubt gaining his taste from the venerable town

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around him, and from the relics of the past which filled every corner of his parents' old mansion in Prospect Street on the crest of the hill. With the years his devotion to ancient things increased; so that history, genealogy, and the study of colonial architecture, furniture, and craftsmanship at length crowded everything else from his sphere of interests. These tastes are important to remember in considering his madness; for although they do not form its absolute nucleus, they play a prominent part in its superficial form. The gaps of information which the alienists noticed were all related to modern matters, and were invariably offset by a correspondingly excessive though outwardly concealed knowledge of bygone matters as brought out by adroit questioning; so that one would have fancied the patient literally transferred to a former age through some obscure sort of auto-hypnosis. The odd thing was that Ward seemed no longer interested in the antiquities he knew so well. He had, it appears, lost his regard for them through sheer familiarity; and all his final efforts were obviously bent toward mastering those common facts of the modern world which had been so totally and unmistakably expunged from his brain. That this wholesale deletion had occurred, he did his best to hide; but it was clear to all who

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watched him that his whole programme of reading and conversation was determined by a frantic wish to imbibe such knowledge of his own life and of the ordinary practical and cultural background of the twentieth century as ought to have been his by virtue of his birth in 1902 and his education in the schools of our own time. Alienists are now wondering how, in view of his vitally impaired range of data, the escaped patient manages to cope with the complicated world of today; the dominant opinion being that he is "lying low" in some humble and unexacting position till his stock of modern information can be brought up to the normal. The beginning of Ward's madness is a matter of dispute among alienists. Dr. Lyman, the eminent Boston authority, places it in 1919 or 1920, during the boy's last year at the Moses Brown School, when he suddenly turned from the study of the past to the study of the occult, and refused to qualify for college on the ground that he had individual researches of much greater importance to make. This is certainly borne out by Ward's altered habits at the time, especially by his continual search through town records and among old burying-grounds for a certain grave dug in 1771; the grave of an ancestor named Joseph Curwen, some of whose papers he professed to have found behind

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the panelling of a very old house in Olney Court, on Stampers' Hill, which Curwen was known to have built and occupied. It is, broadly speaking, undeniable that the winter of 1919-20 saw a great change in Ward; whereby he abruptly stopped his general antiquarian pursuits and embarked on a desperate delving into occult subjects both at home and abroad, varied only by this strangely persistent search for his forefather's grave. From this opinion, however, Dr. Willett substantially dissents; basing his verdict on his close and continuous knowledge of the patient, and on certain frightful investigations and discoveries which he made toward the last. Those investigations and discoveries have left their mark upon him; so that his voice trembles when he tells them, and his hand trembles when he tries to write of them. Willett admits that the change of 1919-20 would ordinarily appear to mark the beginning of a progressive decadence which culminated in the horrible and uncanny alienation of 1928; but believes from personal observation that a finer distinction must be made. Granting freely that the boy was always ill-balanced temperamentally, and prone to be unduly susceptible and enthusiastic in his responses to phenomena around him, he refuses to concede that the early alteration marked the actual passage

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from sanity to madness; crediting instead Ward's own statement that he had discovered or rediscovered something whose effect on human though was likely to be marvellous and profound. The true madness, he is certain, came with a later change; after the Curwen portrait and the ancient papers had been unearthed; after a trip to strange foreign places had been made, and some terrible invocations chanted under strange and secret circumstances; after certain answers to these invocations had been plainly indicated, and a frantic letter penned under agonising and inexplicable conditions; after the wave of vampirism and the ominous Pawtuxet gossip; and after the patient's memory commenced to exclude contemporary images whilst his physical aspect underwent the subtle modification so many subsequently noticed. It was only about this time, Willett points out with much acuteness, that the nightmare qualities became indubitably linked with Ward; and the doctor feels shudderingly sure that enough solid evidence exists to sustain the youth's claim regarding his crucial discovery. In the first place, two workmen of high intelligence saw Joseph Curwen's ancient papers found. Secondly, the boy once shewed Dr. Willett those papers and a page of the Curwen diary, and each of the documents had every appearan-

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ce of genuineness. The hole where Ward claimed to have found them was long a visible reality, and Willett had a very convincing final glimpse of them in surroundings which can scarcely be believed and can never perhaps be proved. Then there were the mysteries and coincidences of the Orne and Hutchinson letters, and the problem of the Curwen penmanship and of what the detectives brought to light about Dr. Allen; these things, and the terrible message in mediaeval minuscules found in Willett's pocket when he gained consciousness after his shocking experience. And most conclusive of all, there are the two hideous results which the doctor obtained from a certain pair of formulae during his final investigations; results which virtually proved the authenticity of the papers and of their monstrous implications at the same time that those papers were borne forever from human knowledge. 2 One must look back at Charles Ward's earlier life as at something belonging as much to the past as the antiquities he loved so keenly. In the autumn of 1918, and with a considerable show of zest in the military training of the period, he had begun his junior year at the Moses Brown School, which

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lies very near his home. The old main building, erected in 1819, had always charmed his youthful antiquarian sense; and the spacious park in which the academy is set appealed to his sharp eye for landscape. His social activities were few; and his hours were spent mainly at home, in rambling walks, in his classes and drills, and in pursuit of antiquarian and genealogical data at the City Hall, the State House, the Public Library, the Athenaeum, the Historical Society, the John Carter Brown and John Hay Libraries of Brown University, and the newly opened Shepley Library in Benefit Street. One may picture him yet as he was in those days; tall, slim, and blond, with studious eyes and a slight droop, dressed somewhat carelessly, and giving a dominant impression of harmless awkwardness rather than attractiveness. His walks were always adventures in antiquity, during which he managed to recapture from the myriad relics of a glamorous old city a vivid and connected picture of the centuries before. His home was a great Georgian mansion atop the wellnigh precipitous hill that rises just east of the river; and from the rear windows of its rambling wings he could look dizzily out over all the clustered spires, domes, roofs, and skyscraper summits of the lower town to the purple hills of the coun-

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tryside beyond. Here he was born, and from the lovely classic porch of the double-bayed brick facade his nurse had first wheeled him in his carriage; past the little white farmhouse of two hundred years before that the town had long ago overtaken, and on toward the stately colleges along the shady, sumptuous street, whose old square brick mansions and smaller wooden houses with narrow, heavy-columned Doric porches dreamed solid and exclusive amidst their generous yards and gardens. He had been wheeled, too, along sleepy Congdon Street, one tier lower down on the steep hill, and with all its eastern homes on high terraces. The small wooden houses averaged a greater age here, for it was up this hill that the growing town had climbed; and in these rides he had imbibed something of the colour of a quaint colonial village. The nurse used to stop and sit on the benches of Prospect Terrace to chat with policemen; and one of the child's first memories was of the great westward sea of hazy roofs and domes and steeples and far hills which he saw one winter afternoon from that great railed embankment, and violet and mystic against a fevered, apocalyptic sunset of reds and golds and purples and curious greens. The vast marble dome of the State House stood out in massive silhouette, its crowning statue haloed fan-

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tastically by a break in one of the tinted stratus clouds that barred the flaming sky. When he was larger his famous walks began; first with his impatiently dragged nurse, and then alone in dreamy meditation. Farther and farther down that almost perpendicular hill he would venture, each time reaching older and quainter levels of the ancient city. He would hesitate gingerly down vertical Jenckes Street with its bank walls and colonial gables to the shady Benefit Street corner, where before him was a wooden antique with an Ionic-pilastered pair of doorways, and beside him a prehistoric gambrel-roofer with a bit of primal farmyard remaining, and the great Judge Durfee house with its fallen vestiges of Georgian grandeur. It was getting to be a slum here; but the titan elms cast a restoring shadow over the place, and the boy used to stroll south past the long lines of the pre-Revolutionary homes with their great central chimneys and classic portals. On the eastern side they were set high over basements with railed double flights of stone steps, and the young Charles could picture them as they were when the street was new, and red heels and periwigs set off the painted pediments whose signs of wear were now becoming so visible.

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Westward the hill dropped almost as steeply as above, down to the old "Town Street" that the founders had laid out at the river's edge in 1636. Here ran innumerable little lanes with leaning, huddled houses of immense antiquity; and fascinated though he was, it was long before he dared to thread their archaic verticality for fear they would turn out a dream or a gateway to unknown terrors. He found it much less formidable to continue along Benefit Street past the iron fence of St. John's hidden churchyard and the rear of the 1761 Colony House and the mouldering bulk of the Golden Ball Inn where Washington stopped. At Meeting Street - the successive Gaol Lane and King Street of other periods - he would look upward to the east and see the arched flight of steps to which the highway had to resort in climbing the slope, and downward to the west, glimpsing the old brick colonial schoolhouse that smiles across the road at the ancient Sign of Shakespeare's Head where the Providence Gazette and Country-Journal was printed before the Revolution. Then came the exquisite First Baptist Church of 1775, luxurious with its matchless Gibbs steeple, and the Georgian roofs and cupolas hovering by. Here and to the southward the neighbourhood became better, flowering at last into a marvellous

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group of early mansions; but still the little ancient lanes led off down the precipice to the west, spectral in their many-gabled archaism and dipping to a riot of iridescent decay where the wicked old water-front recalls its proud East India days amidst polyglot vice and squalor, rotting wharves, and blear-eyed ship-chandleries, with such surviving alley names as Packet, Bullion, Gold, Silver, Coin, Doubloon, Sovereign, Guilder, Dollar, Dime, and Cent. Sometimes, as he grew taller and more adventurous, young Ward would venture down into this maelstrom of tottering houses, broken transoms, tumbling steps, twisted balustrades, swarthy faces, and nameless odours; winding from South Main to South Water, searching out the docks where the bay and sound steamers still touched, and returning northward at this lower level past the steeproofed 1816 warehouses and the broad square at the Great Bridge, where the 1773 Market House still stands firm on its ancient arches. In that square he would pause to drink in the bewildering beauty of the old town as it rises on its eastward bluff, decked with its two Georgian spires and crowned by the vast new Christian Science dome as London is crowned by St. Paul's. He like mostly to reach this point in the late afternoon, when the

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slanting sunlight touches the Market House and the ancient hill roofs and belfries with gold, and throws magic around the dreaming wharves where Providence Indiamen used to ride at anchor. After a long look he would grow almost dizzy with a poet's love for the sight, and then he would scale the slope homeward in the dusk past the old white church and up the narrow precipitous ways where yellow gleams would begin to peep out in smallpaned windows and through fanlights set high over double flights of steps with curious wrought-iron railings. At other times, and in later years, he would seek for vivid contrasts; spending half a walk in the crumbling colonial regions northwest of his home, where the hill drops to the lower eminence of Stampers' Hill with its ghetto and negro quarter clustering round the place where the Boston stage coach used to start before the Revolution, and the other half in the gracious southerly realm about George, Benevolent, Power, and Williams Streets, where the old slope holds unchanged the fine estates and bits of walled garden and steep green lane in which so many fragrant memories linger. These rambles, together with the diligent studies which accompanied them, certainly account for a large amount of the antiquarian lore which at last

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crowded the modern world from Charles Ward's mind; and illustrate the mental soil upon which fell, in that fateful winter of 1919-20, the seeds that came to such strange and terrible fruition. Dr. Willett is certain that, up to this ill-omened winter of first change, Charles Ward's antiquarianism was free from every trace of the morbid. Graveyards held for him no particular attraction beyond their quaintness and historic value, and of anything like violence or savage instinct he was utterly devoid. Then, by insidious degrees, there appeared to develop a curious sequel to one of his genealogical triumphs of the year before; when he had discovered among his maternal ancestors a certain very long-lived man named Joseph Curwen, who had come from Salem in March of 1692, and about whom a whispered series of highly peculiar and disquieting stories clustered. Ward's great-great-grandfather Welcome Potter had in 1785 married a certain 'Ann Tillinghast, daughter of Mrs. Eliza, daughter to Capt. James Tillinghast,' of whose paternity the family had preserved no trace. Late in 1918, whilst examining a volume of original town records in manuscript, the young genealogist encountered an entry describing a legal change of name, by which in 1772 a Mrs. Eliza Curwen, widow of Joseph Curwen, resumed,

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along with her seven-year-old daughter Ann, her maiden name of Tillinghast; on the ground 'that her Husband's name was become a public Reproach by Reason of what was knowne after his Decease; the which confirming an antient common Rumour, tho' not to be credited by a loyall Wife till so proven as to be wholely past Doubting.' This entry came to light upon the accidental separation of two leaves which had been carefully pasted together and treated as one by a laboured revision of the page numbers. It was at once clear to Charles Ward that he had indeed discovered a hitherto unknown great-greatgreat-grandfather. The discovery doubly excited him because he had already heard vague reports and seen scattered allusions relating to this person; about whom there remained so few publicly available records, aside from those becoming public only in modern times, that it almost seemed as if a conspiracy had existed to blot him from memory. What did appear, moreover, was of such a singular and provocative nature that one could not fail to imagine curiously what it was that the colonial recorders were so anxious to conceal and forget; or to suspect that the deletion had reasons all too valid.

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Before this, Ward had been content to let his romancing about old Joseph Curwen remain in the idle stage; but having discovered his own relationship to this apparently "hushed-up" character, he proceeded to hunt out as systematically as possible whatever he might find concerning him. In this excited quest he eventually succeeded beyond his highest expectations; for old letters, diaries, and sheaves of unpublished memoirs in cobwebbed Providence garrets and elsewhere yielded many illuminating passages which their writers had not thought it worth their while to destroy. One important sidelight came from a point as remote as New York, where some Rhode Island colonial correspondence was stored in the Museum at Fraunces' Tavern. The really crucial thing, though, and what in Dr, Willett's opinion formed the definite source of Ward's undoing, was the matter found in August 1919 behind the panelling of the crumbling house in Olney Court. It was that, beyond a doubt, which opened up those black vistas whose end was deeper than the pit. II. An Antecedent and a Horror 1

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Joseph Curwen, as revealed by the rambling legends embodied in what Ward heard and unearthed, was a very astonishing, enigmatic, and obscurely horrible individual. He had fled from Salem to Providence - that universal haven of the odd, the free, and the dissenting - at the beginning of the great witchcraft panic; being in fear of accusation because of his solitary ways and queer chemical or alchemical experiments. He was a colourless-looking man of about thirty, and was soon found qualified to become a freeman of Providence; thereafter buying a home lot just north of Gregory Dexter's at about the foot of Olney Street. His house was built on Stampers' Hill west of the Town Street, in what later became Olney Court; and in 1761 he replaced this with a larger one, on the same site, which is still standing. Now the first odd thing about Joseph Curwen was that he did not seem to grow much older than he had been on his arrival. He engaged in shipping enterprises, purchased wharfage near Mile-End Cove, helped rebuild the Great Bridge in 1713, and in 1723 was one of the founders of the Congregational Church on the hill; but always did he retain his nondescript aspect of a man not greatly over thirty or thirty-five. As decades mounted up, this singular quality began to excite wide notice;

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but Curwen always explained it by saying that he came of hardy forefathers, and practised a simplicity of living which did not wear him our. How such simplicity could be reconciled with the inexplicable comings and goings of the secretive merchant, and with the queer gleaming of his windows at all hours of night, was not very clear to the townsfolk; and they were prone to assign other reasons for his continued youth and longevity. It was held, for the most part, that Curwen's incessant mixings and boilings of chemicals had much to do with his condition. Gossip spoke of the strange substances he brought from London and the Indies on his ships or purchased in Newport, Boston, and New York; and when old Dr. Jabez Bowen came from Rehoboth and opened his apothecary shop across the Great Bridge at the Sign of the Unicorn and Mortar, there was ceaseless talk of the drugs, acids, and metals that the taciturn recluse incessantly bought or ordered from him. Acting on the assumption that Curwen possessed a wondrous and secret medical skill, many sufferers of various sorts applied to him for aid; but though he appeared to encourage their belief in a noncommittal way, and always gave them odd-coloured potions in response to their requests, it was observed that his ministrations to others seldom

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proved of benefit. At length, when over fifty years had passed since the stranger's advent, and without producing more than five years' apparent change in his face and physique, the people began to whisper more darkly; and to meet more than half way that desire for isolation which he had always shewn. Private letters and diaries of the period reveal, too, a multitude of other reasons why Joseph Curwen was marvelled at, feared, and finally shunned like a plague. His passion for graveyards, in which he was glimpsed at all hours, and under all conditions, was notorious; though no one had witnessed any deed on his part which could actually be termed ghoulish. On the Pawtuxet Road he had a farm, at which he generally lived during the summer, and to which he would frequently be seen riding at various odd times of the day or night. Here his only visible servants, farmers, and caretakers were a sullen pair of aged Narragansett Indians; the husband dumb and curiously scarred, and the wife of a very repulsive cast of countenance, probably due to a mixture of negro blood. In the leadto of this house was the laboratory where most of the chemical experiments were conducted. Curious porters and teamers who delivered bottles, bags, or boxes at the small read door would exchange ac-

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counts of the fantastic flasks, crucibles, alembics, and furnaces they saw in the low shelved room; and prophesied in whispers that the close-mouthed "chymist" - by which they meant alchemist - would not be long in finding the Philosopher's Stone. The nearest neighbours to this farm - the Fenners, a quarter of a mile away - had still queerer things to tell of certain sounds which they insisted came from the Curwen place in the night. There were cries, they said, and sustained howlings; and they did not like the large numbers of livestock which thronged the pastures, for no such amount was needed to keep a lone old man and a very few servants in meat, milk, and wool. The identity of the stock seemed to change from week to week as new droves were purchased from the Kingstown farmers. Then, too, there was something very obnoxious about a certain great stone outbuilding with only high narrow slits for windows. Great Bridge idlers likewise had much to say of Curwen's town house in Olney Court; not so much the fine new one built in 1761, when the man must have been nearly a century old, but the first low gambrel-roofed one with the windowless attic and shingled sides, whose timbers he took the peculiar precaution of burning after its demolition. Here there was less mystery, it is true; but the hours at

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which lights were seen, the secretiveness of the two swarthy foreigners who comprised the only menservants, the hideous indistinct mumbling of the incredibly aged French housekeeper, the large amounts of food seen to enter a door within which only four persons lived, and the quality of certain voices often heard in muffled conversation at highly unseasonable times, all combined with what was known of the Pawtuxet farm to give the place a bad name. In choicer circles, too, the Curwen home was by no means undiscussed; for as the newcomer had gradually worked into the church and trading life of the town, he had naturally made acquaintances of the better sort, whose company and conversation he was well fitted by education to enjoy. His birth was known to be good, since the Curwens or Corwins of Salem needed no introduction in New England. It developed that Joseph Curwen had travelled much in very early life, living for a time in England and making at least two voyages to the Orient; and his speech, when he deigned to use it, was that of a learned and cultivated Englishman. But for some reason or other Curwen did not care for society. Whilst never actually rebuffing a visitor, he always reared such a wall of reserve that

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few could think of anything to say to him which would not sound inane. There seemed to lurk in his bearing some cryptic, sardonic arrogance, as if he had come to find all human beings dull though having moved among stranger and more potent entities. When Dr. Checkley the famous wit came from Boston in 1738 to be rector of King's Church, he did not neglect calling on one of whom he soon heard so much; but left in a very short while because of some sinister undercurrent he detected in his host's discourse. Charles Ward told his father, when they discussed Curwen one winter evening, that he would give much to learn what the mysterious old man had said to the sprightly cleric, but that all diarists agree concerning Dr. Checkley's reluctance to repeat anything he had heard. The good man had been hideously shocked, and could never recall Joseph Curwen without a visible loss of the gay urbanity for which he was famed. More definite, however, was the reason why another man of taste and breeding avoided the haughty hermit. In 1746 Mr. John Merritt, an elderly English gentleman of literary and scientific leanings, came from Newport to the town which was so rapidly overtaking it in standing, and built a fine country seat on the Neck in what is now the heart

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of the best residence section. He lived in considerable style and comfort, keeping the first coach and liveried servants in town, and taking great pride in his telescope, his microscope, and his well-chosen library of English and Latin books. Hearing of Curwen as the owner of the best library in Providence, Mr. Merritt early paid him a call, and was more cordially received than most other callers at the house had been. His admiration for his host's ample shelves, which besides the Greek, Latin, and English classics were equipped with a remarkable battery of philosophical, mathematical, and scientific works including Paracelsus, Agricol a , Va n H e l m o n t , S y l v i u s , G l a u b e r, B o y l e , Boerhaave, Becher, and Stahl, led Curwen to suggest a visit to the farmhouse and laboratory whither he had never invited anyone before; and the two drove out at once in Mr. Merritt's coach. Mr. Merritt always confessed to seeing nothing really horrible at the farmhouse, but maintained that the titles of the books in the special library of thaumaturgical, alchemical, and theological subjects which Curwen kept in a front room were alone sufficient to inspire him with a lasting loathing. Perhaps, however, the facial expression of the owner in exhibiting them contributed much of the prejudice. This bizarre collection, besides a host of

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standard works which Mr. Merritt was not too alarmed to envy, embraced nearly all the cabbalists, daemonologists, and magicians known to man; and was a treasure-house of lore in the doubtful realms of alchemy and astrology. Hermes Trismegistus in Mesnard's edition, the Turba Philosophorum, Geber's Liber Investigationis, and Artephius's Key of Wisdom all were there; with the cabbalistic Zohar, Peter Jammy's set of Albertus Magnus, Raymond Lully's Ars Magna et Ultima in Zetsner's edition, Roger Bacon's Thesaurus Chemicus, Fludd's Clavis Alchimiae, and Trithemius's De Lapide Philosophico crowding them close. Mediaeval Jews and Arabs were represented in profusion, and Mr. Merritt turned pale when, upon taking down a fine volume conspicuously labelled as the Qanoon-e-Islam, he found it was in truth the forbidden Necronomicon of the mad Arab Abdul Alhazred, of which he had heard such monstrous things whispered some years previously after the exposure of nameless rites at the strange little fishing village of Kingsport, in the province of the Massachussetts-Bay. But oddly enough, the worthy gentleman owned himself most impalpably disquieted by a mere minor detail. On the huge mahogany table there lay face downwards a badly worn copy of Borellus,

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bearing many cryptical marginalia and interlineations in Curwen's hand. The book was open at about its middle, and one paragraph displayed such thick and tremulous pen-strokes beneath the lines of mystic black-letter that the visitor could not resist scanning it through. Whether it was the nature of the passage underscored, or the feverish heaviness of the strokes which formed the underscoring, he could not tell; but something in that combination affected him very badly and very peculiarly. He recalled it to the end of his days, writing it down from memory in his diary and once trying to recite it to his close friend Dr. Checkley till he saw how greatly it disturbed the urbane rector. It read: 'The essential Saltes of Animals may be so prepared and preserved, that an ingenious Man may have the whole Ark of Noah in his own Studie, and raise the fine Shape of an Animal out of its Ashes at his Pleasure; and by the lyke Method from the essential Saltes of humane Dust, a Philosopher may, without any criminal Necromancy, call up the Shape of any dead Ancestour from the Dust whereinto his Bodie has been incinerated.' It was near the docks along the southerly part of the Town Street, however, that the worst things were muttered about Joseph Curwen. Sailors are superstitious folk; and the seasoned salts who

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manned the infinite rum, slave, and molasses sloops, the rakish privateers, and the great brigs of the Browns, Crawfords, and Tillinghasts, all made strange furtive signs of protection when they saw the slim, deceptively young-looking figure with its yellow hair and slight stoop entering the Curwen warehouse in Doubloon Street or talking with captains and supercargoes on the long quay where the Curwen ships rode restlessly. Curwen's own clerks and captains hated and feared him, and all his sailors were mongrel riff-raff from Martinique, St. Eustatius, Havana, or Port Royal. It was, in a way, the frequency with which these sailors were replaced which inspired the acutest and most tangible part of the fear in which the old man was held. A crew would be turned loose in the town on shore leave, some of its members perhaps charged with this errand or that; and when reassembled it would be almost sure to lack one or more men. That many of the errands had concerned the farm of Pawtuxet Road, and that few of the sailors had ever been seen to return from that place, was not forgotten; so that in time it became exceedingly difficult for Curwen to keep his oddly assorted hands. Almost invariably several would desert soon after hearing the gossip of the Providence wharves, and their

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replacement in the West Indies became an increasingly great problem to the merchant. By 1760 Joseph Curwen was virtually an outcast, suspected of vague horrors and daemoniac alliances which seemed all the more menacing because they could not be named, understood, or even proved to exist. The last straw may have come from the affair of the missing soldiers in 1758, for in March and April of that year two Royal regiments on their way to New France were quartered in Providence, and depleted by an inexplicable process far beyond the average rate of desertion. Rumour dwelt on the frequency with which Curwen was wont to be seen talking with the red-coated strangers; and as several of them began to be missed, people thought of the odd conditions among his own seamen. What would have happened if the regiments had not been ordered on, no one can tell. Meanwhile the merchant's worldly affairs were prospering. He had a virtual monopoly of the town's trade in saltpetre, black pepper, and cinnamon, and easily led any other one shipping establishment save the Browns in his importation of brassware, indigo, cotton, woollens, salt, rigging, iron, paper, and English goods of every kind. Such shopkeepers as James Green, at the Sign of the

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Elephant in Cheapside, the Russells, at the Sign of the Golden Eagle across the Bridge, or Clark and Nightingale at the Frying-Pan and Fish near New Coffee-House, depended almost wholly upon him for their stock; and his arrangements with the local distillers, the Narragansett dairymen and horsebreeders, and the Newport candle-makers, made him one of the prime exporters of the Colony. Ostracised though he was, he did not lack for civic spirit of a sort. When the Colony House burned down, he subscribed handsomely to the lotteries by which the new brick one - still standing at the head of its parade in the old main street - was built in 1761. In that same year, too, he helped rebuild the Great Bridge after the October gale. He replaced many of the books of the public library consumed in the Colony House fire, and bought heavily in the lottery that gave the muddy Market Parade and deep-rutted Town Street their pavement of great round stones with a brick footwalk or "causey" in the middle. About this time, also, he built the plain but excellent new house whose doorway is still such a triumph of carving. When the Whitefield adherents broke off from Dr. Cotton's hill church in 1743 and founded Deacon Snow's church across the Bridge, Curwen had gone with them; though his zeal and attendance soon abated.

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Now, however, he cultivated piety once more; as if to dispel the shadow which had thrown him into isolation and would soon begin to wreck his business fortunes if not sharply checked. 2 The sight of this strange, pallid man, hardly middle-aged in aspect yet certainly not less than a full century old, seeking at last to emerge from a cloud of fright and detestation too vague to pin down or analyse, was at once a pathetic, a dramatic, and a contemptible thing. Such is the power of wealth and of surface gestures, however, that there came indeed a slight abatement in the visible aversion displayed toward him; especially after the rapid disappearances of his sailors abruptly ceased. He must likewise have begun to practice an extreme care and secrecy in his graveyard expeditions, for he was never again caught at such wanderings; whilst the rumours of uncanny sounds and manoeuvres at his Pawtuxet farm diminished in proportion. His rate of food consumption and cattle replacement remained abnormally high; but not until modern times, when Charles Ward examined a set of his accounts and invoices in the Shepley Library, did it occur to any person - save one embittered youth, perhaps - to make dark comparisons betwe-

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en the large number of Guinea blacks he imported until 1766, and the disturbingly small number for whom he could produce bona fide bills of sale either to slave-dealers at the Great Bridge or to the planters of the Narragansett Country. Certainly, the cunning and ingenuity of this abhorred character were uncannily profound, once the necessity for their exercise had become impressed upon him. But of course the effect of all this belated mending was necessarily slight. Curwen continued to be avoided and distrusted, as indeed the one fact of his continued air of youth at a great age would have been enough to warrant; and he could see that in the end his fortunes would be likely to suffer. His elaborate studies and experiments, whatever they may have been, apparently required a heavy income for their maintenance; and since a change of environment would deprive him of the trading advantages he had gained, it would not have profited him to begin anew in a different region just then. Judgement demanded that he patch up his relations with the townsfolk of Providence, so that his presence might no longer be a signal for hushed conversation, transparent excuses or errands elsewhere, and a general atmosphere of constraint and uneasiness. His clerks, being now reduced to the shiftless and impecunious residue

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whom no one else would employ, were giving him much worry; and he held to his sea-captains and mates only by shrewdness in gaining some kind of ascendancy over them - a mortgage, a promissory note, or a bit of information very pertinent to their welfare. In many cases, diarists have recorded with some awe, Curwen shewed almost the power of a wizard in unearthing family secrets for questionable use. During the final five years of his life it seemed as though only direct talks with the long-dead could possibly have furnished some of the data which he had so glibly at his tongue's end. About this time the crafty scholar hit upon a last desperate expedient to regain his footing in the community. Hitherto a complete hermit, he now determined to contract an advantageous marriage; securing as a bride some lady whose unquestioned position would make all ostracism of his home impossible. It may be that he also had deeper reasons for wishing an alliance; reasons so far outside the known cosmic sphere that only papers found a century and a half after his death caused anyone to suspect them; but of this nothing certain can ever be learned. Naturally he was aware of the horror and indignation with which any ordinary courtship of his would be received, hence he looked about for some likely candidate upon whose parents he

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might exert a suitable pressure. Such candidates, he found, were not at all easy to discover; since he had very particular requirements in the way of beauty, accomplishments, and social security. At length his survey narrowed down to the household of one of his best and oldest ship-captains, a widower of high birth and unblemished standing named Dutee Tillinghast, whose only daughter Eliza seemed dowered with every conceivable advantage save prospects as an heiress. Capt. Tillinghast was completely under the domination of Curwen; and consented, after a terrible interview in his cupolaed house on Power's Lane hill, to sanction the blasphemous alliance. Eliza Tillinghast was at that time eighteen years of age, and had been reared as gently as the reduced circumstances of her father permitted. She had attended Stephen Jackson's school opposite the Court-House Parade; and had been diligently instructed by her mother, before the latter's death of smallpox in 1757, in all the arts and refinements of domestic life. A sampler of hers, worked in 1753 at the age of nine, may still be found in the rooms of the Rhode Island Historical Society. After her mother's death she had kept the house, aided only by one old black woman. Her arguments with her father concerning the proposed Curwen marriage

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must have been painful indeed; but of these we have no record. Certain it is that her engagement to young Ezra Weeden, second mate of the Crawford packet Enterprise, was dutifully broken off, and that her union with Joseph Curwen took place on the seventh of March, 1763, in the Baptist church, in the presence of the most distinguished assemblages which the town could boast; the ceremony being performed by the younger Samuel Winsor. The Gazette mentioned the event very briefly. and in most surviving copies the item in question seems to be cut or torn out. Ward found a single intact copy after much search in the archives of a private collector of note, observing with amusement the meaningless urbanity of the language: 'Monday evening last, Mr. Joseph Curwen, of this Town, Merchant, was married to Miss Eliza Tillinghast, Daughter of Capt. Dutee Tillinghast, a young Lady who has real Merit, added to a beautiful Person, to grace the connubial State and perpetuate its Felicity.' The collection of Durfee-Arnold letters, discovered by Charles Ward shortly before his first reputed madness in the private collection of Melville F. Peters, Esq., of George St., and covering this and a somewhat antecedent period, throws vivid light on the outrage done to public sentiment by this ill-assorted match. The social influence of the Tillin-

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ghasts, however, was not to be denied; and once more Joseph Curwen found his house frequented by persons whom he could never otherwise have induced to cross his threshold. His acceptance was by no means complete, and his bride was socially the sufferer through her forced venture; but at all events the wall of utter ostracism was somewhat torn down. In his treatment of his wife the strange bridegroom astonished both her and the community by displaying an extreme graciousness and consideration. The new house in Olney Court was now wholly free from disturbing manifestations, and although Curwen was much absent at the Pawtuxet farm which his wife never visited, he seemed more like a normal citizen than at any other time in his long years of residence. Only one person remained in open enmity with him, this being the youthful ship's officer whose engagement to Eliza Tillinghast had been so abruptly broken. Ezra Weeden had frankly vowed vengeance; and though of a quiet and ordinarily mild disposition, was now gaining a hate-bred, dogged purpose which boded no good to the usurping husband. On the seventh of May, 1765, Curwen's only child Ann was born; and was christened by the Rev. John Graves of King's Church, of which both husband and wife had become communicants

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The likeness was said to have been executed on a wall-panel of the library of the house in Olney Court. This he had painted by a very gifted Scotsman named Cosmo Alexander. and engendered the feverish interest which culminated in his madness. who had taken with him a duplicate set of records when he left his pastorate at the outbreak of the Revolution. and Charles Ward located both with the greatest difficulty after his discover of the widow's change of name had apprised him of his own relationship. Ward had tried this source because he knew that his great-greatgrandmother Ann Tillinghast Potter had been an Episcopalian. indeed. as well as that of the marriage two years before. and since famous as the early teacher of Gilbert Stuart. The birth entry. Graves. Shortly after the birth of his daughter. in order to compromise between their respective Congregational and Baptist affiliations. was found very curiously through correspondence with the heirs of the loyalist Dr. then a resident of Newport. The record of this birth. but neither of the two 346 . Curwen resolved to sit for a portrait. was stricken from most copies of the church and town annals where it ought to appear. an event he seemed to welcome with a fervour greatly out of keeping with his usual coldness.shortly after their marriage.

At this period the erratic scholar shewed signs of unusual abstraction.old diaries mentioning it gave any hint of its ultimate disposition. as if expecting some phenomenal thing or on the brink of some strange discovery. and he lost no opportunities for helping such leaders as Stephen Hopkins. which was then much below the level of Newport in its patronage of the liberal arts. His affectation of civic interest did not diminish. in a condition of suppressed excitement or suspense. Chemistry or alchemy would appear to have played a great part. He seemed. In politics he ardently supported Governor Hopkins against the Ward party whose prime strength was in Newport. and Benjamin West in their efforts to raise the cultural tone of the town. and spent as much time as he possibly could at his farm on the Pawtuxet Road. for he took from his house to the farm the greater number of his volumes on that subject. and was thereafter his best customer. extending aid likewise to the struggling Gazette that appeared each Wednesday at the Sign of Shakespeare's Head. Joseph Brown. as was stated. and his really eloquent speech at Hacher's Hall in 1765 against the setting off of North Providence as a separate town with a pro-Ward vote in the General 347 . He had helped Daniel Jenckes found his bookshop in 1763.

and freely swore it was no more than a mask for some nameless traffick with the blackest gulfs of Tartarus. giving instant place to an ill-concealed exaltation of perfect triumph. and following the small boat which would sometimes steal quietly off and down the bay. He also kept as close a watch as possible on the Pawtuxet farm.Assembly did more than any other thing to wear down the prejudice against him. but apparently the need of secrecy was greater than the longing to share his rejoicing. and was once severely bitten by the dogs the old Indian couple loosed upon him. for the air of suspense and expectancy dropped like an old cloak. who watched him closely. 3 In 1766 came the final change in Joseph Curwen. and gained wide notice amongst the curious townsfolk. for no explanation was ever offered by him. But Ezra Weeden. Curwen seemed to have difficulty in restraining himself from public harangues on what he had found or learned or made. The revengeful youth began a systematic study of the man and his doings whenever he was in port. It was very sudden. sneered cynically at all this outward activity. It was after this transi- 348 . spending hours at night by the wharves with a dory in readiness when he saw lights in the Curwen warehouses.

and subjected Curwen's affairs to a scrutiny such as they had never had before. But Curwen's feverish secret activities by no means ceased with this change.tion. which appears to have come early in July. that the sinister scholar began to astonish people by his possession of information which only their long-dead ancestors would seem to be able to impart. On the contrary. had a vindictive persistence which the bulk of the practical townsfolk and farmers lacked. though not actually near graveyards. Every possible moment was spent at the Pawtuxet farm. Ezra Weeden. alleging that its profits were constantly decreasing. Many of the odd manoeuvres of the strange merchant's vessels had been taken for granted on ac- 349 . although there were rumours now and then of his presence in places which. they tended rather to increase. though his periods of espionage were necessarily brief and intermittent on account of his sea voyaging. were yet so situated in relation to graveyards that thoughtful people wondered just how thorough the old merchant's change of habits really was. He altogether abandoned the slave trade. so that more and more of his shipping business was handled by the captains whom he now bound to him by ties of fear as potent as those of bankruptcy had been.

a new policy appeared. Smuggling and evasion were the rule in Narragansett Bay.count of the unrest of the times. the whole programme was altered. Importation of slaves ceased at once. After that change. when every colonist seemed determined to resist the provisions of the Sugar Act which hampered a prominent traffick. Then. But Weeden. and nocturnal landings of illicit cargoes were continuous commonplaces. however. who were carried down and across the bay and landed at an obscure point on the shore just north of Pawtuxet. and this time they would go down the bay some distance. being afterward driven up the bluff and across country to the Curwen farm. Once more the lighters grew wont to put out from the black. and for a time Curwen abandoned his midnight sailings. 350 . night after night following the lighters or small sloops which he saw steal off from the Curwen warehouses at the Town Street docks. where they were locked in that enormous stone outbuilding which had only five high narrow slits for windows. Prior to the change in 1766 these boats had for the most part contained chained negroes. about the spring of 1767. silent docks. soon felt assured that it was not merely His Majesty's armed ships which the sinister skulker was anxious to avoid. perhaps as far as Namquit Point.

visiting it each night for long periods. and transport it overland to the farm. Weeden always watched the farm with unremitting assiduity. he hired a tavern companion named Eleazar Smith to continue the survey during his absence. That they did not do so was only because they knew the effect of publicity would be to warn their quarry and make further progress impossible. and between them the two could have set in motion some extraordinary rumours. they wished to learn something definite before taking any action. Instead. Finding his own vigils interrupted by nautical duties. Curwen's sailors would then deposit this cargo at the usual point on the shore. locking it in the same cryptical stone building which had formerly received the negroes. and seldom letting a week go by without a sight except when the ground bore a footprint-revealing snow. What they did learn must have 351 . of which a large proportion were oblong and heavy and disturbingly suggestive of coffins.where they would meet and receive cargo from strange ships of considerable size and widely varied appearance. The cargo consisted almost wholly of boxes and cases. Even then he would often walk as close as possible in the travelled road or on the ice of the neighbouring river to see what tracks others might have left.

All that can be told of their discoveries is what Eleazar Smith jotted down in a non too coherent diary. were mere mumblings and negro whisperings and frenzied screams. coupled with curious chants or invocations. underlay the farm. and what other diarists and letter-writers have timidly repeated from the statements which they finally made . of a scope and depth too profound and intangible for more than shadowy comprehension.been startling indeed.and according to which the farm was only the outer shell of some vast and revolting menace. After that date. The house was an old peaked relic of the middle seventeenth century with enormous stack chimney and diamond-paned lattice windows. it must have been accessible through secret passages beneath. before 1766. where the roof came nearly to the ground. they assumed a ve- 352 . however. the laboratory being in a lean-to toward the north. and Charles Ward spoke many times to his parents of his regret at Weeden's later burning of his notebooks. These voices. It is gathered that Weeden and Smith became early convinced that a great series of tunnels and catacombs. This building stood clear of any other. inhabited by a very sizeable staff of persons besides the old Indian and his wife. yet judging by the different voices heard at odd times within.

The nature of the conversations seemed always a kind of catechism. There were voices of a sort that neither Weeden nor Smith had ever heard before despite their wide knowledge of foreign parts. all known to Curwen. certain captives. for English. however. occasionally pertaining to very remote places and 353 . Sometimes it seemed that several persons must be in the house. French. rumblings of conversations and whines of entreaty. were frequently used. and the guards of those captives. They appeared to be in different languages. or threatening. reproof. most of the questions and answers he could understand were historical or scientific. pantings of eagerness and shouts of protest. which he knew. Weeden had many verbatim reports of overheard scraps in his notebook. and many that they did seem to place as belonging to this or that nationality. He did. but of these nothing has survived. say that besides a few ghoulish dialogues in which the past affairs of Providence families were concerned.ry singular and terrible cast as they ran the gamut betwixt dronings of dull acquiescence and explosions of frantic pain or fury. as if Curwen were extorting some sort of information from terrified or rebellious prisoners. whose rasping accents were frequently distinguishable in reply. Curwen. and Spanish.

his Royal Throne. Curwen asked the prisoner . reminding him of one of the puppets in a show he had seen in the autumn of 1764 in Hacher's Hall. in which are represented Jerusalem. likewise the Suffering of Our Saviour from the Garden of Gethsemane to 354 . for there was a terrific shriek followed by silence and muttering and a bumping sound. the Temple of Solomon.if prisoner he were . Pennsylvania. Once. since the windows were always heavily draped.ages. for example. Once. had given a clever mechanical spectacle advertised as 'A View of the Famous City of Jerusalem. the noted Towers. the inquisitor had seemingly resorted to extreme means. or whether the Dark Man of the Haute Vienne had spoken the Three Words. though. during a discourse in an unknown tongue. an alternately raging and sullen figure was questioned in French about the Black Prince's massacre at Limoges in 1370. when a man from Germantown. as if there were some hidden reason which he ought to know.whether the order to slay was given because of the Sign of the Goat found on the altar in the ancient Roman crypt beneath the Cathedral. and Hills. a shadow was seen on the curtain which startled Weeden exceedingly. Failing to obtain replies. None of these colloquies was ever ocularly witnessed.

Worthy to be seen by the Curious. which was obviously an entrance to caverns within the hill. and Weeden and Smith concluded that Curwen had transferred his field of action to regions below. who had crept close to the window of the front room whence the speaking proceeded. but he frequently pointed out how easily the place might have been reached by bands of unseen workmen from the river. That such regions in truth existed. Faint cries and groans unmistakably came up now and then from what appeared to be the solid earth in places far from any structure. whilst hidden in the bushes along the river-bank in the rear. an artful piece of Statuary. gave a start which roused the old Indian pair and caused them to loose the dogs on him.' It was on this occasion that the listener. When or how these catacombs could have been constructed. where the high ground sloped steeply down to the valley of the Pawtuxet. Weeden was unable to say. seemed amply clear from many things. Joseph Curwen put his mongrel seamen to diverse uses indeed! During the heavy spring rains of 1769 the two watchers kept a sharp eye on the steep river- 355 .the Cross on the Hill of Golgotha. After that no more conversations were ever heard in the house. there was found an arched oaken door in a frame of heavy masonry.

Egypt. to think or do about the whole bewildering business. this ship revealed the astonishing fact that its cargo consisted exclusively of Egyptian mummies.bank to see if any subterrene secrets might be washed to light. It was in January 1770. bound according to its log from Grand Cairo. C. and on this occasion His Majesty's armed schooner Cygnet. that the incident of the Fortaleza occurred. Exasperated by the burning of the revenue sloop Liberty at Newport during the previous summer. B. under Capt. captured after a short pursuit one early morning the scow Fortaleza of Barcelona. Charles Leslie. the customs fleet under Admiral Wallace had adopted an increased vigilance concerning strange vessels. Naturally there might be many explanations of such things in the rear of a stock farm. and a locality where old Indian bury-grounds were common. consigned to "Sailor A. When searched for contraband material.". who would come to remove his goods in a lighter 356 . and were rewarded by the sight of a profusion of both human and animal bones in places where deep gullies had been worn in the banks. but Weeden and Smith drew their own inferences. Spain. to Providence. Manuel Arruda. under Capt. whilst Weeden and Smith were still debating vainly on what. if anything.

at a loss what to do in view of the non-contraband nature of the cargo on the one hand and of the unlawful secrecy of the entry on the other hand. This extraordinary incident did not fail of wide remark in Providence. thinking perhaps that he might make the affair seem less unnatural. As if conscious of this natural belief. it did not take much imagination to link him with a freakish importation which could not conceivably have been destined for anyone else in the town. compromised on Collector Robinson's recommendation by freeing the ship but forbidding it a port in Rhode Island waters. and his fondness for graveyards being common suspicion. The Vice-Admiralty at Newport. Weeden and 357 . Arruda felt himself in honour bound not to reveal. His exotic studies and his curious chemical importations being common knowledge. and there were not many who doubted the existence of some connexion between the cargo of mummies and the sinister Joseph Curwen. There were later rumours of its having been seen in Boston Harbour. Curwen took care to speak casually on several occasions of the chemical value of the balsams found in mummies. though it never openly entered the Port of Boston. yet stopping just short of admitting his participation.just off Namquit Point and whose identity Capt.

of course. Large sections were washed away. a vague report went round of things that were floating down the river and flashing into sight for a minute as they went over the falls. had heavy rains. and the watchers kept careful track of the river-bank behind the Curwen farm. felt no doubt whatsoever of the significance of the thing. and fishing-smacks lay anchored at their sleepy docks. The following spring. but the fisherfolk about the bridge did not like the wild way that one of the things stared as it shot down to the still waters below. Something was rumoured. however. and indulged in the wildest theories concerning Curwen and his monstrous labours. where the river flows in falls over a rocky terrace to join the placed landlocked cove. There. or the way that another half cried out although its condition had greatly departed from that of objects 358 . like that of the year before. where quaint old cottages climbed the hill from the rustic bridge. but no glimpse was afforded of any actual subterranean chambers or burrows.Smith. and of course the spring rains had been very heavy. Of course the Pawtuxet in a long river which winds through many settled regions abounding in graveyards. and a certain number of bones discovered. at the village of Pawtuxet about a mile below.

for he had a large number of facts to link together. That rumour sent Smith . Smith went to the extent of some experimental digging. The colloquy took place in an upper room of Sabin's Tavern near the docks. 4 By the autumn of 1770 Weeden decided that the time was ripe to tell others of his discoveries. There was.for Weeden was just then at sea . James Mathewson of the Enterprise. and on the other hand was sufficiently influential in the town to be heard in turn with respect. but was deterred by lack of success . where surely enough there remained the evidence of an extensive cavein. and a second eye-witness to refute the possible charge that jealousy and vindictiveness had spurred his fancy.or perhaps by fear of possible success.in haste to the river-bank behind the farm. and it 359 . no trace of a passage into the steep bank. As his first confidant he selected Capt. with Smith present to corroborate virtually every statement. It is interesting to speculate on what the persistent and revengeful Weeden would have done had he been ashore at the time. for the miniature avalanche had left behind a solid wall of mixed earth and shrubbery from aloft.which normally cried out. who on the one hand knew him well enough not to doubt his veracity. however.

whose pamphlet on the late transit of Venus proved him a scholar and keen thinker. He would. At the end of the conference he was very grave. President of the College which had just moved up from Warren and was temporarily housed in the new King Street schoolhouse awaiting the completion of its building on the hill above Presbyterian-Lane. The right persons to tell. Mathewson was tremendously impressed. Like nearly everyone else in the town. lest there be enacted in these already troublous times a repetition of that frightful Salem panic of less than a century before which had first brought Curwen hither. Benjamin West. James Manning. for this was no matter that the town constables or militia could cope with. he said. would be Dr. Rev. ex-Governor 360 . and above all else the excitable crowd must be kept in ignorance. transmit the information separately to some ten or so of the most learned and prominent citizens of Providence. he had had black suspicions of his own anent Joseph Curwen. and enjoined strict silence upon the two younger men.could be seen that Capt. ascertaining their views and following whatever advice they might have to offer. he believed. Secrecy would probably be essential in any case. hence it needed only this confirmation and enlargement of data to convince him absolutely.

and was a man of very broad perceptions. Jabez Bowen. and Moses. who had been a member of the Philosophical Society at Newport. and of whom Joseph was an amateur scientist of parts. for whilst he found one or two of the chosen confidants somewhat sceptical of the possible ghastly side of Weeden's tale. John. Joseph Wanton of Newport. and who had much first-hand knowledge of Curwen's odd purchases. whose erudition was considerable. before taking action. and Capt. Nicholas. might eventually be brought together for collective deliberation. publisher of the Gazette. Abraham Whipple. Joseph. and with them would rest the responsibility of deciding whether or not to inform the Governor of the Colony. a privateersman of phenomenal boldness and energy who could be counted on to lead in any active measures needed. who formed the recognised local magnates. These men. Late 361 .Stephen Hopkins. old Dr. there was not one who did not think it necessary to take some sort of secret and coördinated action. formed a vague potential menace to the welfare of the town and Colony. and must be eliminated at any cost. all four of the Brown brothers. The mission of Capt. John Carter. if favourable. Curwen. it was clear. Mathewson prospered beyond his highest expectations.

Curwen was not a man who could safely be warned to leave town. Nameless reprisals might ensue. though there ran through that fear a grim determination which Capt. Something very like fear seized the whole assemblage before the meeting was over. The times were lawless. and he and Smith were summoned to give testimony anent details. They would not notify the Governor. Curwen must be surprised at his Pawtuxet farm by a large raiding-party of seasoned privateersmen and given one decisive chance to explain himself. and if the un- 362 . Weeden's notes. Whipple's bluff and resonant profanity best expressed. which he had given to Capt. were carefully read. and men who had flouted the King's revenue forces for years were not the ones to balk at sterner things when duty impelled. If he proved a madman. Mathewson. With hidden powers of uncertain extent apparently at his disposal. he would be properly confined. the removal would be no more than the shifting of an unclean burden to another place. amusing himself with shrieks and imaginary conversations in different voices. because a more than legal course seemed necessary.in December 1770 a group of eminent townsmen met at the home of Stephen Hopkins and debated tentative measures. If something graver appeared. and even if the sinister creature complied.

and the identity of this object became a theme for endless speculation and whispering. but this subsided as soon as the clamour of the awakened town became audible. he and all with him must die. however. where the Long Dock stretched out beside Abbott's distil-house.derground horrors indeed turned out to be real. Parties of men with lanterns and muskets hurried out to see what was happening. muscular body. While these serious steps were under discussion there occurred in the town an incident so terrible and inexplicable that for a time little else was mentioned for miles around. a giant. for only in the patriarchs 363 . It could be done quietly. and people around Weybosset Point saw a great white thing plunging frantically along the badly cleared space in front of the Turk's Head. stark naked. The next morning. but nothing rewarded their search. In the middle of a moonlight January night with heavy snow underfoot there resounded over the river and up the hill a shocking series of cries which brought sleepy heads to every window. was found on the jams of ice around the southern piers of the Great Bridge. There was a baying of dogs in the distance. and even the widow and her father need not be told how it came about. It was not so much the younger as the older folk who whispered.

Ezra Weeden was present at the finding. for in those stiff. They. and was not surprised when. exchanged furtive murmurs of wonder and fear. and the returning tracks of the hounds and their masters could be easily traced. and as a perfunctory detail traced the footprints back to their source. As it was. to whom Weeden went at once with his report. It was the Pawtuxet farm of Joseph Curwen. Weeden smiled grimly. as he well knew it would be. and remembering the baying of the night before. performed an autopsy on the 364 . He had a curious expectancy. set out along Weybosset Street and across Muddy Dock Bridge whence the sound had come. reaching the edge of the settled district where the street merged into the Pawtuxet Road. and he would have given much had the yard been less confusingly trampled. Bowen.and that identity was with a man who had died full fifty years before. The naked giant had been pursued by dogs and many booted men.did that rigid face with horror-bulging eyes strike any chord of memory. he came upon some very curious tracks in the snow. Dr. hideous features lay a resemblance so marvellous as to be almost an identity . shaking as they did so. They had given up the chase upon coming too near the town. he dared not seem too interested in full daylight.

rais'd upp from What he cou'd gather onlie a part of. Hutchinson's in Salem-Village. copied and preserved in the private archives of the Smith family where Charles Ward found it. precisely as they had expected. and discovered peculiarities which baffled him utterly. What you 365 . The digestive tracts of the huge man seemed never to have been in use. ran as follows. That night a party of ten visited the old North Burying Ground opposite Herrenden's Lane and opened a grave. Certainely. whose greatgrandson Aaron Hoppin was a supercargo in Curwen's employ. Meanwhile arrangements had been made with the post riders to intercept Joseph Curwen's mail. Impressed by what the old men whispered of this body's likeness to the long-dead blacksmith Daniel Green. Parts of it. Weeden asked casual questions till he found where Green was buried. whilst the whole skin had a coarse. and doe not think better was done at Mr. and shortly before the incident of the naked body there was found a letter from one Jedediah Orne of Salem which made the coöperating citizens think deeply. I delight that you continue in ye Gett'g at Olde Matters in your Way. there was Noth'g but ye liveliest Awfulness in that which H. They found it vacant. loosely knit texture impossible to account for.strange corpse.

I say to you againe. lest the Greater shal not wish to Answer. especially for the following passage: 366 . for I was conscious who must have tolde you. Another and unsigned letter from Philadelphia provoked equal thought. I was frighted when I read of your know'g what Ben Zariatnatmik hadde in his ebony Boxe. I have not ye Chymicall art to followe Borellus. and you knowe my Plan by which I came back as my Son. or because ye Wordes were not Righte from my Speak'g or yr Copy'g. you speak of. Ask of the Lesser. whether because of Any Thing miss'g. Booke of ye Necronomicon that you recommende.sente. did not Worke. under ye Roman Wall. and can judge how truely that Horrendous thing is reported. I am desirous you will Acquaint me with what ye Black Man learnt from Sylvanus Cocidius in ye Vault. I alone am at a Loss. and owne my Self confounded by ye VII. And againe I ask that you shalle write me as Jedediah and not Simon. doe not call up Any that you can not put downe. by the Which I meane. for you are Sensible what Mr. and shal commande more than you. Mather writ in ye Magnalia of ------. But I wou'd have you Observe what was told to us aboute tak'g Care whom to calle upp. whereby your Powerfullest Devices may not be of use. Any that can in Turne call up Somewhat against you. In this Community a Man may not live too long. and will be oblig'd for ye lend'g of ye MS.

I am impatient for yr Brig. and how many live Specimens you were forc'd to imploy before you hit upon the right Mode in the year 1766. But I know what Imperfections were in the one I rais'd up October last. In the Smith diary found by Charles Ward a single oft-repeated combination of characters is clumsily copied. so will be guided by you in all Matters. and inquire daily at Mr. and authorities at Brown University have pronounced the alphabet Amharic or Abyssinian. although they do not recognise the word. The Pennsylvania Historical Society also has some curious letters re- 367 . Mary's or Christ Church) it can scarce be done at all. but wish to be sure I apprehend you exactly. and in Town (i. You inform me. Biddle's Wharf. but can not always be certain when to expect them. though the disappearance of Jedediah Orne from Salem as recorded shortly afterward shewed that the Providence men took certain quiet steps. In the Matter spoke of. St. St. but you can not but know how hard it is to be sure. I require onlie one more thing. that no Part must be missing if the finest Effects are to be had.I will observe what you say respecting the sending of Accounts only by yr Vessels. None of these epistles was ever delivered to Curwen. It seems a great Hazard and Burthen to take away the whole Box. Paul's.e. A third suspicious letter was in an unknown tongue and even an unknown alphabet. Peter's. St.

Mr. and it is in the secret assemblages of sworn and tested sailors and faithful old privateersmen in the Brown warehouses by night that we must look for the main fruits of Weeden's disclosures. His coach was seen at all hours in the town and on the Pawtuxet Road. apparently felt that something was in the wind.ceived by Dr. But more decisive steps were in the air. and had informed the Fenners that some action was about to be taken. Slowly and surely a plan of campaign was under development which would leave no trace of Joseph Curwen's noxious mysteries. This he deemed needful because of the impos- 368 . for he was now remarked to wear an unusually worried look. The nearest neighbours to his farm. excessively narrow windows. an event which they quickly communicated to John Brown in Providence. Curwen. and he dropped little by little the air of forced geniality with which he had latterly sought to combat the town's prejudice. the Fenners. Brown had become the executive leader of the select group bent on Curwen's extirpation. one night remarked a great shaft of light shooting into the sky from some aperture in the roof of that cryptical stone building with the high. despite all precautions. Shippen regarding the presence of an unwholesome character in Philadelphia.

Whether the ruse was wholly believed by neighbours who had seen so many queer things is not certain. in the great room of Thurston's Tavern at the Sign of the Golden Lion on Weybosset Point across the Bridge. but at any rate the Fenners were willing to connect any evil with a man of such queer ways. April 12th. To them Mr. against whom the hand of every Providence skipper. and of regularly reporting every incident which took place there. with his case of surgical instruments.m. and he explained his course by saying that Curwen was known to be a spy of the customs officers at Newport. precipitated at last the action so carefully devised by the band of serious citizens. on Friday. as suggested by the odd shaft of light. According to the Smith diary a company of about 100 men met at 10 p. President Manning without the great periwig (the largest in the Colonies) for which he was 369 . merchant. Of the guiding group of prominent men in addition to the leader John Brown there were present Dr. 1771. 5 The probability that Curwen was on guard and attempting unusual things. and farmer was openly or clandestinely raised. Bowen.sibility of their not witnessing the final raid. Brown had entrusted the duty of watching the Curwen farmhouse.

These chiefs conferred apart in a rear chamber. Governor Hopkins. or whaling harpoons which they had with them. and Capt. and of the deliberating citizens there were present for active service Capt. and the raiders fell silently into military order in the street. John Carter. shouldering the firelocks. the leader. Mathewson. About 10:30 a heavy rumble was heard on the Great Bridge. Whipple. Whipple. whose duty was to keep track of Curwen and report the departure of his coach for the farm. whom he had initiated at the last moment with the permission of the rest. as the receding coach clattered faintly over the Muddy Dock Bridge. Weeden appeared. and at that hour there was no need of waiting for Weeden in order to know that the doomed man had set out for his last night of unhallowed wizardry. A moment later. fowling-pieces. after which Capt. Weeden and Smith were with the party. wrapped in his dark cloak and accompanied by his seafaring brother Esek. Eleazar Smith was with the leaders as they sat in the rear apartment awaiting the arrival of Ezra Weeden.noted. Capt. Whipple emerged to the great room and gave the gathered seamen their last oaths and instructions. Capt. followed by the sound of a coach in the street outside. Esek Hopkins. who was to lead the actual raiding party. 370 . John Carter.

grim and a trifle apprehensive as they left the Muddy Dock behind and mounted the gentle rise of Broad Street toward the Pawtuxet Road. Bowen. Capt. At the foot of that hill. and Dr. Mathewson. where they heard a final report on their intended victim. whose crest of trees was broken by the roof-line of the unfinished College edifice.President Manning. Steeples and gables rose dark and shapely. at the Fenner farmhouse. together with Moses Brown. Just beyond Elder Snow's church some of the men turned back to take a parting look at Providence lying outspread under the early spring stars. for whose safety and sanity so monstrous and colossal a blasphemy was about to be wiped out. and along the narrow mounting lanes of its side. who had come up at the eleventh hour though absent from the preliminary session in the tavern. An hour and a quarter later the raiders arrived. Vega was climbing above the great hill across the water. but there were no lights in any 371 . and salt breezes swept up gently from the cove north of the Bridge. the old town dreamed. Old Providence. All these freemen and their hundred sailors began the long march without delay. as previously agreed. and the strange light had soon afterward shot once more into the sky. He had reached his farm over half an hour before.

The river party would break down the hillside door at the sound of a single whistle-blast. At the sound of two whistle-blasts it would advance through the aperture to oppose 372 . Even as this news was given another great glare arose toward the south. one of twenty men under Eleazar Smith to strike across to the shore and guard the landing-place against possible reinforcements for Curwen until summoned by a messenger for desperate service. Whipple now ordered his force to separate into three divisions. and the party realised that they had indeed come close to the scene of awesome and unnatural wonders.visible windows. Capt. another third to follow Capt. This was always the case of late. Mathewson to the cryptical stone edifice with high narrow windows. and the remaining third to preserve a circle around the whole group of buildings until summoned by a final emergency signal. a second of twenty men under Capt. Of this division one third was to be led by Capt. and the third to close in on the house and adjacent buildings themselves. steep bank. Whipple himself to the main farmhouse. Esek Hopkins to steal down into the river valley behind the Curwen farm and demolish with axes or gunpowder the oaken door in the high. then wait and capture anything which might issue from the regions within.

The final reserve at the landing.the enemy or join the rest of the raiding contingent. He had with him a whistle of great power and shrillness. hence would require a special messenger if needed for help. Capt. The attack was to begin as soon as a messenger from Capt. while President Manning was detailed with Capt. 373 . remained in Capt. forcing an entrance at the first. Bowen. Whipple's belief in the existence of catacombs was absolute. was nearly out of the whistle's range. of course. Mathewson to the stone building. Dr. A third or emergency signal of three blasts would summon the immediate reserve from its general guard duty. and joining the general or focal warfare expected to take place within the caverns. and he took no alternative into consideration when making his plans. Hopkins had joined Capt. with Ezra Weeden. Moses Brown and John Carter went with Capt. its twenty men dividing equally and entering the unknown depths through both farmhouse and stone building. and at the second descending whatever passage into the ground might be discovered. The party at the stone building would accept these respective signals in an analogous manner. and did not fear any upsetting or misunderstanding of signals. Hopkins to the riverbank. Whipple's party which was to storm the farmhouse itself.

and the third to subdivide and attend to teh actual buildings of the Curwen farm. Later on one man thought he caught some distant gunshots. records in his diary an uneventful march and a long wait on the bluff by the bay. another to seek the river valley and the hillside door. Shortly before 1 a.m. The leader would then deliver the loud single blast. It was just before dawn that a single haggard messenger with wild eyes and a hideous unknown odour about his clothing appeared and told the detachment to disperse quietly to their homes and never again think or speak of the night's doings or of him who had been Joseph Curwen. one to guard the landing. Eleazar Smith. the three divisions left the Fenner farmhouse. Something about the bearing of the messenger carried a conviction which his mere words 374 . and still later Smith himself felt the throb of titanic and thunderous words resounding in upper air. broken once by what seemed to be the distant sound of the signal whistle and again by a peculiar muffled blend of roaring and crying and a powder blast which seemed to come from the same direction. who accompanied the shore-guarding party.Whipple to notify him of the river party's readiness. and the various advance parties would commence their simultaneous attack on three points.

Charles Ward. And from that single messenger the party at the shore caught a nameless awe which almost sealed their own lips. there was something obscurely lost or gained in his soul which set him for evermore apart. They had seen or heard or felt something which was not for human creatures. where he knew another branch of the family had lived. for to even the commonest of mortal instincts there are terrible boundaries. Most of them had lost or gained something imponderable and indescribable. Very few are the rumours which ever came from any of them. From them there was never any gossip. for though he was a seaman well known to many of them. It was the same later on when they met other old companions who had gone into that zone of horror. and had heard very clearly the angry barking of the Curwen dogs. and Eleazar Smith's diary is the only written record which has survived from that whole expedition which set forth from the Sign of the Golden Lion under the stars. It seems that the Fenners. however. discovered another vague sidelight in some Fenner correspondence which he found in New London. had watched the departing columns of raiders.could never have conveyed. and could not forget it. from whose house the doomed farm was distantly visible. followed by the 375 .

and in another moment. after a quick sounding of the second signal ordering a general invasion. A strong smell of sulphur was noted.' This cry. and Luke Fenner's father declared that he heard the third or emergency whistle signal. nastily plastic cough or gurgle whose quality as a scream must have come more 376 . though the others failed to detect it. and the correspondent mentions that his mother fainted completely at the sound. there had come a subdued prattle of musketry followed by a horrible roaring cry which the correspondent Luke Fenner had represented in his epistle by the characters 'Waaaahrrrrr-R'waaahrrr. This blast had been followed by a repetition of the great shaft of light from the stone building. About an hour afterward all the dogs began to bark frightfully. and further but more muffled evidences of gunfire ensued. Muffled musketry sounded again. a kind of throaty. together with a loud explosion of powder from the direction of the river. however. It was later repeated less loudly.first shrill blast which precipitated the attack. followed by a deep scream less piercing but even more horrible than the those which had preceded it. had possessed a quality which no mere writing could convey. and there were vague ground rumblings so marked that the candlesticks tottered on the mantelpiece.

and the second flaming thing fell.from its continuity and psychological import than from its actual acoustic value. Fenner wrote that he could even gather a few words belched in frenzy: Almighty. at the end of which time little Arthur Fenner. Luke's brother. exclaimed that he saw "a red fog" going up to the stars from the accursed farm in the distance. Five minutes later a chill wind blew up. and the air became suffused with an intolerable stench that only the strong freshness of the sea could have prevented its being notice by the shore party or by any wakeful souls in the Pawtuxet village. protect thy lamb! Then there were more shots. This 377 . A second flaming thing appeared. Then the flaming thing burst into sight at a point where the Curwen farm ought to lie. and a shriek of human origin was plainly distinguished. but Luke admits the significant coincidence implied by the panic of almost convulsive fright which at the same moment arched the backs and stiffened the fur of the three cats then within the room. and the flaming thing fell to the ground. No one but the child can testify to this. and the human cries of desperate and frightened men were heard. Muskets flashed and cracked. After that came silence for about three-quarters of an hour.

but evil as the forbidden books of the Arabs. after which the unknown stench grew complex with an added odour equally intolerable. for it spoke in an unknown tongue. It thundered out of the sky like a doom.stench was nothing which any of the Fenners had ever encountered before. What it said no man can tell. It was deep and musical. Close upon it came the awful voice which no hapless hearer will ever be able to forget. powerful as a bass organ. amorphous fear beyond that of the tomb or the charnel-house. A wailing distinctly different from the scream now burst out. At times it became almost articulate. and produced a kind of clutching. and was protracted ululantly in rising and falling paroxysms. but this is the writing Luke Fenner set down to portray the daemoniac intonations: 'DEESMEES JESHET BONE DOSEFE DUVEMA ENITEMOSS.' Not till the year 1919 did any soul link this crude transcript with anything else in mortal knowledge. but Charles Ward paled as he recognised what Mirandola had denounced in shudders as the ultimate horror among black magic's incantations. An unmistakable human shout or deep chorused scream seemed to answer this malign wonder from the Curwen farm. and windows rattled as its echoes died away. though no auditor could 378 .

so that only these furtive letters of Luke Fenner. The non-compliance of that relative. One of them told the family that the affair of Joseph Curwen was over. has alone kept the matter from a merciful oblivion. and that the events of the night were not to be mentioned again. whereby the letters were saved after all. which he urged his Connecticut relative to destroy. Spirals of acrid smoke ascended to blot out the stars. for which they paid very well indeed. Toward dawn two frightened messengers with monstrous and unplaceable odours saturating their clothing knocked at the Fenner door and requested a keg of rum. remain to tell what was seen and heard. Then a yell of utter. and at one point it seemed to verge toward the confines of diabolic and hysterical laughter. ultimate fright and stark madness wrenched from scores of human throats . Charles Ward had one detail to add as a result of a long canvass of Paw- 379 . though no flames appeared and no buildings were observed to be gone or injured on the following day.trace any definite words. Arrogant as the order seemed. after which darkness and silence ruled all things. the aspect of him who gave it took away all resentment and lent it a fearsome authority.a yell which came strong and clear despite the depth from which it must have burst.

all of which were extensively bandaged and treated only by Dr. a thing which was discussed 380 . There is something frightful in the care with which these actual raiders destroyed each scrap which bore the least allusion to the matter.tuxet residents for ancestral traditions. The same statement also covered the numerous cases of wounds. Old Charles Slocum of that village said that there was known to his grandfather a queer rumour concerning a charred. and every fragment of the vague data which survives comes from those outside the final fighting party. 6 Not one man who participated in that terrible raid could ever be induced to say a word concerning it. Jabez Bowen. so far as could be seen in its burnt and twisted condition. What kept the talk alive was the notion that this body. but although their bodies were not produced their families were satisfied with the statement that a clash with customs officers had occurred. was neither thoroughly human nor wholly allied to any animal which Pawtuxet folk had ever seen or read about. Eight sailors had been killed. Hardest to explain was the nameless odour clinging to all the raiders. who had accompanied the party. distorted body found in the fields a week after the death of Joseph Curwen was announced.

This 381 . Every man of those leaders had a stirring part to play in later years. Psychologically every participant was aged. and it is perhaps fortunate that this is so. been killed in a customs battle about which it was not politic to give details. Whipple and Moses Brown were most severely hurt. He had. but even he outgrew the darkest shadow. There was delivered to the widow of Joseph Curwen a sealed leaden coffin of curious design. Whipple led the mob who burnt the revenue ship Gaspee. and shaken. Capt.for weeks. for with more subtle introspectiveness and mental complexity they would have fared ill indeed. and Charles Ward had only a single hint wherewith to construct a theory. and smothered memories in prayers. Little more than a twelvemonth afterward Capt. obviously found ready on the spot when needed. More than this no tongue ever uttered of Joseph Curwen's end. in which she was told her husband's body lay. orthodox religionists. Of the citizen leaders. and letters of their wives testify the bewilderment which their reticence and close guarding of their bandages produced. and in this bold act we may trace one step in the blotting out of unwholesome images. it was explained. President Manning was the most disturbed. sobered. It is fortunate that they were all strong men of action and simple.

They had not at first meant to be so thorough. by the Which I meane. Any that can in Turne call up Somewhat against you. or whether.hint was the merest thread . whereby your Powerfullest Devices may not be of use. lest the Greater shal not wish to Answer. as partly copied in Ezra Weeden's handwriting. and shal commande more than you. Smith had it before. and added the underscoring himself from what he had managed to extract from his friend by shrewd guessing and adroit cross-questioning. and reflecting on what last unmentionable allies a beaten man might try to summon in his direst extremity.a shaky underscoring of a passage in Jedediah Orne's confiscated letter to Curwen. The deliberate effacement of every memory of the dead man from Providence life and annals was vastly aided by the influence of the raiding leaders. Charles Ward may well have wondered whether any citizen of Providence killed Joseph Curwen. and we are left to decide whether Weeden gave it to his companion after the end. The underlined passage is merely this: I say to you againe. Ask of the Lesser. In the light of this passage. as is more probable. and 382 . doe not call up Any that you can not put downe. The copy was found in the possession of Smith's descendants. as a mute clue to the abnormality which had occurred.

shunned by every living soul. but must cease ever to have been. extending at last by common consent even to the town records and files of the Gazette. and soon uncovered enough rumours to whet his horror and cause him to demand that the daughter and granddaughter change their name. remained to moulder through the years. but Capt. Whipple well. burn the library and all remaining papers. He knew Capt. 383 . Tillinghast was an astute man.had allowed the widow and her father and child to remain in ignorance of the true conditions. From that time on the obliteration of Curwen's memory became increasingly rigid. and in extent only to the fate of that sinful King of Runazar in Lord Dunsany's tale. sold the house in Olney Court and resided with her father in Power's Lane till her death in 1817. Mrs. whom the Gods decided must not only cease to be. and seemed to decay with unaccountable rapidity. as the widow became known after 1772. and probably extracted more hints from that bluff mariner and anyone else ever gained repecting the end of the accursed sorcerer. It can be compared in spirit only to the hush that lay on Oscar Wilde's name for a decade after his disgrace. Tillinghast. and chisel the inscription from the slate slab above Joseph Curwen's grave. The farm at Pawtuxet.

and by 1800 even these had fallen to shapeless heaps. A Search and an Evocation 1 Charles Ward. None ventured to pierce the tangled shrubbery on the river-bank behind which the hillside door may have lain. for every vague rumour that he had heard of Curwen now became something vital to himself. 'Twas as though the damn'd -----had some'at up his sleeve. For half a crown I'd burn his -----. No spirited and imaginative genealogist could have done otherwise 384 . in whom flowed Curwen's blood. Only robust old Capt. but he had no business to laugh while he screamed.By 1780 only the stone and brickwork were standing. "Pox on that ------. as we have seen. Whipple was heard by alert listeners to mutter once in a while to himself. nor did any try to frame a definite image of the scenes amidst which Joseph Curwen departed from the horrors he had wrought.home.' III. That he at once took an intense interest in everything pertaining to the bygone mystery is not to be wondered at. first learned in 1918 of his descent from Joseph Curwen.

and with the officials of the various museums and libraries he visited. and shared the somewhat amused scepticism with which the accounts of the old diarists and letter-writers were regarded.than begin forthwith an avid and systematic collection of Curwen data. He often expressed a keen wonder as to what really had taken place a century and a half before at the Pawtuxet farmhouse whose site he vainly tried to find. he was very kindly received. In his first delvings there was not the slightest attempt at secrecy.though his mother was not particularly pleased to own an ancestor like Curwen . In applying to private families for records thought to be in their possession he made no concealment of his object. so that even Dr. which he did during the Easter vacation of 1919. Lyman hesitates to date the youth's madness from any period before the close of 1919. which was well known to him from former sojourns in the glamorous old town of crumbling Puritan gables and clustered gambrel roofs. He talked freely with his family . and what Joseph Curwen really had been. and unearthed there a consi- 385 . At the Essex Institute. When he came across the Smith diary and archives and encountered the letter from Jedediah Orne he decided to visit Salem and look up Curwen's early activities and connexions there.

S. on the eighteenth of February (O. seven miles from town. and the lights seen from his windows were not always of the same colour. He found that his ancestor was born in Salem-Village. not appearing again for nine years. and it was not altogether liked by sensitive people because of the sounds heard there at night. Certain trips of his into the country were the objects of much local inquisitiveness. and manners of a native Englishman and settled in Salem proper. but spent most of his hours with the curious books he had brought from Europe. when he returned with the speech. dress. With these men he was often seen in conference about the Common. France.derable amount of Curwen data. now Danvers. and the strange chemicals which came for him on ships from England. At that time he had little to do with his family.) 1662-3. The knowledge he displayed concerning long-dead 386 . and that he had run away to sea at the age of fifteen. and Holland. and were whisperingly associated with vague rumours of fires on the hills at night. He was said to entertain strange visitors. and visits among them were by no means infrequent. Curwen's only close friends had been one Edward Hutchinson of Salem-Village and one Simon Orne of Salem. Hutchinson had a house well out toward the woods.

when his failure to grow visibly old began to excite attention. There were four or five unmistakable allusions to them on the witchcraft trial records. He thereafter disappeared. though thirty years later his precise counterpart and selfstyled son turned up to claim his property. Thomas Barnard and others brought about his quiet removal to parts unknown. Certain documents by and about all of the strange characters were available at teh Essex Institute. the Court House. and Jedediah Orne continued to dwell in Salem till 1771. and furtive fragments of a more provocative nature. 1692. and included both harmless commonplaces such as land titles and bills of sale. never to be heard from again. and the Registry of Deeds. Simon Orne lived in Salem until 1720. but his settlement in Providence was soon learned of. At that time Joseph Curwen also departed. at the Court of Oyer and Terminer under Judge Hathorne. when certain letters from Providence citizens to the Rev. as when one Hepzibah Lawson swore on July 10. The claim was allowed on the strength of documents in Simon Orne's known hand. that: 'fortie Witches and the Blacke Man were wont to meete in the 387 . and he disappeared about the time the witchcraft panic began.persons and long-forgotten events was considered distinctly unwholesome.

Woodes behind Mr. Simon O.. and Deborah B. But of greatest immediate interest was the Orne material.. though. Jonathan A.. Joseph C. After the following August his labours on the cipher became intense and feverish. namely.. Hutchinson's house'. Ward had a photostatic copy of this manuscript made. and one Amity How declared at a session of August 8th before Judge Gedney that:'Mr. that Simon Orne and his supposed son were one and the same person. As Orne had said to his correspondent. it was hardly safe to live too long in Salem.. whether or not he had succeeded. and there is reason to believe from his speech and conduct that he hit upon the key before October or November. and an unfinished manuscript in his handwriting. Mehitable C. hence he resorted to a thir- 388 . and began to work casually on the cipher as soon as it was delivered to him. George Burroughs) on that Nighte putt ye Divell his Marke upon Bridget S. It took Ward only a short time to prove from identity of penmanship a thing he had already considered established from the text of the letter to Curwen. G. He never stated. Susan P. Deliverance W.. B.. couched in a cipher none could read. (Rev.' Then there was a catalogue of Hutchinson's uncanny library as found after his disappearance.

due Respects and earnest Wishes to Him whom we serue for yr eternall Power. and from internal evidence Ward placed it not much later than 1750. There were cryptic formulae and diagrams in his and other hands which Ward now either copied with care or had photographed. and did not return to claim his lands except as a representative of a new generation. but a line (whether drawn by Curwen or Orne Ward could not tell) is run through the word. as a sample of the style of one whose history was so dark and terrible. It may not be amiss to give the text in full. This Curwen letter. was evidently not the one in answer to which Orne had written the confiscated missive. and one extremely mysterious letter in a chirography that the searcher recognised from items in the Registry of Deeds as positively Joseph Curwen's. The recipient is addressed as "Simon". but the citizens who took action in 1771 found and preserved a few letters and papers which excited their wonder. concern'g 389 . though undated as to the year. 1. Providence.ty-year sojourn abroad. Orne had apparently been careful to destroy most of his correspondence. I am just come upon That which you ought to knowe. May Brother:My honour'd Antient Friende.

390 . Ye Process is plaguy harde to come neare. and saye ye ninth Uerse thrice. as I haue tolde you. and here I will owne. This Uerse repeate eache Roodemas and Hallow's Eue. And of ye Seede of Olde shal One be borne who shal looke Backe. and wou'd not waite for my com'g Backe as an Other. bee not Readie for his Hande. I am not dispos'd to followe you in go'g Away on acct. tho' know'g not what he seekes. that ye III Psalme in ye Liber-Damnatus holdes ye Clauicle. And IT said. and ye Thing will breede in ye Outside Spheres. Yett will this auaile Nothing if there be no Heir. I haue not taken needed Stepps nor founde Much. for Prouidence hath not ye Sharpeness of ye Bay in hunt'g oute uncommon Things and bringinge to Tryall. and haue longe work'd upon ye Way of get'g Backe after ye Laste. I am harde putte to it to get Enough. drawe ye Pentagram of Fire. of my Yeares. besides the Whiche my Farme at Patuxet hath under it What you Knowe. or the Way to make the Saltes. and sawe for ye first Time that Face spoke of by Ibn Schacabao in ye ------. I am ty'd up in Shippes and Goodes.the Matter of the Laste Extremitie and what to doe regard'g yt. Saturne in Trine. But I am unreadie for harde Fortunes. and if the Saltes. and cou'd not doe as you did. With Sunne in V House. and it used up such a Store of Specimens. I laste Night strucke on ye Wordes that bringe up YOGGE-SOTHOTHE.

Job XIV.notwithstand'g the Sailors I haue from ye Indies. but I can stande them off. I haue them Righte. Merritt haue talk'd Some. Ye Gentry are worse that the Populace. Hatch's.that I am putt'g in this Packet. From Boston take ye Post Rd. Ye Chymical Substances are easie of get'g. Whateuer I gette. and more belieu'd in what they tell. and hope I may see you not longe hence. Dr. be'g more Circumstantiall in their Accts. doe not pass me bye. Merritt's) in Prouidence already. Balcom's in Wrentham. and am think'g of get'g a Coach. and if ye Line runn out not. tho' ye Roades are bad. but no Thing soe far is Dangerous. Saye ye Uerses euery Roodmas and Hallow's Eue. but eate at ye other House for their Cooke is 391 . Stop at Mr. And in ye meane while. there be'g II. thro' Dedham. That Parson and Mr. and haue Helpe in Abdool Al-Hazred his VII. but if you Desire to see HIM. goode Chymists in Towne. I am foll'g oute what Borellus saith. If you are dispos'd to Trauel. I am fearfull. goode Tauerns be'g at all these Townes. Bowen and Sam: Carew. Wrentham. Booke. one shal bee in yeares to come that shal looke backe and use what Saltes or Stuff for Saltes you shal leaue him. imploy the Writings on ye Piece of -----. where ye Beddes are finer than Mr. I haue a goode Stallion. and Attleborough. Ye People aboute are become curious. there be'g one (Mr. I rejoice you are again at Salem. do not neglect to make use of ye Wordes I haue here giuen. you shal haue. XIV.

better. for none of the records encountered up to that time had been at all specific. in Almonsin-Metraton. Turne into Prou. side of Olney's Court. Epenetus Olney's Tauern off ye Towne Street. and ye Rd. Mr. My House opp. oddly enough. in Salem. Sayles's Tauern. This letter. To Mr. such sudden proof of the significance of this familiar rookery in his own family history. To find. Josephus C. a dilapidated building still standing in Olney Court and well known to Ward in his antiquarian rambles over Stampers' Hill. by Patucket Falls. Ist on ye N. The discovery was doubly striking because it indicated as the newer Curwen house. I am ye olde and true Friend and Serut. housecleaning. Sir. in distant Salem. built in 1761 on the site of the old. and furnace-tending services. past Mr. Distance from Boston Stone abt. was a highly impres- 392 . Simon Orne. was what first gave Ward the exact location of Curwen's Providence home. XLIV Miles. William's-Lane. The place was indeed only a few squares from his own home on the great hill's higher ground. and was now the abode of a negro family much esteemed for occasional washing.

frankly baffled him. It had suffered but little alteration externally. and Ward felt he was gazing on something very close to the sinister matters of his quest. but was a modest two-and-a-half story wooden town house of the familiar Providence colonial type. large central chimney. and spent the following Saturday in a long and exhaustive study of the house in Olney Court. had never been a mansion. and he resolved to explore the place immediately upon his return. The present negro inhabitants were known to him. The place. though he noted with a thrill of curiousity that the Biblical passage referred to . and artistically carved doorway with rayed fanlight.sive thing to Ward. until my change come. and trim Doric pilasters.Job 14. and he was very courteously shewn about the interior by old Asa and his stout wife Hannah. now crumbling with age. shall he live again? All the days of my appointed time will I wait. Here 393 .14 was the familiar verse. The more mystical phases of the letter.' 2 Young Ward came home in a state of pleasant excitement. with plain peaked roof. 'If a man die. which he took to be some extravagant kind of symbolism. triangular pediment.

but of the latter he obtained so much. From then until after the close of school Ward spent his time on the photostatic copy of the Hutchinson cipher and the accumulation of local Curwen data. the survey did not yield as much as Ward had somehow expected. or covered up altogether with cheap wall-paper. that he was ready by July to make a trip to New London and New York to consult old letters whose presence in those places was indicated. whilst most of the fine wainscotting and bolection moulding was marked. but it was at least exciting to stand within the ancestral walls which had housed such a man of horror as Joseph Curwen. This trip was very fruitful. and gouged. and Ward saw with regret that fully half of the fine scroll-and-urn overmantels and shell-carved cupboard linings were gone. In general. This matter of the portrait intere- 394 . hacked. and the Nightingale-Talbot letters in which he learned of the portrait painted on a panel of the Curwen library. The former still proved unyielding.there was more change than the outside indicated. He saw with a thrill that a monogram had been very carefully effaced from the ancient brass knocker. for it brought him the Fenner letters with their terrible description of the Pawtuxet farmhouse raid. and so many clues to similar data elsewhere.

Early in August that search took place. and Ward went carefully over the walls of every room sizeable enough to have been by any possibility the library of the evil builder. Walter C. A few more careful tests with a thin knife.sted him particularly. and that ac- 395 . With truly scholarly restraint the youth did not risk the damage which an immediate attempt to uncover the hidden picture with the knife might have been. He paid especial attention to the large panels of such overmantels as still remained. when on a broad area above the fireplace in a spacious ground-floor room he became certain that the surface brought out by the peeling of several coats of paint was sensibly darker than any ordinary interior paint or the wood beneath it was likely to have been. but just retired from the scene of his discovery to enlist expert help. Mr. and was keenly excited after about an hour. and he decided to make a second search of the house in Olney Court to see if there might not be some trace of the ancient features beneath peeling coats of later paint or layers of mouldy wall-paper. whose studio is near the foot of College Hill. Dwight. In three days he returned with an artist of long experience. and he knew that he had come upon an oil portrait of great extent. since he would have given much to know just what Joseph Curwen looked like.

When the head came out it was observed to bear a neat Albemarle wig. Charles Ward looked on with growing interest at the lines and shades gradually unveiled after their long oblivion. It was meanwhile seen that the subject was a spare. Dwight had begun at the bottom. well-shaped man with dark-blue coat. black satin small-clothes. and to recognise with a touch of awe the dramatic trick which heredity had played. undistinguished face which seemed somehow familiar to both Ward and the artist. and were properly reimbursed for this invasion of their domestic hearth. pallid visage. embroidered waistcoat. did the restorer and his client begin to grasp with astonishment at the details of that lean. calm. seated in a carved chair against the background of a window with wharves and ships beyond. As day by the day the work of restoration progressed. though. and white silk stockings. hence since the picture was a three-quarterlength one. For it took the final bath of oil and the final stroke of the delicate scraper to bring out fully the expression which centuries had hid- 396 . Old Asa and his wife were duly excited over their strange visitors. and to possess a thin. the face did not come out for some time. Only at the very last.complished restorer of paintings set to work at once with proper methods and chemical substances.

She did not relish the discovery. with his own living features in the countenance of his horrible greatgreat-great-grandfather. dweller in the past. Mrs. Ward. and his father at once determined to purchase the picture despite its execution on stationary panelling. Ward brought his parents to see the marvel he had uncovered. though she could recall relatives who had some of the facial characteristics shared by her son and by the bygone Curwen. she averred. something unwholesome about it.a cotton manufacturer with extensive mills at Riverpoint in the Pawtuxet Valley . not only intrinsically. and he believed the boy deserved it as a present. 397 . and it could be seen that through some trick of atavism the physical contours of Joseph Curwen had found precise duplication after a century and a half.den. The picture impressed him mightily with its likeness to his son.and not one to listen to feminine scruples. despite an appearance of rather great age. but in its very resemblance to Charles. and to confront the bewildered Charles Dexter Ward. and told her husband that he had better burn the picture instead of bringing it home. There was. Ward's resemblance to her ancestor was not at all marked. however. was a practical man of power and affairs . Mr. was marvellous. The resemblance to the boy.

and a few days later Mr. it is needless to say. where the mantel and portrait-bearing overmantel were detached with great care and precision for transportation in the company's motor truck.and obtained the whole mantel and overmantel bearing the picture at a curtly fixed price which cut short the impending torrent of unctuous haggling. the youth approached and looked within. and on the twentyeighth of August he accompanied two expert workmen from the Crooker decorating firm to the house in Olney Court. finding beneath the deep coatings of dust and soot some loose yellowed papers. a crude. thick copybook. There was left a space of exposed brickwork marking the chimney's course. It now remained to take off the panelling and remove it to the Ward home.a small rodentfeatured person with a guttural accent . Charles most heartily concurred. Ward located the owner of the house . Curious as to what such a space might mean or contain. which must have lain directly behind the head of the portrait. where provisions were made for its thorough restoration and installation with an electric mock-fireplace in Charles's thirdfloor study or library. To Charles was left the task of superintending this removal. and in this young Ward observed a cubical recess about a foot square.In this opinion. and a few moul- 398 .

dering textile shreds which may have formed the ribbon binding the rest together. and Dr. and one of them seemed especially portentous because of its inscription: 'To Him Who Shal Come After.' Another was in a cipher.'. Armiger' and Jedediah Orne.' The sixth and last was inscribed: 'Joseph 399 . It was in a hand which he had learned to recognise at the Essex Institute. All the other papers were likewise in Curwen's handwriting. or Those Represent'g Them. Blowing away the bulk of the dirt and cinders. Late of Salem. and proclaimed the volume as the 'Journall and Notes of Jos: Curwen. and here the searcher rejoiced. he took up the book and looked at the bold inscription on its cover. Ward hoped. A third. the same. esq. whilst the fourth and fifth were addressed respectively to:'Edw: Hutchinson. of Prouidence-Plantations. Gent. 'or Their Heir or Heirs.' Excited beyond measure by his discovery. seemed to be a key to the cipher. & How He May Gett Beyonde Time & Ye Spheres. as the Hutchinson cipher which had hitherto baffled him. Willett relies on them to help establish his theory that the youth was not mad when he began his major eccentricities. Ward shewed the book to the two curious workmen beside him. Their testimony is absolute as to the nature and genuineness of the finding.

and to labour under a perturbation for which even the antiquarian and genealogical significance of the find could hardly account. in shewing the titles to the workmen. As it was he doub- 400 . and What He Learnt. had it not been for their unconcealed curiousity. 'mostly in cipher'. as if he wished to convey an idea of its supreme importance without having to exhibit the evidence itself.' 3 We have now reached the point from which the more academic school of alienists date Charles Ward's madness. he appeared to guard the text itself with peculiar care. Upon his discovery the youth had looked immediately at a few of the inner pages of the book and manuscripts. Whom He Sawe. Upon returning home he broke the news with an almost embarrassed air.Curwen his Life and Travells Bet'n ye yeares 1678 and 1687: Of Whither He Voyag'd. and had evidently seen something which impressed him tremendously. Indeed. Where He Stay'd. He did not even shew the titles to his parents. It is unlikely that he would have shewn what he did to the workmen. which would have to be studied very carefully before yielding up their true meaning. but simply told them that he had found some documents in Joseph Curwen's handwriting.

and when day came he did not desist. which he had frequently shewn her before. The next night he slept in snatches in his clothes. After the workmen went he moved his work into 401 . meanwhile wrestling feverishly with the unravelling of the cipher manuscript. on his urgent request when his mother called to see what was amiss. but in response to her query he said that the Curwen key could not be applied to it. That afternoon he abandoned his work and watched the men fascinatedly as they finished their installation of the picture with its woodwork above a cleverly realistic electric log. and boxing in the sides with panelling to match the room's. His meals. and in the afternoon he appeared only briefly when the men came to install the Curwen picture and mantelpiece in his study. That night Charles Ward sat up in his room reading the new-found book and papers. The front panel holding the picture was sawn and hinged to allow cupboard space behind it.tless wished to avoid any display of peculiar reticence which would increase their discussion of the matter. In the morning his mother saw that he was at work on the photostatic copy of the Hutchinson cipher. were sent up to him. setting the mock-fireplace and overmantel a little out from the north wall as if a chimney existed.

or a mere mass of cryptic symbols and unknown ideographs (as that entitled 'To Him Who Shal Come After. and he frequently asserted his determination never to bother with college. he would cover it with some convenient paper until his caller had departed. seemed a great bore to him. which would provi- 402 . The opening of school. however. since he rightly assumed that Curwen's intricate and archaic chirography would be too much for them. where he now began his senior year.' seemed to be). He had. he was more circumspect. and unless the manuscript in question were a cipher. With his parents.the study and sat down before it with his eyes half on the cipher and half on the portrait which stared back at him like a year-adding and century-recalling mirror. where he also placed them whenever he left the room. He soon resumed fairly regular hours and habits. except that his long walks and other outside interests seemed to cease. At night he kept the papers under lock and key in an antique cabinet of his. important special investigations to make. Before servants he seldom hid any paper which he might by studying. he said. etc. His parents. subsequently recalling his conduct at this period. give interesting details anent the policy of concealment which he practised.

nor give any connected account of such data as he had deciphered. Witchcraft and magic. but no longer for the antiquarian matter of his former days. Naturally. however. intensified in his mother's case by her manifest disapproval of all Curwen delvings.de him with more avenues toward knowledge and the humanities than any university which the world could boast. Ward. At the same time. This reticence he explained away as due to a wish to wait until he might announce some connected revelation. was constitutionally a scholar and a hermit. During October Ward began visiting the libraries again. occultism and daemonology. were what he sought now. eccentric. and when Providence sources proved unfruitful he would take the train for Boston and tap the wealth of the great library in Copley Square. hence his parents were less surprised than regretful at the close confinement and secrecy he adopted. both his father and mother thought it odd that he would shew them no scrap of his treasure-trove. but as the weeks passed without further disclosures there began to grow up between the youth and his family a kind of constraint. the Widener 403 . and solitary could have pursued this course for many days without attracting notice. only one who had always been more or less studious.

from whose slate slab an older generation had so wisely blotted the name. but clerks at the State House. 404 . where certain rare works on Biblical subjects are available. later questioned.Library at Harvard. and he was no more found at work upon the Hutchinson cipher. gave astonishingly queer and meaningless catalogues of the substances and instruments he purchased. while during the Christmas holidays he made a round of out-of-town trips including one to Salem to consult certain records at the Essex Institute. He bought extensively. and the various libraries agree as to the definite object of his second interest. there entered Ward's bearing an element of triumph which he did not explain. He was searching intensely and feverishly for the grave of Joseph Curwen. Local dealers in drugs and scientific supplies. or the Zion Research Library in Brookline. Instead. 1920. and for the latter haunting all the sources of vital statistics in Providence. fitting up for the one a laboratory in the unused attic of the house. the City Hall. About the middle of January. he inaugurated a dual policy of chemical research and recordscanning. and fitted up a whole additional set of shelves in his study for newly acquired works on uncanny subjects.

where the startlingly . could be found either poring over old burial records down town or glued to his volumes of occult lore in his study.Little by little there grew upon the Ward family the conviction that something was wrong.similar features of Joseph Curwen stared blandly at him from the great overmantel on the North wall. it could be seen that the older application had all vanished. and when not in his new laboratory with a score of obsolete alchemical books. when it was learned from City Hall clerks that he had probably found an important clue. but this growing secrecy and absorption in strange pursuits was unlike even him. upon going over the files that he had been over. Charles had had freaks and changes of minor interests before. He had other concernments now. His school work was the merest pretence. and this shift was explained when. the investigators actually found a fragmentary record of Curwen's burial which had escaped the general 405 . Late in March Ward added to his archive-searching a ghoulish series of rambles about the various ancient cemeteries of the city. The cause appeared later.one almost fancied increasingly . and although he failed in no test. His quest had suddenly shifted from the grave of Joseph Curwen to that of one Naphthali Field.

and 5 ft. and fortified with all the Curwen data which the family had gleaned from Charles in his non-secretive days.' The lack of a specified burying-ground in the surviving entry greatly complicated the search. for Willett felt at every moment that Charles was thorough master of himself and in touch with matters of real importance. at the request of the senior Ward. and Naphthali Field's grave seemed as elusive as that of Curwen. since other statistics had shewn that the only Naphthali Field (obiit 1729) whose grave could have been meant had been a Baptist. Willett. Hence the rambles . 4 It was toward May when Dr. but here no systematic effacement had existed. and one might reasonably be expected to stumble on the stone itself even if its record had perished. talked with the young man. but it at least force the secretive youth to offer some ratio- 406 . S. W. The interview was of little value or conclusiveness.from which St.obliteration. John's (the former King's) Churchyard and the ancient Congregational burying-ground in the midst of Swan Point Cemetery were excluded. and which stated that the curious leaden coffin had been interred '10 ft. of Naphthali Field's grave in y-.

he declared. for the most part in cipher. He stated that the papers of his ancestor had contained some remarkable secrets of early scientific knowledge. of an apparent scope comparable only to the discoveries of Friar Bacon and perhaps surpassing even those.nal explanation of his recent demeanour. meaningless except when correlated with a body of learning now wholly obsolete. Not even Einstein. He was seeking to acquire as fast as possible those neglected arts of old which a true interpreter of the Curwen data must possess. Ward seemed quite ready to discuss his pursuits. though not to reveal their object. so that their immediate presentation to a world equipped only with modern science would rob them of all impressiveness and dramatic significance. To take their vivid place in the history of human thought they must first be correlated by one familiar with the background out of which they evolved. and to this task of correlation Ward was now devoting himself. 407 . Of a pallid. and hoped in time to made a full announcement and presentation of the utmost interest to mankind and to the world of thought. could more profoundly revolutionise the current conception of things. however. They were. impassive type not easily shewing embarrassment.

and the formula-filled message 'To Him Who Shal Come After' . he believed. The doctor noted very closely the crabbed and complicated letters. but the details of whose progress he did not relate. Willett asked to see the mystic documents.As to his graveyard search.carved from directions in his will and ignorantly spared by those who had effaced the name . and the general aura of the seventeenth century which clung round both 408 .and let him glance inside such as were in obscure characters. Curwen. but finally shewed him the exteriors of some of the real Curwen finds . When Dr.the 'Journall and Notes'. and had consequently distributed the data in an exceedingly curious fashion. Ward displayed much reluctance and tried to put him off with such things as photostatic copies of the Hutchinson cipher and Orne formulae and diagrams. had wish to guard his secret with care. He also opened the diary at a page carefully selected for its innocuousness and gave Willett a glimpse of Curwen's connected handwriting in English. whose object he freely admitted. he said he had reason to think that Joseph Curwen's mutilated headstone bore certain mystic symbols .which were absolutely essential to the final solution of his cryptic system. the cipher (title in cipher also).

but I expecte soon hear'g from Him. For Mr. Green at ye Elephant 50 Gallon Cyttles. and Willett recalled only a fragment: 'Wedn. All that the 409 . Knight Dexter of ye Bay and Book 120 Pieces Camblets. H. Spaniards from Martineco and 2 Dutch Men from Surinam. For Mr. but I will see to ye Inducing of them to Staye. tho' it is Harde reach'g him and exceeding strange he can not give me the Use of What he hath so well us'd these hundred Yeares. 20 Warm'g Pannes. I must heare more from Mr. Say'd ye SABAOTH thrice last Nighte but None appear'd. Perrigo 1 Sett of Awles. For Mr. Weekes. 1754.' When upon reaching this point Dr. Willett turned the leaf he was quickly checked by Ward. 10 pr. Cambleteens. in Transylvania.penmanship and style despite the writer's survival into the eighteenth century. Simon hath not writ these V. Nightingale 50 Reames prime Foolscap. 15 Bake Cyttles. Shendsoy and Humhums. 100 Pieces Assrtd. 20 Pieces blue Duffles. Ye Dutch Men are like to Desert from have'g hearde Somewhat ill of these Ventures. 100 Pieces Shalloons. The text itself was relatively trivial. and became quickly certain that the document was genuine. 50 Pieces Calamancoes. who almost snatched the book from his grasp. My Sloope the Wakeful this Day putt in from London with XX newe Men pick'd up in ye Indies. 16 Octr. For Mr. Smoke'g Tonges. 300 Pieces each.

They ran: 'Ye Verse from Liber-Damnatus be'g spoke V Roodmasses and IV Hallows-Eves. lingered tenacious in his memory. but these. Even after that he entertained the odd fancy .which his medical skill of course assured him was only a fancy .' Willett saw no more. marvelling at its resemblance to Charles and memorising every minute detail of the cryptical. he decided. against ye Which I must have ready ye Saltes or That to make 'em with.doctor had a chance to see on the newly opened page was a brief pair of sentences. to follow young Charles Ward as he move about the room. even down to a slight scar or pit in the smooth brow above the right eye. if not an actual tendency. strangely enough. was a painter worthy of the Scotland that produced Rae- 410 . It will drawe One who is to Come. He stopped before leaving to study the picture closely. I am Hopeful ye Thing is breed'g Outside ye Spheres. Cosmo Alexander. if I can make sure he shal Bee. but somehow this small glimpse gave a new and vague terror to the painted features of Joseph Curwen which stared blandly down from the overmantel. colourless face.that the eyes of the portrait had a sort of wish. and he shal think on Past Thinges and look back thro' all ye Yeares.

acquiesced regarding the university. the Wards were more lenient than they might otherwise have been when during the following June the youth made positive his refusal to attend college. He had. while denying this latter wish as absurd for a boy of only eighteen. Again he sought a small village in the Adirondacks 411 . so that after a none too brilliant graduation from the Moses Brown School there ensued for Charles a three-year period of intensive occult study and graveyard searching. studies of much more vital importance to pursue. keeping close to his work and only occasionally making trips to other cities to consult obscure records.burn. and dropped even more completely from the sight of his family's friends than he had been before. he declared. He became recognised as an eccentric. and intimated a wish to go abroad the following year in order to avail himself of certain sources of data not existing in America. and a teacher worthy of his illustrious pupil Gilbert Stuart. The senior Ward. Once he went south to talk to a strange mulatto who dwelt in a swamp and about whom a newspaper hand printed a curious article. but that on the other hand he was engaged in researches which might prove of real importance. Assured by the doctor that Charles's mental health was in no danger.

but he promised to write his parents fully and faithfully. they ceased all opposition and helped as best they could. But still his parents forbade him the trip to the Old World which he desired. and of his securing good quarters in Great Russell Street. shunning all family friends. and he mentioned a laboratory which he had established in one of his rooms. 1923.whence reports of certain odd ceremonial practices had come. and having previously inherited a small competence from his maternal grandfather. That he said nothing of antiquarian rambles in the glamorous old city with its luring skyline of 412 . Of his daily life he wrote by little. London. till he had exhausted the resources of the British Museum in a certain direction. Coming of age in April. where he proposed to stay. Letters soon told of his safe arrival. so that in June the young man sailed for Liverpool with the farewell blessings of his father and mother. Study and experiment consumed all his time. who accompanied him to Boston and waved him out of sight from the White Star pier in Charlestown. Of his proposed itinerary he would say nothing save that the needs of his studies would carry him to many places. Ward determined at last to take the European trip hitherto denied him. When they saw he could not be dissuaded. for there was little to write.

1924. was taken by his parents as a good index of the degree to which his new interests had engrossed his mind. Czecho-Slovakia. a brief note told of his departure for Paris. In June. to which he had before made one or two flying trips for material in the Bibliothèque Nationale. Then came a silence. 413 . and in October the Wards received a picture card from Prague. giving an address in the Rue St. when he dropped several cards from Vienna telling of his passage through that city on the way toward a more easterly region whither one of his correspondents and fellow-delvers into the occult had invited him. and announced no move till the following January.ancient domes and steeples and its tangles of roads and alleys whose mystic convolutions and sudden vistas alternately beckon and surprise. For three months thereafter he sent only postal cards. and no tourists brought back reports of having seen him. He gave an address in the Neustadt. He avoided acquaintances. Jacques and referring to a special search among rare manuscripts in the library of an unnamed private collector. stating that Charles was in that ancient town for the purpose of conferring with a certain very aged man supposed to be the last living possessor of some very curious mediaeval information.

and told of Ward's progress toward his destination. if his parents would wait for his return to Providence. and was to be addressed at Rakus in the care of that nobleman. and his age was so great as to be disquieting. It would be better. Charles said. which could scarcely be far distant. were such that he could not leave his present quarters. the Baron was not a person likely to appeal to correct and conservative New England gentlefolk. Another card from Rakus a week later. indeed. 414 . while the situation of Baron Ferenczy's castle did not favour visits. or Rome during the summer. he did reply to his parents' frequent letters until May. and the region was so shunned by the country folk that normal people could not help feeling ill at ease. was his last message for a considerable time. He was going to visit a Baron Ferenczy. His researches. saying that his host's carriage had met him and that he was leaving the village for the mountains.The next card was from Klausenburg in Transylvania. whose estate lay in the mountains east of Rakus. he said. It was on a crag in the dark wooded mountains. Moreover. His aspect and manners had idiosyncrasies. Paris. when the elder Wards were planning to travel to Europe. when he wrote to discourage the plan of his mother for a meeting in London.

415 . his first taste of ancient New England in nearly four years. and the white steepled towns of vernal Connecticut. however. and Empire Streets join. eagerly drinking in the green rolling hills. blossoming orchards. Weybosset.That return did not. and the entry to Providence along Reservoir and Elmwood Avenues was a breathless and wonderful thing despite the depths of forbidden lore to which he had delved. and fragrant. bringing into view the great dome and soft. and the tall colonial spire of the First Baptist Church limned pink in the magic evening against the fresh springtime verdure of its precipitous background. when after a few heralding cards the young wanderer quietly slipped into New York on the Homeric and traversed the long miles to Providence by motor-coach. take place until May 1926. and his head swam curiously as the vehicle rolled down to the terminal behind the Biltmore. roof-pierced greenery of the ancient hill across the river. At the high square where Broad. he saw before and below him in the fire of sunset the pleasant. When the coach crossed the Pawcatuck and entered Rhode Island amidst the faery goldenness of a late spring afternoon his heart beat with quickened force. remembered houses and domes and steeples of the old town.

It was twilight. for which all his years of travel and application had been preparing him. and Charles Dexter Ward had come home. the old Market House. Lyman's assign to Ward's European trip the beginning of his true madness. Here lay the arcana. Admitting that he 416 . wondrous or dreadful as the case may be. and up the steep curved slope of Waterman Street to Prospect. continuous history which had brought him into being. and which had drawn him back toward marvels and secrets whose boundaries no prophet might fix. on the left the classic Adam porch and stately facade of the great brick house where he was born. where the vast gleaming dome and sunset-flushed Ionic columns of the Christian Science Church beckoned northward. And at last the little white overtaken farmhouse on the right. 5 A school of alienists slightly less academic than Dr.Old Providence! It was this place and the mysterious forces of its long. A taxicab whirled him through Post Office Square with its glimpse of the river. and the head of the bay. Then eight squares past the fine old estates his childish eyes had known. and the quaint brick sidewalks so often trodden by his youthful feet.

It was noticed that Nig. but by no means implying mental aberration on the part of their celebrant. was still normal in his general reactions. the venerable and beloved black cat of the household. something later. and in several talks with Dr.even an incipient one could feign continuously for long. in which he kept himself most of the time. and thunderous declamations in uncanny rhythms. though visibly aged and hardened. Ward himself. Willett displayed a balance which no madman . There was. they believe that his conduct upon returning implies a disastrous change. What elicited the notion of insanity at this period were the sounds heard at all hours from Ward's attic laboratory.was sane when he started. and although these sounds were always in Ward's own voice. which could not by chill the blood of every hearer. he insists. bristled and arched his back perceptibly when certain of the tones were heard. there was something in the quality of that voice. and the queerness of the youth at this stage he attributes to the practice of rituals learned abroad odd enough things. Willett refuses to concede. There were chantings and repetitions. 417 . But even to this claim Dr. and in the accents of the formulae it pronounced. to be sure.

Willett would often pause by the latter after a call. Sometimes they were very noxious. These calls of Willett's. and Dr. Frequently he noted peculiar 418 . People who smelled them had a tendency to glimpse momentary mirages of enormous vistas. undertaken at the request of teh senior Wards. Ward did not resume his old-time rambles. and reflecting that only the small pit above the picture's right eye now remained to differentiate the long-dead wizard from the living youth. with strange hills or endless avenues of sphinxes and hippogriffs stretching off into infinite distance. Ward at no time repulsed the doctor. but more often they were aromatic. and to equally strange delvings within his quarters. elusive quality which seemed to have the power of inducing fantastic images. but applied himself diligently to the strange books he had brought home. explaining that European sources had greatly enlarged the possibilities of his work. marvelling at the virtual identity. with a haunting. were curious affairs.The odours occasionally wafted from the laboratory were likewise exceedingly strange. and promising great revelations in the years to come. His older aspect increased to a startling degree his resemblance to the Curwen portrait in his library. but the latter saw that he could never reach the young man's inner psychology.

resolute. anomalous for the season. He assured them that the house had not really been struck. and portentous. This was the prelude to a sharp thunderstorm. as Charles was chanting a ritual whose weird cadence echoed unpleasantly through the house below. 1927. little wax images of grotesque design on the shelves or tables. They rushed upstairs to see what damage had been done. till it became very difficult to keep servants or suppress furtive talk of Charles's madness. with an almost fearsome combination of triumph and seriousness on his face. They paused. In January. At the same time the cat exhibited phenomenal traces of fright. And always in the night those rhythms and incantations thundered. while dogs bayed for as much as a mile around. and the half-erased remnants of circles. and pentagrams in chalk or charcoal on the cleared central space of the large room. One night about midnight. there came a sudden gust of chill wind from the bay. pale. obscure trembling of the earth which everyone in the neighbourhood noted. Ward believed the house had been struck. and Mrs.things about. triangles. and a faint. and that the storm would soon be over. a peculiar incident occurred. which brought with it such a crash that Mr. but Charles met them at the door to the attic. and loo- 419 .

king through a window saw that he was indeed right. rising and going to the window. for the lightning flashed farther and farther off. For two months or more after this incident Ward was less confined than usual to his laboratory. drawing down the dark shades of his labo- 420 . The next day Charles resumed his strict attic seclusion. He exhibited a curious interest in the weather. and did not return till almost morning. heard a rumbling motor draw up to the carriage entrance. Ward. whilst the trees ceased to bend in the strange frigid gust from the water. saw four dark figures removing a long. being wakeful. and Mrs. and the stamp of triumph on Charles Ward's face crystallised into a very singular expression. and finally a dull thumping in the attic. Muffled oaths could be distinguished. The thunder sank to a sort of dull mumbling chuckle and finally died away. and the four reappeared outside and drove off in their truck. heavy box from a truck at Charles's direction and carrying it within by the side door. One night late in March he left the house after midnight. Stars came out. and made odd inquires about the date of the spring thawing of the ground. She heard laboured breathing and ponderous footfalls on the stairs. after which the footfalls descended again. when his mother.

and he would appear later for dinner. Here he lived. furnished roughly. This. but when Mrs. he did finally appear.ratory windows and appearing to be working on some metal substance. About noon a wrenching sound followed by a terrible cry and a fall were heard. and told her that nothing had gone amiss. and steadfastly refused all proffered food. with books brought up from his library beneath. He would open the door to no one. after the conclusion of some odd hissing sounds which came from behind the locked portal. and added to his inviolable private domain as a sleeping apartment. for never afterward was any other person permitted to visit either the mysterious garret workroom or the adjacent storeroom which he cleaned out. Ward rapped at the door her son at length answered faintly. wearing an extremely haggard aspect and forbidding anyone to enter the laboratory upon any pretext. The hideous and indescribable stench now welling out was absolutely harmless and unfortunately necessary. In the evening Charles secured the paper before the rest of the family and damaged part of it 421 . Solitude was the one prime essential. proved the beginning of a new policy of secrecy. indeed. till the time he purchased the Pawtuxet bungalow and moved to it all his scientific effects. That afternoon.

for Hart found an enormous hold dug at a considerable distance back from the roadway in the lot of Amasa Field. looked up an intact copy at the Journal office and found that in the destroyed section the following small item had occurred: Nocturnal Diggers Surprised in North Burial Ground Robert Hart. Investigating. The discovery took place at about four o'clock. The men hastily placed a large box in the truck and drove away toward the street before they could be overtaken. he saw a large truck on the main drive several rods away. The hole. and since no known grave was disturbed. having fixed the date from statements by various members of the household. Willett. The diggers must have been at work for a long while before detection. but apparently frightened them off before they had accomplished whatever their object may have been. night watchman at the North Burial Ground.through an apparent accident. a place as large and deep as a gra- 422 . this morning discovered a party of several men with a motor truck in the oldest part of the cemetery. where most of the old stones have long ago disappeared. when Hart's attention was attracted by the sound of a motor outside his shelter. Hart believes that this box was an object which they wished to bury. Later on Dr. but could not reach it before the noise of his feet on the gravel had revealed his approach.

Once he made a hasty trip to the Athenaeum for a book he required. or roaring gas flames. running water. In reply to questions Hart said he though the escaping truck had headed up Rochambeau Avenue. The droning of monotonous formulae and the chanting of bizarre rhythms recurred at intervals. hissing chemicals. he kept closely to himself there. was empty. ordering food brought to the door and not taking it in until after the servant had gone away. though he could not be sure. During the next few days Charles Ward was seldom seen by his family. and the air of tension observable in the young recluse whenever he did venture briefly forth was such as to excite the keenest speculation. hung at times around the door. and again he hired a messenger to fetch him a 423 . Odours of the most unplaceable quality.ve. and did not coincide with any interment mentioned in the cemetery records. Having added sleeping quarters to his attic realm. while at other times occasional listeners could detect the sound of tinkling glass. Riley of the Second Station viewed the spot and gave the opinion that the hole was dug by bootleggers rather gruesomely and ingeniously seeking a safe cache for liquor in a place not likely to be disturbed. Sergt. wholly unlike any before noted.

Willett confessed themselves wholly at a loss what to do or think about it. The formula was so plainly audible in the hall outside the locked door that Mrs. Willett's request. Suspense was written portentously over the whole situation. there was certainly a very terrible difference in degree. at the same time burning some substance so pungent that its fumes escaped over the entire house. Willett somehow attaches great significance to the change. but which others quite naturally dismiss as an irrelevant coincidence.highly obscure volume from Boston. a circumstance of which the servants made much. Willett that its very close analogue can be found in the mystic writings of "Eliphas Levi". Late in the afternoon young Ward began repeating a certain formula in a singularly loud voice. It ran as follows. and later on she was able to write it down at Dr. The day was Good Friday. 6 Then on the fifteenth of April a strange development occurred. and both the family and Dr. Ward could not help memorising it as she waited and listened anxiously. that cryptic soul who crept through a crack in the forbidden door 424 . While nothing appeared to grow different in kind. and Dr. and experts have told Dr.

daemonia Coeli God. Metraton On Agla Mathon.' This had been going on for two hours without change or intermission when over all the neighbourhood a pandaemoniac howling of dogs set in.and glimpsed the frightful vistas of the void beyond: 'Per Adonai Eloim. which would have been blinding and impressive but for the daylight around. and then was heard the voice that no listener can ever forget because of its thunderous remoteness. Gibor. Jehosua. and its eldritch dissimilarity to Charles Ward's voice. who had been listening in de- 425 . veni. a hideous. In the midst of this mephitic flood there came a very perceptible flash like that of lightning. Adonai Jehova. veni. and was clearly heard by at least two neighbours above the howling of the dogs. The extent of this howling can be judged from the space it received in the papers the next day. Mrs. verbum pythonicum. its incredible depth. Zariatnatmik. all-pervasive odour which non of them had ever smelt before or have ever smelt since. antra gnomorum. Adonai Sabaoth. Ward. mysterium salamandrae. Evam. conventus sylvorum. Almonsin. but to those in the Ward household it was overshadowed by the odour which instantly followed it. It shook the house. veni.

advanced 426 . according to the Fenner letter.' Close upon this thundering there came a momentary darkening of the daylight. Ward. for Charles had described it too vividly in the old days when he had talked frankly of his Curwen investigations. Charles was chanting again now and his mother could hear syllables that sounded like 'Yi nash Yog Sothoth he lgeb throdag' . for Charles had told of its evil fame in dark books. Mrs. There was no mistaking that nightmare phrase.spair outside her son's locked laboratory. and then a puff of added odour different from the first but equally unknown and intolerable.ending in a 'Yah!' whose maniacal force mounted in an ear-splitting crescendo. shivered as she recognised its hellish imports. above the doomed Pawtuxet farmhouse on the night of Joseph Curwen's annihilation. A second later all previous memories were effaced by the wailing scream which burst out with frantic explosiveness and gradually changed form to a paroxysm of diabolic and hysterical laughter. with the mingled fear and blind courage of maternity. and of the manner in which it had thundered. though sunset was still an hour distant. And yet it was only this fragment of an archaic and forgotten language: 'DIES MIES JESCHET BOENE DOESEF DOUVEMA ENITEMAUS.

but paused nervelessly as a second shriek arose. and not finding his wife downstairs. For the seemingly silent laboratory was not as silent as it had appeared to be. was told by the frightened servants that she was probably watching at Charles's door. he saw Mrs. and was watching the bewildered opening of her eyes when a chill shot through him and threatened to reduce him to the very state from which she was emerging. Presently she fainted. but held the murmurs of a tense. muffled conversation in tones 427 . but obtained no sign of recognition. this one unmistakably in the familiar voice of her son. Memory sometimes makes merciful deletions. Dashing the cold fluid in her face. from which the sounds had been far stranger than ever before. he was heartened to observe an immediate response on her part. Ward stretched out at full length on the floor of the corridor outside the laboratory.and knocked affrightedly at the concealing panels. Mr. hastened to fetch a glass of water from a set bowl in a neighbouring alcove. and sounding concurrently with the still bursting cachinnations of that other voice. Ward returned from the business section at about quarter past six. Mounting the stairs at once. She knocked again. and realising that she had fainted. although she is still unable to recall the precise and immediate cause.

but this muttering was definitely different. yet of a quality profoundly disturbing to the soul. but the other had a depth and hollowness which the youth's best powers of ceremonial mimicry had scarcely approached before. new for Charles to mutter formulae. and there had come in response to it from behind the locked door the first distinguishable words which that masked and terrible colloquy 428 . however. he was not quick enough to escape catching something himself which caused him to stagger dangerously with his burden. he seized his wife in his arms and bore her quickly downstairs before she could notice the voices which had so horribly disturbed him. blasphemous.too low for comprehension. It was so palpably a dialogue. of course. statement and response. with the regular alteration of inflections suggesting question and answer. As it was. Even so. and but for a cry from his recovering wife which cleared his mind by arousing his protective instincts it is not likely that Theodore Howland Ward could have maintained for nearly a year more his old boast that he had never fainted. Ward's cry had evidently been heard by others than he. For Mrs. One voice was undisguisedly that of Charles. It was not. and abnormal about it. or imitation of a dialogue. There was something hideous.

The youth must indeed have taken complete leave of his senses. and Mrs. and the former resolved to have a firm and serious talk with Charles that very night. The phrase was just this: 'Sshh!write!' Mr. Ward rose at the close of the meal and started upstairs for Charles's laboratory. All this must be stopped. and upon stepping to the door Mr. No matter how important the object. Books were apparently being flung about and papers wildly rustled. Ward conferred at some length after dinner. Ward would be made ill and the keeping of servants become an impossibility. Ward beheld the youth within. but somehow their implications held a nameless fright for the father who overheard them. exci- 429 . On the third floor.had yielded. he paused at the sounds which he heard proceeding from the now disused library of his son. or Mrs. such conduct could no longer be permitted. They were merely an excited caution in Charles's own voice. since only downright madness could have prompted the wild screams and imaginary conversations in assumed voices which the present day had brought forth. however. for these latest developments transcended every limit of sanity and formed a menace to the order and nervous wellbeing of the entire household. Mr.

was in any case purely book research. Charles's aspect was very drawn and haggard. At the elder man's command he sat down. and chemical odours were indeed inexcusable nuisances. He agreed to a policy of great quiet. and he dropped his entire load with a start at the sound of his father's voice. For the fright and fainting of his mother he expressed the keenest contrition. Much of his future work. and that his noises. and as Charles picked up his armful and left the room Mr. The interview was really quite inconclusive. His use of abstruse technical terms somewhat bewildered Mr. It was as my- 430 . incantations. he said. At the end of the lecture he agreed that his father was right. though insisting on a prolongation of his extreme privacy. mutterings. and he could obtain quarters elsewhere for any such vocal rituals as might be necessary at a later stage. and for some time listened to the admonitions he had so long deserved. Ward hardly knew what to make of the entire business. and explained that the conversation later heard was part of an elaborate symbolism designed to create a certain mental atmosphere.tedly assembling a vast armful of literary matter of every size and shape. Ward. but the parting impression was one of undeniable sanity and poise despite a mysterious tension of the utmost gravity. There was no scene.

with staring eyes and fear-distorted mouth. Ever since he had been in this room he had known that so- 431 . It was a very curious shift from Charles Ward's recent run of reading. These new withdrawals were all modern items. On this occasion Mr. Ward was astonished to find that nothing of the occult or the antiquarian. and certain contemporary newspapers and magazines. the bewildered parent now glanced curiously at the vacant shelves to see what his son had taken up to the attic. histories. The youth's library was plainly and rigidly classified. whose stiffening form had been found an hour before in the basement. geographies. Driven by some vague detective instinct. manuals of literature. scientific treatises. Something was indeed wrong. so that one might tell at a glance the books or at least the kind of books which had been withdrawn.sterious as the death of poor old Nig. and tangibly as well as spiritually so. philosophic works. and the father paused in a growing vortex of perplexity and an engulfing sense of strangeness. The strangeness was a very poignant sensation. was missing. and almost clawed at his chest as he strove to see just what was wrong around him. beyond what had been previously removed.

IV. and at last it dawned upon him what it was. and now lay scattered on the floor as a thin coating of fine bluegrey dust. A Mutation and a Madness 1 In the week following that memorable Good Friday Charles Ward was seen more often than usual. and developed an incredibly ravenous appetite as gauged by his 432 . and at some time since the room's last cleaning the worst had happened. His actions were quiet and rational. but to the cracked and precariously restored oils of the large Curwen portrait disaster had come. Time and unequal heating had done their work at last. curling tighter and tighter. hunted look which his mother did not like. Peeling clear of the wood. On the north wall rose still the ancient carved overmantel from the house in Olney Court. and was continually carrying books between his library and the attic laboratory.mething was amiss. but he had a furtive. the portrait of Joseph Curwen had resigned forever its staring surveillance of the youth it so strangely resembled. and finally crumbling into small bits with what must have been malignly silent suddenness.

He seemed to haunt the resort and canoe-house of Rhodes-on-the-Paw- 433 . Willett had been told of those Friday noises and happenings. and one day when good old black Hannah came to help with the spring cleaning she mentioned his frequent visits to the old house in Olney Court. since she had watched him grow up from birth. The interview was. and on the following Tuesday had a long conversation with the youth in the library where the picture stared no more. Another report of his doings came from Pawtuxet. where he would come with a large valise and perform curious delvings in the cellar. He was always very liberal to her and to old Asa. At the loss of the portrait he grieved singularly little considering his first enthusiasm over it. About the second week Charles began to be absent from the house for long periods. He held out promises of an early revelation. inconclusive. but seemed to find something of positive humour in its sudden crumbling. and spoke of the need of securing a laboratory elsewhere. as always. which grieved her very much. but seemed more worried than he used to be. but Willett is still ready to swear that the youth was sane and himself at the time. Dr.demands upon the cook. where some friends of the family saw him at a distance a surprising number of times.

usually not reappearing for a very long while. but which he would try to transfer to other realms. Late in May came a momentary revival of ritualistic sounds in the attic laboratory which brought a stern reproof from Mr. and subsequent inquiries by Dr. along which he would walk toward the north. Ward and a somewhat distracted promise of amendment from Charles. When Charles was later questioned by his father he said that there were certain conflicts of spheres of consciousness which only great skill could avoid. Ward to run upstairs and listen at the door. and seemed to form a resumption of the imaginary conversation noted on that turbulent Good Friday. She could hear no more than a fragment whose only plain words were 'must have it red for three months'. It occurred one morning. Willett at that place brought out the fact that his purpose was always to secure access to the rather hedgedin river-bank. 434 . The youth was arguing or remonstrating hotly with himself. and upon her knocking all sounds ceased at once. for there suddenly burst forth a perfectly distinguishable series of clashing shouts in differentiated tones like alternate demands and denials which caused Mrs.tuxet.

Mrs. for the 435 . something unholy in the glance Charles had fixed on him. There was. It was no way for a young gentleman to look at an honest person. That midnight. after the family had retired. sounds as if of sobbing and pacing. To fancy Charles in a savage state that night was quite ridiculous. In the early evening there had been some noise and thumping in the laboratory upstairs. but the worthy Yorkshireman caught one sight of his fevered eyes and trembled causelessly. The youth spoke no word. Mrs. He opened the door and young Ward went out. and he could not possibly stay another night. he said. Ward was on the point of investigating when it suddenly quieted down. the butler was nightlocking the front door when according to his statement Charles appeared somewhat blunderingly and uncertainly at the foot of the stairs with a large suitcase and made signs that he wished egress. Ward. Ward had grown used to listening for sounds in the night. but she did not value his statement highly. and of a sighing which told only of despair's profoundest depths. Ward allowed the man to depart.About the middle of June a queer nocturnal incident occurred. but in the morning he presented his resignation to Mrs. for as long as she had remained awake she had heard faint sounds from the laboratory above. and Mr.

the work being evidently done with a spade stolen from an adjacent tool-shed. There were no wheel tracks. The grave of Ezra Weeden. all was gone except a few slivers of decayed wood. In the Journal office he found the section which Charles had lost. when Dr. Charles Ward seized the newspaper very early and accidentally lost the main section.mystery of her son was fast driving all else from her mind. Willett began checking up loose ends and searching out missing links here and there. that ghouls were again at work in the ancient portion of the cemetery. The next evening. They were as follows: More Cemetery Delving It was this morning discovered by Robert Hart. and marked two items as of possible significance. who was born in 1740 and died in 1824 according to his uprooted and savagely splintered slate headstone. night watchman at the North Burial Ground. was found excavated and rifled. much as on another evening nearly three months before. Whatever the contents may have been after more than a century of burial. This matter was not recalled till later. and which indicate the boots of a man of refinement. 436 . but the police have measured a single set of footprints which they found in the vicinity.

notified of the happening. but of any modern feud or mystery he is frankly ignorant. Inspector Cunningham has been assigned to the case.Hart is inclined to link this incident with the digging discovered last March. today by a phenomenal baying of dogs which seemed to centre near the river just north of Rhodes-on-the-Pawtuxet. Hazard Weeden of 598 Angell Street recalls a family legend according to which Ezra Weeden was involved in some very peculiar circumstances.m. In March the digging had been in a spot where no grave was known. Members of the Weeden family. The volume and quality of the howling were unusually odd. not dishonourable to himself. Dogs Noisy in Pawtuxet Residents of Pawtuxet were aroused about 3 a. 437 . when a party in a motor truck were frightened away after making a deep excavation. and were wholly unable to think of any enemy who would care to violate the grave of their ancestor. expressed their astonishment and regret. and with a conscious malignity expressed in the splintering of the slab which had been intact up to the day before. shortly before the Revolution. but Sergt. but this time a well-marked and cared-for grave had been rifled with every evidence of deliberate purpose. Riley of the Second Station discounts this theory and points to vital differences in the two cases. and hopes to uncover some valuable clues in the near future.

The aspect of Charles now became very haggard and hunted. put an end to the disturbance. A sharp and very brief thunderstorm.according to most who heart it. The morbid listening of his mother in the night brought out the fact that he made frequent sallies abroad under cover of darkness. Strange and unpleasant odours. near the Ward home. and all agreed in retrospect that he may have wished at this period to make some statement or confession from which sheer terror withheld him. night watchman at Rhodes. These cases. and most of the more academic alienists unite at present in charging him with the revolting cases of vampirism which the press so sensationally reported about this time. and the suburban districts across the 438 . and Fred Lemdin. declares it was mixed with something very like the shrieks of a man in mortal terror and agony. the residential hill and the North End. are popularly linked with this incident. which seemed to strike somewhere near the bank of the river. probably from the oil tanks along the bay. involved victims of every age and type and seemed to cluster around two distinct localities. too recent and celebrated to need detailed mention. but which have not yet been definitely traced to any known perpetrator. and may have had their share in exciting the dogs.

anyhow. leaping monster with burning eyes which fastened its teeth in the throat or upper arm and feasted ravenously. Her noc- 439 . but he has paid for it. and he was never a monster or a villain. certain theories of his own.' he says. 'state who or what I believe perpetrated these attacks and murders. for he was often at the Ward home attending Mrs. and limits his positive statements to a peculiar kind of negation: 'I will not. he declares.' Willett speaks with authority. Ward. His soul did. Ward meddled with terrible things. and those who lived to tell the tale spoke unanimously of a lean. who refuses to date the madness of Charles Ward as far back as even this. but I will declare that Charles Ward was innocent of them. for that mad flesh that vanished from Waite's hospital had another. Willett. He has. as indeed his continued anaemic decline and increasing pallor prove better than any verbal argument. Dr. A change came. lithe.I don't like to think. As for now . is cautious in attempting to explain these horrors.Cranston line near Pawtuxet. I have reason to be sure he was ignorant of the taste of blood. whose nerves had begun to snap under the strain. Both late wayfarers and sleepers with open windows were attacked. and I'm content to believe that the old Charles Ward died with it.

Early in July Willett ordered Mrs. and as soon as it was vacant he took possession under cover 440 . Ward and the haggard and elusive Charles to write her only cheering letters. It was a squalid little wooden edifice with a concrete garage.turnal listening had bred some morbid hallucinations which she confided to the doctor with hesitancy. perched high on the sparsely settled bank of the river slightly above Rhodes. Charles Ward began negotiating for the Pawtuxet bungalow. and cautioned both Mr. but for some odd reason the youth would have nothing else. and emphasised the occurrence of muffled sighs and sobbings at the most impossible times. although they made him ponder deeply when alone. It is probably to this enforced and reluctant escape that she owes her life and continued sanity. Ward to Atlantic City for an indefinite recuperative sojourn. These delusions always concerning the faint sounds which she fancied she heard in the attic laboratory and bedroom. and which he ridiculed in talking to her. He gave the real-estate agencies no peace till one of them secured it for him at an exorbitant price from a somewhat reluctant owner. 2 Not long after his mother's departure.

who gave his name as Dr. Allen. The mulatto Gomes spoke very little English. but succeeded only in provoking curiousity with his rambling accounts of chemical research. save that he now appeared to have two sharers of his mysteries. voluntarily followed his example.of darkness. He had this van loaded in the black small hours. waterfront who acted as a servant. To the Pawtuxet bungalow Charles transferred all the secrecy with which he had surrounded his attic realm. 441 . and the bearded man. a villainous-looking Portuguese half-caste from the South Main St. Neighbours vainly tried to engage these odd persons in conversation. including the books both weird and modern which he had borrowed from his study. and never haunted the attic again. and his father recalls only a drowsy realisation of stifled oaths and stamping feet on the night the goods were taken away.. Before long queer tales began to circulate regarding the all-night burning of lights. and a thin. After that Charles moved back to his own old quarters on the third floor. scholarly stranger with dark glasses and a stubbly full beard of dyed aspect whose status was evidently that of a colleague. transporting in a great closed van the entire contents of his attic laboratory. Ward himself tried to be more affable.

and wished his son to get as much sound oversight as could be managed in the case of so secretive and indepen- 442 . Most distinctly the new and strange household was bitterly disliked by the honest bourgeoisie of the vicinity. but slept occasionally at home and was still reckoned a dweller beneath his father's roof. declamation. especially since the radius of that plague seemed now confined wholly to Pawtuxet and the adjacent streets of Edgewood. and screaming supposed to come from some very cellar below the place. Twice he was absent from the city on week-long trips. and it is not remarkable that dark hints were advanced connecting the hated establishment with the current epidemic of vampiristic attacks and murders. Willett often waylaid him at his father's house. old story of vital research and future revelations. for the elder Ward was deeply worried and perplexed. Willett his old. and lacked some of his former assurance when repeating to Dr. there rose still queerer tales of disproportionate orders of meat from the butcher's and of the muffled shouting. Ward spent most of his time at the bungalow. He grew steadily paler and more emaciated even than before. whose destinations have not yet been discovered.and somewhat later. rhythmic chanting. after this burning had suddenly ceased.

The thieves had hastily buried what they discovered. and adduces many a conversation to prove his point. For the long cases they seized proved upon opening to contain some exceedingly gruesome things. that the matter could not be kept quiet amongst the denizens of the underworld. For some time the nocturnal arrival and departure of motor trucks at the Pawtuxet bungalow had been commented upon. A recently arrived vagrant. but when the State Police got wind of the matter a careful search was made. in fact. at last consented to guide a party of troopers to the spot. so gruesome.sense of deco- 443 . and there was found in that hasty cache a very hideous and shameful thing. About September the vampirism declined. The doctor still insists that the youth was sane even as late as this. In a lonely spot near Hope Valley had occurred one of the frequent sordid waylaying of trucks by "hi-jackers" in quest of liquor shipments. and at this juncture an unforeseen hitch exposed the nature of at least one item of their contents. but this time the robbers had been destined to receive the greater shock.or even the international . but in the following January almost became involved in serious trouble.dent an adult. under promise of immunity from prosecution on any additional charge. It would not be well for the national .

He had needed certain anatomical specimens as part of a programme of research whose depth and genuineness anyone who had known him in the last decade could prove. so that in the end the officials took no action. but carefully set down the New 444 . and was properly shocked when the inspectors hinted at the monstrous effect on public sentiment and national dignity which a knowledge of the matter would produce. whose oddly hollow voice carried even more conviction than his own nervous tones. and received from him what seemed to be a valid explanation and evidence of innocence. and State and Federal officials at once paid him a very forceful and serious call.rum if the public were ever to know what was uncovered by that awestruck party. They found him pallid and worried with his two odd companions. There was no mistaking it. and had ordered the required kind and number from agencies which he had thought as reasonably legitimate as such things can be. The cases were addressed to Charles Ward at his Pawtuxet bungalow. Of the identity of the specimens he had known absolutely nothing. even by those far from studious officers. and telegrams to Washington ensued with feverish rapidity. Allen. In this statement he was firmly sustained by his bearded colleague Dr.

Willett:I feel that at last the time has come for me to make the disclosures which I have so long promised you. Dr.I. 1928. Willett received a letter from Charles Ward which he considers of extraordinary importance. The patience you have shewn in waiting. Providence. and that the general public will never know of their blasphemous disturbance. and the confidence you have shewn in 445 . Lyman. It is only fair to add that the specimens were quickly and quietly restored to their proper places. which though shewing traces of shattered nerves. On February 9. R. and about which he has frequently quarrelled with Dr. and for which you have pressed me so often. is nevertheless distinctly Ward's own. February 8. but Willett on the other hand regards it as the last perfectly sane utterance of the hapless youth. Lyman believes that this note contains positive proof of a welldeveloped case of dementia praecox. 1928. The text in full is as follows: 100 Prospect St. Dear Dr. He calls especial attention to the normal character of the penmanship..York name and address which Ward gave them a basis for a search which came to nothing.

Instead of triumph I have found terror. alive or dead. It will take that long . Now for the sake of all life and Nature you must help me thrust it back into the dark again. I must own with humiliation that no triumph such as I dreamed of can ever by mine. I have left that Pawtuxet place forever. perhaps even the fate of the solar system and the universe. all natural law. 446 . That must all be done again. and wish you would call on me at the very first moment that you can spare five or six hours continuously to hear what I have to say. are things I shall never cease to appreciate. You recall what those Fenner letters said of the old raiding party at Pawtuxet. I shall not go there again.and believe me when I tell you that you never had a more genuine professional duty than this. and you must not believe it if you ever hear that I am there. and quickly.all civilisation. but I did it for the sake of knowledge. Upon us depends more than can be put into words .my mind and integrity. I have come home for good. and my talk with you will not be a boast of victory but a plea for help and advice in saving both myself and the world from a horror beyond all human conception or calculation. My life and reason are the very least things which hang in the balance. And now that I am ready to speak. and we must extirpate everything existing there. I will tell you why I say this when I see you. I have brought to light a monstrous abnormality.

I don't know how much good they can do. Don't telephone ahead.. for he could not grasp the whole thing. Shoot Dr. He planned to arrive about four o'clock. So come quickly if you wish to see me alive and hear how you may help to save the cosmos from stark hell.m. Willett received this note about 10:30 a.I shall not be out of the house. Any time will do . Willett had seen too much of Charles 447 . And let us pray to whatever gods there be that nothing may prevent this meeting.I dare not tell my father. letting it extend on into the night as long as might be necessary. for they have against them forces which even you could scarcely envisage or acknowledge. P. But I have told him of my danger. for there is no telling who or what may try to intercept you. and he has four men from a detective agency watching the house. Charles Dexter Ward. Allen on sight and dissolve his body in acid. Maniacal as the letter would have sounded to a stranger.S. Dr. and through all the intervening hours was so engulfed in every sort of wild speculation that most of his tasks were very mechanically performed. Don't burn it. In utmost gravity and desperation. and immediately arranged to spare the whole late afternoon and evening for the momentous talk.

but found to his annoyance that Charles had not adhered to his determination to remain indoors. Promptly at four Dr. and horrible was hovering about he felt quite sure. but had heard much of his aspect and bearing. 'you'll have to excuse me'. That something very subtle. Allen could almost be comprehended in view of what Pawtuxet gossip said of Ward's enigmatical colleague. and the reference to Dr.Ward's oddities to dismiss it as sheer raving. but I must take a complete vacation from everything. 'Please postpone decisive action till we can arrange some sort of compromise'. 'I can't receive anyone for some time'.' Then. replying to some unknown voice with phrases such as 'I am very tired and must rest a while'. he had slipped out so quietly that no one had seen him depart or knew that he had gone until he returned about one 448 . apparently gaining boldness through meditation. I'll talk with you later. He had that morning done much apparently frightened arguing and protesting over the telephone. and could not but wonder what sort of eyes those much-discussed dark glasses might conceal. one of the detectives said. but said that the young man seemed to have lost part of his timidity. or 'I am very sorry. Willett presented himself at the Ward residence. The guards were there. ancient. Willett had never seen the man.

Then he had evidently done some rearranging of his shelves.o'clock and entered the house without a word. He had gone upstairs. and asked solicitously if there was much hope for a cure of his disordered nerves. whence a year before the suave features of old Joseph Curwen had looked mildly down. he had appeared at the door with a great show of boldness. but was told that there was no none. afterward trailing off into a kind of choking gasp. Willett waited vainly in Charles Ward's library. for a great clattering and thumping and creaking ensued. where a bit of his fear must have surged back. Willett inquired whether or not any message had been left. The butler seemed queerly disturbed about something in Charles's appearance and manner. however. and smiling grimly at the panelled overmantel on the north wall. When. after which he had reappeared and left at once. the butler had gone to inquire what the trouble was. For almost two hours Dr. watching the dusty shelves with their wide gaps where books had been removed. and had silently gestured the man away in a manner that terrified him unaccountably. After a time the shadows began to gather. and the sunset cheer gave place to a vague growing 449 . for he was heard to cry out in a highly terrified fashion upon entering his library.

He had not known of Charles's appointment. In bidding the doctor goodnight he expressed his utter perplexity at his son's condition. and urged his caller to do all he could to restore the boy to normal poise. leaving the researches in need of Charles's 450 . for something frightful and unholy seemed to haunt it. Willett was glad to escape from that library. saying that Charles was still absent. Mr. and shewed much surprise and anger at his son's absence after all the pains which had been taken to guard him.terror which flew shadow-like before the night. He had never liked that picture. and even now. 3 The next morning Willett received a message from the senior Ward. strong-nerved though he was. Ward finally arrived. as if the vanished picture had left behind a legacy of evil. and promised to notify Willett when the youth returned. there lurked a quality in its vacant panel which made him feel an urgent need to get out into the pure air as soon as possible. This was necessary because Allen himself was suddenly called away for an indefinite period. Allen had telephoned him to say that Charles would remain at Pawtuxet for some time. Mr. Ward mentioned that Dr. and that he must not be disturbed.

and could not make its essence sound as empty and insane as both its bombastic verbiage and its lack of fulfilment would seem to imply. that they and his bearded colleague must be extirpated at any cost. Faced by these baffling and contradictory reports. Ward heard Dr. and in conjunc- 451 . but which was disturbing to the point of fearfulness. Dr. Willett was frankly at a loss what to do. The frantic earnestness of Charles's note was not to be denied. yet what could one think of its writer's immediate violation of his own expressed policy? Young Ward had written that his delvings had become blasphemous and menacing. Willett read it over again. and that he himself would never return to their final scene. and regretted any bother his abrupt change of plans might have caused. and it seemed to excite some vague and elusive memory which could not be actually placed. It listening to this message Mr. Its terror was too profound and real. yet according to latest advices he had forgotten all this and was back in the thick of the mystery. yet some deeper instinct would not permit the impression of that frenzied letter to subside. Common sense bade one leave the youth alone with his freakishness.constant oversight. Charles sent his best wishes. Allen's voice for the first time.

and said that Mrs. Willett pondered on the dilemma which seemed thrust upon him. but Willett felt that some direct conversation with his patient was necessary. Driving out Broad Street 452 . and even his father knew of its interior only from such descriptions as he chose to give. There were nameless horrors abroad. and became more and more inclined to pay Charles a call at the Pawtuxet bungalow. So at length the doctor resolved to act. Willett had visited the spot before through sheer curiousity. Ward in her Atlantic City retirement had had no better word. hence knew exactly the route to take. For over a week Dr. though of course never entering the house or proclaiming his presence. and no matter how little one might be able to get at them. Ward had been receiving brief and non-committal typed notes from his son.tion with what the doctor already knew evoked too vivid hints of monstrosities from beyond time and space to permit of any cynical explanation. Mr. No friend of the youth had ever ventured to storm this forbidden retreat. set boldly out for the bungalow on the bluff above the river. one ought to stand prepared for any sort of action at any time. and by more recent revelations and warnings from Charles Ward. and despite a curious sensation inspired by old legends of Joseph Curwen.

The mulatto still hesitated. and pushed against the door when Willett attempted to open it. and spoke without a tremor to the evil Portuguese mulatto who opened it to the width of a crack. and trim Edgewood and sleepy Pawtuxet presently spread out ahead. He must. then alighted and walked north to where the bluff towered above the lovely bends of the river and the sweep of misty downlands beyond. The ride through the city's decaying fringe was short. he thought oddly of the grim party which had taken that selfsame road a hundred and fifty-seven years before on a terrible errand which none might ever comprehend.one early afternoon toward the end of February in his small motor. Willett turned to the right down Lockwood Street and drove his car as far along that rural road as he could. and a repulse would mean only a full report of the matter to the elder Ward. Houses were still few here. No excuse would be accepted. see Charles Ward at once on vitally important business. Then 453 . he said. but the doctor merely raised his voice and renewed his demands. and there was no mistaking the isolated bungalow with its concrete garage on a high point of land at his left. Stepping briskly up the neglected gravel walk he rapped at the door with a firm hand.

'we may as well talk now as ever. the greater fear was that which immediately followed.' But disturbing as was the whisper. Controversy with Dr. Those notes are not in Ward's normal style. The floor creaked and the speaker hove in sight . they are strange and archaic. For at last he concedes a vital change in Charles Dexter Ward's mentality. Instead. and he definitely dates the madness of Charles Ward from the time the typewritten notes began to reach his parents. and believes that the youth now spoke from a brain hopelessly alien to the brain whose growth he had watched for six and twenty years. not even in the style of that last frantic letter to Willett. Tony.and the owner of those strange and resonant tones was seen to be no other than Charles Dexter Ward. 'Let him in. as if the snapping of the writer's mind had released a flood of tendencies and impressions picked up unconsciously through boyhood antiquarianism. Lyman has compelled him to be very specific.there came from the dark interior a husky whisper which somehow chilled the hearer through and through though he did not know why he feared it. Willett recalled and recorded his conversation of that afternoon is due to the importance he assigns to this particular period.' it said. The- 454 . The minuteness with which Dr.

too. and I hope you will say nothing to alarm him. Instead. but studying even more closely the face of the speaker. 'I was coming to that. was wrong. I suppose you are come from my father to see what ails me. He wished it were not so dark. You must excuse my speech. and the bigness of them has a way of making 455 . I am in a very bad state of nerves. he merely asked Ward why he had so belied the frantic note of little more than a week before.re is an obvious effort to be modern. and began to speak abruptly in that strange whisper which he sought to explain at the very outset. I am on the edge of great matters. he felt. 'I am grown phthisical. 'from this cursed river air. but did not request that the blind be opened.' Willett was studying these scraping tones with extreme care. The past.' the host replied. motioned Willett to a seat. was evident in Ward's every tone and gesture as he received the doctor in that shadowy bungalow. As I have told you often. and he thought of what the family had told him about the fright of that Yorkshire butler one night. 'You must know. He bowed. Something. and do and say queer things I cannot account for. but the spirit and occasionally the language are those of the past.' he began.

I now have it again. Have the goodness to wait six months. My ancestor had all this when those witless peeping Toms came and murdered him. and the arts by reason of the doors I have access to. my place is here. This time nothing must happen. and have no fear of this place or any in it. His zeal is equal to mine in all those matters. and I'll leave you to judge the importance of what I can give to history. Sir. I was a dunce to have that guard and stick at home. and I own him an apology for anything ill I have said of him. so long as I do it rightly.me light-headed. and I suppose that when I feared 456 . Any man might well be frighted of what I have found. or am coming very imperfectly to have a part of it. I wish I had no need to spare him. and least of all though any idiot fears of my own. philosophy. Dr. for having gone this far. There is no evil to any in what I do.' 'You may as well know I have a way of learning old matters from things surer than books. Pray forget all I writ you. but there were things he had to do elsewhere. and perhaps I was led by weakness to believe myself what they say of me. I am not well spoke of my prying neighbours. but I am not to be put off for long. and I'll shew you what will pay your patience well. Allen is a man of fine parts.

and recall to the youth some past events which would restore a familiar mood.the work I feared him too as my greatest helper in it.' Ward paused. but in this process he obtained only the most grotesque results. Important sections of Charles Ward's store of mental images. mainly those touching modern times and his own personal life. He felt almost foolish in the face of this calm repudiation of the letter. whilst all the massed antiquarianism of his youth had welled up from some profound subconsciousness to engulf the contemporary and the individual. and yet there clung to him the fact that while the present discourse was strange and alien and indubitably mad. and he tried his best to hide it. The youth's intimate knowledge of elder things was abnormal and unholy. the note itself had been tragic in its naturalness and likeness to the Charles Ward he knew. Willett now tried to turn the talk on early matters. When Willett would mention some favourite object of his boyhood archaistic studies he often shed by pure accident such a light as no normal mortal could conceivably be expected to 457 . It was the same with all the alienists later on. had been unaccountably expunged. and the doctor hardly knew what to say or think.

It was not wholesome to know so much about the way the fat sheriff's wig fell off as he leaned over at the play in Mr. Modern and personal topics he waved aside quite summarily. and at once proceeded to lead the doctor through every room from cellar to 458 . or about how the actors cut the text of Steele's Conscious Lover so badly that one was almost glad the Baptist-ridden legislature closed the theatre a fortnight later. To this end he offered to shew Willett the entire house. and the doctor shuddered as the glib allusion glided by.possess. but what healthy antiquarian could recall how the creaking of Epenetus Olney's new signboard (the gaudy crown he set up after he took to calling his tavern the Crown Coffee House) was exactly like the first few notes of the new jazz piece all the radios in Pawtuxet were playing? Ward. What he wished clearly enough was only to satisfy his visitor enough to make him depart without the intention of returning. That Thomas Sabin's Boston coach was "damn'd uncomfortable" old letters may well have told. which fell on a Thursday. Douglass's Histrionick Academy in King Street on the eleventh of February. whilst regarding antique affairs he soon shewed the plainest boredom. would not be quizzed long in this vein. 1762. however.

Willett took him in his car one evening. and in the bearing of the altered son there was no trace of filial affec- 459 . save that Charles had been an excessively long time in appearing after the visitor had forced his way into the hall and sent the Portuguese away with an imperative demand. Ward must be kept in as complete an ignorance as her son's own strange typed notes would permit. but noted that the visible books were far too few and trivial to have ever filled the wide gaps on Ward's shelves at home. and that the meagre so-called "laboratory" was the flimsiest sort of a blind. Willett returned to town before evening and told the senior Ward everything which had occurred. Dr. Clearly. and the father emerged in a very saddened and perplexed state. They agreed that the youth must be definitely out of his mind. but decided that nothing drastic need be done just then. but just where. The session was a long one. making it wholly a surprise visit. Essentially defeated in his quest for something he could not name. Willett looked sharply. His reception had developed much like Willett's. Mrs. it was impossible to say. Mr. Above all.attic. there were a library and a laboratory elsewhere. Ward now determined to call in person upon his son. guiding him to within sight of the bungalow and waiting patiently for his return.

yet even so the youth had complained that they dazzled him outrageously. Pawtuxet gossip was the first item they studied. Local tradesmen spoke of the queerness of the orders brought them by the evil-looking mulatto. and this was relatively easy to glean since both had friends in that region. while the nocturnal comings and goings of the motor trucks provided their share of dark speculations. Willett set about collecting every scrap of data which the case might afford.tion. and in particular of the inordinate amounts of mean and fresh blood secured from the two butcher shops in 460 . Willett obtained the most rumours because people talked more frankly to him than to a parent of the central figure. averring that his throat was in very poor condition. Ward and Dr. Now definitely leagued together to do all they could toward the youth's mental salvation. Ward could not banish it from his mind. and from all he heard he could tell that young Ward's life had become indeed a strange one. The lights had been dim. Common tongues would not dissociate his household from the vampirism of the previous summer. He had not spoken out loud at all. but in his hoarse whisper there was a quality so vaguely disturbing that Mr. Dr. Mr.

Reports of these things were harder to point down. Recalling the ancient tales of Joseph Curwen's catacombs. it was soon plain that the Brava Portuguese was loathed. have come from the known cellar. but all the vague hints tallied in certain basic essentials. of course. and the pallid young scholar disliked to a profound degree. Willett and Mr. these quantities were quite absurd.the immediate neighbourhood. Allen feared. and searched many times without success for the door in the river-bank which old manuscripts mentioned. They might. abandoning his attempts at affability and speaking only in hoarse but oddly repellent 461 . During the last week or two Ward had obviously changed much. the bearded and spectacled Dr. Ward gave this phase of the gossip much attention. For a household of only three. and assuming for granted that the present bungalow had been selected because of its situation on the old Curwen site as revealed in one of another of the documents found behind the picture. As to popular opinions of the bungalow's various inhabitants. but rumour insisted that there were deeper and more spreading crypts. and at times when the bungalow was dark. Then there was the matter of the sounds beneath the earth. Noises of a ritual nature positively existed.

Then came the first of the month with its customary financial adjustments. and constructive imagination to their utmost extent. with the meagre documentary evidence available concerning old Joseph Curwen. rebuffed and confused by a shadow too shapeless and intangible to combat. it was from no step of Mr. Ward and Dr. Ward's or Dr. and over these Mr. 4 And yet. induction. after all. Such were the shreds and fragments gathered here and there. had rested uneasily on their oars while the typed notes of young Ward to his parents grew fewer and fewer. They would have given much for a glimpse of the papers Charles had found. including the frantic letter which the doctor now shewed the father. for very clearly the key to the youth's madness lay in what he had learned of the ancient wizard and his doings. Willett held many long and serious conferences. and to correlate every known fact of Charles's later life. They strove to exercise deduction. Willett's that the next move in this singular case proceeded. and the clerks at certain banks began a peculiar shaking of heads and te- 462 .whispers on the few occasions that he ventured forth. The father and the physician.

nor even the Pawtuxet gossip. who would bear out the assertion. of which one or two of them had caught echoes. What made the investigators pause in confusion was not this circumstance alone. for that was nothing unprecedented or fundamentally suspicious. He could. and were reassured less than they ought to have been when the youth hoarsely explained that he hand had lately been so much affected by a nervous shock as to make normal writing impossible. although none of these men knew Ward 463 . implying as it did a virtually total loss of memory concerning important monetary matters which he had had at his fingertips only a month or two before. he said. Moreover. It was the muddled discourse of the young man which nonplussed them. Officials who knew Charles Ward by sight went down to the bungalow to ask why every cheque of his appearing at this juncture was a clumsy forgery. for despite the apparent coherence and rationality of his speech.lephoning from one to the other. there could be no normal reason for this ill-concealed blankness on vital points. even those to his father and mother. Something was wrong. from no written characters at all except with great difficulty. and could prove it by the fact that he had been forced to type all his recent letters.

it was obvious that Charles was insane. and after their departure the party of officials decided that a talk with the senior Ward was imperative. but even the most hopeless antiquarians do not make daily use of obsolete phraseology and gestures. Certainly. Willett looked over the strained and awkward signatures of the cheque. they could not help observing the change in his language and manner. Altogether. 1928. It was strange . and altered speech and bearing must represent some disturbance or malady of genuine gravity. after which the utterly bewildered father summoned Dr.well. this combination of hoarseness.but where had he seen it before? On the whole. palsied hands. So on the sixth of March. Willett in a kind of helpless resignation. and yet there was something damnably familiar about the new writing. It had crabbed and archaic tendencies of a very curious sort. bad memory. there was a long and serious conference in Mr. and compared them in his mind with the penmanship of that last frantic note. and seemed to result from a type of stroke utterly different from that which the youth had always used. Ward's office. the change was radical and profound. which no doubt formed the basis of the prevailing odd rumours. Of that there 464 . They had heard he was an antiquarian.

Lyman of Boston. if at all. Willett gave the most exhaustive possible history of the case. Drs. only after a scene at the bungalow itself. After scanning this material and examining the ominous note to Willett they all agreed that Charles Ward's studies had been enough to unseat or at least to warp any ordinary intellect. looking up the latter at the Journal office. Ward and Dr. but this latter they knew they could do. 465 . and that he collated the incidents of the destroyed newspaper items. and who conferred at length in the now unused library of their young patient.could be no doubt. to whom Mr. it being at this time that he obtained the statements of the workmen who had seen Charles find the Curwen documents. And since it appeared unlikely that he could handle his property or continue to deal with the outside world much longer. something must quickly be done toward his oversight and possible cure. examining what books and papers of his were left in order to gain some further notion of his habitual mental cast. Willett now reviewed the whole case with febrile energy. Peck and Waite of Providence and Dr. and wished most heartily that they could see his more intimate volumes and documents. It was then that the alienists were called in.

Lyman. He offered no resistance when his removal to other quarters was insisted upon. He insisted that this shadowy bungalow possessed no library possessed no library or laboratory beyond the vi- 466 . and Waite. Willett. His conduct would have sent his interviewers away in bafflement had not the persistently archaic trend of his speech and unmistakable replacement of modern by ancient ideas in his consciousness marked him out as one definitely removed from the normal. and his frantic note of the previous month he dismissed as mere nerves and hysteria. Charles. accompanied by Mr. Willett. Ward. and admitted freely that his memory and balance had suffered somewhat from close application to abstruse studies. Drs. the eighth of March. paid the youth their momentous call.On Thursday. and seemed. to display a high degree of intelligence as apart from mere memory. indeed. Of his work he would say no more to the group of doctors than he had formerly said to his family and to Dr. making no concealment of their object and questioning the now acknowledged patient with extreme minuteness. proved a far from recalcitrant subject. Peck. although he was inordinately long in answering the summons and was still redolent of strange and noxious laboratory odours when he did finally make his agitated appearance.

sible ones. He was apparently animated by a calmly philosophic resignation. and his secretive and eccentric behaviour had led him. Ward shewed no signs of nervousness save a barely noticed tendency to pause as though listening for something very faint. His mother. but assured his inquisitors that the bearded and spectacled man would return when needed. Allen he said he did not feel at liberty to speak definitely. Waite on Conanicut 467 . Of the whereabouts of Dr. and in closing the bungalow which still seemed to hold such nighted secrets. his father supplying typed notes in his name. It was clear that he trusted to his obviously unimpaired keenness of absolute mentality to overcome all the embarrassments into which his twisted memory. and waxed abstruse in explaining the absence from the house of such odours as now saturated all his clothing. In paying off the stolid Brava who resisted all questioning by the visitors. was not to be told of the change. as if he removal were the merest transient incident which would cause the least trouble if facilitated and disposed of once and for all. it was agreed. Ward was taken to the restfully and picturesquely situated private hospital maintained by Dr. his lost voice and handwriting. Neighbourhood gossip he attributed to nothing more than the cheap inventiveness of baffled curiousity.

for he had attended Ward all his life and could appreciate with terrible keenness the extent of his physical disorganisation. and Deborah B. and subjected to the closest scrutiny and questioning by all the physicians connected with the case. Even the familiar olive mark on his hip was gone. Willett was the most perturbed of the various examiners.. while on his chest was a great black mole or cicatrice which had never been there before. Dr. Joseph C. Susan P. The doctor could not keep his mind off a certain transcribed witch-trial record from Salem which Charles had shewn him in the old non-secretive days.. too..Island in the bay. Simon O.a small scar or pit preci- 468 . For above the young man's right eye was something which he had never previously noticed . and which made Willett wonder whether the youth had ever submitted to any of the witch markings reputed to be inflicted at certain unwholesome nocturnal meetings in wild and lonely places. Deliverance W. G. and which read: 'Mr. and the disproportionate neural reactions. B. Jonathan A.... the slackened metabolism. on that Nighte putt ye Divell his Marke upon Bridget S. troubled him horribly. the altered skin. Mehitable C. till at length he suddenly discovered why he was horrified. It was then that the physical oddities were noticed..' Ward's face.

which Mr. 1928. Brother in Almonsin-Metraton:I this day receiv'd yr mention of what came up from the Saltes I sent you. 11th Feby. Ward had ordered delivered at the family home. and perhaps attesting some hideous ritualistic inoculation to which both had submitted at a certain stage of their occult careers. It read: Kleinstrasse 11. Allen which gave both the doctor and the father deep thought. While Ward himself was puzzling all the doctors at the hospital a very strict watch was kept on all mail addressed either to him or to Dr. It was in a very crabbed and archaic hand. shewed almost as singular a departure from modern English as the speech of young Ward himself. Altstadt. as you must be sensible of from the Thing you gott from ye Kings Chapell ground in 469 . and meanes clearly that ye Headstones had been chang'd when Barnabas gott me the Specimen. Willett had predicted that very little would be found. since any communications of a vital nature would probably have been exchanged by messenger. Prague. and though clearly not the effort of a foreigner.sely like that in the crumbled painting of old Joseph Curwen. Allen. It was wrong. but in the latter part of March there did come a letter from Prague for Dr. It is often so.

I this day heard from H. for I must speake to him in ye End. Stones are all chang'd now in Nine groundes out of 10. better than I. In my next Send'g there will be Somewhat from a Hill tomb from ye East that will delight you greatly. but doe not use him soe hard he will be Difficult.. You are never sure till you question.1769 and what H. in Philada. who has had Trouble with the Soldiers. that was like to ende him. in Providence. He is like to be sorry Transylvania is pass't from Hungary to Roumania. To Mr. 470 . C. Have ye Wordes for laying at all times readie. I gott such a Thing in Aegypt 75 yeares gone. You know G. As I told you longe ago. do not calle up That which you can not put downe. gott from Olde Bury'g Point in 1690. Meanwhile forget not I am desirous of B. Yogg-Sothoth Neblod Zin Simon O. if you can possibly get him for me. J. either from dead Saltes or out of ye Spheres beyond. from the which came that Scar ye Boy saw on me here in 1924. But of this he hath doubtless writ you. and stopp not to be sure when there is any Doubte of Whom you have. Have him upp firste if you will. F. and wou'd change his Seat if the Castel weren't so fulle of What we Knowe.

alias Jedediah. Willett paused in utter chaos before this apparent bit of unrelieved insanity. what contradictions and contraventions of Nature. the old man Ward had visited in Prague four years previously? Perhaps. virtually at a loss what to do or think. and whose peculiar handwriting Dr. Allen. about the Prague visit. but in the centuries behind there had been another Simon O. Ward and Dr. Willett now unmistakably recognised from the photostatic copies of the Orne formulae which Charles had once shown him."? There was no escaping the inference. Allen. . had come back after a century and a half to harass Old Providence with her clustered spires and domes? The father and the old physician. What horrors and mysteries. So the absent Dr. went to see Charles at the hospital and questioned him as delicately as they could about Dr.". Who was "Simon O. C. Only by degrees did they absorb what it seemed to imply. but there are limits to possible monstrosity.Mr. and about what he had learned of Simon or Jedediah 471 . and not Charles Ward. who vanished in 1771.Simon Orne. J. of Salem. had come to be the leading spirit at Pawtuxet? That must explain the wild reference and denunciation in the youth's last frantic letter. And what of this addressing of the bearded and spectacled stranger as "Mr.

and that without imparting anything vital himself. for they knew the tendency of kindred eccentrics and monomaniacs to band together. Allen himself was perhaps a similar case. 472 . the confined youth had adroitly pumped them of everything the Prague letter had contained. Allen to have a remarkable spiritual rapport with certain souls from the past. and believed that Charles or Allen had merely unearthed an expatriated counterpart . When they left. and that any correspondent the bearded man might have in Prague would probably be similarly gifted.perhaps one who had seen Orne's handwriting and copied it in an attempt to pose as the bygone character's reincarnation. and on the same basis the hardheaded doctors disposed of Willett's growing disquiet about Charles Ward's present handwriting. To all these enquiries the youth was politely non-committal. and Lyman were not inclined to attach much importance to the strange correspondence of young Ward's companion. merely barking in his hoarse whisper that he had found Dr. Willett realised to their chagrin that they had really been the ones under catechism. Such things had been known before. Drs.Orne of Salem. Mr. Ward and Dr. and may have persuaded the youth into accepting him as an avatar of the long-dead Curwen. Waite. Peck.

in a handwriting so intensely and fundamentally like that of the Hutchinson cipher that both father and physician paused in awe before breaking the seal. Dear C. Last monthe M. Transylvania.:Hadd a Squad of 20 Militia up to talk about what the Country Folk say. Allen on the second of April from Rakus. These Roumanians plague me damnably. and that what it vaguely resembled was the bygone penmanship of old Joseph Curwen himself. Willett advised Mr. Recognising this prosaic attitude in his colleagues. being officious and particular where you cou'd buy a Magyar off with a Drinke and Food. got me ye Sarcophagus of ye Five Sphinxes from ye Acropolis where He whome I call'd up 473 . Willett thought he had placed its odd familiarity at last. and refused to grant it any importance either favourable or unfavourable.as studied from unpremeditated specimens obtained by various ruses. This read as follows: Castle Ferenczy 7 March 1928. Must digg deeper and have less Hearde. but this the other physicians regarded as a phase of imitativeness only to be expected in a mania of this sort. Ward to keep to himself the letter which arrived for Dr.

for there was no Neede to keep the Guards in Shape and eat'g off their Heads. Does ye Boy use 'em often? I regret that he growes squeamish. nor Acids loth to burne. and it made Much to be founde in Case of Trouble. as I fear'd he wou'd when I hadde him here nigh 15 Monthes. O. and you are sensible what it did when you ask'd Protection of One not dispos'd to give it. in Prague directly. It is stubborn but you know ye Way with Such. You can now move and worke elsewhere with no Kill'g Trouble if needful. but am sensible you knowe how to deal with him. You can't saye him down with ye Formula. and thence to you.say'd it wou'd be. tho' I hope no Thing will soon force you to so Bothersome a Course. You excel me in gett'g ye Formulae so another may saye them with Success. and Graves are not harde to digg. It will go to S. You shew Wisdom in having lesse about than Before. as you too welle knowe. but you still have strong Handes and Knife and Pistol. 474 . for that will Worke only upon such as ye other Formula hath call'd up from Saltes. I rejoice that you traffick not so much with Those Outside. for there was ever a Mortall Peril in it. and I have hadde 3 Talkes with What was therein inhum'd. but Borellus fancy'd it wou'd be so if just ye right Wordes were hadd.

Allen. Esq. Nephreu . that he was regarding himself as the reincarnation of Joseph Curwen. Ward refrained from shewing this letter to the alienists. and I have hadd these 150 yeares more than you to consulte these Matters in.O. they did not refrain from acting upon it themselves. sayes you have promis'd him B.Ka nai Hadoth Edw. of whom Charles's frantic letter had spoken as such a monstrous menace. Providence.or was at least advised to entertain - 475 . for you knowe O. goes to you soone. It will be ripe in a yeare's time to have up ye Legions from Underneath. and then there are no Boundes to what shal be oures. No amount of learned sophistry could controvert the fact that the strangely bearded and spectacled Dr. and beware of ye Boy. and may he give you what you wishe of that Darke Thing belowe Memphis. For J Curwen. H. F. was in close and sinister correspondence with two inexplicable creatures whom Ward had visited in his travels and who plainly claimed to be survivals or avatars of Curwen's old Salem colleagues. Have Confidence in what I saye. and that he entertained . Imploy care in what you calle up. B. I must have him after. But if Willett and Mr.

Ward lost no time in engaging detectives to learn all they could of the cryptic. bearded doctor. Mr. he urged them to explore Allen's vacant room which had been identified when the patient's belongings had been packed. There was organised horror afoot.murderous designs against a "boy" who could scarcely be other than Charles Ward. finding whence he had come and what Pawtuxet knew of him. but in any case they all half sensed an intangible miasma which centred in that carven vestige of an older dwelling and which at times almost rose to the intensity of a material emanation. thanking heaven that Charles was now safe in the hospital. and they felt a marked relief when they left it at last. and if possible discovering his present whereabouts. Supplying the men with one of the bungalow keys which Charles yielded up. and perhaps it was something different and irrelevant. Mr. 476 . the missing Allen was by this time at the bottom of it. obtaining what clues they could from any effects he might have left about. Perhaps it was what they had heard of the infamous old wizard whose picture had once stared from the panelled overmantel. Ward talked with the detectives in his son's old library. for there seemed to hover about the place a vague aura of evil. Therefore. and no matter who had started it.

There was.were doing or trying to do seemed fairly clear from their letters and from every bit of light both old and new which had filtered in upon the case. That at least two living men .V. What these horrible creatures . including those of the world's wisest and greatest men.and Charles Ward as well . they conceded. whose direct connexion with a necromancy even older than the Salem witchcraft could not be doubted. a terrible movement alive in the world. in the hope of re- 477 .and one other of whom they dared not think . Ward.were in absolute possession of minds or personalities which had functioned as early as 1690 or before was likewise almost unassailably proved even in the face of all known natural laws. and has added a decade to the visible age of one whose youth was even then far behind. and had come to an agreement with him on several points which both felt the alienists would ridicule. Willett had conferred at length with Mr. A Nightmare and a Cataclysm 1 And now swiftly followed that hideous experience which has left its indelible mark of fear on the soul of Marinus Bicknell Willett. They were robbing the tombs of all the ages. Dr.

Willett and Mr.presences or voices of some sort . whereby illustrious bones were bartered with the calm calculativeness of schoolboys swapping books.covering from the bygone ashes some vestige of the consciousness and lore which had once animated and informed them. and from what was extorted from this centuried dust there was anticipated a power and a wisdom beyond anything which the cosmos had ever seen concentred in one man or group. and it had now been so perfected that it could be taught successfully. either in the same body or different bodies. One must be careful about evocations. Things . There was a formula for evoking such a shade. it seems. Ward shivered as they passed from conclusion to conclusion. and another for putting it down. A hideous traffic was going on among these nightmare ghouls. for the markers of old graves are not always accurate.could be drawn down from 478 . There had. They had found unholy ways to keep their brains alive. been some truth in chimerical old Borellus when he wrote of preparing from even the most antique remains certain "Essential Saltes" from which the shade of a longdead living thing might be raised up. and had evidently achieved a way of tapping the consciousness of the dead whom they gathered together.

and as for Charles . Then he had summoned something.if man it were . and in this process also one must be careful. Ward had felt with vague horror in his single talk with the man . That mighty voice aloft on Good Friday.unknown places as well as from the grave. what morbid shade or presence. and he had used them. had come to answer Charles Ward's secret rites behind that locked door? Those voices heard in argument . And he must have found the grave of Joseph Curwen at last."must have it red for 479 . Allen with his spectral bass? Yes. That newspaper item and what his mother had heard in the night were too significant to overlook. He had talked with the man of horror in Prague and stayed long with the creature in the mountains of Transylvania. with their depth and hollowness? Was there not here some awful foreshadowing of the dreaded stranger Dr. and it must have come. What were they like. and those different tones in the locked attic laboratory.what might one think of him? What forces "outside the spheres" had reached him from Joseph Curwen's day and turned his mind on forgotten things? He had been led to find certain directions. Joseph Curwen had indubitably evoked many forbidden things.over the telephone! What hellish consciousness or voice. that was what Mr.

whose mind had planned the vengeance and rediscovered the shunned seat of elder blasphemies? And then the bungalow and the bearded stranger.Good God! Was not that just before the vampirism broke out? The rifling of Ezra Weeden's ancient grave. The final madness of Charles neither father nor doctor could attempt to explain. and the gossip. and the fear. Willett and Mr. and agreed to meet at the bungalow on the following morning with valises and with certain tools and accessories suited to architectural search and underground exploration. but they did feel sure that the mind of Joseph Curwen had come to earth again and was following its ancient morbidities. and both explorers were at the bungalow by ten o'clock. and the detectives must find out more about one whose existence menaced the young man's life. and the cries later at Pawtuxet . 480 . resolved during their final conference to undertake a joint secret exploration of unparalleled thoroughness. Was daemoniac possession in truth a possibility? Allen had something to do with it. Ward. conscious of the sceptical attitude of the alienists. Mr. since the existence of some vast crypt beneath the bungalow seemed virtually beyond dispute.three months" . some effort must be made to find it. In the meantime. The morning of April 6th dawned clear.

The doctor tried to put himself in Charles's place to see how a delver would be likely to start. For a time everything seemed baffling. From the disordered condition of Dr. but could not gain much inspiration from this method. trying to account for every inch separately. Willett reflected that since the original cellar was dug without knowledge of any catacombs beneath. He was soon substantial- 481 . so thither they descended without much delay. the beginning of the passage would represent the strictly modern delving of young Ward and his associates. again making the circuit which each had vainly made before in the presence of the mad young owner. each inch of the earthen floor and stone walls having so solid and innocuous an aspect that the thought of a yearning aperture was scarcely to be entertained. Allen's room it was obvious that the detectives had been there before. Of course the main business lay in the cellar. Then he decided on elimination as a policy. and the later searchers hoped that they had found some clue which might prove of value. and an entry and cursory survey were made. and went carefully over the whole subterranean surface both vertical and horizontal. where they had probed for the ancient vaults whose rumour could have reached them by no wholesome means.Ward had the key.

which he tried once before in vain. Ward at once rushed with excited zeal. Wishing to take no chances. Mr. but it could be seen that the mephitic blast from the crypt had in some way gravely sickened him. The cover was not hard to lift. to which Mr.ly narrowed down. after which he produced an electric torch. In a moment Dr. covered his nostrils with a band of sterile gauze. The foul air had now slightly abated. and in the gust of noxious air which swept up from the black pit beneath the doctor soon recognised ample cause. Willett had his fainting companion on the floor above and was reviving him with cold water. He was swaying and nodding dizzily. and at last had nothing left but the small platform before the washtubs. Now experimenting in every possible way. and the father had quite removed it when Willett noticed the queerness of his aspect. Beneath it lay a trim concrete surface with an iron manhole. and Willett was able to send a beam of 482 . Willett hastened out to Broad Street for a taxicab and had soon dispatched the sufferer home despite his weak-voiced protests. Ward responded feebly. and exerting a double strength. and descended once more to peer into the new-found depths. he finally found that the top did indeed turn and slide horizontally on a corner pivot.

and after that he did not feel disposed to count any more. Slowly. his torch told him. He could not help thinking of what Like Fenner had reported on that last monstrous night. he descended the ladder and reached the slimy steps below. carrying a great valise for the removal of whatever papers might prove of supreme importance. This was ancient masonry. Then duty asserted itself and he made the plunge. as befitted one of his years. ran the steps. but in three abrupt turns. after which the hole appeared to strike a flight of old stone steps which must originally have emerged to earth somewhat southwest of the present building. He had counted about thirty when a sound reached him very faintly. 2 Willett freely admits that for a moment the memory of the old Curwen legends kept him from climbing down alone into that malodorous gulf. Down. it was a sheer cylindrical drop with concrete walls and an iron ladder. and with such narrowness that two men could have passed only with difficulty. 483 . down.light down the Stygian hold. For about ten feet. and upon the dripping walls he saw the unwholesome moss of centuries. he saw. not spirally.

The hall in which he stood was perhaps fourteen feet high in the middle of the vaulting and ten or twelve feet broad. Of the archways. some had doors of the old six-panelled colonial type. for it stretched ahead indefinitely into the blackness. insidious outrages of Nature which are not meant to be. whilst others had none. Was it for this that Ward had seemed to listen on that day he was removed? It was the most shocking thing that Willett had ever heard. Willett began to explore these archways one by one. and it continued from no determinate point as the doctor reached the bottom of the steps and cast his torchlight around on lofty corridor walls surmounted by Cyclopean vaulting and pierced by numberless black archways. To call it a dull wail. or a hopeless howl of chorused anguish and stricken flesh without mind would be to miss its quintessential loathsomeness and soul-sickening overtones. and its walls and roof were of dressed masonry. each of medium size and apparently of bizarre used. finding beyond them rooms with groined stone ceilings. a doom-dragged whine. Its length he could not imagine. Overcoming the dread induced by the smell and the howling. Most of them had 484 . Its pavement was of large chipped flagstone.It was a godless sound. one of those low-keyed.

and a good part of the furniture had plainly come from the Prospect Street mansion. In the fuller gleam it appeared that this apartment was nothing less than the latest study or library of Charles Ward. Here and there was a piece well known to Willett. Willett lighted such as were ready for use. and must have represented the earliest and most obsolete phases of Joseph Curwen's experimentation. bookshelves and tables. Never before or since had he seen such instruments or suggestions of instruments as here loomed up on every hand through the burying dust and cobwebs of a century and a half. chairs and cabinets. Finally there came a room of obvious modernity. Of the books the doctor had seen many before. There were oil heaters. Candlesticks and oil lamps stood about in several places. and the sense of familiarity became so great that he half forgot the noisomness and the wailing. the upper courses of whose chimneys would have formed an interesting study in engineering. and finding a match-safe handy. both of which were plainer here than they had been at 485 . and a desk piled high with papers of varying antiquity and contemporaneousness. or at least of recent occupancy.fireplaces. in many cases evidently shattered as if by the ancient raiders. For many of the chambers seemed wholly untrodden by modern feet.

especially those portentous documents found by Charles so long ago behind the picture in Olney Court. so that months or even years might be needed for a thorough deciphering and editing. in a locked mahogany cabinet once gracing the Ward home.the foot of the steps. since all the titles recalled by the workmen were present except the papers addressed to Orne and Hutchinson. As he search he perceived how stupendous a task the final unravelling would be. His first duty. Willett found the batch of old Curwen papers. Willett placed the entire lot in his valise and continued his examination of the files. Since young Ward's immediate condition was the grea- 486 . recognising them from the reluctant glimpse Charles had granted him so many years ago. Once he found three large packets of letters with Prague and Rakus postmarks. for file on file was stuffed with papers in curious hands and bearing curious designs. as planned long ahead. At last. was to find and seize any papers which might seem of vital importance. and the cipher with its key. The youth had evidently kept them together very much as they had been when first he found them. and in writing clearly recognisable as Orne's and Hutchinson's. all of which he took with him as part of the bundle to be removed in his valise.

test matter at stake. the closest searching was done among the most obviously recent matter. though of undeniably modern dating. a part of the latter-day programme had been a sedulous imitation of the old wizard's writing. Plainly. which indeed included nothing more recent than two months before. and the right-hand one headed by a corresponding sign of "Dragon's Tail" or de- 487 . On the other hand. or rather pair of formulae. In this new material one mystic formula. The oddity was the slight amount in Charles's normal writing. recurred so often that Willett had it by heart before he had half finished his quest. Of any third hand which might have been Allen's there was not a trace. and in this abundance of contemporary manuscript one very baffling oddity was noted. in a crabbed penmanship absolutely identical with the ancient script of Joseph Curwen. there were literally reams of symbols and formulae. If he had indeed come to be the leader. he must have forced young Ward to act as his amanuensis. the left-hand one surmounted by the archaic symbol called "Dragon's Head" and used in almanacs to indicate the ascending node. It consisted of two parallel columns. historical notes and philosophical comment. which Charles seemed to have carried to a marvellous state of perfection.

and so frequently did he come upon them. which he had come to recognise under various spellings from other things he had seen in connexion with this horrible matter. which he recognised later when reviewing the events of that horrible Good Friday of the previous year. The formulae were as follows .scending node. that before the doctor knew it he was repeating them under his 488 .exactly so. and almost unconsciously the doctor realised that the second half was no more than the first written syllabically backward with the exception of the final monosyllables and of the odd name Yog-Sothoth.and the first one struck an odd note of uncomfortable latent memory in his brain. YOG-SOTHOTH H'EE-L'GEB F'AI THRODOG UAAAH OGTHROD AI'F GEB'L-EE'H YOG-SOTHOTH 'NGAH'NG AI'Y ZHRO So haunting were these formulae. as Willett is abundantly able to testify . The appearance of the whole was something like this. Y'AI 'NG'NGAH.

provided the steps he had descended had led from the steep-roofed farmhouse. Suddenly the walls seemed to fall away ahead. and then he decided it was better not to think any more. He had still to find the hidden laboratory. he felt he had secured all the papers he could digest to advantage for the present. and he deduced that this must have reached to one of the Curwen outbuildings .perhaps the famous stone edifice with the high slit-like windows . He thought of the slaves and seamen who had disappeared. but impressed him deeply with the magnitude of Joseph Curwen's original operations. hence resolved to examine no more till he could bring the sceptical alienists en masse for an ampler and more systematic raid. The next few rooms he tried were all abandoned. and the stench and the wailing grew stronger. and of what that final raiding party must have seen. Once a great stone staircase mounted at his right. Willett saw that he had come upon a vast open space. so leaving his valise in the lighted room he emerged again into the black noisome corridor whose vaulting echoed ceaseless with that dull and hideous whine. however. Eventually.breath. so great that his tor- 489 . or filled only with crumbling boxes and ominouslooking leaden coffins. of the graves which had been violated in every part of the world.

more insistent now than ever. Instead. Both were plainer and more hideous in the great 490 . and seemingly varied at time by a sort of slippery thumping. and as he advanced he encountered occasional stout pillars supporting the arches of the roof. These cells were empty.chlight would not carry across it. 3 From that frightful smell and that uncanny noise Willett's attention could no longer be diverted. but still the horrible odour and the dismal moaning continued. After a time he reached a circle of pillars grouped like the monoliths of Stonehenge. with a large carved altar on a base of three steps in the centre. and did not stop to investigate the dark stains which discoloured the upper surface and had spread down the sides in occasional thin lines. he found the distant wall and traced it as it swept round in a gigantic circle perforated by occasional black doorways and indented by a myriad of shallow cells with iron gratings and wrist and ankle bonds on chains fastened to the stone of the concave rear masonry. and so curious were the carvings on that altar that he approached to study them with his electric light. But when he saw what they were he shrank away shuddering.

and found that with extreme difficulty he could budge it. the doctor cast his beam of light about the stone-flagged floor. and at irregular intervals there would occur a slab curiously pierced by small holes in no definite arrangement. while at one point there lay a very long ladder carelessly flung down. singularly enough. as if they might be crude trapdoors leading down to some still deeper region of horror. A stench unnameable now rose up from below. Before trying any of the black archways for steps leading further down. he worked at it with his hands. 491 . Kneeling by one. As he walked slowly about it suddenly occurred to Willett that both the noise and the odour seemed strongest above the oddly pierced slabs. It was very loosely paved. and carried a vague impression of being far below. To this ladder. and the doctor's head reeled dizzily as he laid back the slab and turned his torch upon the exposed square yard of gaping blackness. and only with vast trepidation did he persevere in the lifting of the heavy stone. appeared to cling a particularly large amount of the frightful odour which encompassed everything. At his touch the moaning beneath ascended to a louder key.pillared hall than anywhere else. even in this dark nether world of subterrene mystery.

left starving 492 . The explorer trembled. in conjunction with which there came again that sound of blind. moss-grown brick walls sinking illimitably into that half-tangible miasma of murk and foulness and anguished frenzy. lying at full length and holding the torch downward at arm's length to see what might lie below. and then he saw that something dark was leaping clumsily and frantically up and down at the bottom of the narrow shaft. for amidst that foetor and cracked whining he discerned only the brick-faced top of a cylindrical well perhaps a yard and a half in diameter and devoid of any ladder or other means of descent. The torch shook in his hand.If he had expected a flight of steps to some wide gulf of ultimate abomination. unwilling even to imagine what noxious thing might be lurking in that abyss. Willett was destined to be disappointed. but in a moment mustered up the courage to peer over the rough-hewn brink. which must have been from twenty to twenty-five feet below the stone floor where he lay. futile scrambling and slippery thumping. the wailing changed suddenly to a series of horrible yelps. For a second he could distinguish nothing but the slimy. but he looked again to see what manner of living creature might be immured there in the darkness of that unnatural well. As the light shone down.

and we may only say that there is about certain outlines and entities a power of symbolism and suggestion which acts frightfully on a sensitive thinker's perspective and whispers terrible hints of obscure cosmic relationships and unnameable realities behind the protective illusions of common vision.by young Ward through all the long month since the doctors had taken him away. It is hard to explain just how a single sight of a tangible object with measurable dimensions could so shake and change a man. In that second look Willett saw such an outline or entity. and clearly only one of a vast number prisoned in the kindred wells whose pierced stone covers so thickly studded the floor of the great vaulted cavern. they could not lie down in their cramped spaces. but must have crouched and whined and waited and feebly leaped all those hideous weeks since their master had abandoned them unheeded. for surgeon and veteran of the dissecting-room though he was. he has not been the same since. Whatever the things were. But Marinus Bicknell Willett was sorry that he looked again. Waite's private hospital. He dropped the electric torch from a hand drained of muscular power or 493 . for during the next few instants he was undoubtedly as stark raving mad as any inmate of Dr.

loose stones. and from one of those shafts the cover was removed. but still he kept on. Nature had never made it in this form. nor heeded the sound of crunching teeth which told of its fate at the bottom of the pit. Then at last he slowly came to himself in the utter blackness and stench. He was drenched with perspiration and without means of producing a light. and crushed with a memory he never could efface. He knew that what he had seen could never climb up the slippery walls. What the thing was. and though he could not rise to his feet he crawled and rolled desperately away from the damp pavement where dozens of Tartarean wells poured forth their exhausted whining and yelping to answer his own insane cries. and stopped his ears against the droning wail into which the burst of yelping had subsided. stricken and unnerved in the abysmal blackness and horror. yet shuddered at the thought that some obscure foot-hold might exist. He screamed and screamed and screamed in a voice whose falsetto panic no acquaintance of his would ever have recognised. and many times bruised his head against the frequent pillars. 494 . he would never tell. He tore his hands on the rough. It was like some of the carvings on the hellish altar. but it was alive. Beneath him dozens of those things still lived.nervous coördination.

twisted thing found in the fields a week after the Curwen raid. a phrase used by Simon or Jedediah Orne in that portentous confiscated letter to the bygone sorcerer: 'Certainely. its image would not have been carved on that damnable stone. If it had not had a certain significance. the first connected idea in his mind was an idle paragraph from some of the old Curwen data he had digested long before. and which he kept for servile or ritualistic purposes. there was Noth'g but ye liveliest Awfulness in that which H. Willett consents only to say that this type of thing must have represented entities which Ward called up from imperfect salts. and the abnormalities of proportion could not be described. Charles Ward had once told the doctor what old Slocum said of that object. nor wholly allied to any 495 . The deficiencies were of the most surprising sort. rais'd upp from What he cou'd gather onlie a part of. horribly supplementing rather than displacing this image. there came a recollection of those ancient lingering rumours anent the burned.' Then. It was not the worst thing depicted on that stone . that it was neither thoroughly human.but Willett never opened the other pits.for it was too palpably unfinished. At the time.

These words hummed in the doctor's mind as he rocked to and fro. Think he would not. lamenting bitterly his fright-lost torch and looking wildly about for any gleam of light in the clutching inkiness of the chilly air. squatting on the nitrous stone floor. T. but he strained his eyes in every direction for some faint glint or reflection of the bright illumination he had left in the library.animal which Pawtuxet folk had ever seen or read about. and toward this he crawled in agonised caution on hands and knees amidst the stench and howling. always feeling ahead lest he collide with the numerous great pillars or stumble into the abominable pit he had uncovered. It seemed to soothe him. 496 . eventually trailing off into a mnemonic hodge-podge like the modernistic Waste Land of Mr. Yog-Sothoth' and so on till the final underlined Zhro. and he staggered to his feet after a time. After a while he thought he detected a suspicion of a glow infinitely far away. and repeated the Lord's Prayer to himself. He tried to drive them out. and finally reverting to the oft-repeated dual formula he had lately found in Ward's underground library: 'Y'ai 'ng'ngah. Eliot. S.

Once his shaking fingers touched something which he knew must be the steps leading to the hellish altar. Presently. his only hope of rescue and survival would lie in whatever relief party Mr. however. and here his caution became almost pitiful. What had been down there made no sound nor stir. Each time Willett's fingers felt a perforated slab he trembled. for he knew that once the light failed. and he realised that the various candles and lamps he had left must be expiring one by one. and from this spot he recoiled in loathing. The thought of being lost in utter darkness without matches amidst this underground world of nightmare labyrinths impelled him to rise to his feet and run. But he did not come upon the dread aperture after all. he emerged from the open space into the narrower corridor 497 . Several times during his progress the glow ahead diminished perceptibly. but generally it would produce no effect at all. since he moved very noiselessly. nor did anything issue from that aperture to detain him. Evidently its crunching of the fallen electric torch had not been good for it. At another time he encountered the pierced slab he had removed. His passage over it would sometimes increase the groaning below. which he could safely do now that he had passed the open pit. Ward might send after missing him for a sufficient period.

Fortunately neither the frightful altar nor the opened shaft 498 . Failing to find a lantern. but he knew it must be done. which he proposed to keep for reserve use in whatever hidden laboratory he might uncover beyond the terrible open space with its unclean altar and nameless covered wells. also filling his pockets with candles and matches. and watching the sputterings of that last lamp which had brought him to safety. To traverse that space again would require his utmost fortitude. his sense of grim purpose was still uppermost. In a moment he had reached it and was standing once more in young Ward's secret library. 4 In another moment he was hastily filling the burned-out lamps from an oil supply he had previously noticed. trembling with relief. and taking with him a gallon can of oil.and definitely located the glow as coming from a door on his right. For racked though he was with horror. and he was firmly determined to leave no stone unturned in his search for the hideous facts behind Charles Ward's bizarre madness. he chose the smallest of the lamps to carry. and when the room was bright again he looked about to see if he might find a lantern for further exploration.

as if gradual provisions were being made to equip a large body of men. and whose black mysterious archways would form the next goals of a logical search. and the sinister incrustations upon them. Most of the black doorways led merely to small chambers. some vacant and some evidently used as storerooms. or of the uncovered pit with the pierced stone slab beside it.was near the vast cell-indented wall which bounded the cavern area. In another room he found numerous odds and ends of modern clothing. and in several of the latter he saw some very curious accumulations of various objects. But what he disliked most of all were the huge copper vats which occasionally appeared. and the explorer thrilled when he saw that it was unmistakably the clothing of a century and a half before. these. When he had completed about half the entire circuit of the 499 . turning down his lamp to avoid any distant glimpse of the hellish altar. So Willett went back to that great pillared hall of stench and anguished howling. He liked them even less than the weirdly figured leaden bowls whose rims retained such obnoxious deposits and around which clung repellent odours perceptible above even the general noisomness of the crypt. One was packed with rotting and dust-draped bales of spare clothing.

of course. must have peris- 500 . and out of which many doors opened. That old copy. Dr. and it was weirdly interesting to note that Ward had underlined the same passage whose marking had so perturbed good Mr. Among the books was a tattered old copy of Borellus in black-letter. so that the room was really rather a disappointment. little could be learned from the scientific ensemble.and no doubt of old Joseph Curwen before him. he came at last to a large oblong apartment whose business-like tanks and tables. After lighting the three lamps which he found filled and ready. occasional books and endless shelves of jars and bottles proclaimed it indeed the long-sought laboratory of Charles Ward . This he proceeded to investigate. Merritt in Curwen's farmhouse more than a century and half before. and after entering three rooms of medium size and of no significant contents. which included a gruesome-looking dissecting-table.wall he found another corridor like that from which he had come. Willett examined the place and all the appurtenances with the keenest interest. On the whole. furnaces and modern instruments. noting from the relative quantities of various reagents on the shelves that young Ward's dominant concern must have been with some branch of organic chemistry.

and the other with a single handle and proportioned like a Pha- 501 .hed along with the rest of Curwen's occult library in the final raid. These lamps Willett lighted. The third archway led to a very sizeable chamber entirely lined with shelves and having in the centre a table bearing two lamps. and these the doctor proceeded to sample in turn. Three archways opened off the laboratory. These had suffered damage at the hands of the raiders. were some odd bits which he judged to be fragments of old Joseph Curwen's laboratory appliances. and in their brilliant glow studied the endless shelving which surrounded him. and several new and tightly nailed boxes which he did not stop to investigate. but were still partly recognisable as the chemical paraphernalia of the Georgian period. but these he canvassed with care. There was much clothing also stored in these rooms. Most interesting of all. Some of the upper levels were wholly vacant. From his cursory survey he saw that two led merely to small storerooms. but most of the space was filled with small odd-looking leaden jars of two general types. perhaps. remarking the piles of coffins in various stages of damage and shuddering violently at two or three of the few coffin-plates he could decipher. one tall and without handles like a Grecian lekythos or oil-jug.

For the moment.leron jug. The result was invariable. Both types of jar contained a small quantity of a single kind of substance. To the colours which formed the only point of variation there was no apparent method of disposal. All had metal stoppers. neutral colour. The 502 . In a moment the doctor noticed that these jugs were classified with great rigidity. however. except some on the upper shelves that turned out to be vacant. and any one in a Phaleron might have its exact counterpart in a lekythos. he was more interested in the nature of the array as a whole. Each of the jars of jugs. all the lekythoi being on one side of the room with a large wooden sign reading 'Custodes' above them. A bluish-grey powder might be by the side of a pinkish-white one. bore a cardboard tag with a number apparently referring to a catalogue. and experimentally opened several of the lekythoi and Phalerons at random with a view to a rough generalisation. a fine dusty powder of very light weight and of many shades of dull. and Willett resolved to look for the latter presently. correspondingly labelled with a sign reading 'Materia'. and no distinction between what occurred in the lekythoi and what occurred in the Phalerons. and were covered with peculiar-looking symbols moulded in low relief. and all the Phalerons on the other.

and in that dreadful chronicle there had been a mention of conversations overheard be- 503 . respectively . and the phrase had read: 'There was no Neede to keep the Guards in Shape and eat'g off their Heads. "Custodes".' What did this signify? But wait .most individual feature about the powders was their non-adhesiveness. as you too welle knowe. The meaning of the two signs puzzled him. and upon returning it to its jug would find that no residue whatever remained on his palm. It was. Willett would pour one into his hand.was there not still another reference to "guards" in this matter which he had failed wholly to recall when reading the Hutchinson letter? Back in the old non-secretive days Ward had told him of the Eleazar Smith diary recording the spying of Smith and Weeden on the Curwen farm. and it made Much to be founde in Case of Trouble. in the recent letter to Dr. and he wondered why this battery of chemicals was separated so radically from those in glass jars on the shelves of the laboratory proper.and then there came a flash of memory as to where he had seen that word "Guards" before in connexion with this dreadful mystery. "Materia". Allen purporting to be from old Edwin Hutchinson. that was the Latin for "Guards" and "Materials". of course.

Those guards. and the guards of those captives. had "eaten their heads off". And if not in shape. Salts too .fore the old wizard betook himself wholly beneath the earth. then the salts of what? God! Could it be possible that here lay the mortal relics of half the titan thinkers of all the ages. how save as the "salts" to which it appears this wizard band was engaged in reducing as many human bodies or skeletons as they could? So that was what these lekythoi contained. certain captives of his. terrible colloquies wherein figured Curwen. according to Hutchinson or his avatar. Then he thought of the "Materia" . There had been. in the defence of their blasphemous master or the questioning of those who were not so willing? Willett shuddered at the thought of what he had been pouring in and out of his hands.and if not the salts of "guards". presumably won or cowed to such submission as to help. and for a moment felt an impulse to flee in panic from that cavern of hideous shelves with their silent and perhaps watching sentinels. when called up by some hellish incantation. Smith and Weeden insisted. Allen did not keep them in shape.in the myriad Phaleron jugs on the other side of the room. so that now Dr. the monstrous fruit of unhallowed rites and deeds. snatched by supreme ghouls from crypts where the world thought them 504 .

as poor Charles had hinted in his frantic note. that dreamers see fixed above the archway of a certain black tower standing alone in twilight . but it filled him with vague spiritual dread. and subject to the beck and call of madmen who sought to drain their knowledge for some still wilder end whose ultimate effect would concern. dreaming friend of his had once drawn it on paper and told him a few of the things it means in the dark abyss of sleep. and came clearly from the room beyond the door. all natural law. "all civilisation.and Willett did not like what his friend Randolph Carter had said of its powers. So it was here that the youth had been interrupted by the final summons? He 505 .safe. But a moment later he forgot the sign as he recognised a new acrid odour in the stench-filled air. for a morbid. And it was. and calmed himself enough to approach it and examine the crude sign chiselled above. It was the sign of Koth. This was a chemical rather than animal smell. perhaps even the fate of the solar system and the universe"? And Marinus Bicknell Willett had sifted their dust through his hands! Then he noticed a small door at the further end of the room. the same odour which had saturated Charles Ward's clothing on the day the doctors had taken him away. unmistakably. It was only a symbol.

and two groups of curious machines with clamps and wheels. to see what notes Ward might have been jotting down when interrupted. a single chair. The room beyond the door was of medium size.was wiser that old Joseph Curwen. Willett. with a powerful Argand lamp. which Willett recognised after a moment as mediaeval instruments of torture. There was nothing alive here to harm him. and two of the stoppered lekythoi from the shelves outside set down at irregular places as if temporarily or in haste. seized the small lamp and crossed the threshold. above which were some shelves bearing empty rows of shallow pedestalled cups of lead shaped like Grecian kylikes. and had no furniture save a table. Willett lighted the lamp and looked carefully at the pad. a pad and pencil. but found nothing more intelligible than the following disjo- 506 . A wave of nameless fright rolled out to meet him. boldly determined to penetrate every wonder and nightmare this nether realm might contain. but he yielded to no whim and deferred to no intuition. for he had not resisted. On one side of the door stood a rack of savage whips. On the other side was the table. and he would not be stayed in his piercing of the eldritch cloud which engulfed his patient.

there stood a shallow kylix of the sort found on the shelves above the whip-rack. The damp floor also bore marks of carving.inted fragments in that crabbed Curwen chirography.' 'Rais'd Yog-Sothoth thrice and was ye nexte Day deliver'd. Escap'd into walls and founde Place below.' 'Sawe olde V. In one of these four circles. dy'd not. with a plain circle about three feet wide half way between this and each corner. But far more interesting were the two vacant walls. saye ye Sabaoth and learnt yee Way.' 'F. and just outside the periphery was one of the Phaleron jugs from the shelves in the other room. and with but little difficulty Willett deciphered a huge pentagram in the centre. 507 . near where a yellowish robe had been flung carelessly down. was covered with pegs from which hung a set of shapeless-looking robes of a rather dismal yellowish-white. soughte to wipe out all know'g howe to raise Those from Outside. which shed no light on the case as a whole: 'B. its tag numbered 118. both of which were thickly covered with mystic symbols and formulae roughly chiselled in the smooth dressed stone.' As the strong Argand blaze lit up the entire chamber the doctor saw that the wall opposite the door. between the two groups of torturing appliances in the corners.

all these engulfed the doctor in a tidal wave of horror as he looked at that dry greenish powder outspread in the pedestalled leaden kylix on the floor. the formulae on the walls. the dust or salts from the jug of "Materia". the notes on the pad. lay a small amount of a dry. With an effort. dull-greenish efflorescent powder which must have belonged in the jug. and saved from scattering only by the absence of wind in this sequestered cavern. doubts. and the thousand glimpses. the robes. and Willett almost reeled at the implications that came sweeping over him as he correlated little by little the several elements and antecedents of the scene. and their text was such as to be vaguely familiar to one who had read much Curwen material or delved extensively into the hi- 508 .This was unstoppered. From the stained and incrusted letters it was obvious that they were carved in Joseph Curwen's time. the hints from letters and legends. and suppositions which had come to torment the friends and parents of Charles Ward . Within its shallow area. The whips and the instruments of torture. however. the two lekythoi from the "Custodes" shelf. Willett pulled himself together and began studying the formulae chiselled on the walls. and proved upon inspection to be empty. but the explorer saw with a shiver that the kylix was not.

or as if later study had evolved more powerful and perfected variants of the invocations in question. as if old Curwen had had a different way of recording sound. The doctor tried to reconcile the chiselled version with the one 509 . Almonsin. It was not spelled here exactly as Mrs. and Willett felt a start of recognition when he came up the pair of formulae so frequently occurring in the recent notes in the library. the same. roughly speaking. and such words as Sabaoth. They were. The right-hand wall was no less thickly inscribed. with the ancient symbols of "Dragon's Head" and "Dragon's Tail" heading them as in Ward's scribblings. Ward had set it down from memory. This was on the left-hand wall as one entered the room. and Zariatnatmik sent a shudder of fright through the search who had seen and felt so much of cosmic abomination just around the corner. and what an authority had told him was a very terrible invocation addressed to secret gods outside the normal spheres. Metraton. But the spelling differed quite widely from that of the modern versions.story of magic. One the doctor clearly recognised as what Mrs. nor yet as the authority had shewn it to him in the forbidden pages of "Eliphas Levi". Ward heard her son chanting on that ominous Good Friday a year before. but its identity was unmistakable.

Where the script he had memorised began "Y'ai 'ng'ngah. Y'AI 'NG'NGAH. Weird and menacing in that abyss of antique blasphemy rang his voice. Ground as the later text was into his consciousness. and found it hard to do. the discrepancy disturbed him. this epigraph started out as "Aye. godless wail from the pits whose inhuman cadences rose and fell rhythmically in the distance through the stench and the darkness. Yogge-Sothotha". and the gloom grew so dense that the letters on the wall nearly faded from 510 . its accents keyed to a droning sing-song either through the spell of the past and the unknown. which to his mind would seriously interfere with the syllabification of the second word. YOG-SOTHOTH H'EE-L'GEB F'AI THRODOG UAAAH! But what was this cold wind which had sprung into life at the very outset of the chant? The lamps were sputtering woefully. engengah. and he found himself chanting the first of the formulae aloud in an effort to square the sound he conceived with the letters he found carved. Yog-Sothoth". or through the hellish example of that dull.which still ran persistently in his head.

There was smoke. yet infinitely stronger and more pungent....sight. He turned from the inscriptions to face the room with its bizarre contents. and an acrid odour which quite drowned out the stench from the faraway wells. doe not call up Any that you can not put downe . too.. in which the ominous efflorescent powder had lain. The doctor reeled.Dragon's Head..the first of the pair . an odour like that he had smelt before. and through his head raced wildly disjointed scraps from all he had seen.what was it doing now. 3 Talkes with What was therein inhum'd . and stopp not to be sure when there is any Doubte of Whom you have . Have ye Wordes for laying at all times readie. could it be . what is that shape behind the parting smoke? 5 511 .. and read of the frightful case of Joseph Curwen and Charles Dexter Ward..Blessed Saviour. and what had started it? The formula he had been chanting . That powder . ascending node .Great God! it had come from the shelf of "Materia" ." Mercy of Heaven. "I say to you againe.. greenishblack vapour of surprising volume and opacity. and saw that the kylix on the floor. was giving forth a cloud of thick. heard.

. He has been advised to take a long vacation and to shun future cases dealing with mental disturbance. Willett's 512 .. In the bright noon sunlight the bungalow was unchanged since the previous morning. Did not he himself see the noisome aperture in the bungalow cellar? Did not Willett send him home overcome and ill at eleven o'clock that portentous morning? Did he not telephone the doctor in vain that evening. crying out.. finding his friend unconscious but unharmed on one of the beds upstairs? Willett had been breathing stertorously. Ward gave him some brandy fetched from the car. and had he not driven to the bungalow itself on that following noon. and opened his eyes slowly when Mr. hence he has made no attempt to tell it beyond his most intimate circle. those eyes. 'That beard. blue-eyed. Then he shuddered and screamed. But Mr. Only a few outsiders have ever heard it repeated.Marinus Bicknell Willett has not hope that any part of his tale will be believed except by certain sympathetic friends. who are you?' A very strange thing to say to a trim. clean-shaven gentleman whom he had known from the latter's boyhood. Ward knows that the veteran physician speaks only a horrible truth.. God. and again the next day. and of these the majority laugh and remark that the doctor surely is getting old.

. Underneath the smooth concrete was still visible. Nothing yawned this time to sicken the mystified father who had followed the doctor downstairs.' he asked softly. no world of subterrene horrors. Willett staggered dizzily down to the cellar and tried the fateful platform before the tubs. the physician gave 513 . and only a faint acrid odour reminded Mr. 'Yesterday.. no Curwen papers. no laboratory or shelves or chiselled formulae. 'did you see it here . It was unyielding. The doctor's flashlight was missing. but his valise was safely there.. no secret library. and clutched at the younger man. as empty as when he had brought it.clothing bore no disarrangement beyond certain smudges and worn places at the knees. but of any opening or perforation there was no longer a trace. himself transfixed with dread and wonder.. Dr. found strength to nod an affirmative. Ward.no noisome well. Ward of what he had smelt on his son that day he was taken to the hospital. no. no nightmare pits of stench and howling. and obviously with great moral effort. he obtained a chisel and began to pry up the stubborn planks one by one. Crossing to where he had left his yet unused tool satchel the day before. Before indulging in any explanations. only the smooth concrete underneath the planks . and smell it?' And when Mr. Willett turned pale.

the physician whispered his frightful tale to the wondering father. Ward ventured a hushed suggestion. and Willett was too tired to ask himself what had really occurred. There were futile. It was a common sheet. Reaching for his handkerchief before rising to leave. and which was companioned by the candles and matches he had seized in the vanished vault. Ward asked. 'Do you suppose it would be of any use to dig?' The doctor was silent. 'Then I will tell you'. this was not the final phase of the matter. bewildered head-shakings from both men. and it sealed up the hole somehow. in the sunniest room they could find upstairs. Dr. for it seemed hardly fitting for any human brain to answer when powers of unknown spheres had so vitally encroached on this side of the Great Abyss. But after all. and nodded in turn. There was nothing to relate beyond the looming up of that form when the greenish-black vapour from the kylix parted. 'But where did it go? It brought you here. torn obviously from the cheap pad in that fabulous room of horror so- 514 . Again Mr. So for an hour.' And Willett again let silence answer for him. Willett's fingers closed upon a piece of paper in his pocket which had not been there before. you know. he said. and once Mr.a sound half a sigh and half a gasp.

D. But in the text itself it did indeed reek with wonder.doubtless the one which had lain beside the pad. In the end they found what was needed. and its mystery lent purpose to the shaken pair. for here was no script of any wholesome age. It was folded very carelessly. who forthwith walked steadily out to the Ward car and gave orders to be driven first to a quiet dining place and then to the John Hay Library on the hill. yet having combinations of symbols which seemed vaguely familiar. and the pale moon of Bri- 515 . At the library it was easy to find good manuals of palaeography. The letters were indeed no fantastic invention. scarcely legible to the laymen who now strained over it. but the laboured strokes of mediaeval darkness. The briefly scrawled message was this. and beyond the faint acrid scent of the cryptic chamber bore no print or mark of any world but this. but the normal script of a very dark period.. and the writing upon it was that of an ordinary lead pencil . and brought with them memories of an uncouth time when under a fresh Christian veneer ancient faiths and ancient rites stirred stealthily. and over these the two men puzzled till the lights of evening shone out from the great chandelier. They were the pointed Saxon minuscules of the eighth or ninth century A.mewhere underground.

and talked to no purpose into the night. Both Wil- 516 . nec aliq(ui)d retinendum. Cadaver aq(ua) forti dissolvendum. The words were in such Latin as a barbarous age might remember . Tace ut potes.'Corvinus necandus est. The doctor rested toward morning. answered the call in person.which may roughly be translated. who was pacing nervously about in a dressing-gown.tain looked sometimes on strange deeds in the Roman ruins of Caerleon and Hexham." Willett and Mr. especially. Ward were mute and baffled. With Willett. and by the towers along Hadrian's crumbling wall. and found that they lacked emotions to respond to it as they vaguely believed they ought. They had met the unknown. And he was still there Sunday noon when a telephone message came from the detectives who had been assigned to look up Dr. and told the men to come up early the next day when he heard their report was almost ready. Ward.' . Allen. but did not go home. The body must be dissolved in aqua fortis. Mr. the capacity for receiving fresh impressions of awe was wellnigh exhausted. Keep silence as best you are able. "Curwen must be killed. nor must anything be retained. and both men sat still and helpless till the closing of the library forced them to leave. Then they drove listlessly to the Ward mansion in Prospect Street.

it seemed certain the "Curwen" who must be destroyed could be no other than the bearded and spectacled stranger. was not Allen planning to murder young Ward upon the advice of the creature called Hutchinson? Of course. Allen. Allen must be apprehended. had been receiving letters from the strange wizards in Europe under the name of Curwen. And now from a fresh and unknown source had come a message saying that "Curwen" must be killed and dissolved in acid. The linkage was too unmistakable to be factitious. but from its text they could see that Allen had already formed plans for dealing with the youth if he grew too "squeamish". and had said in the frantic note that he must be killed and dissolved in acid. for whatever the origin of the strange minuscule message. hoping against hope to extract some gleam of information anent the inmost mysteri- 517 . he must be placed where he could inflict no harm upon Charles Ward. and besides.lett and he were glad that this phase of the matter was taking form. and palpably regarded himself as an avatar of the bygone necromancer. and even if the most drastic directions were not carried out. Without doubt. That afternoon. Charles had feared this man. moreover. the letter they had seen had never reached the bearded stranger.

they do eat. he was half-deaf with noise from Outside and never saw or heard aught from the wells! He never dreamed they were there at all! 518 . But Ward did not wince. and his voice grew indignant as he spoke of how the things were starving. the father and the doctor went down the bay and called on young Charles at the hospital. you be modest! D'ye know. For Charles. and chucked hoarsely at something which amused him. damme. and watched for a wincing on Charles's part when he approached the matter of the covered pits and the nameless hybrids within. The physician employed as much dramatic effect as he could. He taxed the youth with shocking inhumanity. Sir. that was the joke on poor old Whipple with his virtuous bluster! Kill everything off. and shivered when only a sardonic laugh came in reply. in accents doubly terrible because of the cracked voice he used. seemed to see some ghastly jest in this affair. you say. having dropped as useless his pretence that the crypt did not exist. 'Damn 'em. Willett paused. Simply and gravely Willett told him all he had found.es from the only available one capable of giving it. and noticed how pale he turned as each description made certain the truth of the discovery. would he? Why. without food? Lud. Then he whispered. but they don't need to! That's the rare part! A month.

Horrified. Truly. you had not been here to tell me this. but I meant to have it up that day you came to invite me hither. But.Devil take ye. of no possible significance to anyone not deeply initiated in the history of magic. those cursed things have been howling down there ever since Curwen was done for a hundred and fifty-seven years gone!' But no more than this could Willett get from the youth. the boy had drawn down nameless horrors from the skies. Looking at the youth's face. A quizzical look overspread his face as he heard what Willett had read on the pad. 'had you but known the words to bring up that which I had out in the cup. the doctor could not but feel a kind of terror at the changes which recent months had wrought.' Then Willett told of the formula he had spoken and of the greenish-black smoke which had arisen. yet almost convinced against his will. 'Twas Number 118. and he ventured the mild statement that those notes were old ones. he added. 519 . When the room with the formulae and the greenish dust was mentioned. and I conceive you would have shook had you looked it up in my list in t'other room. 'Twas never raised by me. Charles shewed his first sign of animation. he went on with his tale in the hope that some incident might startle his auditor out of the mad composure he maintained.

He could have wished no s t r o n g e r r e s u l t . 'It came. without warning. had been conducted with the greatest secrecy lest the resident alienists accuse the father and the physician of encouraging a madman in his delusions. he drew forth the minuscule message and flashed it before the patient's eyes. the patient mumbled many times of some word which he must get to Orne and Hutchinson at once. Ward picked up the stricken youth and placed him on the couch. 520 . and you be here alive?' As Ward croaked the words his voice seemed almost to burst free of its trammels and sink to cavernous abysses of uncanny resonance. you say? But don't forget that stones are all changed now in nine grounds out of ten. f o r C h a r l e s Wa r d f a i n t e d forthwith. You are never sure till you question!' And then. Unaided. Dr. 118. so when his consciousness seemed fully back the doctor told him that of those strange creatures at least one was his bitter enemy. too. believed he saw the situation.and as he did so he saw true fear dawn for the first time on Charles Ward's face. of course. and wove into his reply a caution from a letter he remembered. and had given Dr. Willett. gifted with a flash of inspiration. All this conversation. In reviving. 'No. Allen advice for his assassination. Willett and Mr.

Willett arranged with an international press-cutting bureau for accounts of notable current crimes and accidents in Prague and in eastern Transylvania. leaving behind a caution against the bearded Allen. however. since they knew that the hospital authorities seized all outgoing mail for censorship and would pass no wild or outré-looking missive. and after six months believed that he had found two very significant things amongst the multifarious items he received and had translated. There is. if such indeed the exiled wizards were. After that he would converse no more. They did not worry about any communications Charles might indite to that monstrous pair in Europe. and could do no one any harm even if he wished. a curious sequel to the matter of Orne and Hutchinson. and before it was made the visitors could see that their host had already the look of a hunted man.This revelation produced no visible effect. so Willett and the father departed presently. One was the total wrecking of a house by night in the oldest quarter of Prague. to which the youth only replied that this individual was very safely taken care of. Moved by some vague presentiment amidst the horrors of that period. and the disappearance of the evil old man 521 . This was said with an almost evil chuckle very painful to hear.

or Curwen's if one might regard the tacit claim to reincarnation as valid .he felt must be accomplished at any cost. for the upper parts of the house were beginning to be shunned 522 . who had dwelt in it alone ever since anyone could remember. the writer felt able to find and deal with Orne and Hutchinson itself. and the utter extirpation with all its inmates of the ill-regarded Castle Ferenczy. They were downstairs this time. and he communicated this conviction to Mr. and that while Curwen was left to him to dispose of. 6 The following morning Dr. whose master was so badly spoken of by peasants and soldiery alike that he would shortly have been summoned to Bucharest for serious questioning had not this incident cut off a career already so long as to antedate all common memory. The other was a titan explosion in the Transylvanian mountains east of Rakus. Ward as they sat waiting for the men to come. Allen's destruction or imprisonment . Willett maintains that the hand which wrote those minuscules was able to wield stronger weapons as well. Willett hastened to the Ward home to be present when the detectives arrived.called Josef Nadek. If what their fate may have been the doctor strives sedulously not to think.

together with a pair of dark glasses. His voice. and there was a universal belief that his thick sandy beard was either dyed or false . At nine o'clock the three detectives presented themselves and immediately delivered all that they had to say. a nauseousness which the older servants connected with some curse left by the vanished Curwen portrait. Allen had struck Pawtuxet people as a vaguely unnatural being. Ward could well testify from his one telephone conversation. in the course of negotiations. this being confirmed by pencilled notes of no clear meaning found in his room and identified by the merchant. One shopkeeper. nor had they found the least trace of Dr. in his room at the fateful bungalow. had a depth and hollowness that could not be forgotten. regrettably enough. and his glanced seemed malign even through his smoked and horn-rimmed glasses.a belief conclusively upheld by the finding of such a false beard. but they had managed to unearth a considerable number of local impressions and facts concerning the reticent stranger. Mr. had seen a specimen of his handwriting and declared it was very queer and crabbed. 523 . Allen's source or present whereabouts.because of a particular nauseousness which hung indefinitely about. located the Brava Tony Gomes as they had wished. They had not.

mad thought which had simultaneously reached their minds. a majority of the gossips believed that Allen rather than Ward was the actual vampire. The place had been too dark for them to observe him clearly.In connexion with the vampirism rumours of the preceding summer. but they would know him again if they saw him. it yielded nothing definite save the beard and glasses. As for the detectives' search of Allen's room. Allen. The false beard and glasses . Ward caught something of a profound.the old portrait and its tiny scar - 524 . but had recognised him as the dominant figure in the queer shadowy cottage. and they thought he had some slight scar above his dark spectacled right eye. They had felt less of the sinister in Dr. and almost trembled in following up the vague. His beard had looked odd. Statements were also obtained from the officials who had visited the bungalow after the unpleasant incident of the motor truck robbery. and several pencilled notes in a crabbed writing which Willett at once saw was identical with that shared by the old Curwen manuscripts and by the voluminous recent notes of young Ward found in the vanished catacombs of horror. Dr.the crabbed Curwen penmanship . Willett and Mr. and insidious cosmic fear from this data as it was gradually unfolded. subtle.

the papers and the letters and all the talk of graves and "salts" and discoveries .had it not used to stare and stare. the starving monsters in the noisome pits. he gave the detectives an ar- 525 .that deep.Allen . too. did both Allen and Charles copy Joseph Curwen's handwriting. Steeling himself against any realisation of why he did it.the lost crypt of horrors that had aged the doctor overnight. Ward did the most sensible thing. the message in minuscules found in Willett's pocket.in what blasphemous and abominable fusion had two ages and two persons become involved? That damnable resemblance of the picture to Charles . the officials had once. the awful formula which had yielded such nameless results. and follow the boy around the room with its eyes? Why.Ward . Ward was reminded when his son barked forth those pitiable tones to which he now claimed to be reduced? Who had ever seen Charles and Allen together? Yes. hollow voice on the telephone was it not of this that Mr. even when alone and off guard? And then the frightful work of those people .whither did everything lead? In the end Mr.and the altered youth in the hospital with such a scar . but who later on? Was it not when Allen left that Charles suddenly lost his growing fright and began to live wholly at the bungalow? Curwen .

it was becoming too hideous for coherent thought. and when had the final stage occurred? That day when his frantic note was received he had been nervous all the morning. Allen . said that "Curwen" must be likewise obliterated? What was the change. and Willett wiped a suddenly dampened brow with his handkerchief. of whose origin no one dared think. Allen. Ward turned pale. Allen. then there 526 . and what had it done to him? What. had the minuscule message. on which he now carefully drew in ink the pair of heavy glasses and the black pointed beard which the men had brought from Allen's room. What had the boy called out of the void. had happened from first to last? Who was this Allen who sought to kill Charles as too "squeamish". That article was a photograph of his luckless son. Yes.Ward . Mr. Then the men returned. too. really. The altered photograph was a very passable likeness of Dr.Curwen .ticle to be shewn to such Pawtuxet shopkeepers as had seen the portentous Dr. For two hours he waited with the doctor in the oppressive house where fear and miasma were slowly gathering as the empty panel in the upstairs library leered and leered and leered. and why had his destined victim said in the postscript to that frantic letter that he must be so completely obliterated in acid? Why.

Even they were restless. surely enough. The butler shivered as he spoke. And Mr. for this case had held vague elements in the background which pleased them not at all. and only the business-like detectives failed to imbibe a full measure of it. That was the time. a gasp. and sniffed at the heavy air that blew down from some open window upstairs. and a sort of clattering or creaking or thumping. Terror had settled definitely upon the house. Now and then he would almost break into muttering as he ran over 527 . or all of these.what had found him? That simulacrum which brushed boldly in without having been seen to go . a choking. been a bad business. He had slipped out unseen and swaggered boldly in past the men hired to guard him.was an alteration.a cry.this very room? What had he found there? Or wait .was that an alien shadow and a horror forcing itself upon a trembling figure which had never gone out at all? Had not the butler spoken of queer noises? Willett rang for the man and asked him some lowtoned questions. Willett was thinking deeply and rapidly. But no had he not cried out in terror as he entered his study . It had. Charles was not the same when he stalked out without a word. when he was out. There had been noises . Dr. and his thoughts were terrible ones.

Mr. and the first thing he required was a period alone and undisturbed in the abandoned library upstairs. but shadows as of coming night seemed to engulf the phantom-haunted mansion. and half an hour later the doctor was locked in the shunned room with the panelling from Olney Court. It was noon now. where the ancient overmantel had gathered about itself an aura of noisome horror more intense than when Joseph Curwen's features themselves glanced slyly down from the painted panel. as if a tight cupboard door were being ope- 528 . As family physician he must have a free hand. and everyone save him and the doctor left the room. and finally a wrench and a creak. could only acquiesce. dazed by the flood of grotesque morbidities and unthinkably maddening suggestions that poured in upon him from every side. There would be. and urged that he leave a great deal of the future investigation to him. Ward made a sign that the conference was over. Ward. Willett began talking very seriously to his host. heard fumbling sounds of moving and rummaging as the moments passed.in his head a new. Then Mr. and increasingly conclusive chain of nightmare happenings. he predicted. listening outside. appalling. The father. certain obnoxious elements which a friend could bear better than a relative.

Ward gave the requisite orders and a man brought some stout pine logs. Willett meanwhile had gone up to the dismantled laboratory and brought down a few odds and ends not included in the moving of the July before. They were in a covered basket. after a great rustling of newspapers. a kind of snorting choke. Then the doctor locked himself in the library once more.ned. The furnace was not enough. followed by a thumping which none of the eavesdroppers liked. and demanding wood for the real fireplace on the south wall of the room. Thereafter two suppressed cries of Willett's were heard. shuddering as he entered the tainted air of the library to place them in the grate. and a hasty slamming of whatever had been opened. that odd wrench and creaking were heard again. and the electric log had little practical use. Then there was a muffled cry. Longing yet not daring to ask questions. Finally the smoke that the wind beat down from the chimney grew very 529 . and hard upon these came a swishing rustle of indefinable hatefulness. Later. Ward never saw what they were. and by the clouds of smoke which rolled down past the windows from the chimney it was known that he had lighted the fire. Almost at once the key rattled and Willett appeared in the hall. haggard and ghastly. he said. Mr. and Mr.

but it seemed robbed of malignity now. and everyone wished that the weather had spared them this choking and venomous inundation of peculiar fumes. Night was coming on. Of what he had done the doctor would never speak. Willett made his appearance . and rose as calm and stately in its white panelling as if it had never borne the picture of Joseph Curwen. but only a gentle melancholy. and half-formless sounds of scraping. and haggard.sad. To Mr. yet this time its shadows held no latent fright. pale. I have made a great purgation. but I will say that there are different kinds of magic. after the slamming of some cupboard within. Mr. And at last. Ward he said.dark and acrid. 'I can answer no questions. and into that once accursed room was pouring a wealth of pure. Ward's head reeled. wholesome air to mix with a queer new smell of disinfectants. The ancient overmantel still lingered. and other minor operations were heard behind the bolted door. and bearing the cloth-draped basket he had taken from the upstairs laboratory. and those in this house will sleep the better for it. After an age of waiting the vapours seemed to lighted. He had left the window open.' 7 530 . and the servants all clustered together in a knot to watch the horrible black smoke swoop down. sweeping.

gaining the street and losing himself among the shadows before approach or capture was possible.m. though servants later muttered something about having heard him after midnight on Wednesday. when the outer door softly opened and closed with phenomenal softness. 531 .That Dr. fortunately. Servants' imaginations. Happening to glance for a moment from his shelter at about 2 a. At once starting in pursuit.. For three days he rested constantly in his room. Willett's "purgation" had been an ordeal almost as nerve-racking in its way as his hideous wandering in the vanished crypt is shewn by the fact that the elderly physician gave out completely as soon as he reached home that evening. Hart observed the glow of a lantern or pocket torch not far to the northwest. a nocturnal prowler was glimpsed early this morning in the same cemetery by Robert Hart. and upon opening the door detected the figure of a man with a trowel very plainly silhouetted against a nearby electric light. he saw the figure dart hurriedly toward the main entrance. else comment might have been excited by an item in Thursday's Evening Bulletin which ran as follows: North End Ghouls Again Active After a lull of ten months since the dastardly vandalism in the Weeden lot at the North Burial Ground. are limited. the night watchman.

Ward had not been 532 . and no previous grave had been disturbed. that this third affair is of similar nature. Officers at the Second Station are taking especial pains to capture the gang of miscreants responsible for these repeated outrages. but nothing even nearly the size of a grave had been attempted. It is possible. who cannot describe the prowler except as a small man probably having a full beard. where an ancient coffin was removed and its headstone violently shattered. but police from the Second Station think otherwise on account of the savage nature of teh second incident. Willett rested as if recuperating from something past or nerving himself for something to come. Ward. Riley. occurred a year ago last March. In the evening he wrote a note to Mr. which was delivered the next morning and which caused the half-dazed parent to ponder long and deeply. says Sergt. and has been attributed to bootleggers seeking a cache. All day Thursday Dr. Mr. A vacant part of the Ward lot shewed signs of a little superficial digging. The first of the incidents. inclines to the view that all three of the digging incidents have a common source. this intruder had done no real damage before detection. Hart.Like the first of the ghouls active during the past year. in which it is thought an attempt to bury something was frustrated.

It is better that you attempt no further speculation as to Charles's case. Providence. You can tell his mother gently and gradually about the mad part when you stop sending the typed notes in his name.. but I'm afraid it won't set your mind at rest unless I expressly assure you how very conclusive it is. You have known me ever since you were a small boy. He was mad. When I call on you tomorrow Charles will have escaped. That is all which need remain in anyone's mind. I.able to go down to business since the shock of Monday with its baffling reports and its sinister "purgation". 10 Barnes St. and he escaped. 1928. R. April 12. I'd advise you to join her in Atlantic City 533 . and almost imperative that you tell his mother nothing more than she already suspects. but he found something calming about the doctor's letter in spite of the despair it seemed to promise and the fresh mysteries it seemed to evoke. Dear Theodore:I feel that I must say a word to you before doing what I am going to do tomorrow. so I think you will not distrust me when I hint that some matters are best left undecided and unexplored. It will conclude the terrible business we have been going through (for I feel that no spade is ever likely to reach that monstrous place we know of).

and reached back through the years as no one ever should reach. He has been afflicted with a peculiar disease. God knows you need one after this shock. as I do myself. studious. Have only this consolation .that he was never a fiend or even truly a madman. It may be that something will go wrong. very safe. He forms as much a part of the past as Joseph Curwen's picture. But you must steel yourself to melancholy. but only an eager. And what wrote that minuscule message will never trouble you or yours. and when I ring your doorbell you may feel certain that there is no such person. He is now . as you must realise from the subtle physical as well as mental changes in him. and who or what he is. He stumbled on things no mortal ought ever to know. There will be nothing more to worry about. I am going South for a while to calm down and brace up. You need hold no fears about Allen. and something came out of those years to engulf him. and you must not hope to see him again.safer than you dream. and prepare your wife to do the same. and curious boy whose love of mystery and of the past was his undoing. So don't ask me any questions when I call. I must tell you frankly that Charles's escape will not mean his restoration to you. 534 . but I'll tell you if it does. I don't think it will.and take a rest yourself. for Charles will be very.

and exhortations to fortitude.of the real Charles Dexter Ward whose mind you watched from infancy . for the boy will be no more. You can put up a stone in your lot at the North Burial Ground exactly ten feet west of your father's and facing the same way. In about a year. and resignation.And now comes the matter in which I must ask you to trust me most of all. 535 . The ashes in that grave will be those of your own unaltered bone and sinew . Charles will have escaped. With profoundest sympathy. say. no uncertainty about Charles's fate. Willett. and a year from now you can put up his stone. and who will have paid with his life for his "squeamishness". calmness. as it has been at all times in the past. That is all. Nor need you fear that it will mark any abnormality or changeling. I am ever Sincerely your friend. And believe that the honour of your ancient family remains untainted now. Marinus B.the real Charles with the olivemark on his hip and without the black witch-mark on his chest or the pit on his forehead. and that will mark the true resting-place of your son. you can if you wish devise a suitable account of the end. For there will be. Do not question me tomorrow. The Charles who never did actual evil. indeed.

'has been found out. and seemed disinclined to open the conversation which Willett obviously desired. though making no attempt to evade his caller. and the doctor was the first to speak. as Ward seemed to read behind the doctor's mask-like face a terrible purpose which had never been there before. The patient quailed. conscious that since the last visit there had been a change whereby the solicitous family physician had given place to the ruthless and implacable avenger. and I must warn you fairly that a reckoning is due. Then a new element of constraint crept in. April 13. We have had men looking up Dr. The youth. Al- 536 .' 'Digging again. and coming upon more poor starving pets?' was the ironic reply.' Willett slowly rejoined. 'this time I did not have to dig. Ward actually turned pale. Waite's private hospital on Conanicut Island. 'No. Marinus Bicknell Willett visited the room of Charles Dexter Ward at Dr. 'More.So on the morning of Friday. It was evident that the youth meant to shew bravado to the last. was in a sullen mood. The doctor's discovery of the crypt and his monstrous experience therein had of course created a new source of embarrassment. so that both hesitated perceptibly after the interchange of a few strained formalities.' he said. 1928.

as if choosing his words for an effective answer. 'as indeed they seem to have done. said Willett gravely.' 'Excellent. provided he has any right to exist at all. and provided he does not destroy what called him out of space.len.' Ward now started violently. It is no business of mine if any man seeks duality. 'and I trust they proved more becoming than the beard and glasses you now have on!' 'They would become you very well. what have ye found. and they found the false beard and spectacles in the bungalow. and what d'ye want of me?' The doctor let a little time elapse before replying.' commented the disquieted host in an effort to be wittily insulting. though there was no change in the shadows on the floor. it almost seemed as though a cloud passed over the sun. 'I have found'. Then Ward ventured: 'And is this what asks so hotly for a reckoning? Suppose a man does find it now and then useful to be twofold?' 'No'.' As Willett said this.' came the even and studied response. he finally intoned. 'Well. 'again you are wrong. 'something in a cupboard behind an ancient overmantel where a 537 . Sir.

actually took on a kind of judicial majesty as he calmed the patient with a gesture.and who'll believe it was he after these two full months. I know how you drew him into the past and got him to raise you up from your detestable grave. and how you later 538 . Joseph Curwen. I know how he kept you hidden in his laboratory while you studied modern things and roved abroad as a vampire by night. This is no common case . with me alive? What d'ye mean to do?' Willett.it is a madness out of time and a horror from beyond the spheres which no police or lawyers or courts or alienists could ever fathom or grapple with. and I have burned it and buried the ashes where the grave of Charles Dexter Ward ought to be. Thank God some chance has left inside me the spark of imagination. that I might not go astray in thinking out this thing. who did ye tell . though a small man.picture once was. 'I have told no one. for I know that your accursed magic is true!' 'I know how you wove the spell that brooded outside the years and fastened on your double and descendant. You cannot deceive me.' The madman choked and sprang from the chair in which he had been sitting: 'Damn ye.

but I will warn you it was not written in vain. They thought it was he who went in. But you hadn't reckoned on the different contents of two minds. to fancy that a mere visual identity would be enough. you see. after all. One of those creatures wrote you once. Joseph Curwen. I know what you resolved to do when he balked at your monstrous rifling of the world's tombs. a man can't tamper with Nature beyond certain li- 539 . and at what you planned afterward . and it may be that your own evil magic will undo you all again. There are abominations and blasphemies which must be stamped out. and I know how you did it.' 'You left off your beard and glasses and fooled the guards around the house. Why didn't you think of the speech and the voice and the handwriting? It hasn't worked. You were undone once before. and they thought it was he who came out when you had strangled and hidden him. perhaps in that very way. You know better than I who or what wrote that message in minuscules. You were a fool.shewed yourself in beard and glasses that no one might wonder at your godless likeness to him. "do not call up any that you can not put down". Curwen. and I believe that the writer of those words will attend to Orne and Hutchinson.

Joseph Curwen had recourse to his one ancient ally.' But here the doctor was cut short by a convulsive cry from the creature before him.magic for magic . ADONAI JEHOVA.' But Willett was too quick for him. now unconcealed by feigned hoarseness.let the outcome shew how well the lesson of the abyss had been learned! So in a clear voice Marinus Bicknell Willett began the second of that pair of formulae whose first had raised the writer of those minuscules . weaponless. 'PER ADONAI ELOIM.the cryptic invocation whose heading was the Dragon's Tail.mits. and began a series of cabbalistic motions with his forefingers as his deep. and every horror you have woven will rise up to wipe you out. An eye for an eye .. sign of the descending node - 540 . ADONAI SABAOTH. METRATON . the doctor commenced the solemn and measured intonation of that which he had meant all along to recite. Hopelessly at bay. and knowing that any show of physical violence would bring a score of attendants to the doctor's rescue. bellowed out the opening words of a terrible formula. Even as the dogs in the yard outside began to howl.. and even as a chill wind sprang suddenly up from the bay. hollow voice.

and that man of unholy centuries and forbidden secrets never troubled the world again. Unable to speak. the hideous change began. 541 . When the awful name of Yog-Sothoth was uttered. It was not merely a dissolution.OGTHROD AI'F GEB'L-EE'H YOG-SOTHOTH 'NGAH'NG AI'Y ZHRO! At the very first word from Willett's mouth the previously commenced formula of the patient stopped short. There had. Dr. but rather a transformation or recapitulation. as he had predicted. For like his accursed picture a year before. The madness out of time had subsided. and Willett shut his eyes lest he faint before the rest of the incantation could be pronounced. Opening his eyes before staggering out of that room of horror. the monster made wild motions with his arms until they too were arrested. Joseph Curwen now lay scattered on the floor as a thin coating of fine bluish-grey dust. Willett saw that what he had kept in memory had not been kept amiss. But he did not faint. and the case of Charles Dexter Ward was closed. been no need for acids.

The Cats of Ulthar It is said that in Ulthar. But the villagers did not discuss such things with the old man 542 . But whatever the reason. and heir to the secrets of hoary and sinister Africa. but he is more ancient than the Sphinx. In Ulthar. and this I can verily believe as I gaze upon him who sitteth purring before the fire. He is the soul of antique Aegyptus. no man may kill a cat. many villagers fancied that the manner of slaying was exceedingly peculiar. and bearer of tales from forgotten cities in Meroe and Ophir. and take it ill that cats should run stealthily about yards and gardens at twilight. before ever the burgesses forbade the killing of cats. For the cat is cryptic. and he speaks her language. and remembers that which she hath forgotten. He is the kin of the jungle’s lords. and from some of the sounds heard after dark. Why they did this I know not. save that many hate the voice of the cat in the night. which lies beyond the river Skai. The Sphinx is his cousin. and close to strange things which men cannot see. there dwelt an old cotter and his wife who delighted to trap and slay the cats of their neighbors. this old man and woman took pleasure in trapping and slaying every cat which came near to their hovel.

When through some unavoidable oversight a cat was missed. the loser would lament impotently. One day a caravan of strange wanderers from the South entered the narrow cobbled streets of Ulthar. and sounds heard after dark. or console himself by thanking Fate that it was not one of his children who had thus vanished. What was the land of these wanderers none could tell. and bought gay beads from the merchants. they feared them more. because of the habitual expression on the withered faces of the two. hawks. In truth. and unlike the other roving folk who passed through the village twice every year.and his wife. much as the owners of cats hated these odd folk. and that they had painted on the sides of their wagons strange figures with human bodies and the heads of cats. and instead of berating them as brutal assassins. and knew not whence it is all cats first came. In the market-place they told fortunes for silver. Dark wanderers they were. but it was seen that they were given to strange prayers. and because their cottage was so small and so darkly hidden under spreading oaks at the back of a neglected yard. merely took care that no cherished pet or mouser should stray toward the remote hovel under the dark trees. For the people of Ulthar were simple. rams 543 .

He stretched out his arms toward the sun and prayed in a tongue no villager could understand. On the third morning of the wanderers’ stay in Ulthar. one can find great relief in the lively antics of a black kitten. since their attention was mostly taken up by the sky and the odd shapes the clouds were assuming. but as the little boy uttered his petition there seemed to form overhead the shadowy. It was very peculiar. There was in this singular caravan a little boy with no father or mother. and as he sobbed aloud in the market-place certain villagers told him of the old man and his wife. The plague had not been kind to him. and finally to prayer. yet had left him this small furry thing to mitigate his sorrow. though indeed the villagers did not try very hard to understand. And when he heard these things his sobbing gave place to meditation. So the boy whom the dark people called Menes smiled more often than he wept as he sat playing with his graceful kitten on the steps of an oddly painted wagon.and lions. Menes could not find his kitten. but only a tiny black kitten to cherish. and when one is very young. and of sounds heard in the night. And the leader of the caravan wore a headdress with two horns and a curious disk betwixt the horns. nebulous figures of 544 .

declared that the old cotter and his wife were more likely persons to suspect. the burgomaster.exotic things. and though they feared that the evil pair had charmed the cats to their death. The villagers did not know how much to believe from so small a boy. Old Kranon. Nature is full of such illusions to impress the imaginative. no one durst complain to the sinister couple. Still. But Nith. swore that the dark folk had taken the cats away in revenge for the killing of Menes’ kitten. and cursed the caravan and the little boy. black. for their hatred of cats was notorious and increasingly bold. two abreast. vowed that he had at twilight seen all the cats of Ulthar in that accursed yard under the trees. grey. and were never seen again. From each hearth the familiar cat had vanished. the innkeeper’s son. as if in performance of some unheard-of rite of beasts. striped. That night the wanderers left Ulthar. And the householders were troubled when they noticed that in all the village there was not a cat to be found. even when little Atal. yellow and white. the lean notary. of hybrid creatures crowned with horn-flanked disks. pacing very slowly and solemnly in a circle around the cottage. they preferred not to chide the old cot- 545 . cats large and small.

The citizens talked with one another of the affair. since cats did not return alive from the cottage of the ancient man and his wife. It was fully a week before the villagers noticed that no lights were appearing at dusk in the windows of the cottage under the trees. In another week the burgomaster decided to overcome his fears and call at the strangely silent dwelling as a matter of duty. grey. but only doze by the fire or in the sun. Old Kranon again insisted that it was the dark folk who had taken them. though in so doing he was careful to take with him Shang the blacksmith and Thul 546 . none was missing. But all agreed on one thing: that the refusal of all the cats to eat their portions of meat or drink their saucers of milk was exceedingly curious. lazy cats of Ulthar would touch no food.ter till they met him outside his dark and repellent yard. Then the lean Nith remarked that no one had seen the old man or his wife since the night the cats were away. yellow and white. So Ulthar went to sleep in vain anger. and when the people awakened at dawn—behold! every cat was back at his accustomed hearth! Large and small. Very sleek and fat did the cats appear. black. striped. And for two whole days the sleek. and sonorous with purring content. and marveled not a little.

that in Ulthar no man may kill a cat. and of what was later found in the cottage under the dark trees in the repellent yard. disputed at length with Nith. the lean notary. Zath. 547 . of the caravan of dark wanderers.the cutter of stone as witnesses. the innkeeper’s son. And when they had broken down the frail door they found only this: two cleanly picked human skeletons on the earthen floor. Even little Atal. of the prayer of Menes and of the sky during that prayer. They talked of the old cotter and his wife. There was subsequently much talk among the burgesses of Ulthar. namely. and a number of singular beetles crawling in the shadowy corners. of small Menes and his black kitten. and Kranon and Shang and Thul were overwhelmed with questions. was closely questioned and given a sweetmeat as reward. And in the end the burgesses passed that remarkable law which is told of by traders in Hatheg and discussed by travelers in Nir. of the doings of the cats on the night the caravan left. the coroner.

so that after a time he kept his writings to himself. for when awake he was called by another name. for he was the last of his family. so there were not many to speak to him and to remind him who he had been. Perhaps it was natural for him to dream a new name. and alone among the indifferent millions of London. The more he withdrew from the world about him. and the snowy peak overlooking the sea. and did not think like others who wrote. Kuranes sought for beauty alone. His money and lands were gone. and the seacoast beyond. Kuranes was not modern. and it would have been quite futile to try to describe them on paper. Whilst they strove to strip from life its embroidered robes of myth and to show in naked ugliness the foul thing that is reality. In a dream it was also that he came by his name of Kuranes. but preferred to dream and write of his dreams. When 548 .Celphais In a dream Kuranes saw the city in the valley. and the gaily painted galleys that sail out of the harbour toward distant regions where the sea meets the sky. and he did not care for the ways of the people about him. and finally ceased to write. the more wonderful became his dreams. What he wrote was laughed at by those to whom he showed it.

and when as men we try to remember. the great stone house covered with ivy. and of shadowy companies of heroes that ride caparisoned white horses along the edges of thick forests. we think but half-formed thoughts. But some of us awake in the night with strange phantasms of enchanted hills and gardens. we are dulled and prosaic with the poison of life. It was moonlight. through the gardens. and he had stolen out into the fragrant summer night. he sought it in fancy and illusion. There are not many persons who know what wonders are opened to them in the stories and visions of their youth. 549 . and where he had hoped to die. and found it on his very doorstep. amid the nebulous memories of childhood tales and dreams. where thirteen generations of his ancestors had lived. of fountains that sing in the sun. and then we know that we have looked back through the ivory gates into that world of wonder which was ours before we were wise and unhappy. He had been dreaming of the house where he had been born. of golden cliffs overhanging murmuring seas. Kuranes came very suddenly upon his old world of childhood. of plains that stretch down to sleeping cities of bronze and stone.truth and experience failed to reveal it. for when as children we listen and dream.

but had plodded on as though summoned toward some goal. eaten away at the edge like the moon which had commenced to wane. The village seemed very old. In the streets were spears of long grass. and the window-panes on either side broken or filmily staring. and had come to the end of things to the precipice and the abyss where all the village and all the world fell abruptly into the unechoing emptiness of infinity. and Kuranes wondered whether the peaked roofs of the small houses hid sleep or death. past dark. where he had floated down. past the great oaks of the park. undreamed dreams. Then he had been drawn down a lane that led off from the village street toward the channel cliffs. and where even the sky ahead was empty and unlit by the crumbling moon and the peering stars. Then a rift seemed to open in the darkness before him.down the terraces. down. He dared not disobey the summons for fear it might prove an illusion like the urges and aspirations of waking life. which do not lead to any goal. and he saw the 550 . shapeless. and along the long white road to the village. faintly glowing spheres that may have been partly dreamed dreams. down. Kuranes had not lingered. Faith had urged him on. over the precipice and into the gulf. and laughing winged things that seemed to mock the dreamers of all the worlds.

He had protested then. and carried him home. waked him. then the rift appeared again. But this time he was not snatched away. But three nights afterward Kuranes came again to Celephais. when he had slipt away from his nurse and let the warm sea-breeze lull him to sleep as he watched the clouds from the cliff near the village. in the Valley of Ooth-Nargai beyond the Tanarian Hills where his spirit had dwelt all the eternity of an hour one summer afternoon very long ago. when they had found him. and saw the graceful galleys riding at anchor in the blue harbour. and a snowcapped mountain near the shore. As before. he dreamed first of the village that was asleep or dead. for he had found his fabulous city after forty weary years. And now he was equally resentful of awaking. far below. and watched the gingko trees of Mount Aran swaying in the seabreeze.city of the valley. and of the abyss down which one must float silently. with a background of sea and sky. yet he knew from his brief glance that it was none other than Celephais. Kuranes had awakened the very moment he beheld the city. 551 . and he beheld the glittering minarets of the city. glistening radiantly far. for just as he was aroused he had been about to sail in a golden galley for those alluring regions where the sea meets the sky.

There he stayed long. but only perpetual youth. and it was the same at the turquoise temple of Nath-Horthath. and still as young as he remembered them. for even the sentries on the ramparts were the same. past the bronze gates and over the onyx pavements.and like a winged being settled gradually over a grassy hillside til finally his feet rested gently on the turf. and strange men from the regions where the sea meets the sky. where the orchidwreathed priests told him that there is no time in Ooth-Nargai. nor the polished bronze statues upon them tarnished. Down the hill amid scented grasses and brilliant flowers walked Kuranes. over the bubbling Naraxa on the small wooden bridge where he had carved his name so many years ago. All was as of old. When he entered the city. the merchants and camel-drivers greeted him as if he had never been away. gazing out over the bright harbour where the ripples 552 . Then Kuranes walked through the Street of Pillars to the seaward wall. And Kuranes saw that he need not tremble lest the things he knew be vanished. He had indeed come back to the Valley of Ooth-Nargai and the splendid city of Celephais. nor were the marble walls discoloured. and through the whispering grove to the great stone bridge by the city gate. where gathered the traders and sailors.

till finally they came to the horizon. and that they would soon enter the harbour of Serannian. but floated easily in the blue of the sky among fleecy clouds tinted with rose. He found the man. Athib. Here the galley paused not at all. and where rode lightly the galleys from far places over the water. and Athib seemed not to realize that any time had passed. For several days they glided undulatingly over the water. At length Athib told him that their journey was near its end. and giving orders to the oarmen. And far beneath the keel Kuranes could see strange lands and rivers and cities of surpassing beauty.sparkled beneath an unknown sun. And he gazed also upon Mount Aran rising regally from the shore. where the sea meets the sky. More than ever Kuranes wished to sail in a galley to the far places of which he had heard so many strange tales. spread indolently in the sunshine which seemed never to lessen or disappear. commenced to sail out into the billowy Cerenarian Sea that leads to the sky. the pink marble city of the clouds. Then the two rowed to a galley in the harbour. and he sought again the captain who had agreed to carry him so long ago. sitting on the same chest of spice he had sat upon before. its lower slopes green with swaying trees and its white summit touching the sky. which is built on that ethereal 553 .

coast where the west wind flows into the sky. and red-roofed pagodas. and Kuranes awaked in his London garret. For many months after that Kuranes sought the marvellous city of Celephais and its sky-bound galleys in vain. white paths. so remote that few men could ever have seen it. green foliage and lawns. that he for a moment forgot Celephais in sheer delight. no one whom he met could tell him how to find OothNargai beyond the Tanarian Hills. diamond brooks. and in the wildest part of this hilly country. and strange. too gigantic ever to have risen by human hands. and when the sun rose he beheld such beauty of red and white flowers. blue lakelets. But he remembered it again when he walked down a white 554 . and though his dreams carried him to many gorgeous and unheard-of places. Beyond that wall in the grey dawn he came to a land of quaint gardens and cherry trees. carven bridges. but as the highest of the city’s carven towers came into sight there was a sound somewhere in space. he found a hideously ancient wall or causeway of stone zigzagging along the ridges and valleys. lone campfires at great distances apart. One night he went flying over dark mountains where there were faint. shaggy herds with tinkling bells on the leaders. and of such a length that neither end of it could be seen.

He would have descended and asked the way to OothNargai had not a fearsome aurora sputtered up from some remote place beyond the horizon. So Kuranes sought fruitlessly for the marvellous city of Celephais and its galleys that sail to Serannian in the sky. and came to a tower window overlooking a mighty plain and river lit by the full moon. and in the silent city that spread away from the river bank he thought he beheld some feature or arrangement which he had known before. but only birds and bees and butterflies. and would have questioned the people of this land about it. showing the ruin and antiquity of the city. had he not found that there were no people there. On another night Kuranes walked up a damp stone spiral stairway endlessly. as it had lain since King Kynaratholis came home from his conquests to find the vengeance of the gods. meanwhile seeing many wonders and once barely escaping from the high-priest not to be described. and the death lying upon that land. In time he grew so impatient of the bleak intervals of day that he began buying drugs in order to in- 555 . which wears a yellow silken mask over its face and dwells all alone in a prehistoric stone monastery in the cold desert plateau of Leng.path toward a red-roofed pagoda. and the stagnation of the reedy river.

and could buy no drugs. Kuranes was now very anxious to return to minaret-studded Celephais. Then one summer day he was turned out of his garret. drifting over a bridge to a place where the houses grew thinner and thinner.crease his periods of sleep. The gas had not heard of planets and organisms before. astride roan horses and clad in shining armour with tabards of clothof-gold curiously emblazoned. on which account he was now to be appointed its chief god for evermore. Then they gave 556 . And a violetcoloured gas told him that this part of space was outside what he had called infinity. And it was there that fulfillment came. and he met the cortege of knights come from Celephais to bear him thither forever. and increased his doses of drugs. but where glowing gases study the secrets of existence. but identified Kuranes merely as one from the infinity where matter. and wandered aimlessly through the streets. but they were sent in his honour. but eventually he had no more money left. energy. that Kuranes almost mistook them for an army. Hasheesh helped a great deal. and once sent him to a part of space where form does not exist. and gravitation exist. since it was he who had created Ooth-Nargai in his dreams. So numerous were they. Handsome knights they were.

and sometimes they saw knights on horseback with small companies of retainers. so he watched anxiously as the column approached its brink. In the dim dawn they came upon the village which Kuranes had seen alive in his childhood. It was alive now. It was very strange. When it grew dark they travelled more swiftly. Kuranes had previously entered that abyss only at night. and invisible voices sang exultantly as the knightly 557 . but as the riders went on they seemed to gallop back through time. till soon they were flying uncannily as if in the air. and early villagers curtsied as the horsemen clattered down the street and turned off into the lane that ends in the abyss of dreams. and wondered what it would look like by day. and all rode majestically through the downs of Surrey and onward toward the region where Kuranes and his ancestors were born. for whenever they passed through a village in the twilight they saw only such houses and villagers as Chaucer or men before him might have seen.Kuranes a horse and placed him at the head of the cavalcade. and asleep or dead in his dreams. Just as they galloped up the rising ground to the precipice a golden glare came somewhere out of the west and hid all the landscape in effulgent draperies. The abyss was a seething chaos of roseate and cerulean splendour.

558 . though below the cliffs at Innsmouth the channel tides played mockingly with the body of a tramp who had stumbled through the half-deserted village at dawn. played mockingly. and the gaily painted galleys that sail out of the harbour toward distant regions where the sea meets the sky. Endlessly down the horsemen floated. and will reign happily for ever. and then the luminous vapours spread apart to reveal a greater brightness. their chargers pawing the aether as if galloping over golden sands.entourage plunged over the edge and floated gracefully down past glittering clouds and silvery coruscations. the brightness of the city Celephais. And Kuranes reigned thereafter over Ooth-Nargai and all the neighboring regions of dream. and held his court alternately in Celephais and in the cloudfashioned Serannian. and the sea coast beyond. He reigns there still. and cast it upon the rocks by ivycovered Trevor Towers. and the snowy peak overlooking the sea. where a notably fat and especially offensive millionaire brewer enjoys the purchased atmosphere of extinct nobility.

Italians have tried it. and he dares to do this because his 559 . On the gentle slopes there are farms.The Colour out of Space West of Arkham the hills rise wild. It must be this which keeps the foreigners away. There are dark narrow glens where the trees slope fantastically. moss-coated cottages brooding eternally over old New England secrets in the lee of great ledges. or who ever talks of the strange days. and the Poles have come and departed. for old Ammi Pierce has never told them of anything he recalls from the strange days. and does not bring restful dreams at night. and where thin brooklets trickle without ever having caught the glint of sunlight. It is not because of anything that can be seen or heard or handled. Ammi. whose head has been a little queer for years. the wide chimneys crumbling and the shingled sides bulging perilously beneath low gambrel roofs. and there are valleys with deep woods that no axe has ever cut. and foreigners do not like to live there. The place is not good for imagination. but because of something that is imagined. ancient and rocky. with squat. French-Canadians have tried it. but these are all vacant now. is the only one who still remains. The old folk have gone away.

and all the mystery of primal earth. that ran straight where the blasted heath is now. and because that is a very old town full of witch legends I thought the evil must he something which grandams had whispered to children through centuries. Traces of the old one can still be found amidst the weeds of a returning wilderness. one with the hidden lore of old ocean. Then I saw that dark westward tangle of glens and slopes for myself. When I went into the hills and vales to survey for the new reservoir they told me the place was evil. The name "blasted heath" seemed to me very odd and theatrical. and some of them will doubtless linger even when half the hollows are flooded for the new reservoir. They told me this in Arkham. but people ceased to use it and a new road was laid curving far toward the south.house is so near the open fields and the travelled roads around Arkham. And the secrets of the strange days will be one with the deep's secrets. and I wondered how it had come into the folklore of a Puritan people. end ceased to wonder at anything beside its own 560 . There was once a road over the hills and through the valleys. Then the dark woods will be cut down and the blasted heath will slumber far below blue waters whose surface will mirror the sky and ripple in the sun.

It 561 . and their trunks were too big for any healthy New England wood. In the open spaces. But even all this was not so bad as the blasted heath. for no other name could fit such a thing. but shadow lurked always there. The trees grew too thickly. There was too much silence in the dim alleys between them. mostly along the line of the old road. I did not wonder that the foreigners would not stay. and sometimes with only a lone chimney or fast-filling cellar.elder mystery. for this was no region to sleep in. or any other thing fit such a name. a touch of the unreal and the grotesque. It was as if the poet had coined the phrase from having seen this one particular region. It was morning when I saw it. I knew it the moment I came upon it at the bottom of a spacious valley. as if some vital element of perspective or chiaroscuro were awry. and furtive wild things rustled in the undergrowth. Weeds and briers reigned. there were little hillside farms. Upon everything was a haze of restlessness and oppression. and the floor was too soft with the dank moss and mattings of infinite years of decay. sometimes with all the buildings standing. It was too much like a landscape of Salvator Rosa. sometimes with only 6ne or two. too much like some forbidden woodcut in a tale of terror.

but encroached a little on the other side. As I walked hurriedly by I saw the tumbled bricks and stones of an old chimney and cellar on my right. I vaguely wished some clouds would gather. dreading to repass that ominous spot. The trees near it were sickly and stunted. and I marvelled no more at the frightened whispers of Arkham people. There was no vegetation of any kind on that broad expanse. Even the long. but only a fine grey dust or ash which no wind seemed ever to blow about. I walked circuitously back to the town by the curious road on the south. even in the old days the place must have been lonely and remote. and many dead trunks stood or lay rotting at the rim.must. be the outcome of a fire. and did so at last only because my business took me through and past it. but why had nothing new ever grown over these five acres of grey desolation that sprawled open to the sky like a great spot eaten by acid in the woods and fields? It lay largely to the north of the ancient road line. I felt an odd reluctance about approaching. dark woodland climb beyond seemed welcome in contrast. There had been no house or ruin near. and the yawning black maw of an abandoned well whose stagnant vapours played strange tricks with the hues of the sunlight. for an odd timidity 562 . And at twilight. I thought as I viewed it.

and because they all told me to pay no attention to old Ammi Pierce's crazy tales. I sought him out the next morning. It was a fearsomely ancient place. It was not a matter of old legendry at all. and had begun to exude the faint miasmal odour which clings about houses that have stood too long. and his unkempt clothing and white beard made him seem very worn and dismal. get any good answers1 except that all the mystery was much more recent than I had dreamed. In the evening I asked old people in Arkham about the blasted heath. and a family had disappeared or was killed. but his eyes drooped in a curious way. and what was meant by that phrase "strange days" which so many evasively muttered. Speakers would not be exact. It had happened in the 'eighties. I could not. however. and when he shuffled timidly to the door could could tell he was not glad to see me. having heard that he lived alone in the ancient tottering cottage where the trees first begin to get very thick. 563 . He was not so feeble as I had expected.about the deep skyey voids above had crept into my soul. but something within the lifetime of those who spoke. Only with persistent knocking could I rouse the aged man.

Not knowing just how he could best be launched on his tales. while his body leaned forward and his right forefinger began to point shakily and impressively. From him there were no protests at the miles of old wood and farmland to be blotted out. and asked vague questions about the district. He was not like other rustics I bad known in the sections where reservoirs were to be. where his sense of logic and continuity broke 564 . I feigned a matter of business. He was far brighter and more educated than I had been led to think.better under water since the strange days. though perhaps there would have been had not his home lain outside the bounds of the future lake. They were better under water now . and before I knew it had graNped quite as much of the subject as any man I had talked with in Arkham. Relief was all that he showed. relief at the doom of the dark ancient valleys through which he had roamed all his life. piece out scientific points which he knew only by a fading parrot memory of professors' talk. or bridge over gaps. Often I had to recall the speaker from ramblings. told him of my surveying. And with this opening his husky voice sank low. and as the rambling voice scraped and whispered on I shivered again and again spite the summer day. It was then that I heard the story.

at least not when the sinister stars are out. The reservoir will soon be built now.Boston to give up my position.down. When he was done I did not wonder that his mind had snapped a trifle. and that pillar of smoke from the valley far in the wood. Then there had come that white noontide cloud. 565 . with the meteorite. and nothing could bribe me to drink the new city water of Arkham. and all those elder secrets will be safe forever under watery fathoms. It all began. old Ammi said. and their fantastic dusk was never terrible till the strange days. I could not go into that dim chaos of old forest and slope again. unwilling to have the stars come out above me in the open. or face another time that grey blasted heath where the black well yawned deep beside the tumbled bricks and stones. or that the folk of Arkham would not speak much of the blasted heath. Before that time there had been no wild legends at all since the witch trials. and the next day returned to . that string of explosions in the air. These were not haunted woods. I hurried back before sunset to my hotel. But even then I do not believe I would like to visit that country by night . and even then these western woods were not feared half so much as the small island in the Miskatonic where the devil held court beside a curious 'lone altar older than the Indians.

It had shrunk. Its heat lingered persistently. and Nahum declared it had glowed faintly in the night. but the wise men answered that stones do not shrink. Nahum said as he pointed out the big brownish mound above the ripped earth and charred grass near the archaic well-sweep in his front yard. and all the queer things were fixed very strongly in his mind. Nahum had come to town to tell people about the stone. It was. in truth.And by night all Arkham had heard of the great rock that fell out of the sky and bedded itself in the ground beside the well at the Nahum Gardner place. The professors tried it with a geologist's hammer and found it was oddly soft. That was the house which had stood where the blasted heath was to come . Ammi was forty then.the trim white Nahum Gardner house amidst its fertile gardens and orchards. and they gouged rather than chipped a specimen to take back to the college for testing. and had wondered why Nahum had called it so large the day before. He and his wife had gone with the three professors from Miskatonic University who hastened out the next morning to see the weird visitor from unknown stellar space. They took it in an old pail borrowed from Nahum's 566 . and dropped in at Ammi Pierce's on the way. so soft as to be almost plastic.

The beaker had gone. On the trip back they stopped at Ammi's to rest. On an anvil it appeared highly malleable. and the wise men talked of the strange stone's affinity for silicon. As they passed Ammi's they told him what queer things the specimen had done. and seemed thoughtful when Mrs. including that of the oxyhydrogen blowpipe. The day after that-all this was in June of '82-the professors had trooped out again in a great excitement. it was not large. Stubbornly refusing to grow cool. It had acted quite unbelievably in that well-ordered laboratory. and in the dark its luminosity was very marked. Truly. and how it had faded wholly away when they put it in a glass beaker. for even the small piece refused to grow cool. doing nothing at all and showing no occluded gases when heated on charcoal.kitchen. and when upon heating before the spectroscope it displayed shining bands unlike any known colours of the normal spectrum there was much breathless 567 . too. being wholly negative in the borax bead. it soon had the college in a state of real excitement. and soon proving itself absolutely non-volatile at any producible temperature. Pierce remarked that the fragment was growing smaller and burning the bottom of the pail. but perhaps they had taken less than they thought.

and the fragment seemed to be slightly cooling. they tested it in a crucible with all the proper reagents. Nitric acid and even aqua regia merely hissed and spattered against its torrid invulnerability. but although the weight grew steadily less as time passed. The next morning both chips and beaker were gone without trace. for one thing. There were am monia and caustic soda. Ammi had difficulty in recalling all these things. Hot as it was.talk of new elements. and it was in a glass beaker that they left all the chips made of the original fragment during the work. nauseous carbon disulphide and a dozen others. though. Water did nothing. there was no change in the solvents to show that they had attacked the substance at all. and after its immersion in the acid solvents there seemed to be faint traces of the Widmanstatten figures found on meteoric iron. and only a charred spot 568 . alcohol and ether. When the cooling had grown very considerable. It was a metal. bizarre optical properties. It was magnetic. the testing was carried on in glass. beyond a doubt. and other things which puzzled men of science are wont to say when faced by the unknown. Hydrochloric acid was the same. but recognized some solvents as I mentioned them in the usual order of use.

and as they pried away the smaller mass they saw that the core of the thing was not quite homogeneous. The colour.marked the place on the wooden shelf where they had been. It was still hot. They had uncovered what seemed to be the side of a large coloured globule embedded in the substance. They gouged deeply this time. Its texture was glossy. and it was only by analogy that they called it colour at all. and even the sober professors could not doubt the truth of what they saw. 569 . and upon tapping it appeared to promise both brittle ness and hollowness. was almost impossible to describe. All around the dwindling brown lump near the well was a vacant space. All this the professors told Ammi as they paused at his door. and whereas it had been a good seven feet across the day before. It had now most cer tainly shrunk. One of the professors gave it a smart blow with a hammer. except where the earth had caved in. which resembled some of the bands in the meteor's strange spectrum. and the sages studied its surface curiously as they detached another and larger piece with hammer and chisel. and once more he went with them to see the stony messenger from the stars. though this time his wife did not accompany him. it was now scarcely five.

but a piece of the great outside. the seekers left again with their new specimen which proved. and at the end of the tests the college scientists were forced to own that they could not place it. Nothing was emitted. and when the professors went out to Nahum's the next day they met with a bitter disappointment. and all thought it probable that others would be discovered as the enclosing substance wasted away. however. so after a futile attempt to find additional globules by drilling.and it burst with a nervous little pop. Aside from being almost plastic. for it had "drawn the lightning. and attacking silicon compounds with mutual destruction as a result. cooling slightly in powerful acids. It left behind a hollow spherical space about three inches across. and slight luminosity. It was nothing of this earth." as Nahum said. with a singular persistence. That night there was a thunderstorm. wasting away in air. magnetic as it had been. possessing an unknown spec trum. 570 . and all trace of the thing vanished with the puncturing. having heat. Conjecture was vain. magnetism. as baffling in the laboratory as its predecessor. it presented no identifying features whatsoever. The stone. must have had some peculiar electrical property. and as such dowered with outside properties and obedient to outside laws.

at the end of which nothing of value had been learned of it. that lone. That fragment lasted a week. and when the storm was over nothing remained but a ragged pit by the ancient well-sweep. He 571 . Digging had borne no fruit. and entity. and Ammi had nothing but praise for him after all these years. When it had gone. genial person of about fifty. and sent reporters to talk with Nahum Gardner and his family. At least one Boston daily also sent a scribe. and Nahum quickly became a kind of local celebrity. and the scientists verified the fact of the utter vanishment. and in time the professors felt scarcely sure they had indeed seen with waking eyes that cryptic vestige of the fathomless gulfs outside. force. As was natural. so that nothing was left to do but go back to the laboratory and test again the disappearing fragment left carefully cased in lead. half-choked with a caved-in earth. no residue was left behind. living with his wife and three sons on the pleasant farmstead in the valley. the Arkham papers made much of the incident with its collegiate sponsoring. weird message from other universes and other realms of matter. The failure was total. as did their wives. He was a lean.Six times within an hour the farmer saw the lightning strike the furrow in the front yard. He and Ammi exchanged visits frequently.

572 . Quick to connect events. That July and August were hot. he declared that the meteorite had poisoned the soil. and Nahum worked hard at his haying in the tenacre pasture across Chapman's Brook. But with the ripening came sore disappointment. The pears and apples slowly ripened. and thanked Heaven that most of the other crops were in the upland lot along the road. Then fell the time of fruit and harvest.seemed slightly proud of the notice his place had attracted. and he felt that age was beginning to tell on him. and in such abundance that extra barrels were ordered to handle the future crop. The fruit was growing to phenomenal size and unwonted gloss. The labour tired him more than it had in other years. so that even the smallest bites induced a lasting disgust. Into the fine flavour of the pears and apples had crept a stealthy bitterness and sickishness. and Nahum vowed that his orchards were prospering as never before. his rattling wain wearing deep ruts in the shadowy lanes between. It was the same with the melons and tomatoes. for of all that gorgeous array of specious lusciousness not one single jot was fit to eat. and talked often of the meteorite in the succeeding weeks. and Nahum sadly saw that his entire crop was lost.

but appeared to think that they were not as characteristic of the anatomy and habits of squirrels and rabbits and foxes as they ought to be. Thereafter Ammi gave Nahum's tales more respect. white rabbits. and foxes. and a rabbit had run across the road. He was never specific. and observed that he had begun to look worried. seemed to have grown taciturn. and won- 573 . and was very cold. but the brooding farmer professed to see something not quite right about their nature and arrangement. The latter. For this reserve or melancholy no cause could be found. Ammi saw Nahum less often than usual.Winter came early. had almost run away when brought up by a firm rein. There had been a moon. The rest of his family too. indeed. though all the household confessed now and then to poorer health and a feeling of vague disquiet. They were the usual winter prints of red squirrels. and were far from steady in their church-going or their attendance at the various social events of the countryside. Ammi listened without interest to this talk until one night when he drove past Nahum's house in his sleigh on the way back from Clark's Comer. Nahum himself gave the most definite statement of anyone when he said he was disturbed about certain footprints in the snow. and the leaps of that rabbit were longer than either Ammi or his horse liked.

and all the basis for a cycle of whispered legend was fast taking form. and early in March there was an awed discussion in Potter's general store at Clark's Corners. In February the McGregor boys from Meadow Hill were out shooting woodchucks. and the 574 . so that only their grotesque tales of it ever reached the people of the countryside. But the shying of horses near Nahum's house had now become an acknowledged thing.dered why the Gardner dogs seemed so cowed and quivering every morning. and had noticed the skunk-cabbages coming up through the mud by the woods across the road. it developed. and they held strange colours that could not be put into any words. nearly lost the spirit to bark. Stephen Rice had driven past Gardner's in the morning. while its face had taken on an expression which no one ever saw in a woodchuck before. They had. The proportions of its body seemed slightly altered in a queer way impossible to describe. The boys were genuinely frightened. Never were things of such size seen before. and not far from the Gardner place bagged a very peculiar specimen. Their shapes were monstrous. People vowed that the snow melted faster around Nahum's than it did anywhere else. and threw the thing away at once.

several farmers spoke about the matter to them. One day they paid Nahum a visit. but it would soon be washed away. The bad fruit of the fall before was freely mentioned. and remembering how strange the men from the college had found that stone to be. That afternoon several persons drove past to see the abnormal growth. Of course it was the meteorite. The plants were certainly odd. and all agreed that plants of that kind ought never to sprout in a healthy world. And so all through the strange days the professors stayed away in contempt.horse had snorted at an odour which struck Stephen as wholly unprecedented. Perhaps some mineral element from the stone had entered the soil. when given two phials of dust for analysis in a police job over a year and half later. And as for the footprints and frightened horses . and it went from mouth to mouth that there was poison in Nahum's ground. There was really nothing for serious men to do in cases of wild gossip. for superstitious rustics will say and believe anything. Only one of them.of course this was mere country talk which such a phenomenon as the aerolite would be certain to start. but having no love of wild tales and folklore were very conservative in what they inferred. recalled that 575 . but all skunk-cabbages are more or less odd in shape and hue.

Certainly. though not for any sound which they could consciously name. not quite like that of the skunk-cabbage. however.the queer colour of that skunk-cabbage had been very like one of the anomalous bands of light shown by the meteor fragment in the college spectroscope. The entire Gardner family developed the habit of stealthy listening. The samples in this analysis case gave the same odd bands at first. but even the gossips would not credit this. Nahum's second son Thaddeus. a lad of fifteen. and like the brittle globule found imbedded in the stone from the abyss. swore that they swayed also when there was no wind. The listening was. restlessness was in the air. and at night they swayed ominously in the wind. indeed. Nahum took some blossoms to Arkham and showed them to the editor of the Gazette." When the early saxifrage came out it had another strange colour. till it became common speech that "something was wrong with all Nahum's folks. but plainly related and equally unknown to anyone who saw it. but that dignitary did no more than write a humorous article 576 . though later they lost the property. Unfortunately such moments increased week by week. rather a product of moments when consciousness seemed half to slip away. The trees budded prematurely around Nahum's.

overgrown mourning-cloak butterflies behaved in connection with these saxifrages. and through the stony soil of the yard and adjacent pasturage there sprang up a bizarre growth which only a botanist could connect with the proper flora of the region. All the orchard trees blossomed forth in strange colours. 577 . and began that disuse of the road past Nahum's which led to its ultimate abandonment. Ammi and the Gardners thought that most of the colours had a sort of haunting familiarity. in which the dark fears of rustics were held up to polite ridicule. but did nothing with the land around the house. The "Dutchman's breeches" became a thing of sinister menace. It was a mistake of Nahum's to tell a stolid city man about the way the great. It was the vegetation. underlying primary tone without a place among the' known tints of earth. and decided that they reminded one of the brittle globule in the meteor. No sane wholesome colours were anywhere to be seen except in the green grass and leafage. April brought a kind of madness to the country folk.about them. He knew it would be of no use. and the bloodroots grew insolent in their chromatic perversion. but everywhere were those hectic and prismatic variants of some diseased. Nahum ploughed and sowed the ten-acre pasture and the upland lot.

and what they could not see was glimpsed by a timid windmill salesman from 578 . of course. The boys were better off. It must be the sap. The Gardners took to watching at night . and their nocturnal habits contradicted all former experience. and had grown used to the sense of something near him waiting to be heard. being at school each day. but they could not help being frightened by the gossip.they could not tell what. and there was no 'wind. Mrs.watching in all directions at random for something . He was prepared for almost anything now. an especially sensitive youth. and Nahum's place became a nightmare of buzzing and crawling. In May the insects came.and hoped that the summer's strange growths would draw all the poison from the soil. Familiarity had dulled them. Thaddeus. Yet it was none of Nahum's family at all who made the next discovery. suffered the most. The boughs surely moved. Gardner was the next to see it from the window as she watched the swollen boughs of a maple against a moonlit sky. Strangeness had come into everything growing now. The shunning of his house by neighbors told on him. It was then that they owned that Thaddeus had been right about the trees. Most of the creatures seemed not quite usual in their aspects and motions. but it told on his wife more.

All the verdure was going grey. What he told in Arkham was given a short paragraph in the Gazette. They were failing curiously both physically and men- 579 . and it was there that all the farmers. grass.Bolton who drove by one night in ignorance of the country legends. and his visits were becoming fewer and fewer. When school closed the Gardners were virtually cut off from the world. Ammi was now the only person who ever visited the place. but toward the end of May the milk began to be bad. the darkness had been less thick. The night had been dark and the buggylamps faint. while at one moment a detached piece of the phosphorescence appeared to stir furtively in the yard near the barn. Not long after this the change in grass and leaves became apparent to the eye. and sometimes let Ammi do their errands in town. but around a farm in the valley which everyone knew from the account must be Nahum's. A dim though distinct luminosity seemed to inhere in all the vegetation. Then Nahum had the cows driven to the uplands. after which this trouble ceased. and the cows were freely pastured in the lot near the house. The grass had so far seemed untouched. Nahum included. and was developing a highly singular quality of brittleness. saw it first. and blossoms alike. leaves.

By July she had ceased to speak and crawled on all fours. and the poor woman screamed about things in the air which she could not describe. and no one was surprised when the news of Mrs. as he now clearly saw was the case with the nearby vegetation. Nahum did not send her to the county asylum. 580 . But when the boys grew afraid of her. Even when her expression changed he did nothing.someone must make it keep off .the walls and windows shifted.she was being drained of something something was fastening itself on her that ought not to be . and before that month was over Nahum got the mad notion that she was slightly luminous in the dark. Something was taken away . and Thaddeus nearly fainted at the way she made faces at him. In her raving there was not a single specific noun.tally. Something had aroused them in the night.nothing was ever still in the night . and ears tingled to impulses which were not wholly sounds. but only verbs and pronouns. about the anniversary of the meteor's fall. It happened in June. he decided to keep her locked in the attic. Gardner's madness stole around. but let her wander about the house as long as she was harmless to herself and others. Things moved and changed and fluttered. It was a little before this that the horses had stampeded.

Nahum borrowed a horse from Ammi for his haying. The asters and golden-rod bloomed grey and distorted. and the roses and zinneas and hollyhocks in the front yard were such blasphemouslooking things that Nahum's oldest boy Zenas cut them down. and when Nahum opened the stable door they all bolted out like frightened woodland deer. It shied. balked. and in the end he could do nothing but drive it into the yard while the men used their own strength to get the heavy wagon near enough the hayloft for convenient pitching. and whinnied. There seemed virtually nothing to do to calm them. and each one had to be shot for its own good. but found it would not approach the barn. By September all the vegetation was fast crumbling to a greyish powder. And all the while the vegetation was turning grey and brittle. Something had snapped in their brains. It took a week to track all four. and the fruit was coming out grey and dwarfed and tasteless.and their neighing and kicking in their stalls had been terrible. Even the flowers whose hues had been so strange were greying now. even the bees that had left their hives and taken to the woods. The strangely puffed insects died about that time. and when found they were seen to be quite useless and unmanageable. and Nahum feared that 581 .

" Two in one family was pretty bad. however. drinking it as listlessly and mechanically as they ate their meagre and illcooked meals and did their thankless and monotonous chores through the aimless days. There was something of stolid resignation about them all. and he and the boys were in a constant state of nervous tension. and when school opened the boys did not go. He let the boy run about for a 582 . But it was Ammi. for he had by that time become calloused to strange and unpleasant things. ignored the warning. but Nahum was very brave about it.the trees would die before the poison was out of the soil. and Ammi advised his friend to dig another well on higher ground to use till the soil was good again. and sometimes lapsing into an inane titter or a whisper about "the moving colours down there. who first realised that the well water was no longer good. He had gone with a pail and had come back empty-handed. on one of his rare visits. Thaddeus went mad in September after a visit to the well. He and the boys continued to use the tainted supply. shrieking and waving his arms. It had an evil taste that was not exactly fetid nor exactly salty. They shunned people now. as if they walked half in another world between lines of nameless guards to a certain and familiar doom. His wife now had spells of terrific screaming. Nahum.

The swine began growing grey and brittle and falling to pieces before they died. especially to little Merwin. Then something struck the cows. Hogs grew inordinately fat. and atrocious collapses or disintegrations 583 . and the city veterinary from Arkham was openly baffled. The way they screamed at each other from behind their locked doors was very terrible. who fancied they talked in some terrible language that was not of earth. No rural veterinary would approach his place. Certain areas or sometimes the whole body would be uncannily shrivelled or compressed. their meat being found dry and noisome upon cutting. Almost at the same time the mortality among the livestock commenced. Merwin was getting frightfully imaginative. and Nahum was at his wit's end. Poultry turned greyish and died very quickly. Their meat was of course useless. and their eyes and muzzles developed singular alterations. then suddenly began to undergo loathsome changes which no one could explain. for they had never been fed from the tainted vegetation.week until he began stumbling and hurting himself. and then he shut him in an attic room across the hall from his mother's. and his restlessness was worse after the shutting away of the brother who had been his greatest playmate. It was very inexplicable.

for the stock and poultry were dead and the dogs had run away. When the harvest came there was not an animal surviving on the place. but their going was scarcely noticed since there now seemed to be no mice.and death was always the result . had all vanished one night and were never heard of again. and had put therein what he found.were common. and only Mrs. for the small barred window and locked door were intact. On the nineteenth of October Nahum staggered into Ammi's house with hideous news. 584 . Gardner had made pets of the graceful felines. three in number. These dogs. No bites of prowling things could have brought the virus. for all the cases occurred in a locked and undisturbed barn. The five cats had left some time before. for what live beast of earth can pass through solid obstacles? It must be only natural disease yet what disease could wreak such results was beyond any mind's guessing. Nahum had dug a grave in the railed family plot behind the farm.there would be a greying and turning brittle like that which beset the hogs. The death had come to poor Thaddeus in his attic room. There could have been nothing from outside. but it was much as it had been in the barn. There could be no question of poison. and it had come in a way which could not be told. In the last stages .

Stark terror seemed to cling round the Gardners and all they touched. and Ammi thought that his fate was very merciful. and did what he might to calm the hysterical sobbing of little Merwin. but shuddered as they did so. Even as things were. It was really lucky for Ammi that he was not more imaginative. Zenas needed no calming. Ammi accompanied Nahum home with the greatest reluctance. In the twilight he hastened home. but had he been able to connect and reflect upon all the portents around him he must inevitably have turned a total maniac. When night approached. for not even friendship could make him stay in that spot when the faint glow of the vegetation began and the trees may or may not have swayed without wind. Ammi managed to get away. and the very presence of one in the house was a breath from regions unnamed and unnamable.Ammi and his wife consoled the stricken man as best they could. his mind was bent ever so slightly. and in response to an inquiring look Nahum said that his wife was getting very feeble. 585 . the screams of the mad woman and the nervous child ringing horribly in his ears. Now and then Merwin's screams were answered faintly from the attic. He had come of late to do nothing but stare into space and obey what his father told him.

when he had reached home and heard the tale. and had never come back. 586 . both half-fused. who shunned all Gardners now. Pierce was blank. could give no guess. Screamed at everything. Pierce listened in a clutching fright. and Ammi. At the time Nahum thought the lantern and pail were gone too.Three days later Nahum burst into Ammi's kitchen in the early morning. but when dawn came. There was no glow from the lantern he had taken. Mrs. he had found some very curious things near the well. That was all. He'd been going to pieces for days. He had gone out late at night with a lantern and pail for water. No use. and hardly knew what he was about. and of the child himself no trace. while a bent handle and twisted iron hoops beside it. while Mrs. He was gone. Nahum was past imagining. and there would be no use in telling the people around. and the man had plodded back from his all-night search of the woods and fields. Merwin was gone. but before the father could get to the door the boy was gone. There had been a frantic shriek from the yard then. There was a crushed and apparently somewhat melted mass of iron which had certainly been the lantern. seemed to hint at the remnants of the pail. It was little Merwin this time. and in the absence of his host stammered out a desperate tale once more.

587 .either. It must all be a judgment of some sort. Nahum would go soon. and now Merwin was gone. There was no smoke from the great chimney. and for a moment the visitor was apprehensive of the worst. The aspect of the whole farm was shocking . indeed. Thad was gone. in telling the city people at Arkham who laughed at everything. worried about what might have happened. the host shouted huskily to Zenas for more wood. Something was creeping and creeping and waiting to be seen and heard. But Nahum was alive. and he wanted Ammi to look after his wife and Zenas if they survived him. For over two weeks Ammi saw nothing of Nahum. though he could not fancy what for. and then. and great bare trees clawing up at the grey November sky with a studied malevolence which Ammi could not but feel had come from some subtle change in the tilt of the branches. He was weak. since he had always walked uprightly in the Lord's ways so far as he knew. The room was deadly cold. vines falling in brittle wreckage from archaic walls and gables. after all. and lying on a couch in the low-ceiled kitchen. and as Ammi visibly shivered. but perfectly conscious and able to give simple orders to Zenas.greyish withered grass and leaves on the ground. Wood. he overcame his fears and paid the Gardner place a visit.

"Nabby? Why. here she is!" was the surprised response of poor Nahum. Questioning tactfully. Then there flashed across the visitor's mind a sudden thought of the mad wife." was all that the clouded father would say. since the cavernous fireplace was unlit and empty. he took the keys from their nail beside the door and climbed the creaking stairs to the attic. Presently Nahum asked him if the extra wood had made him any more comfortable. The third key proved the right one. and 588 .was sorely needed. It was quite dark inside. and Ammi soon saw that he must search for himself. It was very close and noisome up there. only one was locked. and after some fumbling Ammi threw open the low white door. Ammi could get no clear data at all about the missing Zenas. and no sound could be heard from any direction. The stoutest cord had broken at last. and then Ammi saw what had happened. for the window was small and half-obscured by the crude wooden bars. "In the well he lives in the well . and the hapless farmer's mind was proof against more sorrow. Leaving the harmless babbler on the couch. and on this he tried various keys of the ring he had taken. with a cloud of soot blowing about in the chill wind that came down the chimney. and he changed his line of inquiry. Of the four doors in sight.

and what is done in common humanity is sometimes cruelly judged by the law. and a second later he felt himself brushed as if by some hateful current of vapour.Ammi could see nothing at all on the wide-planked floor. and had not a present horror numbed him he would have thought of the globule in the meteor that the geologist's hammer had shattered. But the terrible thing about the horror was that it very slowly and perceptibly moved as it continued to crumble. The stench was beyond enduring. and which all too clearly had shared the nameless fate of young Thaddeus and the livestock. but the shape in the comer does not reappear in his tale as a moving object. When he did enter he saw something dark in the corner. and upon seeing it more clearly he screamed outright. Ammi would give me no added particulars of this scene. There are things which cannot be mentioned. As it was he thought only of the blasphemous monstrosity which confronted him. and before proceeding further he had to retreat to another room and return with his lungs filled with breathable air. While he screamed he thought a momentary cloud eclipsed the window. I gathered that no moving thing 589 . and of the morbid vegetation that had sprouted in the spring. Strange colours danced before his eyes.

and a most detestably sticky noise as of some fiendish and unclean species of suction. Indubitably there was a sort of heavy dragging. but Ammi walked conscious through that low doorway and locked the accursed secret behind him. Anyone but a stolid farmer would have fainted or gone mad. What presence had his cry and entry started up? Halted by some vague fear. Commencing his descent of the dark stairs. Good God! What eldritch dream-world was this into which he had blundered? He dared move neither backward nor forward. he heard still further sounds below. and removed to some place where he could be cared for. The 590 . and that to leave anything capable of motion there would have been a deed so monstrous as to damn any accountable being to eternal torment. With an associative sense goaded to feverish heights. Ammi heard a thud below him.was left in that attic room. Every trifle of the scene burned itself into his brain. There would be Nahum to deal with now. and recalled nervously the clammy vapour which had brushed by him in that frightful room above. he must be fed and tended. he thought unaccountably of what he had seen upstairs. but stood there trembling at the black curve of the boxed-in staircase. He even thought a scream had been suddenly choked off.

Whether 591 .and merciful Heaven! . and Ammi's grip tightened on a heavy stick he had picked up in the attic for some purpose. And still the pale phosphorescence glowed in that detestably ancient woodwork. the steepness of the narrow step .sounds. exposed laths. steps. But that was not all. There had been another sound out there. the darkness. A feeble scratching on the floor downstairs now sounded distinctly. A sort of liquid splash . followed at once by a clatter which told of a frenzied runaway. sides. But he did not complete the walk.the faint but unmistakable luminosity of all the woodwork in sight. the sense of dread expectancy. and a buggy wheel must have brushed the coping and knocked in a stone. because what he sought was no longer there. Slowly nerving himself. He had left Hero untied near it. and beams alike.it must have been the well. Then there burst forth a frantic whinny from Ammi's horse outside. In another moment horse and buggy had gone beyond earshot.water . he finished his descent and walked boldly toward the kitchen. It had come to meet him. and it was still alive after a fashion. leaving the frightened man on the dark stairs to guess what had sent them. God! how old the house was! Most of it built before 1670. and the gambrel roof no later than 1730.

seeds.. seeds. the colour..what was it?" He whispered. evil water... that round thing them men from the college dug outen the stone. he was a big boy....... everything alive.. "Nothin'. the well shone at night. jest the same. it must a' come in that stone pizened the whole place. and dry fragments were scaling off. they growed. burns ye up. in the well water... and disintegration were already far advanced. I seen it..it had crawled or whether it had been dragged by any external forces... it beats down your mind an' then gets ye. it was the same colour.. must a' got strong on Zenas. Everything had happened in the last half-hour.. a kind of smoke....... but the death had been at it. jest like the flowers last spring.. Nahum .. Thad an' Merwin an' Zenas.. nothin'. cold an' wet. but looked horrifiedly into the distorted parody that had been a face... and the cleft. greying. I seen it the fust time this week....... in that stone..... but it burns.. Ammi could not say... you was right about that... it burns.... Ammi could not touch it. must a' ben more of 'em.. they smashed it. full o' life... There was a horrible brittleness.... like the flowers an' plants. dun't know what it wants..... bulging lips were just able to crackle out a final answer.. but collapse. suckin' the life out of everything.. 592 . "What was it...... it lived in the well.

When Ammi reached his house the horses and buggy had arrived before him and thrown his wife into fits of anxiety. an' it burns an' sucks... whar's Nabby.. draws ye.. I seen it time an' agin senct Zenas was took. it come from some place whar things ain't as they is here." But that was all... look out. my head's no good..... her face is gittin' to hev that colour sometimes towards night.... sucks the life out.. and had seen that no stone was missing from the rim. Ammi...... it'll git her ef we ain't keerful... he was right. Ammi laid a red checked tablecloth over what was left and reeled out the back door into the fields. Ammi?. Then the lurching buggy had not dislodged anything after all . Reassuring her without expla- 593 ... jest a colour. He climbed the slope to the ten-acre pasture and stumbled home by the north road and the woods.. can't git away.something which went into the well after it had done with poor Nahum...the splash had been something else .. He had looked at it through the window. ye know summ'at's comin' but tain't no use.Zenas never come back from the well. dun't know how long sense I fed her. one o' them professors said so.. He could not pass that well from which his horses had run away. it'll do suthin' more...... That which spoke could speak no more because it had completely caved in..

not one remained unmoved at what was found in the attic and under the red checked tablecloth on the floor below. but merely told of the deaths of Nahum and Nabby. the medical examiner. and mentioned that the cause seemed to be the same strange ailment which had killed the live-stock. together with the coroner. The whole aspect of the farm with its grey desolation was terrible enough. Used as the officers were to gruesome experiences. he set out at once for Arkham and notified the authorities that the Gardner family was no more. and even the medical ex- 594 .nations. but those two crumbling objects were beyond all bounds. for the afternoon was advancing and he feared the fall of night over that accursed place. and the veterinary who had treated the diseased animals. but it was some comfort to have so many people with him. He went much against his will. There was considerable questioning at the police station. and arrived at the pestridden farmhouse about four o'clock. that of Thaddeus being already known. He indulged in no details. He also stated that Merwin and Zenas had disappeared. No one could look long at them. The six men drove out in a democrat-wagon. and in the end Ammi was compelled to take three officers to the Gardner farm. following Ammi's buggy.

The men sniffed in disgust at the fluid. Under the spectroscope both samples gave off an unknown spectrum. and toward the 595 . After that nothing would do but that they empty and explore the well immediately.and here it develops that a very puzzling aftermath occurred at the college laboratory where the two phials of dust were finally taken. in which many of the baffling bands were precisely like those which the strange meteor had yielded in the previous year. It was getting toward sunset. But he could not help glancing nervously at the stony curb by the great sweep. so Ammi had to wait trembling while pail after pail of rank water was hauled up and splashed on the soaking ground outside. Ammi would not have told the men about the well if he had thought they meant to do anything then and there. so he busied himself in obtaining them . and when a detective questioned him he admitted that Nahum had feared something down there so much so that he had never even thought of searching it for Merwin or Zenas. Specimens could be analysed. The property of emitting this spectrum vanished in a month. the dust thereafter consisting mainly of alkaline phosphates and carbonates.aminer admitted that there was very little to examine. of course. and he was anxious to be away.

The men were frankly nonplussed by the entire case. Then.last held their noses against the foetor they were uncovering. and a man who descended on hand-holds with a long pole found that he could sink the wooden shaft to any depth in the mud of the floor without meeting any solid obstruction. the unknown disease of live-stock and humans. and a number of bones of small animals. There is no need to speak too exactly of what they found. There were also a small deer and a large dog in about the same state. and the unaccountable deaths of Merwin and Zenas in the tainted well. Merwin and Zenas were both there. since the water was phenomenally low. It was not so long a job as they had feared it would be. everyone went indoors and conferred in the ancient sitting-room while the intermittent light of a spectral half-moon played wanly on the grey desolation outside. in part. Twilight had now fallen. The ooze and slime at the bottom seemed inexplicably porous and bubbling. it is true. when it was seen that nothing further could be gained from the well. and lanterns were brought from the house. and could find no convincing common element to link the strange vegetable conditions. but could not be- 596 . though the vestiges were mainly skeletal. They had heard the common country talk.

Why was everything so grey and brittle? It was the coroner. But what peculiar madness could have made both boys jump into the well? Their deeds were so similar-and the fragments showed that they had both suffered from the grey brittle death. He had seen it in the nasty brittle globule in that aerolite two summers ago. and all the abhorrent grounds seemed faintly luminous with more than the fitful moonbeams. but the illness of persons and animals who had eaten nothing grown in that soil was another matter. giving dull reflections in the little ground pools where the water had been emptied. but this new glow was something definite and distinct. For this strange beam of ghastly miasma was to him of no unfamiliar hue. Night had fully set in. and feared to think what it might mean. No doubt the meteor had poisoned the soil. He had seen that colour before. seated near a window overlooking the yard. and appeared to shoot up from the black pit like a softened ray from a searchlight. It might be a good idea to analyze it. It had a very queer colour.lieve that anything contrary to natural law had occurred. had seen it in the crazy 597 . who first noticed the glow about the well. and as all the men clustered round the window Ammi gave a violent start. Was it the well water? Very possibly.

." All three horses outside.it was against Nature .. He had said so at the last said it was like the globule and the plants. tied to a pair of shrivelled saplings by the road.. After that had come the runaway in the yard and the splash in the well-and now that well was belching forth to the night a pale insidious beam of the same demoniac tint.. one o' them professors said so. It wasn't right .vegetation of the springtime.and he thought of those terrible last words of his stricken friend. against a window opening on the morning sky. It had flashed there a second. and a clammy and hateful current of vapour had brushed past him and then poor Nahum had been taken by something of that colour. It does credit to the alertness of Ammi's mind that he puzzled even at that tense moment over a point which was essentially scientific. and had thought he had seen it for an instant that very morning against the small barred window of that terrible attic room where nameless things had happened. "It come from some place whar things ain't as they is here. He could not but wonder at his gleaning of the same impression from a vapour glimpsed in the daytime. and from a nocturnal exhalation seen as a phosphorescent mist against the black and blasted landscape. were now neighing and paw- 598 .

" he whispered. Nahum said somethin' lived in the well that sucks your life out. It must be somethin' from away off in the sky like the men from the college last year says the meteor stone was. The wagon driver started for the door to do something. He said it must be some'at growed from a round ball like one we all seen in the meteor stone that fell a year ago June. with terror in that ancient and accursed house itself. that ye can hardly see an' can't tell what it is. four monstrous sets of fragments-two from the house and two from the well-in the woodshed behind. It's some'at from beyond. Sucks an' burns. he said. Ammi had restrained the driver on impulse. forgetting how uninjured he himself was 599 . "Dun't go out thar. but Ammi laid a shaky hand on his shoulder. He said he seen it this last week. The way it's made an' the way it works ain't like no way 0' God's world. "They's more to this nor what we know.ing frantically. Nahum thought it feeds on everything livin' an' gits stronger all the time. and that shaft of unknown and unholy iridescence from the slimy depths in front. It was truly an awful moment." So the men paused indecisively as the light from the well grew stronger and the hitched horses pawed and whinnied in increasing frenzy. an' is jest a cloud of colour like that light out thar now.

and though the blasphemy from beyond had not so far hurt any human of unweakened mind. All at once one of the detectives at the window gave a short. sharp gasp. One did arise not long afterward. No one will ever know what was abroad that night.after the clammy brushing of that coloured vapour in the attic room. Even the dry tips of the lingering hedge-mustard. and the fringe on the roof of the standing democrat-wagon were unstirred. And yet amid that tense godless calm the high bare boughs of all the trees in the yard 600 . What had been disputed in country gossip was disputable no longer. there is no telling what it might not have done at that last moment. and then quickly followed his own gaze upward to the point at which its idle straying had been suddenly arrested. The others looked at him. It is necessary to premise that there was no wind at that hour of the evening. and it is because of the thing which every man of that party agreed in whispering later on. that the strange days are never talked about in Arkham. but there was absolutely none then. and with its seemingly increased strength and the special signs of purpose it was soon to display beneath the halfclouded moonlit sky. but perhaps it is just as well that he acted as he did. grey and blighted. There was no need for words.

All the while the shaft of phosphorescence from the well was getting brighter and brighter. tipping each bough like the fire of St. muffled with awe. They were twitching morbidly and spasmodically.were moving. Elmo or the flames that come down on the apostles' heads at Pentecost. For the terror had not faded with the silhouette. It was a monstrous constellation of unnatural light. and the silhouette of clutching branches faded out momentarily. Not a man breathed for several seconds. Then a cloud of darker depth passed over the moon. a sense of doom and abnormality which far outraced any image their conscious 601 . bringing to the minds of the huddled men. but husky and almost identical from every throat. At this there was a general cry. scratching impotently in the noxious air as if jerked by some allied and bodiless line of linkage with subterrene horrors writhing and struggling below the black roots. clawing in convulsive and epileptic madness at the moonlit clouds. like a glutted swarm of corpse-fed fireflies dancing hellish sarabands over an accursed marsh. and in a fearsome instant of deeper darkness the watchers saw wriggling at that tree top height a thousand tiny points of faint and unhallowed radiance. and its colour was that same nameless intrusion which Ammi had come to recognize and dread.

Then there was a wild commotion and clopping in the road. The veterinary shivered. "It spreads 602 . They were commencing to shine. and embarrassed whispers were exchanged. but not a soul of that group in the old house would have ventured forth for any earthly reward. while their restless branches seemed to strain more and more toward verticality. The shock served to loosen several tongues. and walked to the front door to drop the heavy extra bar across it.minds could form. Ammi shook no less. The neighing and stamping of the horses had become utterly frightful. The wood of the well-sweep was shining now. With the moments the shining of the trees increased. It was no longer shining out. too. it was pouring out. and had to tug and point for lack of controllable voice when he wished to draw notice to the growing luminosity of the trees. though the tethered vehicles of the visitors seemed so far unaffected. and as Ammi quenched the lamp for better seeing they realized that the span of frantic greys had broken their sapling and run off with the democrat-wagon. and presently a policeman dumbly pointed to some wooden sheds and bee-hives near the stone wall on the west. and as the shapeless stream of unplaceable colour left the well it seemed to flow directly into the sky.

No one replied.it got everything livin' .when Ammi looked out again the hapless beast lay huddled inert on the moonlit ground between the splintered 603 . Zenas an' Nabby . but the man who had been in the well gave a hint that his long pole must have stirred up something intangible.on everything organic that's been around here. and nearly drowned its owner's faint quaver as he mumbled his formless reflections. Just ooze and bubbles and the feeling of something lurking under there.Nahum was the last . there came from poor tethered Hero such a sound as no man before or since ever heard from a horse." Ammi's horse still pawed and screamed deafeningly in the road outside. Words could not convey it . as the column of unknown colour flared suddenly stronger and began to weave itself into fantastic suggestions of shape which each spectator described differently. "There was no bottom at all. mind and body .it fed itself on 'em. "It come from that stone .it growed down thar .now it's goin' home -" At this point.it come from beyond." muttered the medical examiner.Thad an' Merwin." he added. "It was awful. and Ammi turned away from the window in horror and nausea.it got strong on 'em . Every person in that low-pitched sitting room stopped his ears.they all drunk the water . whar things ain't like they be here .

It glowed on the broad-planked floor and the fragment of rag carpet. coruscated about the shelf and mantel.shafts of the buggy. and those shining orchard trees with their gnarled. for they could not have gone the front way. and at last it was very plain that healthy living things must leave that house. by that well. It ran up and down the exposed corner-posts. for almost at this instant a detective silently called attention to something terrible in the very room with them. Each minute saw it strengthen. but thank Heaven the branches did their worst twisting high up. fiendish contours. The moon went under some very black clouds as they crossed the 604 . In the absence of the lamplight it was clear that a faint phosphorescence had begun to pervade the entire apartment. and shimmered over the sashes of the small-paned windows. Ammi showed them the back door and the path up through the fields to the ten-acre pasture. It was bad enough passing the glowing barn and sheds. and did not dare look back till they were far away on the high ground. But the present was no time to mourn. They walked and stumbled as in a dream. and infected the very doors and furniture. That was the last of Hero till they buried him next day. They were glad of the path.

that alien and undimensioned rainbow of cryptic poison from the well . The boughs were all straining skyward. and lambent tricklings of the same monstrous fire were creeping about the ridgepoles of the house. leaving behind no trail and disappearing through a round and curiously regular hole in the clouds before any man could gasp or cry out. where the unknown colour had melted into the Milky Way. feeling. and malignly bubbling in its cosmic and unrecognizable chromaticism. No watcher can ever forget that sight. Then without warning the hideous thing shot vertically up toward the sky like a rocket or meteor. scintillating. But his gaze was the 605 . barn and sheds. and Ammi stared blankly at the stars of Cygnus. tipped with tongues of foul flame. buildings.seething. When they looked back toward the valley and the distant Gardner place at the bottom they saw a fearsome sight. reaching. and even such grass and herbage as had not been wholly changed to lethal grey brittleness. It was a scene from a vision of Fuseli.rustic bridge over Chapman's Brook. Deneb twinkling above the others. trees. At the farm was shining with the hideous unknown blend of colour. and over all the rest reigned that riot of luminous amorphousness. lapping. straining. and it was blind groping from there to the open meadows.

next moment called swiftly to earth by the crackling in the valley. as so many others of the party vowed. for in one feverish kaleidoscopic instant there burst up from that doomed and accursed farm a gleamingly eruptive cataclysm of unnatural sparks and substance. and sending forth to the zenith a bombarding cloudburst of such coloured and fantastic fragments as our universe must needs disown. Only a wooden ripping and crackling. Ammi was worse than his fellows. Behind and below was only a darkness to which the men dared not return. and not an explosion. and begged them to see him inside his own kitchen. It was just that. and in another second they had vanished too. frore gusts from interstellar space. and lashed the fields and distorted woods in a mad cosmic frenzy. in- 606 . blurring the glance of the few who saw it. Through quickly reclosing vapours they followed the great morbidity that had vanished. the seven shaking men trudged back toward Arkham by the north road. and all about was a mounting wind which seemed to sweep down in black. Too awed even to hint theories. till soon the trembling party realized it would be no use waiting for the moon to show what was left down there at Nahum's. Yet the outcome was the same. It shrieked and howled.

and will be glad when the new reservoir blots it out. and knew that this last faint remnant must still lurk down there in the well. For he had had an added shock that the others were spared. only to sink down again upon the place from which the great shapeless horror had shot into the sky. too. I shall be glad. he has never been quite right since. And from that stricken. I shall never drink it. and was crushed forever with a brooding fear he dared not even mention for many years to come. wind-whipped woods alone to his home on the main road. I do not think I 607 . Ammi had looked back an instant at the shadowed valley of desolation so lately sheltering his illstarred friend. He did not wish to cross the blighted. far-away spot he had seen something feebly rise. but he has never been there.stead of keeping straight on to town. And because Ammi recognized that colour. Ammi would never go near the place again. It is forty-four years now since the horror happened. As the rest of the watchers on that tempestuous hill had stolidly set their faces toward the road. It was just a colour . I hope the water will always be very deep but even so. for I do not like the way the sunlight changed colour around the mouth of that abandoned well I passed.but not any colour of our earth or heavens.

and the buggy which they shortly returned to him. Five eldritch acres of dusty grey desert remained. too. They might be even queerer if city men and college chemists could be interested enough to analyze the water from that disused well. and the rim of that nefandous well. Only the bricks of the chimney. ought to study the stunted flora on the borders of that spot. nor has anything ever grown there since." The rural tales are queer. Botanists. or the grey dust that no wind seems to disperse. Save for Ammi's dead horse. People say the colour of the neighboring herbage is not quite right in the spring.little by little. Three of the men who had been with Ammi returned the next morning to see the ruins by daylight. for they might shed light on the country notion that the blight is spreading . perhaps an inch a year. and that wild things leave queer prints in the light winter 608 . and the few who have ever dared glimpse it in spite of the rural tales have named it "the blasted heath. the stones of the cellar. To this day it sprawls open to the sky like a great spot eaten by acid in the woods and fields. some mineral and metallic litter here and there. but there were not any real ruins. which they towed away and buried.shall visit the Arkham country hereafter. everything that had ever been living had gone.

They say the mental influences are very bad. Then the stronger-minded folk all left the region. Snow never seems quite so heavy on the blasted heath as it is elsewhere. though. and one sometimes wonders what insight beyond ours their wild. and artists shiver as they paint thick woods whose mystery is as much of the spirits as of the eye. Horses . Their dreams at night. No traveler has ever escaped a sense of strangeness in those deep ravines. and hunters cannot depend on their dogs too near the splotch of greyish dust. 609 .snow. numbers went queer in the years after Nahum's taking. they protest. and always they lacked the power to get away. are very horrible in that grotesque country. When twilight came I had vaguely wished some clouds would gather. weird stories of whispered magic have given them. too. I myself am curious about the sensation I derived from my one lone walk before Ammi told me his tale.grow skittish in the silent valley. They could not stay. for an odd timidity about the deep skyey voids above had crept into my soul.the few that are left in this motor age . and surely the very look of the dark realm is enough to stir a morbid fancy. and only the foreigners tried to live in the crumbling old homesteads.

This was no fruit of such worlds and suns as shine on the telescopes and photographic plates of our observatories. There was no one but Ammi to question. and probably there was another which was too late. The rustics say the blight creeps an inch a year. In terms of matter I suppose the thing Ammi described would be called a gas. This was no breath from the skies whose motions and dimensions our astronomers measure or deem too vast to measure. There were other globules . What it is. No doubt it is still down the well .depend upon that.a frightful mes- 610 . and all three professors who saw the aerolite and its coloured globule are dead. only God knows. It was just a colour out of space . it must be tethered to something or else it would quickly spread.Do not ask me for my opinion.I know there was something wrong with the sunlight I saw above the miasmal brink. I do not know that is all. but this gas obeyed the laws that are not of our cosmos. for Arkham people will not talk about the strange days. But whatever demon hatchling is there. One must have fed itself and escaped. so perhaps there is a kind of growth or nourishment even now. Is it fastened to the roots of those trees that claw the air? One of the current Arkham tales is about fat oaks that shine and move as they ought not to do at night.

brittle monstrosity which persists more and more in troubling my sleep. Something terrible came to the hills and valleys on that meteor.and its influence was so insidious. Ammi is such a good old man when the reservoir gang gets to work I must write the chief engineer to keep a sharp watch on him.senger from unformed realms of infinity beyond all Nature as we know it.still remains.". and something terrible . He saw so much of the thing . I shall be glad to see the water come. and I do not think his tale was all a freak of madness as the townsfolk had forewarned.draws ye . from realms whose mere existence stuns the brain and numbs us with the black extra-cosmic gulfs it throws open before our frenzied eyes."Can't git away . Meanwhile I hope nothing will happen to Ammi. twisted. I would hate to think of him as the grey. 611 . Why has he never been able to move away? How clearly he recalled those dying words of Nahum's .ye know summ'at's comin' but tain't no use . I doubt very much if Ammi consciously lied to me.though I know not in what proportion .

What I will do is to relate the most horrible circumstance I ever encountered. why I shiver more than others upon entering a cold room. and seem nauseated and repelled when the chill of evening creeps through the heat of a mild autumn day. It is a mistake to fancy that horror is associated inextricably with darkness. endurable furnishings. It soon developed that I had only a choice between 612 . and solitude. There are those who say I respond to cold as others do to a bad odour. began drifting from one cheap boarding establishment to another in search of a room which might combine the qualities of decent cleanliness.Cool Air You ask me to explain why I am afraid of a draught of cool air. silence. in the clangour of a metropolis. I found it in the glare of mid-afternoon. and being unable to pay any substantial rent. and in the teeming midst of a shabby and commonplace rooming-house with a prosaic landlady and two stalwart men by my side. and leave it to you to judge whether or not this forms a suitable explanation of my peculiarity. and I am the last to deny the impression. In the spring of 1923 I had secured some dreary and unprofitable magazine work in the city of New York. and very reasonable price.

dating apparently from the late forties. so that I came to regard it as at least a bearable place to hibernate till one might really live again. but after a time I came upon a house in West Fourteenth Street which disgusted me much less than the others I had sampled. but the floors were clean. I had been there about three weeks when the first odd incident occurred. a slatternly. large and lofty. did not annoy me with gossip or with criticisms of the late-burning electric light in my third-floor front hall room. being mostly Spaniards a little above the coarsest and crudest grade. and the hot water not too often cold or turned off. One evening at about eight I heard a spattering on the floor and became sud- 613 . and my fellow-lodgers were as quiet and uncommunicative as one might desire. and decorated with impossible paper and ridiculously ornate stucco cornices.different evils. the linen tolerably regular. The place was a four-story mansion of brownstone. In the rooms. there lingered a depressing mustiness and hint of obscure cookery. Only the din of street cars in the thoroughfare below proved a serious annoyance. The landlady. and fitted with woodwork and marble whose stained and sullied splendour argued a descent from high levels of tasteful opulence. almost bearded Spanish woman named Herrero.

But he was great once--my fathair in Barcelona have hear of heem--and only joost now he feex a arm of the plumber that get hurt of sudden. and my boy Esteban he breeng heem hees food and laundry and mediceens and chemicals. My Gawd. "Doctair Muñoz. Herrero disappeared up the staircase to the fourth floor. and as I cleaned up what had 614 . and he cannot get excite or warm. I hastened to the basement to tell the landlady.denly aware that I had been smelling the pungent odour of ammonia for some time. All hees own housework he do--hees leetle room are full of bottles and machines. the soaking apparently proceeding from a corner on the side toward the street. I saw that the ceiling was wet and dripping. the salammoniac that man use for keep heem cool!" Mrs. "he have speel hees chemicals. Looking about. Anxious to stop the matter at its source. He nevair go out. and he do not work as doctair. He ees too seeck for doctair heemself--seecker and seecker all the time--but he weel not have no othair for help. and was assured by her that the trouble would quickly be set right. The ammonia ceased to drip." she cried as she rushed upstairs ahead of me. He ees vairy queer in hees seeckness--all day he take funnee-smelling baths. and I returned to my room. only on roof.

I might never have known Dr. an infinite deal of pathos in the state of an eminent person who has come down in the world. I wondered for a moment what the strange affliction of this man might be. My knock was answered in good English by a curious voice some distance to the right.spilled and opened the window for air. and whether his obstinate refusal of outside aid were not the result of a rather baseless eccentricity. and these things being stated. I dragged myself upstairs and knocked feebly at the door above mine. and I knew there was no time to be lost. save for certain sounds as of some gasoline-driven mechanism. there came an opening of the door next to the one I had sought. I reflected tritely. asking my name and business. Dr. I heard the landlady's heavy footsteps above me. I shivered as I crossed the threshold into a large apartment whose 615 . and though the day was one of the hottest of late June. Physicians had told me of the danger of those spells. There is. Muñoz had it not been for the heart attack that suddenly seized me one forenoon as I sat writing in my room. so remembering what the landlady had said about the invalid's help of the injured workman. Muñoz I had never heard. since his step was soft and gentle. A rush of cool air greeted me.

and that his main living quarters lay in the spacious adjoining room whose convenient alcoves and large contiguous bathroom permitted him to hide all dressers and obtrusively utilitarian devices. cultivation. Muñoz. Thick. and mellow bookshelves all bespoke a gentleman's study rather than a boarding-house bedroom. was a man of birth. I now saw that the hall room above mine -the "leetle room" of bottles and machines which Mrs. A folding couch now filled its diurnal role of sofa. The figure before me was short but exquisitely proportioned. Dr. and the mahogany furniture. sumptuous hangings. and discrimination.rich and tasteful decoration surprised me in this nest of squalor and seediness. and clad in somewhat formal dress of perfect cut and fit. and the whole picture was 616 . old paintings. Herrero had mentioned -was merely the laboratory of the doctor. A high-bred face of masterful though not arrogant expression was adorned by a short iron-grey full beard. and an old-fashioned pince-nez shielded the full. most certainly. well-trimmed hair that argued the punctual calls of a barber was parted gracefully above a high forehead. dark eyes and surmounted an aquiline nose which gave a Moorish touch to a physiognomy otherwise dominantly Celtiberian.

distrust. It might. too. have been the singular cold that alienated me. and fear. and ministered to them with a master's deftness. Muñoz in that blast of cool air. and had sunk his fortune and lost all his friends in a lifetime of bizarre experiment devoted to its bafflement and extirpation. for the strange physician's extreme skill at once became manifest despite the ice-coldness and shakiness of his bloodless-looking hands. for such chilliness was abnormal on so hot a day. the while reassuring me in a finely modulated though oddly hollow and timbreless voice that he was the bitterest of sworn enemies to death. Only his lividly inclined complexion and coldness of touch could have afforded a physical basis for this feeling. But repugnance was soon forgotten in admiration. and he rambled on almost garrulously as he sounded my chest and mixed a suitable draught of drugs fetched from the smaller 617 . as I saw Dr. and the abnormal always excites aversion. and even these things should have been excusable considering the man's known invalidism. He clearly understood my needs at a glance. Nevertheless.one of striking intelligence and superior blood and breeding. I felt a repugnance which nothing in his aspect could justify. Something of the benevolent fanatic seemed to reside in him.

Evidently he found the society of a well-born man a rare novelty in this dingy environment. affect him fatally. He sought to distract my mind from my own seizure by speaking of his theories and experiments. or even absences in the battery of specific organs.laboratory room. and was moved to unaccustomed speech as memories of better days surged over him. some day teach me to live--or at least to possess some kind of conscious existence--without any heart at all! For his part. he was afflicted with a complication of maladies requiring a very exact regimen which included constant cold. His voice. if prolonged. He might. defects. was at least soothing. and the frigidity of his habitation--some 55 or 56 degrees Fahrenheit -was maintained by an absorption system of ammonia cooling. it may through a scientific enhancement of these qualities retain a kind of nervous animation despite the most serious impairments. he half jestingly said. if queer. and I could not even perceive that he breathed as the fluent sentences rolled urbanely out. so that if a bodily frame be but originally healthy and carefully preserved. the gasoline engine of 618 . and I remember his tactfully consoling me about my weak heart by insisting that will and consciousness are stronger than organic life itself. Any marked rise in temperature might.

I was eventually. I left the shivery place a disciple and devotee of the gifted recluse. for Dr. and trembling a bit when I examined the unconventional and astonishingly ancient volumes on his shelves. Perhaps the strain had been too great. involving 619 . Relieved of my seizure in a marvellously short while. almost cured of my disease for all time by his skillful ministrations.whose pumps I had often heard in my own room below. After that I paid him frequent overcoated calls. I was touched by his account of the aged Dr. whence his present disorders proceeded. listening while he told of secret researches and almost ghastly results. since he believed these cryptic formulae to contain rare psychological stimuli which might conceivably have singular effects on the substance of a nervous system from which organic pulsations had fled. It seems that he did not scorn the incantations of the mediaevalists. No sooner had the venerable practitioner saved his colleague than he himself succumbed to the grim enemy he had fought. Torres of Valencia. who had shared his earlier experiments and nursed him through the great illness of eighteen years before. Muñoz made it whisperingly clear -though not in detail -that the methods of healing had been most extraordinary. I may add.

as Mrs. acquiring a fondness for exotic spices and Egyptian incense till his room smelled like a vault of a sepulchred Pharaoh in the Valley of Kings. and little by little his expression and conversation both took on a gruesome irony which restored in me something of the subtle repulsion I had originally felt. in order that water might not freeze. I observed with regret that my new friend was indeed slowly but unmistakably losing ground physically.scenes and processes not welcomed by elderly and conservative Galens. his muscular motions were less perfectly coordinated. and his mind and will displayed less resilience and initiative. and finally even 28 degrees. He developed strange caprices. being less chilled. At the same time his demands for cold air increased. and with my aid he amplified the ammonia piping of his room and modified the pumps and feed of his refrigerating machine till he could keep the temperature as low as 34 degrees or 40 degrees. his voice became more hollow and indistinct. Of this sad change he seemed by no means unaware. the bathroom and laboratory. and that chemical processes might not be impeded. As the weeks passed. The livid aspect of his countenance was intensified. of course. Herrero had suggested. The tenant adjoining him complained of 620 .

The whole house. A kind of growing horror. Mrs. and was careful to dust his room and attend to his needs each day. He talked of death incessantly. but the smell in his room was worse--and in spite of all the spices and incense. I likewise did much of his shopping. seemed to possess him. of outre and morbid cast. but laughed hollowly when such things as burial or funeral arrangements were gently suggested. All in all. and the pungent chemicals of the now incessant baths which he insisted on taking unaided. An increasing and unexplained atmosphere of panic seemed to rise around his apartment. and gasped in bafflement at some of the chemicals he ordered from druggists and laboratory supply houses. had a musty odour. Herrero crossed herself when she looked at 621 .the icy air from around the connecting door. as I have said. he became a disconcerting and even gruesome companion. muffled in a heavy ulster which I bought especially for the purpose. so I helped him fit heavy hangings to obviate the difficulty. I perceived that it must be connected with his ailment. yet in my gratitude for his healing I could not well abandon him to the strangers around him. and shuddered when I reflected on what that ailment might be.

so that he seemed about to hurl defiance at the death-daemon even as that ancient enemy seized him. The lassitude of his earlier ill days gave place to a return of his fiery purpose. and about whom the most inconceivable things had been whispered. not even letting her son Esteban continue to run errands for him. and gave him up unreservedly to me. One September day an unexpected glimpse of him induced an epi- 622 . I burned all these papers undelivered and unopened. His aspect and voice became utterly frightful. and he refused to be confined to his bed. but including a once celebrated French physician now generally thought dead. which he carefully sealed and filled with injunctions that I transmit them after his death to certain persons whom he named -for the most part lettered East Indians.him. As it happened. He acquired a habit of writing long documents of some sort. and his presence almost unbearable. The pretence of eating. He evidently feared the physical effect of violent emotion. the sufferer would fly into as much of a rage as he seemed to dare to entertain. he virtually abandoned. When I suggested other physicians. always curiously like a formality with him. and mental power alone appeared to keep him from total collapse. yet his will and driving force waxed rather than waned.

623 . oddly enough. He groped his way out with face tightly bandaged. in the middle of October. Then. and when I had brought in a mechanic from a neighbouring all-night garage. and I never saw his eyes again. a fit for which he prescribed effectively whilst keeping himself well out of sight. proved of no use. Dr.leptic fit in a man who had come to repair his electric desk lamp. seemed likely to shatter what remained of his failing physique. had been through the terrors of the Great War without having incurred any fright so thorough. so that within three hours the process of ammonia cooling became impossible. My amateur efforts. The moribund hermit's rage and fear. and I worked desperately to repair the injury while my host cursed in a tone whose lifeless. Muñoz summoned me by thumping on the floor. rattling hollowness surpassed description. and once a spasm caused him to clap his hands to his eyes and rush into the bathroom. One night about eleven the pump of the refrigerating machine broke down. the horror of horrors came with stupefying suddenness. we learned that nothing could be done till morning. however. when a new piston would have to be obtained. That man. swelling to grotesque proportions.

m. I asked Esteban either to help with the icefetching whilst I obtained the pump piston.m. arrived at 624 . the doctor retired to the bathroom. and a hectic quest from place to place. As I would return from my sometimes discouraging trips and lay my spoils before the closed bathroom door. Finally I hired a seedy-looking loafer whom I encountered on the corner of Eighth Avenue to keep the patient supplied with ice from a little shop where I introduced him. The task seemed interminable. About noon I encountered a suitable supply house far downtown. hither and thither by subway and surface car. I could hear a restless splashing within. or to order the piston while I continued with the ice. and a thick voice croaking out the order for "More--more!" At length a warm day broke.The frigidity of the apartment was now sensibly diminishing. and I raged almost as violently as the hermit when I saw the hours slipping by in a breathless. commanding me to keep him supplied with all the ice I could obtain at all-night drug stores and cafeterias. and the shops opened one by one. and at about 5 a. and applied myself diligently to the task of finding a pump piston and engaging workmen competent to install it. he absolutely refused. and at approximately 1:30 p. but instructed by his mother. foodless round of vain telephoning.

had preceded me. The lounger I had hired. Fiendish things were in the air. He could not. but the landlady found a way to turn the key from the outside with some wire device. thick dripping. 625 . and flung all the windows to the very top. however. noses protected by handkerchiefs. The house was in utter turmoil. and lodgers told over the beads of their rosaries as they caught the odour from beneath the doctor's closed door. Now. Briefly consulting with Mrs. have locked the door behind him. yet it was now fastened. presumably from the inside. perhaps as a result of excessive curiosity. Herrero and the workmen despite a fear that gnawed my inmost soul. We had previously opened the doors of all the other rooms on that hall. it seems. I had done all I could. Black terror. There was no sound within save a nameless sort of slow. of course. and above the chatter of awed voices I heard a man praying in a deep basso.my boarding-place with the necessary paraphernalia and two sturdy and intelligent mechanics. I advised the breaking down of the door. we tremblingly invaded the accursed south room which blazed with the warm sun of early afternoon. and hoped I was in time. had fled screaming and mad-eyed not long after his second delivery of ice.

A kind of dark. But this is what I shiveringly puzzled out on the stickily smeared paper before I drew a match and burned it to a crisp. Whether I believe them now I honestly do not know. with the clatter of cars and motor trucks ascending clamorously from crowded Fourteenth Street." ran that noisome scrawl. blind hand on a piece of paper hideously smeared as though by the very claws that traced the hurried last words. yet I confess that I believed them then. or had been. on the couch I cannot and dare not say here. slimy trail led from the open bathroom door to the hall door. and all that I can say is that I hate the smell of ammonia. where a terrible little pool had accumulated. Warmer every minute. There are things about which it is better not to speculate. "is here. and thence to the desk. what I puzzled out in terror as the landlady and two mechanics rushed frantically from that hellish place to babble their incoherent stories at the nearest police station. The nauseous words seemed well-nigh incredible in that yellow sunlight. I fancy 626 . and grow faint at a draught of unusually cool air. Something was scrawled there in pencil in an awful. "The end. Then the trail led to the couch and ended unutterably. No more ice -the man looked and ran away. What was. and the tissues can't last.

It was good theory. but the shock killed him. He couldn't stand what he had to do -he had to get me in a strange. dark place when he minded my letter and nursed me back.you know -what I said about the will and the nerves and the preserved body after the organs ceased to work. It had to be done my way -preservation -for you see I died that time eighteen years ago." 627 . Dr. There was a gradual deterioration I had not foreseen. but couldn't keep up indefinitely. And the organs never would work again. Torres knew.

that five days after we were taken I managed to escape alone in a small boat with water and provisions for a good length of time.Dagon I am writing this under an appreciable mental strain. whilst we of her crew were treated with all the fairness and consideration due us as naval prisoners. why it is that I must have forgetfulness or death. Do not think from my slavery to morphine that I am a weakling or a degenerate. I can bear the torture no longer. 628 . so that our vessel was made a legitimate prize. and the ocean forces of the Hun had not completely sunk to their later degradation. makes life endurable. though never fully realise. since by tonight I shall be no more. indeed. and shall cast myself from this garret window into the squalid street below. When you have read these hastily scrawled pages you may guess. and at the end of my supply of the drug which alone. It was in one of the most open and least frequented parts of the broad Pacific that the packet of which I was supercargo fell a victim to the German searaider. So liberal. was the discipline of our captors. The great war was then at its very beginning. Penniless.

and in which my boat lay grounded some distance away. I had but little idea of my surroundings. though troubled and dream-infested.When I finally found myself adrift and free. and no island or coastline was in sight. and for uncounted days I drifted aimlessly beneath the scorching sun. The region was putrid with the carcasses of decaying 629 . I was in reality more horrified than astonished. But neither ship nor land appeared. or to be cast on the shores of some habitable land. for my slumber. was continuous. Never a competent navigator. and I began to despair in my solitude upon the heaving vastness of unbroken blue. When at last I awakened. for there was in the air and in the rotting soil a sinister quality which chilled me to the very core. waiting either for some passing ship. Though one might well imagine that my first sensation would be of wonder at so prodigious and unexpected a transformation of scenery. I could only guess vaguely by the sun and stars that I was somewhat south of the equator. The change happened whilst I slept. Of the longitude I knew nothing. The weather kept fair. it was to discover myself half sucked into a slimy expanse of hellish black mire which extended about me in monotonous undulations as far as I could see. Its details I shall never know.

yet the very completeness of the stillness and the homogeneity of the landscape oppressed me with a nauseating fear. and of other less describable things which I saw protruding from the nasty mud of the unending plain. as though reflecting the inky marsh beneath my feet.fish. The sun was blazing down from a sky which seemed to me almost black in its cloudless cruelty. So great was the extent of the new land which had risen beneath me. As I crawled into the stranded boat I realized that only one theory could explain my position. strain my ears as I might. Perhaps I should not hope to convey in mere words the unutterable hideousness that can dwell in absolute silence and barren immensity. a portion of the ocean floor must have been thrown to the surface. exposing regions which for innumerable millions of years had lain hidden under unfathomable watery depths. There was nothing within hearing. Through some unprecedented volcanic upheaval. 630 . and nothing in sight save a vast reach of black slime. that I could not detect the faintest noise of the surging ocean. Nor were there any sea-fowl to prey upon the dead things.

which turned out to be much higher than it had appeared from a distance. That night I encamped. I slept in the shadow of the hill. As the day progressed. 631 . the ground lost some of its stickiness. guided by a far-away hummock which rose higher than any other elevation on the rolling desert. Too weary to ascend. and set out boldly for an unknown goal. By the fourth evening I attained the base of the mound. preparatory to an overland journey in search of the vanished sea and possible rescue.For several hours I sat thinking or brooding in the boat. All day I forged steadily westward. an intervening valley setting it out in sharper relief from the general surface. On the third morning I found the soil dry enough to walk upon with ease. The odour of the fish was maddening. though that object seemed scarcely nearer than when I had first espied it. and the next day I made for myself a pack containing food and water. but I was too much concerned with graver things to mind so slight an evil. That night I slept but little. and seemed likely to dry sufficiently for travelling purposes in a short time. which lay upon its side and afforded a slight shade as the sun moved across the heavens. and on the following day still travelled toward the hummock.

determined to sleep no more. As the moon climbed higher in the sky. whose black recesses the moon had not yet soared high enough to illumine.I know not why my dreams were so wild that night. And in the glow of the moon I saw how unwise I had been to travel by day. indeed. Through my terror ran curious reminiscences of Paradise Lost. Picking up my pack. Without the glare of the parching sun. Such visions as I had experienced were too much for me to endure again. but I think my horror was greater when I gained the summit of the mound and looked down the other side into an immeasurable pit or canyon. I now felt quite able to perform the ascent which had deterred me at sunset. peering over the rim into a fathomless chaos of eternal night. and Satan's hideous climb through the unfashioned realms of darkness. I felt myself on the edge of the world. I was awake in a cold perspiration. I have said that the unbroken monotony of the rolling plain was a source of vague horror to me. I started for the crest of the eminence. my journey would have cost me less energy. Ledges and out- 632 . but ere the waning and fantastically gibbous moon had risen far above the eastern plain. I began to see that the slopes of the valley were not quite so perpendicular as I had imagined.

which rose steeply about a hundred yards ahead of me.croppings of rock afforded fairly easy footholds for a descent. Urged on by an impulse which I cannot definitely analyse. yet not without a certain thrill of the scientist's or archaeologist's delight. I perceived beyond a doubt that the strange object was a well-shaped monolith whose massive bulk had known the workmanship and perhaps the worship of living and thinking creatures. The 633 . and its position in an abyss which had yawned at the bottom of the sea since the world was young. I soon assured myself. That it was merely a gigantic piece of stone. I scrambled with difficulty down the rocks and stood on the gentler slope beneath. an object that gleamed whitely in the newly bestowed rays of the ascending moon. gazing into the Stygian deeps where no light had yet penetrated. I examined my surroundings more closely. but I was conscious of a distinct impression that its contour and position were not altogether the work of Nature. A closer scrutiny filled me with sensations I cannot express. All at once my attention was captured by a vast and singular object on the opposite slope. Dazed and frightened. the declivity became very gradual. for despite its enormous magnitude. whilst after a drop of a few hundred feet.

the wavelets washed the base of the Cyclopean monolith. though the creatures were shown disporting like fishes in the waters of some marine grotto. Across the chasm. It was the pictorial carving. or paying homage at some monolithic shrine which ap- 634 . The writing was in a system of hieroglyphics unknown to me. winding out of sight in both directions. molluscs. shone weirdly and vividly above the towering steeps that hemmed in the chasm. that did most to hold me spellbound. a certain sort of men. crustaceans. eels. now near the zenith. Plainly visible across the intervening water on account of their enormous size was an array of basreliefs whose subjects would have excited the envy of a Dore.moon. consisting for the most part of conventionalised aquatic symbols such as fishes.at least. and almost lapping my feet as I stood on the slope. but whose decomposing forms I had observed on the ocean-risen plain. I think that these things were supposed to depict men -. whales and the like. however. and revealed the fact that a far-flung body of water flowed at the bottom. and unlike anything I had ever seen in books. octopi. Several characters obviously represented marine things which are unknown to the modern world. on whose surface I could now trace both inscriptions and crude sculptures.

some tribe whose last descendant had perished eras before the first ancestor of the Piltdown or Neanderthal Man was born. they were damnably human in general outline despite webbed hands and feet. I stood musing whilst the moon cast queer reflections on the silent channel before me. their grotesqueness and strange size. Of their faces and forms I dare not speak in detail. Grotesque beyond the imagination of a Poe or a Bulwer. bulging eyes. it darted like a 635 .peared to be under the waves as well. for one of the creatures was shown in the act of killing a whale represented as but little larger than himself. With only a slight churning to mark its rise to the surface. Curiously enough. and other features less pleasant to recall. Awestruck at this unexpected glimpse into a past beyond the conception of the most daring anthropologist. Polyphemus-like. but in a moment decided that they were merely the imaginary gods of some primitive fishing or seafaring tribe. they seemed to have been chiselled badly out of proportion with their scenic background. glassy. Then suddenly I saw it. for the mere remembrance makes me grow faint. shockingly wide and flabby lips. and loathsome. as I say. Va s t . I remarked. the thing slid i n t o v i e w a b o v e t h e d a r k w a t e r s .

636 . I tried morphine. Once I sought out a celebrated ethnologist. especially when the moon is gibbous and waning. and amused him with peculiar questions regarding the ancient Philistine legend of Dagon. I remember little. Of any land upheaval in the Pacific. nor did I deem it necessary to insist upon a thing which I knew they could not believe. I think I went mad then. brought thither by the captain of the American ship which had picked up my boat in mid-ocean. I knew that I heard peals of thunder and other tones which Nature utters only in her wildest moods. In my delirium I had said much. but found that my words had been given scant attention. When I came out of the shadows I was in a San Francisco hospital. I believe I sang a great deal. that I see the thing. but soon perceiving that he was hopelessly conventional. my rescuers knew nothing.stupendous monster of nightmares to the monolith. the Fish-God. It is at night. Of my frantic ascent of the slope and cliff. I did not press my inquiries. I have indistinct recollections of a great storm some time after I reached the boat. and laughed oddly when I was unable to sing. and of my delirious journey back to the stranded boat. the while it bowed its hideous head and gave vent to certain measured sounds. at any rate. about which it flung its gigantic scaly arms.

So now I am to end it all. and has drawn me into its clutches as a hopeless slave. having written a full account for the information or the contemptuous amusement of my fellow-men. worshipping their ancient stone idols and carving their own detestable likenesses on submarine obelisks of water-soaked granite.of a day when the land shall sink. I dream of a day when they may rise above the billows to drag down in their reeking talons the remnants of puny. It shall not find me. but ever does there come before me a hideously vivid vision in reply. that hand! The window! The window! 637 .a mere freak of fever as I lay sun-stricken and raving in the open boat after my escape from the German man-of-war. war-exhausted mankind -. Often I ask myself if it could not all have been a pure phantasm -. The end is near. This I ask myself.but the drug has given only transient surcease. I hear a noise at the door. as of some immense slippery body lumbering against it. I cannot think of the deep sea without shuddering at the nameless things that may at this very moment be crawling and floundering on its slimy bed. God. and the dark ocean floor shall ascend amidst universal pandemonium.

Those who once knew him as scholar and aesthete say it is very pitiful to see him now. All he seeks from life is not to think. He lives all alone with his streaked cat in Gray's Inn. my most hideous fear is that the man is wrong.The Descendant Writing on what my doctor tells me is my deathbed. Friends and companions he shuns. His room is filled with books of the tamest and most puerile kind. Fear has its grisly claws upon him. I suppose I shall seem to be buried next week. and anything which stirs the imagination he flees as a plague. but. In London there is a man who screams when the church bells ring.. and hour after hour he tries to lose himself in their feeble pages. It is a decade now since he moved into Gray's Inn. He is very thin and grey and wrinkled. He dropped them all years ago. and no one feels sure whether he left the country or merely sank from sight in some hidden byway.. and a sound will make him start with staring eyes and sweat-beaded forehead. but there are those who declare he is not nearly so old as he looks. and of where he had been 638 . and people call him harmlessly mad. For some reason thought is very horrible to him. for he wishes to answer no questions.

his most trivial remarks made abundantly clear. For that the man always watched and listened no one could doubt. and when he moved into the ancient house he felt a strangeness and a breath of cosmic wind about the grey wizened man in the next room. haggard watcher and listener. and only twenty-three. And when the church bells rang he would stop his ears and scream. and marvelled at the fright that sat upon this gaunt. but would feign a smile and a light tone and prattle feverishly and frantically of cheerful trifles. Williams was a dreamer. his voice every moment rising and thickening till at last it would split in a piping and incoherent falsetto. That his learning was deep and thorough. insipid novels. But try as Williams would. He forced his friendship where old friends dared not force theirs. He watched and listened with his mind more than with his eyes and ears. he could not make his neighbour speak of anything profound or hidden.he would say nothing till the night young Williams bought the Necronomicon. and Williams was not surprised to 639 . and strove every moment to drown something in his ceaseless poring over gay. and the grey cat that dwelt with him would howl in unison till the last peal died reverberantly away. The old man would not live up to his aspect and manner.

It was at a Jew's shop in the squalid precincts of Clare Market. But now. The old bookseller had told him that only five copies were known to have survived the shocked edicts of the priests and lawgivers against it and that all of these were locked up with frightened care by custodians who had ventured to begin a reading of the hateful black-letter.hear that he had been to Harrow and Oxford. and of its reputed Roman origin. when his dawning love of the bizarre had led him to ask queer questions of a bent old bookseller in Chandos Street. hewn out of the solid crag that frowns on the North Sea. he refused to admit that there was anything unusual about it. where he 640 . So matters went till that night when Williams brought home the infamous Necronomicon of the mad Arab Abdul Alhazred. was brought up. of whose ancient hereditary castle on the Yorkshire coast so many odd things were told. Later it developed that he was none other than Lord Northam. He even tittered shrilly when the subject of the supposed under crypts. at last. but when Williams tried to talk of the castle. and he had always wondered why men paled when they spoke of it. he had not only found an accessible copy but had made it his own at a ludicrously low figure. He had known of the dreaded volume since his sixteenth year.

Lord Northam was simpering inanities to his streaked cat. told his fantastic figment of madness in frantic whispers. But when at last it was safe in his room he found the combination of black-letter and debased idiom too much for his powers as a linguist. and started violently when the young man entered. The bulky leather cover with the brass clasp had been so prominently visible. and reluctantly called on his strange. He felt it was highly necessary to get the ponderous thing home and begin deciphering it. lest his friend 641 . and he almost fancied the gnarled old Levite smiled amidst tangles of beard as the great discovery was made. mediaeval Latin. and fainted altogether when Williams uttered the title. The one glimpse he had had of the title was enough to send him into transports. and bore it out of the shop with such precipitate haste that the old Jew chuckled disturbingly behind him. It was when he regained his senses that he told his story. frightened friend for help with the twisted. and the price was so absurdly slight. and some of the diagrams set in the vague Latin text excited the tensest and most disquieting recollections in his brain. Then he saw the volume and shuddered wildly.had often bought strange things before.

in the legend that Gabinius had built an impregnable fortress 642 . but it would never have come to a head if he had not explored too far. come upon a cliffside cavern where strange folk met together and made the Elder Sign in the dark. for there were family tales of a descent from pre-Saxon times. He was the nineteenth Baron of a line whose beginings went uncomfortably far back into the past.be not quick to burn the accursed book and give wide scattering to its ashes.unbelievably far. of course. * * * * There must. if vague tradition could be heeded. Lord Northam whispered. There was no certainty. the rumour ran. military tribune in the Third Augustan Legion then stationed at Lindum in Roman Britain. when a certain Lunaeus Gabinius Capito. had been summarily expelled from his command for participation in certain rites unconnected with any known religion. Gabinius had. have been something wrong at the start. leaving only the islands with the roths and circles and shrines of which Stonehenge was the greatest. strange folk whom the Britons knew not save in fear. and who were the last to survive from a great land in the west that had sunk.

or in the tacit assumption that from this line sprang the bold companion and lieutenant of the Black Prince whom Edward Third created Baron of Northam. a searcher for strange realms and relationships once familiar. and that unknown demesnes press on and permeate the sphere of the known at every point. yet lying nowhere in the visible regions of earth. Nowhere. These things were not certain. He became a dreamer who found life tame and unsatisfying. Dane and Norman were powerless to obliterate. yet they were often told. however. As a child Lord Northam had had peculiar dreams when sleeping in the older parts of the castle. and in truth the stonework of Northam Keep did look alarmingly like the masonry of Hadrian's Wall.over the forbidden cave and founded a line which Pict and Saxon. Northam in youth and young manhood drained in turn the founts of formal religion and occult mystery. and had acquired a constant habit of looking back through his memory for half-amorphous scenes and patterns and impressions which formed no part of his waking experience. Filled with a feeling that our tangible world is only an atom in a fabric vast and ominous. During 643 . could he find ease and content. and as he grew older the staleness and limitations of life became more and more maddening to him.

He would travel leagues to follow up a furtive village tale of abnormal wonder. Books like Ignatius Donnelly's commerical account of Atlantis he absorbed with zest. yet it might be only in his mind and soul.the 'nineties he dabbled in Satanism. It might be in the visible world. and once went into the desert of Araby to seek a Nameless City of faint report. which would bind him to the stars. which no man has ever beheld. Perhaps he held within his own half-explored brain that cryptic link which would awaken him to elder and future lives in forgotten dimensions. and at all times he devoured avidly any doctrine or theory which seemed to promise escape from the close vistas of science and the dully unvarying laws of Nature. and to the infinities and eternities beyond them. 644 . which if one found would admit him freely to those outer deeps whose echoes rattled so dimly at the back of his memory. There rose within him the tantalising faith that somewhere an easy gate existed. and a dozen obscure precursors of Charles Fort enthralled him with their vagaries.

it is certain that they worshipped a sea-green stone idol chiseled in the likeness of Bokrug. that they one day dis- 645 . the gray stone city of Ib. Ten thousand years ago there stood by its shore the mighty city of Sarnath.The Doom That Came to Sarnath There is in the land of Mnar a vast still lake that is fed by no stream. However this may be. before ever the men of Sarnath came to the land of Mnar. and peopled with beings not pleasing to behold. pouting. that they had bulging eyes. another city stood beside the lake. It is written on the brick cylinders of Kadatheron that the beings of lb were in hue as green as the lake and the mists that rise above it. and out of which no stream flows. flabby lips. they and the vast still lake and gray stone city lb. before which they danced horribly when the moon was gibbous. and were without voice. the great water-lizard. and curious ears. but Sarnath stands there no more. as indeed are most beings of a world yet inchoate and rudely fashioned. And it is written in the papyrus of Ilarnek. It is also written that they descended one night from the moon in a mist. It is told that in the immemorial years when the world was young. which was old as the lake itself. Very odd and ugly were these beings.

for why those sculptures lingered so late in the world. and knows but little of the very ancient living things. and at the beings of lb they marveled greatly. who built Thraa. and soft as jelly to the 646 . both of waking and of dream. and thereafter kindled flames on many ceremonial occasions. for they thought it not meet that beings of such aspect should walk about the world of men at dusk. But with their marveling was mixed hate. and Kadatheron on the winding river Ai. As the men of Sarnath beheld more of the beings of lb their hate grew. Not far from the gray city of lb did the wandering tribes lay the first stones of Sarnath. Nor did they like the strange sculptures upon the gray monoliths of Ib. Ilarnek. unless it was because the land of Mnar is very still. pushed on to the border of the lake and built Sarnath at a spot where precious metals were found in the earth. and remote from most other lands. and man is young. and it was not less because they found the beings weak. After many eons men came to the land of Mnar. dark shepherd folk with their fleecy flocks. because they lived in very ancient times. But not much is written of these beings. more hardy than the rest. none can tell. even until the coming men.covered fire. And certain tribes.

as from some fear unspeakable. a terrible thing must have happened.touch of stones and arrows. marched against lb and slew all the inhabitants thereof. And before he died. and in the morning the people found the idol gone and the high-priest Taran-Ish lying dead. This the young warriors took back with them as a symbol of conquest over the old gods and beings of Th. save the sea-green stone idol chiseled in the likeness of Bokrug. So one day the young warriors. and as a sign of leadership in Mnar. And because they did not like the gray sculptured monoliths of lb they cast these also into the lake. Thus of the very ancient city of lb was nothing spared. for weird lights were seen over the lake. the water-lizard. But on the night after it was set up in the temple. 647 . pushing the queer bodies into the lake with long spears. Taran-Ish had scrawled upon the altar of chrysolite with coarse shaky strokes the sign of DOOM. the slingers and the spearmen and the bowmen. since there is naught like them in the land of Mnar or in the lands adjacent. wondering from the greatness of the labor how ever the stones were brought from afar. because they did not wish to touch them. as they must have been.

Of polished desert-quarried marble were its walls. being open only on the side toward the lake where a green stone sea-wall kept back the waves that rose oddly once a year at the festival of the destroying of Ib. and in time there sate upon a throne in Sarnath the kings of all the land of Mnar and of many lands adjacent.After Taran-Ish there were many high-priests in Sarnath but never was the sea-green stone idol found. and sent forth conquering armies to subdue the neighboring cities. Betwixt Sarnath and the city of Ilarnek arose a caravan route. in height three hundred cubits and in breadth seventy-five. So Sarnath waxed mighty and learned and beautiful. And many centuries came and went. The wonder of the world and the pride of all mankind was Sarnath the magnificent. so that chariots might pass each other as men drove them along the top. wherein Sarnath prospered exceedingly. In Sarnath were 648 . so that only priests and old women remembered what Taran-Ish had scrawled upon the altar of chrysolite. For full five hundred stadia did they run. and the precious metals from the earth were exchanged for other metals and rare cloths and jewels and books and tools for artificers and all things of luxury that are known to the people who dwell along the winding river Ai and beyond.

and flanked by the figures of lions and elephants carven from some stone no longer known among men. each having its walled garden and crystal lakelet. and fifty more intersecting them. yet when lighted with torches dipt in the oil of Dother their walls showed vast paintings of kings and armies. each of bronze. The houses of Sarnath were of glazed brick and chalcedony. the last of which were mightier than any in Thraa or Ilarnek or Kadatheron. And in most of the 649 . And the gates of Sarnath were as many as the landward ends of the streets. There were many palaces. With strange art were they builded. Many were the pillars of the palaces. With onyx were they paved. So high were they that one within might sometimes fancy himself beneath only the sky. all of tinted marble. save those whereon the horses and camels and elephants trod. for no other city had houses like them. of a splendor at once inspiring and stupefying to the beholder. But more marvelous still were the palaces and the temples.fifty streets from the lake to the gates of the caravans. and carven into designs of surpassing beauty. which were paved with granite. and travelers from Thraa and Ilarnek and Kadatheron marveled at the shining domes wherewith they were surmounted. and the gardens made by Zokkar the olden king.

so disposed that the beholder might fancy himself walking over beds of the rarest flowers. wherein the high-priests dwelt with a magnificence scarce less than that of the kings. Outshining all others was the palace of the kings of Mnar and of the lands adjacent. and many amphitheaters where lions and men and elephants battled at the pleasure of the kings. On a pair of golden crouching lions rested the throne. On the ground were halls as vast and splendid as those of the pal- 650 . fashioned of a bright multicolored stone not known elsewhere. though no man lives who knows whence so vast a piece could have come. And it was wrought of one piece of ivory. A full thousand cubits high stood the greatest among them. which cast scented waters about in pleasing jets arranged with cunning art. In that palace there were also many galleries. many steps above the gleaming floor. And there were likewise fountains. and then were enacted stirring sea-fights. Sometimes the amphitheaters were flooded with water conveyed from the lake in mighty aqueducts.palaces the floors were mosaics of beryl and lapis lazuli and sardonyx and carbuncle and other choice materials. or combats betwixt swimmers and deadly marine things. Lofty and amazing were the seventeen tower-like temples of Sarnath.

wherefrom the high-priests looked out over the city and the plains and the lake by day. so 651 . whose incense-enveloped shrines were as the thrones of monarchs. through which shone the sun and moon and planets when it was clear. Here was done the very secret and ancient rite in detestation of Bokrug. where gathered throngs in worship of ZoKalar and Tamash and Lobon. and here rested the altar of chrysolite which bore the Doom-scrawl of Taran-Ish. the water-lizard. the chief gods of Sarnath. and in winter they were heated with concealed fires. In the center of Sarnath they lay.aces. Not like the eikons of other gods were those of Zo-Kalar and Tamash and Lobon. and from which were hung fulgent images of the sun and moon and stars and planets when it was not clear. In summer the gardens were cooled with fresh odorous breezes skilfully wafted by fans. and at the cryptic moon and significant stars and planets. and their reflections in the lake. at night. covering a great space and encircled by a high wall. And they were surmounted by a mighty dome of glass. And up unending steps of zircon was the tower-chamber. For so close to life were they that one might swear the graceful bearded gods themselves sate on the ivory thrones. Wonderful likewise were the gardens made by Zokkar the olden king.

Many were the waterfalls in their courses. At first the high-priests liked not these festivals. And there were many small shrines and temples where one might rest or pray to small gods. In ordered terraces rose the green banks. There ran little streams over bright pebbles. and the memory of those beings and of their elder gods was derided by dancers and lutanists crowned with roses from the gardens of Zokkar. song. for there had descended amongst them queer tales 652 . and seats and benches of marble and porphyry. and merriment of every kind abounded. at which time wine. whilst the music of rare birds chimed in with the melody of the waters. dividing meads of green and gardens of many hues. and many were the hued lakelets into which they expanded. dancing. Each year there was celebrated in Sarnath the feast of the destroying of lb.that in those gardens it was always spring. Great honors were then paid to the shades of those who had annihilated the odd ancient beings. and spanned by a multitude of bridges. Over the streams and lakelets rode white swans. adorned here and there with bowers of vines and sweet blossoms. And the kings would look out over the lake and curse the bones of the dead that lay beneath it.

heels of camels from the 653 . and all the cities of Mnar and the lands beyond. wonder of the world. peacocks from the distant hills of Linplan. the water-lizard? And a thousand years of riches and delight passed over Sarnath. Ilarnek. And they said that from their high tower they sometimes saw lights beneath the waters of the lake.of how the sea-green eikon had vanished. But as many years passed without calamity even the priests laughed and cursed and joined in the orgies of the feasters. and Kadetheron. had they not themselves. the king. Gorgeous beyond thought was the feast of the thousandth year of the destroying of lb. Indeed. in their high tower. and surrounded by feasting nobles and hurrying slaves. and how Taran-Ish had died from fear and left a warning. and as it drew nigh there came to Sarnath on horses and camels and elephants men from Thraa. There were eaten many strange delicacies at that feast. drunken with ancient wine from the vaults of conquered Pnoth. Before the marble walls on the appointed night were pitched the pavilions of princes and the tents of travelers. often performed the very ancient and secret rite in detestation of Bokrug. Within his banquet-hall reclined Nargis-Hei. For a decade had it been talked of in the land of Mnar.

Whilst the king and his nobles feasted within the palace. and the damnable green mists that arose from the lake to meet the moon and to shroud in a sinister haze the towers and the domes of fated Sarnath. each of vast size. But most prized of all the viands were the great fishes from the lake. Thereafter those in the towers and without the walls beheld strange lights on the water. Of sauces there were an untold number. and in pavilions without the walls the princes of neighboring lands made merry. and saw that the gray rock Akurion. which was wont to rear high above it near the shore. and served upon golden platters set with rubies and diamonds. And fear grew vaguely yet swiftly. others feasted elsewhere. and viewed the crowning dish as it awaited them on golden platters. In the tower of the great temple the priests held revels. and pearls from wave-washed Mtal dissolved in the vinegar of Thraa. and suited to the palate of every feaster. was almost submerged. so that the princes of Ilarnek and of far Rokol took down and folded their tents and pavil- 654 . prepared by the subtlest cooks in all Mnar.Bnazic desert. And it was the high-priest Gnai-Kah who first saw the shadows that descended from the gibbous moon into the lake. nuts and spices from Sydathrian groves.

ions and departed. but a horde of indescribable green voiceless things with bulging eyes. looked again upon the mistbegetting lake and saw the gray rock Akurion was quite submerged. and even 655 . and on their tongues were words so terrible that no hearer paused for proof. It was long ere any travelers went thither. though they scarce knew the reason for their departing. so that all the visiting princes and travelers fled away in fright. For on the faces of this throng was writ a madness born of horror unendurable. Through all the land of Mnar and the land adjacent spread the tales of those who had fled from Sarnath. all the bronze gates of Sarnath burst open and emptied forth a frenzied throng that blackened the plain. things which danced horribly. and curious ears. bearing in their paws golden platters set with rubies and diamonds and containing uncouth flames. flabby lips. close to the hour of midnight. Then. Men whose eyes were wild with fear shrieked aloud of the sight within the king's banquet-hall. as they fled from the doomed city of Sarnath on horses and camels and elephants. and caravans sought that accursed city and its precious metals no more. And the princes and travelers. pouting. where through the windows were seen no longer the forms of Nargis-Hei and his nobles and slaves.

Where once had risen walls of three hundred cubits and towers yet higher. now stretched only the marshy shore. an exceedingly ancient idol chiseled in the likeness of Bokrug. enshrined in the high temple at Ilarnek. 656 . and the gray rock Akurion which rears high above it near the shore. Not even the mines of precious metal remained.then only the brave and adventurous young men of yellow hair and blue eyes. the great water-lizard. But half buried in the rushes was spied a curious green idol. and where once had dwelt fifty million of men now crawled the detestable waterlizard. who are no kin to the men of Mnar. they beheld not the wonder of the world and pride of all mankind. These men indeed went to the lake to view Sarnath. but though they found the vast still lake itself. That idol. DOOM had come to Sarnath. was subsequently worshipped beneath the gibbous moon throughout the land of Mnar.

He knew that for him its meaning must once have been supreme. and three times was he snatched away while still he paused on the high terrace above it. he could not tell. while on steep northward slopes climbed tiers of red roofs and old peaked gables harbouring little lanes of grassy cobbles. silver-basined fountains of prismatic spray in broad squares and perfumed gardens. Vaguely it called up glimpses 657 . Mystery hung about it as clouds about a fabulous unvisited mountain. with walls. though in what cycle or incarnation he had known it. It was a fever of the gods. a fanfare of supernal trumpets and a clash of immortal cymbals. colonnades and arched bridges of veined marble. and wide streets marching between delicate trees and blossom-laden urns and ivory statues in gleaming rows. or whether in dream or in waking. and as Carter stood breathless and expectant on that balustraded parapet there swept up to him the poignancy and suspense of almostvanished memory.The Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath Three times Randolph Carter dreamed of the marvelous city. temples. the pain of lost things and the maddening need to place again what once had been an awesome and momentous place. All golden and lovely it blazed in the sunset.

when wonder and pleasure lay in all the mystery of days. he prayed long and earnestly to the hidden gods of dream that brood capricious above the clouds on unknown Kadath. nor did they give any favouring sign when he prayed to them in dream. in the cold waste where no man treads. whose cavern-temple with its pillar of flame lies not far from the gates of the waking world.of a far forgotten first youth. or descend the wide marmoreal fights flung endlessly down to where those streets of elder witchery lay outspread and beckoning. unclosing fiery gates toward further and surprising marvels. It seemed. that his prayers must have been adversely heard. and invoked them sacrificially through the bearded priests of Nasht and KamanThah. and dawn and dusk alike strode forth prophetic to the eager sound of lutes and song. however. But the gods made no answer and shewed no relenting. When for the third time he awakened with those flights still undescended and those hushed sunset streets still untraversed. for after even the first of them he 658 . But each night as he stood on that high marble terrace with the curious urns and carven rail and looked off over that hushed sunset city of beauty and unearthly immanence he felt the bondage of dream's tyrannous gods. for in no wise could he leave that lofty spot.

Carter resolved to go with bold entreaty whither no man had gone before. or in those surrounding some unguessed companion of Fomalhaut or Aldebaran. sick with longing for those glittering sunset streets and cryptical hill lanes among ancient tiled roofs. At length.ceased wholly to behold the marvellous city. They pointed out that the Great Ones had shown already their wish. but no man had ever suspected in what part of space it may lie. and dare the icy deserts through the dark to where unknown Kadath. They reminded him. nor able sleeping or waking to drive them from his mind. In light slumber he descended the seventy steps to the cavern of flame and talked of this design to the bearded priests Nasht and Kaman-Thah. If in our dreamland. And the priests shook their pshent-bearing heads and vowed it would be the death of his soul. that not only had no man ever been to Kadath. holds secret and nocturnal the onyx castle of the Great Ones. whether it be in the dreamlands around our own world. it might con- 659 . and against some hidden plan or wish of the gods. as if his three glimpses from afar had been mere accidents or oversights. veiled in cloud and crowned with unimagined stars. too. and that it is not agreeable to them to be harassed by insistent pleas.

awkwardly. but still he resolved to find the gods on unknown Kadath in the cold waste. He knew that his journey would be strange and long. two had come back quite mad. voiceless. There were. where no dreams reach. monotonous whine of accursed flutes. to which detestable pounding and piping dance slowly. wherever that might be. whose name no lips dare speak aloud. but only three human souls since time began had ever crossed and recrossed the black impious gulfs to other dreamlands. and to win from them the sight and remembrance and shelter of the marvellous sunset city. maddening beating of vile drums and the thin. and of that three. and who gnaws hungrily in inconceivable.the boundless daemon sultan Azathoth.ceivably be reached. incalculable local dangers. mindless Other gods whose soul and messenger is the crawling chaos Nyarlathotep. tenebrous. as well as that shocking final peril which gibbers unmentionably outside the ordered universe. Of these things was Carter warned by the priests Nasht and Kaman-Thah in the cavern of flame. unlighted chambers beyond time amidst the muffled. in such voyages. the blind. that last amorphous blight of nethermost confusion which blasphemes and bubbles at the centre of all infinity . and 660 . and absurdly the gigantic Ultimate gods.

events. But over the nearer parts of the dream world they pass freely. Certain unexplained rumours. for certainly many dreamers have en- 661 . though it would be disastrous to say where. flitting small and brown and unseen and bearing back piquant tales to beguile the hours around their hearths in the forest they love. but some inhabit the trunks of the great trees. Most of them live in burrows. So asking a formal blessing of the priests and thinking shrewdly on his course. whose low prodigious oaks twine groping boughs and shine dim with the phosphorescence of strange fungi. he boldly descended the seven hundred steps to the Gate of Deeper Slumber and set out through the Enchanted Wood. and it is well that they cannot travel far outside the world of dreams. In the tunnels of that twisted wood. and although they live mostly on fungi it is muttered that they have also a slight taste for meat. and vanishments occur among men where the Zoogs have access. but being old in the land of dream he counted on many useful memories and devices to aid him. either physical or spiritual. who know many obscure secrets of the dream world and a few of the waking world.that the Great Ones would be against it. since the wood at two places touches the lands of men. dwell the furtive and secretive Zoogs.

Finally the great light of those thicker fungi revealed a sinister green and grey vastness pushing up through the roof of the forest and out of sight. however. He traced his way by the grotesque fungi. and listened now and then for responses. which always seem better nourished as one approaches the dread circle where elder beings danced and sacrificed. Threading now the low phosphorescent aisles between those gigantic trunks. and toward this spot he hastened. This was the nearest of the great ring of stones. where a circle of great mossy stones in what was once a cleaning tells of older and more terrible dwellers long forgotten. Kuranes was the one soul who had been to the star-gulls and returned free from madness. and Carter knew he was close to the Zoog village. a man he had known by another name in life. 662 . Carter. Carter made fluttering sounds in the manner of the Zoogs. where reigns half the year the great King Kuranes. had no fear. having found through their help the splendid city of Celephais in OothNargai beyond the Tanarian Hills.tered that wood who have not come out. for he was an old dreamer and had learnt their fluttering language and made many a treaty with them. He remembered one particular village of the creatures was in the centre of the wood.

663 . and as Carter drank it ceremoniously a very strange colloquy began. since on such peaks they dance reminiscently when the moon is above and the clouds beneath. till the whole dim-litten region was alive with them. and was at last rewarded by an impression of many eyes watching him. and said that in Ulthar. from hidden burrow and honeycombed tree. It was the Zoogs.Renewing his fluttering sound. but these lawless spirits were soon restrained by their elders. unfortunately. nor could they even say whether the cold waste is in our dream world or in another. he waited patiently. slippery brown outlines. Then one very ancient Zoog recalled a thing unheard-of by the others. Some of the wilder ones brushed Carter unpleasantly. know where the peak of Kadath lies. for one sees their weird eyes long before one can discern their small. The Zoogs did not. offered a gourd of fermented sap from a haunted tree unlike the others. The Council of Sages. and one even nipped loathsomely at his ear. and one might only say that they were likelier to be seen on high mountain peaks than in valleys. Out they swarmed. recognizing the visitor. Rumours of the Great Ones came equally from all points. which had grown from a seed dropt down by someone on the moon.

and he looked sharply for a certain spot where they would thin somewhat. and set out through the phosphorescent wood for the other side. in Ulthar there were men who had seen the signs of the gods. though his companion had succeeded and perished namelessly. where the rushing Skai flows down from the slopes of Lerion. Those manuscripts he said. furtive and unseen. for they wished to learn what might befall him. Behind him. and Hatheg and Nir and Ulthar dot the plain. So Randolph Carter thanked the Zoogs. and even one old priest who had scaled a great mountain to behold them dancing by moonlight. He had failed. there still lingered the last copy of those inconceivably old Pnakotic Manuscripts made by waking men in forgotten boreal kingdoms and borne into the land of dreams when the hairy cannibal Gnophkehs overcame manytempled Olathoe and slew all the heroes of the land of Lomar. The vast oaks grew thicker as he pushed on beyond the village. and bear back the legend to their people. and besides. crept several of the curious Zoogs. told much of the gods.beyond the River Skai. who fluttered amicably and gave him another gourd of moon-tree wine to take with him. standing quite dead or dying among the unnaturally dense fungi and the rotting mould and 664 .

There he would turn sharply aside. and the strengthening glow told him it was the twilight of morning. Over fertile plains rolling down to the Skai he saw the smoke of cottage chimneys. and on every hand were the hedges and ploughed fields and thatched roofs of a peaceful land.mushy logs of their fallen brothers. he asked questions about the gods. for one grows accustomed to the anomalies of these prying creatures. and those who have dared approach it say that it bears an iron ring three feet wide. and heard behind him the frightened fluttering of some of the more timid Zoogs. and what it was possibly set up for. so he was not disturbed. At another house. where people were stirring. Carter detoured at the proper place. and 665 . the Zoogs do not pause near that expansive slab with its huge ring. for they realise that all which is forgotten need not necessarily be dead. He had known they would follow him. and they would not like to see the slab rise slowly and deliberately. Once he stopped at a farmhouse well for a cup of water. Remembering the archaic circle of great mossy rocks. for at that spot a mighty slab of stone rests on the forest floor. and all the dogs barked affrightedly at the inconspicuous Zoogs that crept through the grass behind. It was twilight when he came to the edge of the wood.

no man may kill a cat. for in Ulthar. and once within that venerable circular tower of ivied stone . At noon he walked through the one broad high street of Nir. according to an ancient and significant law.which crowns 666 . the frequent presence of cats (who all arched their backs at the trailing Zoogs) revealed the near neighborhood of Ulthar. into whose central piece the masons had sealed a living human sacrifice when they built it thirteen-hundred years before. the cats being somewhat dispersed by the half-seen Zoogs.whether they danced often upon Lerion. and soon afterward he came to the great stone bridge across the Skai. which he had once visited and which marked his farthest former travels in this direction. and still pleasanter was the quaint town itself. Very pleasant were the suburbs of Ulthar. Once on the other side. with its old peaked roofs and overhanging upper stories and numberless chimney-pots and narrow hill streets where one can see old cobbles whenever the graceful cats afford space enough. but the farmer and his wile would only make the Elder Sign and tell him the way to Nir and Ulthar. picked his way directly to the modest Temple of the Elder Ones where the priests and old records were said to be. Carter. with their little green cottages and neatly fenced farms.

but still very keen of mind and memory. At least twice in the world's history the Other Gods set their seal upon Earth's primal granite. With unknown Kadath. was fully three centuries old. Atal. for the fruits of ascending it would be very grave. they are protected by the Other Gods from Outside. From him Carter learned many things about the gods. seated on an ivory dais in a festooned shrine at the top of the temple. if ever found. Atal's companion Banni the Wise had been drawn screaming into the sky for climbing merely the known peak of Hatheg-Kia.Ulthar's highest hill . but mainly that they are indeed only Earth's gods. who had been up the forbidden peak HathegKia in the stony desert and had come down again alive. once in antediluvian times. whom it is better not to discuss. matters would be much worse. They might.he sought out the patriarch Atal. It was lucky that no man knew where Kadath towers. Atal said. but one must not think of climbing to their onyx stronghold atop Kadath in the cold waste. heed a man's prayer if in good humour. as guessed from a drawing in those parts of the Pnakotic 667 . ruling feebly our own dreamland and having no power or habitation elsewhere. for although Earth's gods may sometimes be surpassed by a wise mortal.

Robbed of his reserve. Atal said. Then Carter did a wicked thing. and conceivably it might be on another planet. thinking that perhaps he might find it without the gods' aid. telling of a great image reported by travel- 668 . Probably. did not wholly despair. Carter. though disappointed by Atal's discouraging advice and by the meagre help to be found in the Pnakotic Manuscripts and the Seven Cryptical Books of Hsan. But this was not likely. So. since the stopping of the dreams shewed pretty clearly that it was something the Great Ones wished to hide from him. but Atal could tell him nothing. poor Atal babbled freely of forbidden things. and once on Hatheg-Kia when Barzai the Wise tried to see Earth's gods dancing by moonlight. the place belonged to his especial dream world and not to the general land of vision that many know.Manuscripts too ancient to be read. offering his guileless host so many draughts of the moon-wine which the Zoogs had given him that the old man became irresponsibly talkative. First he questioned the old priest about that marvellous sunset city seen from the railed terrace. Atal said. In that case Earth's gods could not guide him if they would. it would be much better to let all gods alone except in tactful prayers.

It is known that in disguise the younger among the Great Ones often espouse the daughters of men. and whatever stony waste lies back of the villages in that place must be that wherein stands Kadath. to search for such features among living men. there must the gods dwell nearest. then. They might not know their parentage. on the isle of Oriab in the Southern Sea. the way to find that waste must be to see the stone face on Ngranek and mark the features. Much of the Great Ones might be learnt in such regions. Now the use of all this in finding the gods became at once apparent to Carter. for the gods so dislike to 669 . so that around the borders of the cold waste wherein stands Kadath the peasants must all bear their blood. Where they are plainest and thickest. and hinting that it may be a likeness which Earth's gods once wrought of their own features in the days when they danced by moonlight on that mountain. And he hiccoughed likewise that the features of that image are very strange. and that they are sure signs of the authentic race of the gods.lers as carved on the solid rock of the mountain Ngranek. and those with their blood might inherit little memories very useful to a seeker. having noted them with care. This being so. so that one might easily recognize them.

The traders that come from those galleys to deal with the jewellers are human. There is a great city there. did not know how to find Ngranek on its isle of Oriab. disguised and dwelling amongst men with a comely peasant maiden as his bride. and from all this one could perhaps learn old secrets of Kadath. one might in certain cases seize some well-loved child of a god as hostage. But they would have queer lofty thoughts misunderstood by their fellows. where no burgess of Ulthar has ever been. but the rowers are 670 . And more. and recommended that Carter follow the singing Skai under its bridges down to the Southern Sea.be known among men that none can be found who has seen their faces wittingly. or even capture some young god himself. however. and would sing of far places and gardens so unlike any known even in the dreamland that common folk would call them fools. but whence the merchants come in boats or with long caravans of mules and twowheeled carts. a thing which Carter realized even as he sought to scale Kadath. or gain hints of the marvellous sunset city which the gods held secret. DylathLeen. but in Ulthar its reputation is bad because of the black three-banked galleys that sail to it with rubies from no clearly named shore. or nearly so. Atal.

and wondered why the Zoogs had become so lax in their curious pursuit. Then he noticed all the sleek complacent cats of Ulthar licking their chops with unusual gusto. he stooped and petted the sleek cats of Ulthar as they licked their chops. too. And as he went out on the balcony of his room and gazed down at the sea of red tiled roofs 671 . the evilly hungry way in which an especially impudent young Zoog had regarded a small black kitten in the cobbled street outside.never beheld. and recalled the spitting and caterwauling he had faintly heard. and Carter laid him gently on a couch of inlaid ebony and gathered his long beard decorously on his chest. in lower parts of the temple while absorbed in the old priest's conversation. As he turned to go. he observed that no suppressed fluttering followed him. He recalled. so Carter stopped at an ancient inn on a steep little street overlooking the lower town. and did not mourn because those inquisitive Zoogs would escort him no farther. By the time he had given this information Atal was very drowsy. and it is not thought wholesome in Ulthar that merchants should trade with black ships from unknown places whose rowers cannot be exhibited. And because he loved nothing on earth more than small black kittens. It was sunset now.

were not the memory of a greater sunset city ever goading one onward toward unknown perils. And sweet bells pealed in. he swore that Ulthar would be a very likely place to dwell in always. but one small black kitten crept upstairs and sprang in Carter's lap to purr and play. but that they were mostly heavy and silent from strange feasting. the temple tower above. In the morning Carter joined a caravan of merchants bound for Dylath-Leen with the spun wool 672 . Some of them stole off to those cryptical realms which are known only to cats and which villagers say are on the moon's dark side. With the night came song. Then twilight fell. drowsy herbs. and little yellow lights floated up one by one from old lattice windows. and curled up near his feet when he lay down at last on the little couch whose pillows were stuffed with fragrant. whither the cats leap from tall housetops. all mellow and magical in the slanted light. And there might have been sweetness even in the voices of Ulthar's many cats. and the pink walls of the plastered gables turned violet and mystic.and cobbled ways and the pleasant fields beyond. and Carter nodded as the lutanists praised ancient days from beyond the filigreed balconies and tesselated courts of simple Ulthar. and the first star winked softly above the meadows across the Skai.

and then the tall black towers of Dylath-Leen. and all the town is thronged with the strange seamen of every land on earth and of a few which are said to be not on earth. and on other nights camping under the stars while snatches of boatmen's songs came from the placid river. Carter questioned the oddly robed men of that city about the peak of Ngranek on the isle of Oriab. one being due to return thither in only a month. and Ngranek is but two days' zebra-ride from that port. And for six days they rode with tinkling bells on the smooth road beside the Skai. and found that they knew of it well. Ships came from Baharna on that island. But few had seen the stone face of the god. with green hedges and groves and picturesque peaked cottages and octagonal windmills. There are many dismal sea-taverns near the myriad wharves. which is built mostly of basalt. because it is on a very difficult side of Ngranek. The country was very beautiful. and its streets are dark and uninviting.of Ulthar and the cabbages of Ulthar's busy farms. 673 . which overlooks only sheer crags and a valley of sinister lava. Dylath-Leen with its thin angular towers looks in the distance like a bit of the Giant's Causeway. On the seventh day a blur of smoke rose on the horizon ahead. stopping some nights at the inns of little quaint fishing towns.

and the townsfolk dreaded to see it dock. It was not fair to the tavern-keepers of Dylath-Leen. It was hard to get this information from the traders and sailors in Dylath-Leen's sea taverns. because they mostly preferred to whisper of the black galleys. yet to give no glimpse of its crew. And their shoes were the shortest and queerest ever seen in the Six Kingdoms. And the odours 674 . and it was not right for a ship to stay in port for weeks while the merchants traded. The merchants took only gold and stout black slaves from Parg across the river. never anything from the butchers and grocers. and spoke of the matter to the Other Gods.Once the gods were angered with men on that side. That was all they ever took. or to the grocers and butchers. for not a scrap of provisions was ever sent aboard. but only gold and the fat black men of Parg whom they bought by the pound. either. and the way their turbans were humped up in two points above their foreheads was in especially bad taste. Those three banks of oars moved too briskly and accurately and vigorously to be comfortable. The mouths of the men who came from it to trade were too wide. One of them was due in a week with rubies from its unknown shore. But worst of all was the matter of the unseen rowers. those unpleasantly featured merchants and their unseen rowers.

however. which might bear him to the isle whereon carven Ngranek towers lofty and barren.from those galleys which the south wind blew in from the wharves are not to be described. Of these things Dylath-Leen's cosmopolitan folk chiefly gossiped whilst Carter waited patiently for the ship from Baharna. Of these things. he learned nothing. Only by constantly smoking strong thagweed could even the hardiest denizen of the old sea-taverns bear them. but no mine in all Barth's dreamland was known to produce their like. He was even rumoured to have dealt with that HighPriest Not To Be Described. Dylath-Leen would never have tolerated the black galleys had such rubies been obtainable elsewhere. This man was reputed to trade with the horrible stone villages on the icy desert plateau of Leng. Meanwhile he did not fall to seek through the haunts of far travellers for any tales they might have concerning Kadath in the cold waste or a marvellous city of marble walls and silver fountains seen below terraces in the sunset. which wears a yellow silken mask over its face and dwells all alone in a 675 . which no healthy folk visit and whose evil fires are seen at night from afar. though he once thought that a certain old slant-eyed merchant looked queerly intelligent when the cold waste was spoken of.

and although the sound of his voice was unbearably hateful. but Carter soon found that it was no use questioning him.those fat pathetic creatures might be destined to serve. And on the third evening of that galley's stay one of the uncomfortable merchants spoke to him. and with a strange stench that the south wind drove into the town. silent and alien. smirking sinfully and hinting of what he had heard in the taverns of Carter's quest. Then he saw them drive the stout black men of Parg up the gangplank grunting and sweating into that singular galley.prehistoric stone monastery. and after a while the dark wide-mouthed merchants with humped turbans and short feet clumped steathily ashore to seek the bazaars of the jewellers. Uneasiness rustled through the taverns along that waterfront.or if in any lands at all . and wondered in what lands . Carter observed them closely. Then the black galley slipped into the harbour past the basalt wale and the tall lighthouse. and disliked them more the longer he looked at them. That such a person might well have had nibbling traffick with such beings as may conceivably dwell in the cold waste was not to be doubted. He appeared to have knowledge too secret for public telling. Carter felt that the lore of so far a travel- 676 .

He saw slip past him the glorious lands 677 . and though Carter took only the least sip. with the marvellous coasts of the Southern Sea flying by in unnatural swiftness. he felt the dizziness of space and the fever of unimagined jungles. Carter next had consciousness amidst horrible odours beneath a tent-like awning on the deck of a ship. He offered his wine to his host. All the while the guest had been smiling more and more broadly. and the sight of those humps in their turbans made him almost as faint as did the stench that filtered up through the sinister hatches. but three of the dark sardonic merchants stood grinning nearby. The strange merchant drank heavily. Then he drew forth a curious bottle with wine of his own. but smirked unchanged by the draught. He bade him therefore be his guest in locked chambers above. and drew out the last of the Zoogs' moon-wine to loosen his tongue. He was not chained. and as Carter slipped into blankness the last thing he saw was that dark odious face convulsed with evil laughter and something quite unspeakable where one of the two frontal puffs of that orange turban had become disarranged with the shakings of that epileptic mirth. grotesquely carved in patterns too fabulous to be comprehended. and Carter saw that the bottle was a single hollowed ruby.ler must not be overlooked.

and cities of which a fellow-dreamer of earth . tenebrous. And before the day was done Carter saw that the steersman could have no other goal than the Basalt Pillars of the West. land of pleasures unattained. Past all these gorgeous lands the malodourous ship flew unwholesomely. blind. urged by the abnormal strokes of those unseen rowers below. the charnel gardens of Zura. abode of forgotten dreams. that daemon-city of a thousand wonders where the eidolon Lathi reigns. the spires of infamous Thalarion.a lighthouse-keeper in ancient Kingsport . voiceless. meeting above in a resplendent arch. which guard the harbour of Sona-Nyl. beyond which simple folk say splendid Cathuria lies. and recognized the templed terraces of Zak.had often discoursed in the old days. and 678 . and the twin headlands of crystal. blessed land of fancy. but which wise dreamers well know are the gates of a monstrous cataract wherein the oceans of earth's dreamland drop wholly to abysmal nothingness and shoot through the empty spaces toward other worlds and other stars and the awful voids outside the ordered universe where the daemon sultan Azathoth gnaws hungrily in chaos amid pounding and piping and the hellish dancing of the Other Gods.

that no beings as nearly human as these would dare approach the ultimate nighted throne of the daemon Azathoth in the formless central void. nor could he imagine at what hellish trysting-place they would meet the crawling chaos to give him up and claim their reward.mindless. What might be the land of those merchants in our known universe or in the eldritch spaces outside. So Carter inferred that the merchants of the humped turbans. though Carter well knew that they must be leagued with those who wished to hold him from his quest. and all these agents. whether wholly human or slightly less than human. It is understood in the land of dream that the Other Gods have many agents moving among men. had decided to take him away and deliver him to Nyarlathotep for whatever nameless bounty might be offered for such a prize. He knew. Meanwhile the three sardonic merchants would give no word of their intent. the crawling chaos Nyarlathotep. however. Carter could not guess. with their soul and messenger Nyarlathotep. 679 . hearing of his daring search for the Great Ones in their castle of Kadath. are eager to work the will of those blind and mindless things in return for the favour of their hideous soul and messenger.

Never before had he known what shapeless black things lurk and caper and flounder all through the aether. he found something very terrible in the size and shape of it. so that he turned even paler than before and cast that portion into the sea when no eye was on him.At the set of sun the merchants licked their excessively wide lips and glared hungrily and one of them went below and returned from some hidden and offensive cabin with a pot and basket of plates. Then with a queer whistle and plunge the leap was taken. But when they gave Carter a portion. And again he thought of those unseen rowers beneath. and the deck grew damp. and Carter felt the terrors of nightmare as earth fell away and the great boat shot silent and comet-like into planetary space. and the vessel reeled in the surging current of the brink. It was dark when the galley passed betwixt the Basalt Pillars of the West and the sound of the ultimate cataract swelled portentous from ahead. and of the suspicious nourishment from which their far too mechanical strength was derived. and 680 . leering and grinning at such voyagers as may pass. And the spray of that cataract rose to obscure the stars. Then they squatted close together beneath the awning and ate the smoking meat that was passed around.

and which no fully human person. Carter steadily refused to conjecture. for he soon saw that the helmsman was steering a course directly for the moon. and it soon became clear that its destination was that secret and mysterious side which is always turned away from earth. The dead temples on the mountains were so placed that they could have glorified no suitable or wholesome gods. has ever beheld. save perhaps the dreamer SnirethKo. But that offensive galley did not aim as far as Carter had feared. The moon was a crescent shining larger and larger as they approached it. and like them are blind and without mind. The close aspect of the moon as the galley drew near proved very disturbing to Carter. and shewing its singular craters and peaks uncomfortably. and he did not like the size and shape of the ruins which crumbled here and there.sometimes feeling about with slimy paws when some moving object excites their curiosity. and possessed of singular hungers and thirsts. 681 . These are the nameless larvae of the Other Gods. and in the symmetries of the broken columns there seemed to be some dark and inner meaning which did not invite solution. The ship made for the edge. And what the structure and proportions of the olden worshippers could have been.

He noticed that these cottages had no windows.or at least through some liquid.When the ship rounded the edge. They now slid along at great speed. and Carter saw many low. The galley struck the surface with a peculiar sound. but generally seeing nothing but that curious sea and a sky that was black and star-strewn even though the sun shone scorchingly in it. there appeared in the queer landscape certain signs of life. Then he glimpsed the oily waves of a sluggish sea. and the hideous 682 . and sailed over those lands unseen by man. and the fact that they had no windows at all. broad. As the coast drew nearer. and he bitterly mourned the folly which had made him sip the curious wine of that merchant with the humped turban. the manner in which they were clustered. and knew that the voyage was once more to be by water . once passing and hailing another galley of kindred form. The way they leaned and bent. was very disturbing to the prisoner. There presently rose ahead the jagged hills of a leprous-looking coast. and thought that their shape suggested the huts of Esquimaux. and the odd elastic way the waves received it was very perplexing to Carter. round cottages in fields of grotesque whitish fungi. and Carter saw the thick unpleasant grey towers of a city.

some of whose trees he recognized as akin to that solitary moon-tree in the enchanted wood of earth. which indeed were approximate human beings with wide mouths like those merchants who traded in Dylath-Leen.the fatter ones. and whose principal shape . Some of the slaves . whom a sort of overseer would pinch ex- 683 . from whose sap the small brown Zoogs ferment their curious wine. For they were not men at all. These objects were waddling busily about the wharves.was that of a sort of toad without any eyes. and the better he saw them the worse he began to fear and detest them. he saw upon the jagged hills many forests.though it often changed . Carter could now distinguish moving figures on the noisome wharves ahead. moving bales and crates and boxes with preternatural strength. and now and then hopping on or off some anchored galley with long oars in their forepaws. only these herds. And now and then one would appear driving a herd of clumping slaves.stench of that city grew stronger. being without turbans or shoes or clothing. but great greyish-white slippery things which could expand and contract at will. vague snout. or even approximately men. did not seem so very human after all. but with a curious vibrating mass of short pink tentacles on the end of its blunt.

were unloaded from ships and nailed in crates which workers pushed into the low warehouses or loaded on great lumbering vans. These creatures must have been convenient on earth. and bargaining with men on the earth or other planets where they traded. And Carter saw that the almost-human creatures were reserved for the more ignominious kinds of servitude which required no strength. Now and then a small herd of slaves dressed and turbaned like the dark merchants would be driven aboard a galley. followed by a great crew of the slippery toadthings as officers. some not so similar. for they were truly not unlike men when dressed and carefully shod and turbaned. navigators. were unclothed and packed in crates and drawn off in lumbering lorries by fabulous things. Occasionally other beings were unloaded and crated. Once a van was hitched and driven off. and the. fabulous thing which drew it was such that Carter gasped. But most of them. such as steering and cooking. And he wondered if any of the 684 . even after having seen the other monstrosities of that hateful place. and rowers. and some not similar at all. fetching and carrying. unless lean or ill-favoured. and could haggle in the shops of men without embarrassment or curious explanations.perimentally . some very like these semi-humans.

apparently. but Carter would not touch it. From then on time ceased to exist. and Carter held only scattered images of the tiled streets and black doorways and endless precipices of grey vertical walls without windows. he did not know. and Carter was shoved 685 . and about twenty feet across. Finally. The smell and aspect of that city are beyond telling. It was circular. the great stone door swung wide again. What his fate would be. the crawling chaos Nyarlathotep. all one to the toad-things whether it were light or dark. The odour of the place was intolerable. after an unguessed span of hours or days. and two of them seized Carter and dragged him ashore. It was.poor stout black men of Parg were left to be unloaded and crated and shipped inland in those obnoxious drays. and when Carter was locked into a chamber and left alone he scarcely had strength to crawl around and ascertain its form and dimensions. but he felt that he was held for the coming of that frightful soul and messenger of infinity's Other Gods. At length he was dragged within a low doorway and made to climb infinite steps in pitch blackness. When the galley landed at a greasy-looking quay of spongy rock a nightmare horde of toad-things wiggled out of the hatches. At intervals food was pushed in.

soon commencing to climb one of the lower and more gradual hills that lay behind the city. and he would have given worlds for some even halfnormal sound. Certain of the toadthings produced disgustingly carven flutes of ivory and made loathsome sounds. In a detestable square a sort of procession was formed. It rolled from the higher hills. and the slaves did not talk. ten of the toad-things and twenty-four almost human torch-bearers. five toad-things ahead and five behind. Carter could not doubt. To that hellish piping the column advanced out of the tiled streets and into nighted plains of obscene fungi. and all through the town were stationed slaves bearing torches. It was night on the moon. and he wished that the suspense might soon be over. The whining of those impious flutes was shocking.down the stairs and out into the red-litten streets of that fearsome city. That on some frightful slope or blasphemous plateau the crawling chaos waited. eleven on either side. and one each before and behind. Carter was placed in the middle of the line. Then through that star-specked darkness there did come a normal sound. but these toad-things had no voices. and one almost-human torchbearer on either side of him. and from all the jagged peaks around it was 686 .

and saw swift shadows against the stars as small graceful shapes leaped from hill to hill in gathering legions. friendly cry. springing from high housetops. but the toad-things made never 687 . for even as his lips opened he heard the chorus wax and draw nearer. and in this far terrible place he uttered the cry that was suitable. The call of the clan had been given. and to which the elders among cats repair by stealth nocturnally. and cats spit and yowled and roared. and Carter knew at last that the old village folk were right when they made low guesses about the cryptical realms which are known only to cats. But that he need not have done. and before the foul procession had time even to be frightened a cloud of smothering fur and a phalanx of murderous claws were tidally and tempestuously upon it.caught up and echoed in a swelling pandaemoniac chorus. Verily. and here amidst that column of foetid things Carter heard their homely. and there were shrieks in the night. it is to the moon's dark side that they go to leap and gambol on the hills and converse with ancient shadows. The flutes stopped. It was the midnight yell of the cat. Dying almost-humans screamed. Now much of the speech of cats was known to Randolph Carter. and thought of the steep roofs and warm hearths and little lighted windows of home.

grey. and mixed. Thibetan. Carter had seized a torch from a stricken slave. It was a stupendous sight while the torches lasted. and when he opened them again it was upon a strange scene. and there hovered over them some trace of that profound and inviolate sanctity which made their goddess great in the temples of Bubastis. Angora.a sound as their stinking green ichor oozed fatally upon that porous earth with the obscene fungi. The great shining disc of the earth. and Marix. tiger. and Carter had never before seen so many cats. Then he lay in the utter blackness hearing the clangour of war and the shouts of the victors. thirteen times greater than that of the moon as we see it. Persian. all were there in the fury of battle. where myriads of their fellows would surge over it and into it with the frenzied claws and teeth of a divine battle-fury. Black. and Egyptian. common. They would leap seven strong at the throat of an almosthuman or the pink tentacled snout of a toad-thing and drag it down savagely to the fungous plain. and white. At last awe and exhaustion closed his eyes. and feeling the soft paws of his friends as they rushed to and fro over him in the fray. had risen with floods of weird light over the lunar 688 . yellow. but was soon overborne by the surging waves of his loyal defenders.

and two or three leaders out of the ranks were licking his face and purring to him consolingly. and how he had given it a saucer of rich cream in the morning before he left. and the sleek old cats had remembered how he patted them after they had attended to the hungry Zoogs who looked evilly at a small black kitten. The grandfather of that very little kitten was the leader of the army now assembled. how he had welcomed the very little kitten who came to see him at the inn. but Carter thought he saw one bone a little way off in the open space between him and the warriors. Circle on circle they reached. Carter now spoke with the leaders in the soft language of cats. for he had seen the evil procession from a far hill and recognized the prisoner as a sworn friend of his kind on earth and in the land of dream. And they recalled. too. 689 . and learned that his ancient friendship with the species was well known and often spoken of in the places where cats congregate. and across all those leagues of wild plateau and ragged crest there squatted one endless sea of cats in orderly array. He had not been unmarked in Ulthar when he passed through. Of the dead slaves and toad-things there were not many signs.landscape.

who for some reason have not been oblivious of the charm of our moon's dark side. the very large and peculiar cats from Saturn. the cats rose and assumed a closer formation. and told him how to spring when the rest sprang and land gracefully when the rest landed. for he wished to sail thence for Oriab and the carven crest Ngranek. and Carter decided on the city of Dylath-Leen whence the black galley had set out. if indeed that traffick could be tactfully and 690 .A yowl now came from the farther peak. and the old leader paused abruptly in his conversation. and also to warn the people of the city to have no more traffick with black galleys. He also offered to deposit him in any spot he desired. After a brief consultation of generals. The old field-marshal advised Carter to let himself be borne along smoothly and passively in the massed ranks of furry leapers. so that at this juncture a meeting would have been a somewhat grave matter. crowding protectingly around Carter and preparing to take the great leap through space back to the housetops of our earth and its dreamland. It was one of the army's outposts. They are leagued by treaty with the evil toadthings. stationed on the highest of the mountains to watch the one foe which Earth's cats fear. and are notoriously hostile to our earthly cats.

The old leader from Ulthar was the last to leave. the cats all leaped gracefully with their friend packed securely in their midst. There was still nearly a fortnight to wait for the ship bound toward Oriab. Before he fully realised what had happened he was back in his familiar room at the inn at Dylath-Leen. When dawn came.judiciously broken off. while in a black cave on an unhallowed summit of the moon-mountains still vainly waited the crawling chaos Nyarlathotep. Then. Most of the townsfolk believed him. If aught of evil ever befalls Dylath-Leen through such traffick. it will not be his fault. The leap of the cats through space was very swift. Carter went downstairs and learned that a week had elapsed since his capture and leaving. and as Carter shook his paw he said he would be able to get home by cockcrow. and during that time he said what he could against the black galleys and their infamous ways. and being surrounded by his companions Carter did not see this time the great black shapelessnesses that lurk and caper and flounder in the abyss. 691 . friendly cats were pouring out of the window in streams. and the stealthy. upon a signal. yet so fond were the jewellers of great rubies that none would wholly promise to cease trafficking with the wide-mouthed merchants.

with painted sides and yellow lateen sails and a grey captain in silken robes. For this they were paid in the wool of Ulthar and the iridescent textiles of Hatheg and the ivory that the black men carve across the river in Parg. and the strange little figures carved from Ngranek's ancient lava. but that most travellers are content to learn its legends from old people and lava-gatherers and image-makers in Baharna and afterward say in their far homes that they have indeed beheld it.In about a week the desiderate ship put in by the black wale and tall lighthouse. And during his week of waiting he talked much with that captain of Ngranek. The captain was not even sure that any person now living had beheld that carven face. Her cargo was the fragrant resin of Oriab's inner groves. and Carter was glad to see that she was a barque of wholesome men. But the captain did not wish to say just what a night-gaunt might be like. and there are rumours of caves near the peak wherein dwell the night-gaunts. and was told that very few had seen the carven face thereon. and the delicate pottery baked by the artists of Bahama. since 692 . for the wrong side of Ngranek is very difficult and barren and sinister. Carter made arrangements with the captain to go to Baharna and was told that the voyage would take ten days.

such cattle are known to haunt most persistently the dreams of those who think too often of them. Then Carter asked that captain about unknown Kadath in the cold waste. and saw the first rays of sunrise on the thin angular towers of that dismal basalt town. He admitted. having been hailed when quite close to it. but of these the good man could truly tell nothing. and saw often the pleasant fishing towns that climbed up steeply with their red roofs and chimney-pots from old dreaming wharves and beaches where nets lay drying. and the marvellous sunset city. On the fifth day the sailors were nervous. and that when the water was clear one could see so many moving shadows in that deep place that simple folk disliked it. And for two days they sailed eastward in sight of green coasts. Carter sailed out of Dylath-Leen one early morning when the tide turned. but never seen again. but the captain apologized for their fears. that many ships had been lost in that part of the sea. saying that the ship was about to pass over the weedy walls and broken columns of a sunken city too old for memory. 693 . and soon passed from sight of any land. moreover. But on the third day they turned sharply south where the roll of water was stronger.

and small curious round windows all over it. of simpler architecture than the other structures. Looking over the rail Carter saw many fathoms deep the dome of the great temple. There was so little wind that the ship could not move much. with a tower at each corner. and one could clearly mark the lines of ancient climbing streets and the washed-down walls of myriad little houses. Probably it was of basalt. and the ocean was very calm. a paved court in the centre. Dolphins sported merrily in and out of the ruins. and in front of it an avenue of unnatural sphinxes leading to what was once a public square. and in much better repair. and porpoises revelled clumsily here and there. sometimes coming to the surface and leaping clear out of the sea. and one could see a great way down in the water. and such was its lonely and impressive place on that far hill that it may have been a temple or a monastery. and finally a great lone building on a hill. As the ship drifted on a little the floor of the ocean rose in hills. Then the suburbs appeared.That night the moon was very bright. though weeds draped the greater part. and Carter did not blame the 694 . Some phosphorescent fish inside it gave the small round windows an aspect of shining. It was dark and low and covered four sides of a square.

and in 695 . As the ship drew into the harbour at evening the twin beacons Thon and Thal gleamed a welcome. and saw that something was tied to it. Oriab is a very great isle. The wharves of Bahama are of porphyry. Then by the watery moonlight he noticed an odd high monolith in the middle of that central court. And on the evening of the eleventh day they came in sight of the isle of Oriab with Ngranek rising jagged and snow-crowned in the distance. head downward and without any eyes. he was glad that a rising breeze soon took the ship ahead to more healthy parts of the sea. There is a great canal which goes under the whole city in a tunnel with granite gates and leads to the inland lake of Yath. with bulbs of strange coloured lilies for cargo. The next day they spoke with a ship with violet sails bound for Zar. and the city rises in great stone terraces behind them.sailors much for their fears. And when after getting a telescope from the captain's cabin he saw that that bound thing was a sailor in the silk robes of Oriab. in the land of forgotten dreams. and its port of Bahama a mighty city. on whose farther shore are the vast clay-brick ruins of a primal city whose name is not remembered. having streets of steps that are frequently arched over by buildings and the bridges between buildings.

made Carter a guest in his own small house on the shores of Yath where the rear of the town slopes down to it. The captain. and correlated all that he had learned from the lava-gatherers about the roads thither. till that steep and climbing seaport became a glittering constellation hung between the stars of heaven and the reflections of those stars in the still harbour. and his wife and servants brought strange toothsome foods for the traveller's delight. which is built of brick and resembles the ruins of Yath's farther shore. When the captain sailed hack to Dylath-Leen Carter took quarters in an ancient tavern opening on an alley of steps in the original part of the town. And in the days after that Carter asked for rumours and legends of Ngranek in all the taverns and public places where lavagatherers and image-makers meet. but could find no one who had been up the higher slopes or seen the carven face. and besides. one could never depend on the certainty that night-gaunts are altogether fabulous. Here he laid his plans for the ascent of Ngranek. after landing. Ngranek was a hard mountain with only an accursed valley behind it.all the million windows of Bahama's terraces mellow lights peeped out quietly and gradually as the stars peep out overhead in the dusk. The keeper of the tavern was a very old 696 .

and though old lavagatherers had warned him not to camp there at night. here drawing it for others to behold. since the large rough features on the wall were hasty and careless. and he was much reminded of those fertile fields that flank the Skai. he tethered his zebra to a curious pillar be- 697 . with horns and wings and claws and curling tails. having gained all the information he was likely to gain in the taverns and public places of Baharna. Carter hired a zebra and set out one morning on the road by Yath's shore for those inland parts wherein towers stony Ngranek. At last. and wholly overshadowed by a crowd of little companion shapes in the worst possible taste.man. but Carter had very great doubts. and had heard so many legends that he was a great help. He even took Carter to an upper room in that ancient house and shewed him a crude picture which a traveller had scratched on the clay wall in the old days when men were bolder and less reluctant to visit Ngranek's higher slopes. On his right were rolling hills and pleasant orchards and neat little stone farmhouses. By evening he was near the nameless ancient ruins on Yath's farther shore. The old tavern-keeper's great-grandfather had heard from his great-grandfather that the traveller who scratched that picture had climbed Ngranek and seen the carven face.

for the nights are cold in Oriab. The sun had just come up over the great slope whereon leagues of primal brick foundations and worn walls and occasional cracked pillars and pedestals stretched down desolate to the shore of Yath. Then he shouldered his pack and strode on toward Ngranek. though not without a shiver when he saw close to him as the highway 698 . and still greater was he vexed on finding that the steed was quite dead. and Carter looked about for his tethered zebra. and when upon awaking once he thought he felt the wings of some insect brushing his face he covered his head altogether and slept in peace till roused by the magah birds in distant resin groves. and he thought of what had brushed his face in the night. with its blood all sucked away through a singular wound in its throat. The legends and warnings of lava-gatherers occurred to him. and all round on the dusty soil' were great webbed footprints for which he could not in any way account. Great was his dismay to see that docile beast stretched prostrate beside the curious pillar to which it had been tied. His pack had been disturbed. Around him he wrapped another blanket. and several shiny knickknacks taken away.fore a crumbling wall and laid his blanket in a sheltered corner beneath some carvings whose meaning none could decipher.

with steps leading down into darkness farther than he could peer. because the old man among them said it would be of no use. and overhearing what they whispered about a companion they had lost. They did not search any more. nor was there any sign on the crags below that he had fallen. His course now lay uphill through wilder and partly wooded country. Near sunset he came on a new camp of lavagatherers returning with laden sacks from Ngranek's lower slopes. He had climbed high to reach a mass of fine lava above him. but they all shook their heads negatively and seemed frightened at his 699 . and all the magah birds sang blithely as they flashed their seven colours in the sun. though those beasts themselves were so uncertain as to be almost fabulous. The whole air was fragrant with balsam. listening to the songs and tales of the men. and at nightfall did not return to his fellows. No one ever found what the night-gaunts took. Carter asked them if night-gaunts sucked blood and liked shiny things and left webbed footprints. and he saw only the huts of charcoal-burners and the camp of those who gathered resin from the groves. and here he also camped. When they looked for him the next day they found only his turban.passed through the ruins a great gaping arch low in the wall of an old temple.

making such an inquiry. but while he thanked them heartily he was in no wise dissuaded. Here they had dwelt till the days of the old tavernkeeper's grandfather. inhabiting a very old quarter and teaching their sons the old art 700 . By noon. For still did he feel that he must find the gods on unknown Kadath. At last they decided it would be better to leave altogether. Their older men gave him blessings and warnings. and told him he had better not climb too high on Ngranek. Their homes had crept even up the mountain's slope. since things were sometimes glimpsed in the darkness which no one could interpret favourably. and win from them a way to that haunting and marvellous city in the sunset. The next day he rose with the lava-gatherers and exchanged farewells as they rode west and he rode east on a zebra he bought of them. When he saw how taciturn they had become he asked them no more. but went to sleep in his blanket. he came upon some abandoned brick villages of the hillpeople who had once dwelt thus close to Ngranek and carved images from its smooth lava. after a long uphill ride. but about that time they felt that their presence was disliked. and the higher they built the more people they would miss when the sun rose. so in the end all of them went down to the sea and dwelt in Bahama.

and then the bare hideous rock rose spectral into the sky. bearing on the hidden side that secret titan image whereof rumour told. thinly covered with scrub oaks and ash trees. 701 . Ninety aeons ago. There were the charred embers of many camps. and scoriac heaps that littered slopes and ledges. and did not welcome the prospect of climbing it. There were sparse trees on the lower slopes and feeble shrubs above them. Carter could see the rifts and ruggedness of that sombre stone. The ground sloped upward to the foot of Ngranek.if legend spoke truly . Now it towered all silent and sinister. or might . and ancient cinder. before even the gods had danced upon its pointed peak. And there were caves in that mountain. that mountain had spoken with fire and roared with the voices of the inner thunders.hold horrors of a form not to be surmised.of image-making which to this day they carry on. and strewn with bits of rock. to mix with frost and ice and eternal snow. lava. which might be empty and alone with elder darkness. All this time the great gaunt side of Ngranek was looming up higher and higher as Carter approached it. It was from these children of the exiled hill-people that Carter had heard the best tales about Ngranek when searching through Bahama's ancient taverns. In places there were solid streams of lava.

tethering his zebra to a sapling and wrapping himself well in his blankets before going to sleep. but Carter felt no fear of that amphibious terror. since the slope was very precipitous and the whole thing rather dizzying. since he had been told with certainty that not one of them dares even approach the slope of Ngranek. In the clear sunshine of morning Carter began the long ascent. And all through the night a voonith howled distantly from the shore of some hidden pool. At evening Carter reached the farthermost pile of embers and camped for the night. and several rude altars which they had built either to propitiate the Great Ones or to ward off what they dreamed of in Ngranek's high passes and labyrinthine caves. and then over the tough grass where anaemic shrubs grew here and there. first through the forest with its ruins of old villages in overgrown clearings. the deserted huts of the imagemakers.where the lava-gatherers were wont to stop. At length he began to discern all the countryside spread out beneath him whenever he looked about. the groves of resin trees and the camps of 702 . taking his zebra as far as that useful beast could go. but tying it to a stunted ash tree when the floor of the thin wood became too steep. Thereafter he scrambled up alone. He regretted coming clear of the trees.

and even a hint very far away of the shores of Yath and of those forbidding ancient ruins whose name is forgotten.those who gathered from them. and had it not been very rough and weathered. Once or twice Carter dared to look around. and now and then the nest of a condor in a crevice. the woods where prismatic magahs nest and sing. and it was cheering to see occasionally the sign of some lava-gatherer scratched clumsily in the friable stone. Knobs. ledges. helped greatly. Finally there was nothing at all but the bare rock. and kept on climbing and climbing till the shrubs became very sparse and there was often nothing but the tough grass to cling to. He found it best not to look around. In one place a narrow ledge had been chopped artificially to an especially rich deposit far to the right of the main line of ascent. Then the soil became meagre. and by little quarries and excavations where some choice vein or stream of lava had been found. and pinnacles. however. he could scarcely have ascended farther. After a certain height the presence of man was further shewn by handholds and footholds hewn where they were needed. and know that wholesome human creatures had been there before him. with great patches of bare rock cropping out. and was almost stunned by the spread of landscape be- 703 .

and this course he took in the hope that it might prove continuous. bring him after a few hours' climbing to that unknown southern slope overlooking the desolate crags and the accursed valley of lava. all opening on sheerly perpendicular cliffs and wholly unreachable by the feet of man. with Baharna's stone terraces and the smoke of its chimneys mystical in the distance. And beyond that the illimitable Southern Sea with all its curious secrets. being here pierced by curious cracks and caves not found on the straighter route he had left. was somewhat different. but that it led steeply on in an arc which would. After ten minutes he saw it was indeed no cul-de-sac. unless suddenly interrupted or deflected. All the island betwixt him and the coast lay open to his sight. The mountain's side. 704 . Carter now saw a ledge running upward and to the left which seemed to head the way he wished. so that the farther and carven side was still hidden. As new country came into view below him he saw that it was bleaker and wilder than those seaward lands he had traversed. but so hard was the climbing that he did not mind it.low. too. Thus far there had been much winding around the mountain. The air was very cold now. Some of these were above him and some beneath him. Only the increasing rarity bothered him.

There now loomed aloft a great beetling mass which hampered the upward view. and seemed to have no ending. in the fearsome iciness of upper space. but none of them was accessible to a climber. for Oriab is a great island. and Carter was for a moment shaken with doubt lest it prove impassable. he came round fully to the hidden side of Ngranek and saw in infinite gulfs below him the lesser crags and sterile abysses of lava which marked olden wrath of the Great Ones. No trace of the sea was visible on this side. but it was a desert land without fair fields or cottage chimneys. He was not much impressed by travellers' tales. Poised in windy insecurity miles above earth. a vast expanse of country to the south. with only space and death on one side and only slippery 705 . At last. There was unfolded. Black caverns and odd crevices were still numerous on the sheer vertical cliffs. All lesser thoughts were lost in the wish to see that carven face which might set him on the track of the gods atop unknown Kadath.and he thought that perhaps it was this which had turned the heads of other travellers and excited those absurd tales of night-gaunts whereby they explained the loss of such climbers as fell from these perilous paths. but had a good curved scimitar in case of any trouble. too.

with a cave's dark mouth just out of reach above him. yet to Carter they were sufficient. If there were no way aloft. But there was a way. Elsewhere. for the ti- 706 . there was the snow uncounted thousands of feet above. since a great glacier's melting had left a generous space with loam and ledges. Surmounting now the outward-hanging rock. And when he saw that crag he gasped and cried out aloud. yet the sun was already low. He could not turn round. he found the slope above much easier than that below. and the dawn would not find him at all. hanging there forever in bold outline. To the left a precipice dropped straight from unknown heights to unknown depths. the mountain slanted back strongly. Only a very expert dreamer could have used those imperceptible footholds. and even gave him space to lean and rest. Surely enough.walls of rock on the other. and he saw it in due season. he had just climbed. and looked up to see what glittering pinnacles might be shining in that late ruddy sunlight. he knew for a moment the fear that makes men shun Ngranek's hidden side. He felt from the chill that he must be near the snow line. the night would find him crouching there still. and clutched at the jagged rock in awe. and below it a great beetling crag like that. however.

the marvel is so strong that none may escape it. and that thin nose and pointed chin. and when that face is vaster than a great temple and seen looking downward at sunset in the scyptic silences of that upper world from whose dark lava it was divinely hewn of old. He clung overawed in that lofty and perilous eyrie. for those long narrow eyes and long-lobed ears. and Carter saw that it was indeed so. even though it was this which he had expected and come to find. was the added marvel of recognition. Stern and terrible shone that face that the sunset lit with fire. Rumour had said it was strange and not to be mistaken. for although he had planned to search all dreamland over for those whose likeness to this face might 707 . too. Here. How vast it was no mind can ever measure. It was a god chiselled by the hands of the gods. all spoke of a race that is not of men but of gods. and it looked down haughty and majestic upon the seeker. for there is in a god's face more of marvel than prediction can tell. but Carter knew at once that man could never have fashioned it. but gleamed red and stupendous in the sunset with the carved and polished features of a god.tan bulge had not stayed as earth's dawn had shaped it.

Every year sailors with such a face came in dark ships from the north to trade their onyx for the carved jade and spun gold and little red singing birds of Celephais. far distant from the isle of Oriab. but the kin of such as he had seen often in the taverns of the seaport Celephais which lies in Ooth-Nargai beyond the Tanarian Hills and is ruled over by that King Kuranes whom Carter once knew in waking life. and the great carven face looked down even sterner in shadow. but 708 . he now knew that he need not do so. But dusk was now thick. the great face carven on that mountain was of no strange sort. Where they dwelt. So to Celephais he must go. and in the blackness he might neither go down nor go up. Perched on that ledge night found the seeker. whence the way would bend northward through the garden lands by Oukranos to the gilded spires of Thran. there must the cold waste lie close.mark them as the god's children. Certainly. and again into the enchanted wood of the Zoogs. and it was clear that these could be no others than the hall-gods he sought. and in such parts as would take him back to DylathTeen and up the Skai to the bridge by Nir. where he might find a galleon bound over the Cerenarian Sea. and within it unknown Kadath and its onyx castle for the Great Ones.

Other things. and he was lifted inconsiderately up and 709 . Carter felt his curved scimitar drawn stealthily out of his belt by some unseen hand. And between him and the Milky Way he thought he saw a very terrible outline of something noxiously thin and horned and tailed and bat-winged. Then a sort of cold rubbery arm seized his neck and something else seized his feet. too. against whose beckoning he might do no more than cling to the rocks and lean back away from an unseen brink. Then he heard it clatter down over the rocks below. The last thing of earth that he saw in the gloaming was a condor soaring close to the westward precipice beside him. The stars came out. had begun to blot out patches of stars west of him. nothingness leagued with death. but save for them there was only black nothingness in his eyes. Suddenly. without a warning sound in the dark. and darting screaming away when it came near the cave whose mouth yawned just out of reach.only stand and cling and shiver in that narrow place till the day came. as if a flock of vague entities were flapping thickly and silently out of that inaccessible cave in the face of the precipice. praying to keep awake lest sleep loose his hold and send him down the dizzy miles of air to the crags and sharp rocks of the accursed valley.

and their paws kneaded one detestably. He screamed again and again. as at first he did by instinct. They bore him breathless into that cliffside cavern and through monstrous labyrinths beyond. they tickled him with deliberation. sickening rush of dank. 710 . and even their membranous wings were silent. At last far below him he saw faint lines of grey and ominous pinnacles which he knew must be the fabled Peaks of Throk. Another minute and the stars were gone. They made no sound at all themselves. They were frightfully cold and damp and slippery.swung about in space. When he struggled. and guessed they were coming even to that inner world of subterrene horror of which dim legends tell. tomblike air. and Carter knew that the nightgaunts had got him. giddying. Then he saw a sort of grey phosphorescence about. and Carter felt they were shooting into the ultimate vortex of shrieking and daemonic madness. and which is litten only by the pale death-fire wherewith reeks the ghoulish air and the primal mists of the pits at earth's core. Soon they were plunging hideously downward through inconceivable abysses in a whirling. but whenever he did so the black paws tickled him with greater subtlety. Awful and sinister they stand in the haunted disc of sunless and eternal depths.

and nothing about but great rushing winds with the dankness of nethermost grottoes in them. but only a suggestive blankness where a face ought to be. At still lower levels the death-fires in the air gave out. that was the way of night-gaunts. And worst of all.higher than man may reckon. unpleasant horns that curved inward toward each other. whale-like surfaces. and one saw clearly that nothing lived on that austere and impressive granite of the endless twilight. they never spoke or laughed. and guarding terrible valleys where the Dholes crawl and burrow nastily. and never smiled because they had no faces at all to smile with. All they ever did was clutch and fly and tickle. As the band flew lower the Peaks of Throk rose grey and towering on all sides. and one met only the primal blackness of the void save aloft where the thin peaks stood out goblin-like. and barbed tails that lashed needlessly and disquietingly. oily. and left Carter all alone in that black valley. But Carter preferred to look at them than at his captors. To bring him thither was 711 . Then in the end the night-gaunts landed on a floor of unseen things which felt like layers of bones. which were indeed shocking and uncouth black things with smooth. bat wings whose beating made no sound. Soon the peaks were very far away. ugly prehensile paws.

There was nothing anywhere but blackness and horror and silence and bones. it seemed fairly likely that this was the spot into which all the ghouls of the waking world cast the refuse of their feastings. Dholes are known only by dim rumour. Now Carter knew from a certain source that he was in the vale of Pnoth.the duty of the night-gaunts that guard Ngranek. where crawl and burrow the enormous Dholes. Even in this fearsome place he had a plan and an objective. they flapped away silently. and that if he but had good luck he might stumble upon that mighty crag taller even than Throk's peaks which marks the edge of their domain. They cannot be seen because they creep only in the dark. When Carter tried to trace their flight he found he could not. Showers of bones would tell 712 . because no one has ever seen a Dhole or even guessed what such a thing may be like. Carter did not wish to meet a Dhole. but he did not know what to expect. from the rustling they make amongst mountains of bones and the slimy touch they have when they wriggle past one. for whispers of Pnoth were not unknown to one with whom he had talked much in the old days. since even the Peaks of Throk had faded out of sight. and this done. In brief. so listened intently for any sound in the unknown depths of bones about him.

him where to look. and knew it must be the base of one of Throk's peaks. and it would be better to meet a ghoul. he felt he could persuade a ghoul to guide him out of Pnoth. So Carter walked in the dark. Then at last he heard a monstrous rattling and clatter which reached far up in the air. In any case. and Carter was not sure but that he might find him now. This man had vanished at last. he had a very singular link with these terrible creatures. A man he had known in Boston . which one cannot see. and became sure he had come nigh the crag of the ghouls. than a Dhole. and use for the first time in dreamland that far-away English of his dim waking life. He was not sure he could be heard from this valley miles below. Once he bumped into a stony slope. for strange to say. but realised that the inner world has strange laws.a painter of strange pictures with a secret studio in an ancient and unhallowed alley near a graveyard . and ran when he thought he heard something among the bones underfoot. As he pondered he was struck by a 713 .had actually made friends with the ghouls and had taught him to understand the simpler part of their disgusting meeping and glibbering. which one can see. and once found he could call to a ghoul to let down a ladder.

so it was some time before he heard an answering glibber. it was not long before he actually did hear a vague rustling afar off. As this thoughtfully approached. Indeed. But it came at last. Sound travels slowly. The wait for this was very tense.flying bone so heavy that it must have been a skull. he became more and more uncomfortable. and was a good ten feet up when something swayed the ladder from below. At a height which must have been fifteen or twenty feet he felt his whole side brushed by a great slip- 714 . But the other sound did not cease. and after a minute of groping he had it taut in his hands. He had gone fully five feet from the ground when the rattling beneath waxed emphatic. and followed him even as he climbed. Finally the tension grew almost unbearable. It was the ladder. and before long he was told that a rope ladder would be lowered. and he was about to flee in panic when the thud of something on the newly heaped bones nearby drew his notice from the other sound. since there was no telling what might not have been stirred up among those bones by his shouting. and therefore realising his nearness to the fateful crag he sent up as best he might that meeping cry which is the call of the ghoul. for he did not wish to move away from the spot where the ladder would come.

and hours later he saw a curious face peering over it as a gargoyle peers over a parapet of Notre Dame.pery length which grew alternately convex and concave with wriggling. So he had himself well under control when that hideous thing pulled him out of the dizzy emptiness over the edge of the crag. The ghouls were in general 715 . For hours he climbed with aching and blistered hands. but a moment later he was himself again. This almost made him lose his hold through faintness. whose vertical side he could not glimpse. and did not scream at the partly consumed refuse heaped at one side or at the squatting circles of ghouls who gnawed and watched curiously. He was now on a dim-litten plain whose sole topographical features were great boulders and the entrances of burrows. At last he discerned above him the projecting edge of the great crag of the ghouls. and hereafter he climbed desperately to escape the unendurable nuzzling of that loathsome and overfed Dhole whose form no man might see. and he knew well their canine faces and slumping forms and unmentionable idiosyncrasies. for his vanished friend Richard Pickman had once introduced him to a ghoul. seeing again the grey death-fire and Throk's uncomfortable pinnacles.

When it 716 . so despite a natural loathing he followed the creature into a capacious burrow and crawled after him for hours in the blackness of rank mould. They emerged on a dim plain strewn with singular relics of earth . broken urns. on a tombstone of 1768 stolen from the Granary Burying Ground in Boston. even if one did attempt to pinch him while several others eyed his leanness speculatively. and found he had become a ghoul of some prominence in abysses nearer the waking world. There. A greenish elderly ghoul offered to conduct him to Pickman's present habitation.and Carter realised with some emotion that he was probably nearer the waking world than at any other time since he had gone down the seven hundred steps from the cavern of flame to the Gate of Deeper Slumber. helped out now and then by the glibbering of ghouls. It was naked and rubbery. and had acquired so much of the ghoulish physiognomy that its human origin was already obscure. sat a ghoul which was once the artist Richard Upton Pickman.old gravestones. But it still remembered a little English. and was able to converse with Carter in grunts and monosyllables.respectful. and grotesque fragments of monuments . Through patient glibbering he made inquiries regarding his vanished friend.

those repulsive beings which die in the light. for mortal dreamers were their former food. 717 . and which live in the vaults of Zin and leap on long hind legs like kangaroos. Only a great trap door of stone with an iron ring connects the abyss of the earth-ghouls with the enchanted wood. hairy and gigantic. and many things intervene betwixt their gulf and the enchanted wood. including the terrible kingdom of the Gugs.learned that Carter wished to get to the enchanted wood and from there to the city Celephais in OothNargai beyond the Tanarian Hills. and they have legends of the toothsomeness of such dreamers even though banishment has restricted their diet to the ghasts. for these ghouls of the waking world do no business in the graveyards of upper dreamland (leaving that to the red-footed wamps that are spawned in dead cities). The Gugs. once reared stone circles in that wood and made strange sacrifices to the Other Gods and the crawling chaos Nyarlathotep. and this the Gugs are afraid to open because of a curse. until one night an abomination of theirs reached the ears of earth's gods and they were banished to caverns below. it seemed rather doubtful. That a mortal dreamer could traverse their cavern realm and leave by that door is inconceivable.

did not suit the seeker. and reach the central tower with the sign of Koth upon it. that deserted city in the valley below Leng where black nitrous stairways guarded by winged diarote lions lead down from dreamland to the lower gulfs. and who.So the ghoul that was Pickman advised Carter either to leave the abyss at Sarkomand. After much persuasion the ghoul consented to guide his guest inside the great wall of the Gugs' kingdom. being the sons of gods. This. It was disastrous to his quest to forget the august and celestial faces of those seamen from the north who traded onyx in Celephais. There was one chance that Carter might be able to steal through that twilight realm of circular stone towers at an hour when the giants would be all gorged and snoring indoors. however. or to return through a churchyard to the waking world and begin the quest anew down the seventy steps of light slumber to the cavern of flame and the seven hundred steps to the Gate of Deeper Slumber and the enchanted wood. which has the stairs leading up to that stone 718 . for he knew nothing of the way from Leng to Ooth-Nargai. must point the way to the cold waste and Kadath where the Great Ones dwell. and was likewise reluctant to awake lest he forget all he had so far gained in this dream.

for they cannot discriminate. with his clothing carried in a bundle as if it were a choice morsel from a tomb. Though ghasts cannot 719 . The Gugs have a sentry at a narrow in the vaults of Zin. and the vindictive ghasts are always on watch there murderously for those denizens of the upper abyss who hunt and prey on them.trap door in the enchanted wood. however. of a large cave near the cemetery. They are very primitive. He also advised Carter to disguise as a ghoul himself.which is coterminous with the whole kingdom . They would reach the city of Gugs . shaving the beard he had allowed to grow (for ghouls have none). for of ghouls the Gugs are somewhat afraid.through the proper burrows. for this is the mouth of the vaults of Zin. but he is often drowsy and is sometimes surprised by a party of ghasts. wallowing naked in the mould to get the correct surface. The ghasts try to come out when the Gugs sleep and they attack ghouls as readily as Gugs. and eat one another. They must beware. and loping in the usual slumping way. emerging in a cemetery not far from the stair-containing Tower of Koth. and they often flee from their own colossal graveyards when they see them feasting there. Pickman even consented to lend three ghouls to help with a tombstone lever in raising the stone door.

and even with the added peril it is better to burrow for Gugs than to bother with the graves of men. When they came again into open twilight they were in a forest of vast lichened monoliths reaching nearly as high as the eye could see and forming the modest gravestones of the Gugs. 720 . since it was the entrance to the unhallowed vaults of Zin where Gugs hunt ghasts in the darkness. they can endure the grey twilight of the abyss for hours. and just outside the cemetery. Ghouls come here often.live in real light. for a buried Gug will feed a community for almost a year. and seen through aisles of monoliths. This was the great city of the Gugs. was a stupendous vista of cyclopean round towers mounting up illimitable into the grey air of inner earth. Carter now understood the occasional titan bones he had felt beneath him in the vale of Pnoth. from the Charter Street Burying Ground in Salem. Straight ahead. Nepemiah Derby. So at length Carter crawled through endless burrows with three helpful ghouls bearing the slate gravestone of Col. rose a sheer perpendicular cliff at whose base an immense and forbidding cavern yawned. This the ghouls told Carter to avoid as much as possible. obit 1719. whose doorways are thirty feet high. On the right of the hole out of which they wriggled.

and a ghoul glibbered softly at Carter that their absence of battle-scars was a bad sign. After a moment something about the size of a small horse hopped out into the grey twilight. so that their strength and savagery were still unimpaired and would remain so till they had found and 721 . a forehead.And truly. that warning was soon well justified. Presently three other ghasts hopped out to join their fellow. and there was a possibility that they might soon withdraw. and Carter turned sick at the aspect of that scabrous and unwholesome beast. It proved that theY had not fought the Gug sentry at all. whose face is so curiously human despite the absence of a nose. and other important particulars. but had merely slipped past him as he slept. So the ghoul returned to the burrow and motioned his companions to be silent. implying that the Gugs were one sentry less. there glowed in the gloom of that great cavern's mouth first one pair of yellowish-red eyes and then another. It was best to leave the ghasts to their own devices. and that ghasts have indeed an excellent sharpness of smell. since they must naturally be rather tired after coping with a Gug sentry in the black vaults. for the moment a ghoul began to creep toward the towers to see if the hour of the Gugs' resting had been rightly timed.

wabbled into view. horrible as they were. It was very unpleasant to see those filthy and disproportioned animals which soon numbered about fifteen. grubbing about and making their kangaroo leaps in the grey twilight where titan towers and monoliths arose. Carter feared for a moment that he would give an alarm and arouse 722 . But before that unfortunate Gug could emerge from the cave and rise to his full twenty feet. large as a barrel. opening vertically instead of horizontally. Then two pink eyes shone. the vindictive ghasts were upon him. shaded by bony protuberances overgrown with coarse hairs. and the head of the awakened Gug sentry. fully two feet and a half across. It was a paw. Alter it came another paw. and equipped with formidable talons. The eyes jutted two inches from each side. And yet. But the head was chiefly terrible because of the mouth. That mouth had great yellow fangs and ran from the top to the bottom of the head.disposed of a victim. but it was still more unpleasant when they spoke among themselves in the coughing gutturals of ghasts. and after that a great black-furred arm to which both of the paws were attached by short forearms. they were not so horrible as what presently came out of the cave after them with disconcerting suddenness.

the tumult soon receded altogether from sight in the blackness. The battle which then ensued was truly a frightful one. so that the noise of the combat would surely have aroused the sleeping city had not the weakening of the sentry begun to transfer the action farther and farther within the cavern. with only occasional evil echoes to mark its continuance. nipping and tearing with their muzzles. As it was. All the time they coughed excitedly.all his kin. and Carter followed the loping three out of the forest of monoliths and into the dark noisome streets of that awful city whose rounded towers of cyclopean stone soared up beyond the sight. Apprehensive of the ending of the rest hour. Silently they shambled over that rough rock pavement. hearing with disgust the abominable muffled snortings from great black doorways which marked the slumber of the Gugs. screaming when the great vertical mouth of the Gug would occasionally bite into one of their number. and mauling murderously with their hard pointed hooves. the ghouls set a somewhat rapid pace. till a ghoul softly glibbered that Gugs have no voice but talk by means of facial expression. Then the most alert of the ghouls gave the signal for all to advance. From all sides the venomous ghasts rushed feverishly at the creeping Gug. but even so the 723 .

for though no Gug dares lift the stone door to the forest because of the Great One's curse. Of their number Carter could form no just estimate. that the bare feet and hands of the climbers might readily be heard when the city awoke. there are no such restraints concerning the tower and the steps. There now began a climb of interminable length in utter blackness: made almost impossible by the monstrous size of the steps. and were therefore nearly a yard high. even to the very top. however. for distances in that town of giants are on a great scale. they came to a somewhat open space before a tower even vaster than the rest. All through the endless climb there lurked the peril of detection and pursuit. This was the central tower with the sign of Koth. At last. which were fashioned for Gugs. above whose colossal doorway was fixed a monstrous symbol in bas-relief which made one shudder without knowing its meaning. and escaped ghasts are often chased. and those huge stone steps just visible through the dusk within were the beginning of the great flight leading to upper dreamland and the enchanted wood. for he soon became so worn out that the tireless and elastic ghouls were forced to aid him. and it would of course take but little time 724 .journey was no brief one. So sharp are the ears of Gugs.

and it was equally clear that this peril was very close. in which case it would almost be better to be eaten by a Gug. which frequently hopped up onto the tower during the sleep hour of the Gugs. If the Gugs slept long. there came a cough from the darkness above. with 725 . to overtake their smaller and slower quarry on those cyclopean steps. accustomed from their ghast-hunts in the vaults of Zin to seeing without light. Nor could the traditional fear of Gugs for ghouls be depended upon in that peculiar place where the advantages lay so heavily with the Gugs. or perhaps even more. after aeons of climbing. Alter a breathless second the leading ghoul pushed Carter to the wall and arranged his kinfolk in the best possible way. and the ghasts returned soon from their deed in the cavern. It was clear that a ghast. and matters assumed a very grave and unexpected turn. Then. had strayed into that tower before the coming of Carter and his guides. but would come very suddenly and shockingly in the dark upon the climbers.for the striding giants. There was also some peril from the furtive and venomous ghasts. It was very depressing to reflect that the silent pursuing Gugs would not be heard at all. the scent of the climbers might easily be picked up by those loathsome and illdisposed things.

and he was glad to leave that place of carnage where the ghast's uncouth remains sprawled invisible in the blackness. and permit Carter to escape through the crack. Ghouls can see in the dark. There seemed to be only this one animal.the old slate tombstone raised for a crushing blow whenever the enemy might come in sight. and after a moment of listening the ghouls tapped Carter as a signal to proceed again. they wielded the ancient gravestone with prodigious force. and the slabbearing ghouls poised their weapon for a desperate blow. At last the ghouls brought their companion to a halt. but the ghouls hoped to get it up just enough to slip the gravestone under as a prop. so the party was not as badly off as Carter would have been alone. and the panting of the ghast became audible above its clattering. Presently two yellowish-red eyes flashed into view. Carter realised that the great stone trap door was reached at last. they were obliged to aid him. so that there was only a wheeze and a choking before the victim collapsed in a noxious heap. To open so vast a thing completely was not to be thought of. As before. As it hopped down to the step above the ghouls. In another moment the clatter of hooves revealed the downward hopping of at least one beast. and feeling above him. They 726 .

but progress was very slow. Mighty was the straining of those three ghouls at the stone of the door above them. It was only the thumping and rattling of the slain ghast's hooved body as it rolled down to lower levels. slipped the end of the old gravestone in the aperture. Suddenly their desperation was magnified a thousand fold by a sound on the steps below them. and Carter helped push with as much strength as he had. and to this they bent all the force of their disreputably nourished muscles. There now ensued a mighty heaving. the ghouls set to with something of a frenzy. none was in the least reassuring. They judged the edge next the top of the staircase to be the right one.themselves planned to descend again and return through the city of the Gugs. since their elusiveness was great. knowing the ways of Gugs. and in a surprisingly short time had the door so high 727 . Alter a few moments a crack of light appeared. and they had of course to return to their first position every time they failed to turn the slab and prop the portal open. and Carter. and they did not know the way overland to spectral Sarkomand with its lionguarded gate to the abyss. to whom that task had been entrusted. but of all the possible causes of that body's dislodgement and rolling. Therefore.

for Zoogs shun the mysterious door in fear and Carter at once consulted with his ghouls about their future course. and the waking world did not appeal to them when they learned that they must pass the priests Nasht and Kaman-Thah in the cavern of flame. it was verily a haven and a delight after those gulfs he had now left behind. So at length they decided to return through Sarkomand and its gate of the abyss. Carter re- 728 . To return through the tower they no longer dared. They now helped Carter through. letting him climb up to their rubbery shoulders and later guiding his feet as he clutched at the blessed soil of the upper dreamland outside. so with a deep relief and sense of repose Carter lay quietly on the thick grotesque fungi of the enchanted wood while his guides squatted near in the manner that ghouls rest. though of how to get there they knew nothing. Because of the Great One's curse no Gug might ever emerge from that portal.that they were able to hold it still whilst Carter turned the slab and left a generous opening. knocking away the gravestone and closing the great trap door while a panting became audible beneath. Another second and they were through themselves. There was no living denizen about. Weird as was that enchanted wood through which he had fared so long ago.

and lost no time in loping off. but because of the phosphorescence one might travel as well as by day. wherefore Carter set out upon the well-known route toward Celephais. It was now night in that redoubtable wood of monstrous trees. but could not help sighing with pleasure when they left. therefore he advised the ghouls to seek out Dylath-Leen. After that Carter sought a forest pool and cleansed himself of the mud of nether earth. crossing the fields to Nir and the Skai and following the river to its mouth. in Ooth-Nargai beyond the Tanarian Hills. and at best an unpleasant companion for man. And he 729 . This they at once resolved to do. and wondered if any lava-gatherers had fed and released it. thereupon reassuming the clothes he had so carefully carried. since the thickening of the dusk promised a full night ahead for travel. slant-eyed old merchant reputed to trade on Leng. For a ghoul is a ghoul. and recalled likewise that he had seen in Dylath-Leen a sinister. And Carter shook the paws of those repulsive beasts. thanking them for their help and sending his gratitude to the beast which once was Pickman.called that it lies in the valley below Leng. And as he went he thought of the zebra he had left tethered to an ash-tree on Ngranek in far-away Oriab so many aeons ago.

It all came from the loss of the party which had sneaked after Carter to Ulthar. and now. and if the old tavernkeeper would remember him. or at least within a month. For a war on the cats was under debate in that sovereign assembly of Zoogs. too. This 730 . if he would ever return to Baharna and pay for the zebra that was slain by night in those ancient ruins by Yath's shore. Upon drawing nearer he made out the accents of a tense and heated discussion. Such were the thoughts that came to him in the air of the regained upper dreamland. the marshalled Zoogs were about to strike the whole feline tribe in a series of surprise attacks. but it appeared from the singular fluttering in that huge tree that important councils were in session elsewhere. taking individual cats or groups of cats unawares. But presently his progress was halted by a sound from a very large hollow tree. The matter had long rankled. since he did not care to speak with Zoogs just now. He had avoided the great circle of stones. and giving not even the myriad cats of Ulthar a proper chance to drill and mobilise.wondered. and before long became conscious of matters which he viewed with the greatest concern. and which the cats had justly punished for unsuitable intentions.

Better still. so that all the cats were on earth. grey. as a sub-lieutenant in that army was a brisk young fellow who proved to be none other than the very little kitten at the inn to whom Carter had given a saucer of rich cream on that long-vanished morning in Ulthar. Carter was there to greet them. and Ulthar's numerous cats called in chorus and fell into a line of march. and it echoed through Nir and beyond the Skai even into Ulthar. yellow. He was glad to see his venerable friend and one-time rescuer at the head of Ulthar's detachment. Very quietly therefore did Randolph Carter steal to the edge of the wood and send the cry of the cat over the starlit fields. and whiskers bristling at a martial angle. a collar of rank around his sleek neck. wholesome cats was indeed good for his eyes after the things he had seen and walked with in the abyss. Swiftly and silently leaping. white. and Carter saw that he must foil it before leaving upon his mighty quest. tiger. they sprang from every hearth and housetop and poured in a great furry sea across the plains to the edge of the wood. And a great grimalkin in a nearby cottage took up the burden and relayed it across leagues of rolling meadow to warriors large and small. It was fortunate that the moon was not up.was the plan of the Zoogs. and mixed. black. He was a 731 . and the sight of shapely.

leaving open a lane down which were marched the additional captives rounded up by the other cats in other parts of the wood. Terms were discussed at 732 . and was rewarded by deep-throated purrs of gratitude from all sides. Thereupon without a moment's loss that great ocean of cats flooded the enchanted wood and surged around the council tree and the great stone circle. They saw that they were beaten in advance. His grandfather said he was doing very well in the army. Consulting with the generals. and that he might well expect a captaincy after one more campaign.strapping and promising cat now. Half the cats now seated themselves in a circular formation with the captured Zoogs in the centre. Flutterings rose to panic pitch as the enemy saw the newcomers and there was very little resistance among the furtive and curious brown Zoogs. forestalling their surprise attacks and forcing them to terms before the mobilization of their army of invasion. and turned from thoughts of vengeance to thoughts of present self-preservation. Carter now outlined the peril of the cat tribe. he prepared a plan of instant action which involved marching at once upon the Zoog council and other known strongholds of Zoogs. and purred as he shook hands with his friend.

and the victors made it plain that any disappearances of cats on the borders of the Zoog domain would be followed by consequences highly disastrous to Zoogs. So in the midst of a pleasant and playful regiment. deeming it likely that the Zoogs would harbour dire resentment against him for the frustration of their warlike enterprise. quail. which they hastened to do with many a sullen backward glance. but because he liked the graceful companionship of cats. These matters disposed of. the assembled cats broke ranks and permitted the Zoogs to slink off one by one to their respective homes.length. The old cat general now offered Carter an escort through the forest to whatever border he wished to reach. and pheasants from the less fabulous parts of the forest. and it was decided that the Zoogs might remain a free tribe on condition of rendering to the cats a large tribute of grouse. relaxed after the successful performance of its duty. This offer he welcomed with gratitude. Randolph Carter walked with dignity through that enchanted and phosphorescent wood of titan trees. Carter acting as interpreter. talking of his quest with the old general and his grandson whilst others of 733 . not only for the safety it afforded. Twelve young Zoogs of noble families were taken as hostages to be kept in the Temple of Cats at Ulthar.

and Carter bade his friends a reluctant farewell. and blithely did he follow the singing river Ouki- 734 . As for the marvellous sunset city. and commended him especially to the old chief of the cats in Celephais. So Carter set out alone over the golden fields that stretched mysterious beside a willow-fringed river. And the old cat said that he had heard much of unknown Kadath in the cold waste.the band indulged in fantastic gambols or chased fallen leaves that the wind drove among the fungi of that primeval floor. whither he was bound. and would prove highly influential in any transaction. already slightly known to Carter. That old cat. but did not know where it was. The young sub-lieutenant he had met as a small kitten would have followed him had not the old general forbidden it. he had not even heard of that. It was dawn when they came to the proper edge of the wood. Well did the traveller know those garden lands that lie betwixt the wood of the Cerenerian Sea. and the cats went back into the wood. He gave the seeker some passwords of great value among the cats of dreamland. but that austere patriarch insisted that the path of duty lay with the tribe and the army. but would gladly relay to Carter anything he might later learn. was a dignified maltese.

and a little more of the summer's humming music of birds and bees. and its inner shrine where the river enters through hidden channels and the god sings softly in the night. wherein is held a little more of the sunlight than other places hold. and feel greater joy and wonder than they ever afterward remember. By noon Carter reached the jasper terraces of Kiran which slope down to the river's edge and bear that temple of loveliness wherein the King of IlekVad comes from his far realm on the twilight sea once a year in a golden palanqnin to pray to the god of Oukianos. All of jasper is that temple. and covering an acre of ground with its walls and courts. in the drowsi- 735 . but whether that music be the song of the god or the chant of the cryptical priests. so that men walk through it as through a faery place. for only he had entered the temple or seen the priests. its seven pinnacled towers. Many times the moon hears strange music as it shines on those courts and terraces and pinnacles. The sun rose higher over gentle slopes of grove and lawn. who sang to him in youth when he dwelt in a cottage by its banks. and heightened the colours of the thousand flowers that starred each knoll and dangle. A blessed haze lies upon all this region. none but the King of Ilek-Vad may say.anos that marked his course. Now.

In former dreams he had seen quaint lumbering buopoths come shyly out of that wood to drink. whose trees came down clear to the water's edge. All that afternoon the pilgrim wandered on through perfumed meadows and in the lee of gentle riverward hills bearing peaceful thatched cottages and the shrines of amiable gods carven from jasper or chrysoberyl.ness of day. sloping inward toward the top and wrought in one solid 736 . and grasped by the beak with its enormous mouth as the winged hunter sought to dart down upon it. and Carter heard only the murmur of the great stream and the hum of the birds and bees as he walked onward under the enchanted sun. that carven and delicate fane was silent. Once in a while he paused to watch a carnivorous fish catch a fishing bird. but now he could not glimpse any. Sometimes he walked close to the bank of Oukianos and whistled to the sprightly and iridescent fish of that crystal stream. Toward evening he mounted a low grassy rise and saw before him flaming in the sunset the thousand gilded spires of Thran. Lofty beyond belief are the alabaster walls of that incredible city. which it lured to the water by showing its tempting scales in the sun. and at other times he paused amidst the whispering rushes and gazed at the great dark wood on the farther side.

sometimes caught at the top in tangles of cloud and mist. and was stopped by a red-robed sentry till he had told three dreams beyond belief. the clustered towers within. where small white cottages dream between little hills. and strange bearded sailors sitting on casks and bales with the hieroglyphs of far places. all white beneath their golden spires. with ornate galleons of fragrant cedar and calamander riding gently at anchor. Landward beyond the walls lies the farm country. Down through this verdant land Carter walked at evening. and proved himself a dreamer worthy to walk up Thran's steep mysterious streets and linger in the bazaars where the 737 . and narrow roads with many stone bridges wind gracefully among streams and gardens. Yet lofty as they are with their hundred gates and two hundred turrets. so that men on the plain around see them soaring into the sky. And where Thran's gates open on the river are great wharves of marble. and sometimes clouded lower down with their utmost pinnacles blazing free above the vapours. and saw twilight float up from the river to the marvellous golden spires of Thran. sometimes shining clear. are loftier still.piece by what means no man knows. And just at the hour of dusk he came to the southern gate. for they are more ancient than memory.

and sat in the prow as the ropes were cast off and the long sail down to the Cerenerian Sea begun. Mindful of his search. Lights shone through grated and balconied windows. and there he stopped for the night after speaking gravely to the venerable cat of that inn. and edged down through darker streets to the river. who blinked dozing before an enormous hearth and dreamed of old wars and forgotten gods.wares of the ornate galleons were sold. and. For many leagues the banks were much as they were above Thran. where at an old sea tavern he found the captains and seamen he had known in myriad other dreams. with now and then a curious temple rising on the farther hills toward the right. and a drowsy village on the shore. with steep red roofs and nets spread in the sun.the sound of lutes and pipes stole timid from inner courts where marble fountains bubbled. In the morning Carter boarded the galleon bound for Celephais. and thereafter amidst curved and undulant ways winding deep and narrow between the heavenward towers. Then into that incredible city he walked. Carter questioned all the mariners closely about those whom they had 738 . There he bought his passage to Celephais on a great green galleon. through a wall so thick that the gate was a tunnel. Carter knew his way.

nor had they heard of the cold waste and unknown Kadath save from vague unplaced report. so that none might say whether this evil plateau with its horrible stone villages and unmentionable monastery were really there. Their land. Of other boundaries of Inquanok those sailors had no notion. And of the marvellous sunset city which Carter sought they knew nothing at all. long-lobed ears. very far away. save that they talked but seldom and spread a kind of awe about them. So the traveller asked no more of far things. thin noses. asking the names and ways of the strange men with long. men reached Leng from very different oceans. narrow eyes. or whether the rumour were only a fear that timid people felt in the night when those formidable barrier peaks loomed black against a rising moon. Certainly. and said to be close to unpleasant Leng. Of these men the sailors knew not much. and pointed chins who came in dark ships from the north and traded onyx for the carved jade and spun gold and little red singing birds of Celephais. but bided his time till he might talk with those strange men 739 . was called Inquanok. although high impassable mountains towered on the side where Leng was thought to lie. and not many people cared to go thither because it was a cold twilight land.met in the taverns of Celephais.

and dusk hushed the hum of the day. and Carter saw by the houses along the 740 . though none dares approach them closely because of the guardians to which their wholeness is due. where once dwelt fabulous monarchs of a land whose name is forgotten. In the morning the river had broadened out greatly. But the ship swept on. for it is written that there may one day be need of them again. and the first stars above blinked answers to the early fireflies on the banks as that jungle fell far behind. leaving only its fragrance as a memory that it had been. since it was highly uncertain just who or what had lit them. lone and unbroken. Here Carter wished he might disembark. for in those tropic tangles sleep wondrous palaces of ivory.from cold and twilight Inquanok who are the seed of such gods as carved their features on Ngranek. and elephant caravans have glimpsed them from afar by moonlight. Once a lookout reported fires on the hills to the east. And all through the night that galleon floated on past mysteries unseen and unsuspected. Spells of the Elder Ones keep those places unharmed and undecayed. but the sleepy captain said they had better not be looked at too much. Late in the day the galleon reached those bends of the river which traverse the perfumed jungles of Kied.

741 . but is prized for the solid work of its artisans. after much unloading and loading. and seemed exceedingly ancient with their low black-beamed ceilings and casements of greenish bull's-eye panes. but had little to add to what the seamen of the galleon had told. and there the galleon made fast while the captain traded in the taverns. The wharves of Hlanith are of oak. and told many stories of the curious men from twilight Inquanok. The sea taverns were all close to the wharves on cobbled lanes salted with the spray of high tides.banks that they were close to the vast trading city of Hlanith on the Cerenerian Sea. Here the walls are of rugged granite. The men of Hlanith are more like those of the waking world than any others in dreamland. and looked curiously upon the rutted streets where wooden ox carts lumbered and feverish merchants cried their wares vacuously in the bazaars. the ship set sail once more over the sunset sea. so that the city is not sought except for barter. and the houses peakedly fantastic with beamed and plastered gables. Ancient sailors in those taverns talked much of distant ports. Then at last. Carter also went ashore. and the high walls and gables of Hlanith grew less as the last golden light of day lent them a wonder and beauty beyond any that men had given them.

and Carter knew that they were come to the land of Ooth-Nargai and the marvellous city of Celephais. and some of which were from more substantial parts of dreamland. that lies in ethereal space beyond where the sea meets the sky. potent and mystical. some of which were from the marble cloud-city of Serannian. Then near sunset of the second day there loomed up ahead the snowy peak of Aran with its gingko-trees swaying on the lower slope. and the untarnished marble walls with their bronze statues. and the great stone bridge where Naraxa joins the sea. behind which lay forbidden ways into the waking world and toward other regions of dream. where the galleon made fast in the dusk as the city's million lights began to twinkle out over the water. and far in the background the purple ridge of the Tanarians.Two nights and two days the galleon sailed over the Cerenerian Sea. with their groves and gardens of asphodels and the small shrines and cottages upon them. Among these the steersman threaded his way up to the spicefragrant wharves. Then rose the gentle hills behind the town. Swiftly there came into sight the glittering minarets of that fabulous town. sighting no land and speaking but one other vessel. Ever new seemed this 742 . The harbour was full of painted galleys.

and this sailor said there was certainly a descent to the north of the peopled region. The next day he searched all along the quays for some of the strange mariners of Inquanok. And the great bronze statues on the walls look down on merchants and camel drivers older than fable. however. yet without one grey hair in their forked beards. and rested with dreams of the gods on unknown Kadath whom he sought. He found. for here time has no power to tarnish or destroy.deathless city of vision. Carter did not once seek out the temple or the palace or the citadel. but stayed by the seaward wall among traders and sailors. but was told that none were now in port. nor are the onyx pavements ever worn or broken. As it has always been is still the turquoise of Nath-Horthath. and the eighty orchid-wreathed priests are the same who builded it ten thousand years ago. their galley not being due from the north for full two weeks. one Thorabonian sailor who had been to Inquanok and had worked in the onyx quarries of that twilight place. which everybody seemed to fear and shun. The Thorabonian opined that this desert led around the utmost rim of impassable peaks into 743 . And when it was too late for rumours and legends he sought out an ancient tavern he knew well. Shining still is the bronze of the great gates.

and it might be just as well if none ever found it in the future. declaring that they are testy and capricious. Such ru- 744 . and it was doubtful how they would regard a guest whose object was to see them and plead before them. were stationed for nought. but it seemed unlikely that those presences and sentinels. On the following day Carter walked up the Street of the Pillars to the turquoise temple and talked with the High-Priest. whose soul and messenger is the crawling chaos Nyarlathotep. and that this was why men feared it. Their jealous hiding of the marvellous sunset city shewed clearly that they did not wish Carter to reach it. Though Nath-Horthath is chiefly worshipped in Celephais. all the Great Ones are mentioned in diurnal prayers. if indeed they existed. No man had ever found Kadath in the past. Like Atal in distant Ulthar. he strongly advised against any attempts to see them.Leng's horrible plateau. though he admitted there were other vague tales of evil presences and nameless sentinels. and subject to strange protection from the mindless Other Gods from Outside. and the priest was reasonably versed in their moods. Whether or not this could be the fabled waste wherein unknown Kadath stands he did not know.

The reason for this is that Inquanok holds shadows which no cat can endure. Carter left the temple and sought out the bazaar of the sheep-butchers. though that is not the reason why no cat will sail on their ships. or because of things filtering down from the chilly desert to the north. but it remains a fact that in that far 745 . It seems that these men have an aura not of earth about them. Best of all. But when Carter repeated the passwords and introductions furnished him by the old cat general of Ulthar. and told much of the secret lore known to cats on the seaward slopes of Ooth-Nargai. so that in all that cold twilight realm there is never a cheering purr or a homely mew. he repeated several things told him furtively by the timid waterfront cats of Celephais about the men of Inquanok. the furry patriarch became very cordial and communicative. and extended a languid paw as his caller approached. Whether it be because of things wafted over the impassable peaks from hypothetical Leng. where the old chief of Celephais' cats dwelt sleek and contented. That grey and dignified being was sunning himself on the onyx pavement. Having thanked the orchid-crowned High-Priest. none may say.mours as were told about that onyx castle of the Great Ones were not by any means reassuring. on whose dark ships no cat will go.

but had formed a mighty longing for the English cliffs and downlands of his boyhood. and to which they are more sensitive than men. and where grey church towers peep lovely through the verdure of distant valleys. The old chief of the cats also told him where to find his friend King Kuranes. It seemed that he could no more find content in those places. And on the coast nearby he had built a 746 .land there broods a hint of outer space which cats do not like. where he was born and where thirteen generations of his forefathers had first seen the light. Therefore they will not go on the dark ships that seek the basalt quays of Inquanok. where in little dreaming villages England's old songs hover at evening behind lattice windows. and tried to think it was ancient Trevor Towers. but he had done the next best thing and dreamed a small tract of such countryside in the region east of the city where meadows roll gracefully up from the seacliffs to the foot of the Tanarian Hills. There he dwelt in a grey Gothic manor-house of stone looking on the sea. who in Carter's latter dreams had reigned alternately in the rosecrystal Palace of the Seventy Delights at Celephais and in the turreted cloud-castle of sky-floating Serannian. He could not go back to these things in the waking world because his body was dead.

that ancient. novelties and excitements at his command. placing around it in the churchyard grey stones with the names of his ancestors carved thereon. he did not seek the terraced palace of rose crystal but walked out the eastern gate and across the daisied fields toward a peaked gable which he glimpsed through the oaks of a park sloping up to the sea-cliffs. splendours and beauties. And in time he came to a great hedge and a gate with a little brick lodge. and when he rang the bell there hobbled to admit him no robed 747 . So when Carter bade that old grey chief of the cats adieu. settling therein such people as had the most English faces. And in a valley not far off he had reared a great Norman Abbey whose tower he could see from his window. For though Kuranes was a monarch in the land of dream. beloved England which had moulded his being and of which he must always be immutably a part. and seeking ever to teach them the dear remembered accents of old Cornwall fishers. with all imagined pomps and marvels. and with a moss somewhat like Old England's moss. ecstasies and delights. he would gladly have resigned forever the whole of his power and luxury and freedom for one blessed day as a simple boy in that pure and quiet England.little Cornish fishing village with steep cobbled ways.

rose eagerly to meet his guest. for the sight of an Anglo-Saxon from the waking world was very dear to him. had been out beyond the stars in the ultimate void. sat pensive in a chair by the window looking on his little seacoast village and wishing that his old nurse would come in and scold him because he was not ready for that hateful lawn-party at the vicar's. and was said 748 . flanked by stone cats in the old way. At the door. and clumbed the terraces among gardens set out as in Queen Anne's time. Kuranes. and was presently taken to the library where Kuranes. clad in a dressing gown of the sort favoured by London tailors in his youth. instead of from Cornwall. Massachusetts. he was met by a whiskered butler in suitable livery. indeed. Kuranes. even if it was a Saxon from Boston. having much to say because both were old dreamers and well versed in the wonders of incredible places.and annointed lackey of the palace. but a small stubby old man in a smock who spoke as best he could in the quaint tones of far Cornwall. And for long they talked of old times. Lord of Ooth-Nargai and the Sky around Serannian. And Carter walked up the shady path between trees as near as possible to England's trees. with the carriage waiting and his mother nearly out of patience.

and that the Other Gods had strange ways of protecting them from impertinent curiosity. He himself had dreamed and yearned long years for lovely Celephais and the land of Ooth-Nargai. and if they persistently denied all access to the marvellous sunset city. it was not well to meddle with the Elder Ones. it were better not to seek that city. Kuranes furthermore doubted whether his guest would profit aught by coming to the city even were he to gain it. Kuranes did not know where Kadath was. He had learned much of the Other Gods in distant parts of space. Altogether. and coloured gases study the innermost secrets. and asked of his host those questions he had asked of so many others. or the marvellous sunset city. and had warned him never to approach the central void where the daemon sultan Azathoth gnaws hungrily in the dark.to be the only one who had ever returned sane from such a voyage. and for the freedom and colour and 749 . The violet gas S'ngac had told him terrible things of the crawling chaos Nyarlathotep. At length Carter brought up the subject of his quest. but he did know that the Great Ones were very dangerous creatures to seek out. especially in that region where form does not exist.

the glow of Beacon Hill at evening. He was a king in Ooth-Nargai. and drooped always for the old familiar things of England that had shaped his youth. he found the freedom and the vividness all too soon worn out. the hoary gambrel roofs of ancient and witch-haunted Arkham. the tall steeples and winding hill streets of quaint Kingsport. and monotonous for want of linkage with anything firm in his feelings and memories. For he had visited Carter often in the old waking days. and stupidities. and conventions. and was the king thereof. and that perhaps it had better remain a glorious and half-remembered dream. At the last.high experience of life devoid of its chains. the seeker would long only for the early remembered scenes. and all the thousand minarets of Celephais for the steep homely roofs of the village near his home. but found no meaning therein. and the blessed meads and valleys where stone walls rambled and white farmhouse gables 750 . All his kingdom would he give for the sound of Cornish church bells over the downs. But now that he was come into that city and that land. and knew well the lovely New England slopes that had given him birth. So he told his guest that the unknown sunset city might not hold quite that content he sought. he was very certain.

where he talked more with the mariners of far ports and waited for the dark ship from cold and twilight Inquanok. and Carter went back through the bronze gate into Celephais and down the Street of Pillars to the old sea wall. but still the seeker held to his purpose. and was sure it would not be wise to tell them of his quest or ask too closely of that cold desert stretching north of their twilight land. whose strange-faced sailors and onyxtraders had in them the blood of the Great Ones. and strange-faced sailors and traders appeared one by one and group by group in the ancient taverns along the sea wall. One starlit evening when the Pharos shone splendid over the harbour the longed-for ship put in. And in the end they parted each with his own conviction. They talked little with the other folk in those ancient sea taverns. but Carter did not hasten to speak with the silent seamen. He did not know how much of pride and secrecy and dim supernal memory might fill those children of the Great Ones. These things he told Randolph Carter.peeped out from bowers of verdure. It was very exciting to see again those living faces so like the godlike features of Ngranek. but would gather in groups in remote comers and sing among themselves the haunting airs of unknown places. or chant long tales to one another in 751 .

and before they sailed Carter had taken passage on their dark ship. and as Carter stood on the high stern he saw the sunrise-blazing walls and bronze statues and golden minarets of ageless Celephais sink into the distance. and the cabin in which the traveller lodged had hangings of silk and velvet. That ship was very lovey and cunningly wrought. being of teakwood with ebony fittings and traceries of gold. telling them that he was an old onyx miner and wishful to work in their quarries. And the night came with gorgeous stars.accents alien to the rest of dreamland. and the dark ship steered for Charles' Wain and the Little 752 . with one painted galley afar off bound for that realm of Serannian where the sea meets the sky. One morning at the turn of the tide the sails were raised and the anchor lilted. For a week the strange seamen lingered in the taverns and traded in the bazaars of Celephais. And so rare and moving were those airs and tales that one might guess their wonders from the faces of those who listened. By noon there was nothing in sight save the gentle blue of the Cerenerian Sea. and the snowy peak of Mount Man grow smaller and smaller. even though the words came to common ears only as strange cadence and obscure melody.

Flarnek. whilst great polished blocks of it were traded in Rinar. There were many of them. They told him how sorry they were that no cats would stay in the land of Inquanok. And all through that second day he made progress in knowing the men of the ship. On later days they talked of the quarries in which Carter said he was going to work. for all the city of Inquanok was builded of onyx. 753 . Only of the stony desert to the north they would not talk. And the sailors sang strange songs of unknown places. of their exquisite onyx city. and rose in the glow of a young morning. Ogrothan. marking that the sun seemed farther south than was its wont. There was something disquieting about that desert.Bear as they swung slowly round the pole. and of their fear of the high and impassable peaks beyond which Leng was said to be. and it was thought expedient not to admit its existence. and how they thought the hidden nearness of Leng was to blame for it. getting them little by little to talk of their cold twilight land. Carter went to sleep at midnight. and Celephais and at home with the merchants of Thraa. and they stole off one by one to the forecastle while the wistful watchers murmured old chants and leaned over the rail to glimpse the luminous fish playing in bowers beneath the sea.

and the mists overhead grew thicker and thicker. around which such inhuman memories might conceivably cling. and a cold starless phosphorescence from the under side of that cloud by night. no man might say. the first land glimpsed since Man's snowy peak had 754 . there was an unused quarry greater than all the rest. and whither they had been transported. And in two weeks there was not any sunlight at all. but it was thought best not to trouble that quarry.and Kadatheron. On the twentieth day a great jagged rock in the sea was sighted from afar. for the beautiful wares of those fabulous ports. when Carter heard of this quarry he was moved to deep thought. from which had been hewn in forgotten times such prodigious lumps and blocks that the sight of their chiselled vacancies struck terror to all who beheld. but only a weird grey twilight shining through a dome of eternal cloud by day. with only the raven and the rumoured Shantak-bird to brood on its immensities. So it was left all alone in the twilight. Each day the sun wheeled lower and lower in the sky. almost in the cold desert whose existence the men of Inquanok did not care to admit. Who had mined those incredible blocks. for he knew from old tales that the Great Ones' castle atop unknown Kadath is of onyx. And far to the north.

and Carter dreamed terrible dreams within dreams in the small hours. and before three o'clock there stood out against the north the bulbous domes and fantastic spires of the onyx city. And when. and that the rock had no name. but was told that it had no name and had never been sought by any vessel because of the sounds that came from it at night. and some knelt down on the deck to pray. a dull and ceaseless howling arose from that jagged granite place. And at the sight of them the sailors sang glad songs. Carter asked the captain the name of that rock.dwindled behind the ship. and carved on every side with flowers and patterns 755 . Rare and curious did that archaic city rise above its walls and quays. Tall and many-windowed were the houses. the traveller was glad that no stop had been made. flutings. Two mornings after that there loomed far ahead and to the east a line of great grey peaks whose tops were lost in the changeless clouds of that twilight world. and arabesques of inlaid gold. Toward noon a dark coastline appeared. after dark. all of delicate black with scrolls. The seamen prayed and chanted till the noise was out of earshot. so that Carter knew they were come to the land of Inquanok and would soon be moored to the basalt quays of the great town bearing that land's name.

the seamen said. On a hill in the centre rose a sixteen-angled tower greater than all the rest and bearing a high pinnacled belfry resting on a flattened dome. each under a great arch rising high above the general level and capped by the head of a god chiselled with that same skill displayed in the monstrous face on distant Ngranek.whose dark symmetries dazzled the eye with a beauty more poignant than light. and pierced by frequent gates. and was ruled by an old High-Priest sad with inner secrets. At intervals the clang of a strange bell shivered over the onyx city. Some ended in swelling domes that tapered to a point. for the priests and people of that city were wise in the primal mysteries. and chanting voices. and Carter 756 . As the ship rode past the great basalt breakwater into the harbour the lesser noises of the city grew manifest. and faithful in keeping the rhythms of the Great Ones as set forth in scrolls older than the Pnakotic Manuscripts. And from a row of tripods on a galley round the high dome of the temple there burst flares of flame at certain moments. others in terraced pyramids whereon rose clustered minarets displaying every phase of strangeness and imagination. The walls were low. was the Temple of the Elder Ones. viols. This. answered each time by a peal of mystic music made up of horns.

while at one end were great piles of onyx both carved and uncarved awaiting shipment to the far markets of Rinar. Ograthan and Celephais. and promised that he would next day shew him the wonders of the twilight city. but the slaves were squat. and merchants on the docks. and bore above their curiously arched doorways certain signs of gold said to be in honour of the respective small gods that favoured each. and lead him to the taverns of the onyx-miners by the northern 757 . The streets of that city were paved with onyx and some of them were wide and straight whilst others were crooked and narrow. The houses near the water were lower than the rest. The wharves reached wide outside the city wall and bore upon them all manner of merchandise from the galleys anchored there. slant-eyed folk said by rumour to have drifted somehow across or around the impassable peaks from the valleys beyond Leng. sailors. The captain of the ship took Carter to an old sea tavern where flocked the mariners of quaint countries.saw the slaves. The sailors and merchants were of the strange-faced race of the gods. and all the sailors and traders filed ashore and through the arched gate into the city. It was not yet evening when the dark ship anchored beside a jutting quay of stone.

And evening fell. and men fear to be lax in its rites lest a doom and a vengeance lurk unsuspectedly close. all ceased their songs or tales and bowed silent till the. last echo died away. so close to the wonders of the north. This man had seemed to shew a queer gleam of knowing when Carter asked the traders of DylathLeen about the cold waste and Kadath. and even to have dealt with that High-Priest Not To Be Described. and the peal of the horns and viols and voices rose cryptical in answer thereto.wall. Far in the shadows of that tavern Carter saw a squat form he did not like. was not a reassuring thing. He slipped wholly out 758 . for it was unmistakably that of the old slant-eyed merchant he had seen so long before in the taverns of Dylath-Leen. and somehow his presence in dark and haunted Inquanok. which wears a yellow silken mask over its face and dwells all alone in a prehistoric stone monastery. and little bronze lamps were lighted. For there is a wonder and a strangeness on the twilight city of Inquanok. But when from its high tower the great bell shivered over the city. and the sailors in that tavern sang songs of remote places. who was reputed to trade with the horrible stone villages of Leng which no healthy folk visit and whose evil fires are seen at night from afar.

or through side alleys and over bulbous domes. And always to the east. and now and then a plaza would open out with black pillars. bearing the colossal and rich-flavoured eggs of the rumoured Shantak-bird to trade for the dextrous jade goblets that merchants brought from Ilarnek. carven balconies and crystalpaned oriels all gleamed with a sombre and polished loveliness. and majestic whatever its foreground. and the statues of curious beings both human and fabulous. and nothing was more splendid than the massive heights of the great central Temple of the Elder Ones with its sixteen carven sides. Some of the vistas down long and unbending streets. 759 . far beyond the city walls and the leagues of pasture land.of sight before Carter could speak to him. dark under their twilight sky. On the following morning the ship-captain led Carter through the onyx streets of Inquanok. and its lofty pinnacled belfry. colonades. overtopping all else. were weird and beautiful beyond words. spires. its flattened dome. The inlaid doors and figured house-fronts. rose the gaunt grey sides of those topless and impassable peaks across which hideous Leng was said to lie. and sailors later said that he had come with a yak caravan from some point not well determined. and arabesqued roofs.

which is set with its walled garden in a great round plaza whence the streets go as spokes from a wheel's hub. down the walks that lead to the seven lodges. And all the seven columns strut peculiarly in single file.The captain took Carter to the mighty temple. When the deep clang from the temple belfry shivers over the garden and the city. legs thrown far forward without bending the knees. It is said that subterrene paths connect the lodges with the temple. The seven arched gates of that garden. each having over it a carven face like those on the city's gates. wherein they disappear and do not appear again. And there are fountains. pools. and basins there to reflect the frequent blaze of the tripods on the high balcony. are always open. and that the long files of priests return 760 . and the people roam reverently at will down the tiled paths and through the little lanes lined with grotesque termini and the shrines of modest gods. bearing at arm's length before them great golden bowls from which a curious steam rises. and the answer of the horns and viols and voices peals out from the seven lodges by the garden gates. all of onyx and having in them small luminous fish taken by divers from the lower bowers of ocean. there issue from the seven doors of the temple long columns of masked and hooded priests in black.

and the wailing of the horns and viols and voices loud from the lodges by the gates. noting as he did so a spot on the pavement over which the bowls had passed. giving to the traveller a fear which human priests do not often give. When the last of them had vanished he left that garden. because none but the Veiled King is permitted to do that. But only a few are those who hint that the priests in the masked and hooded columns are not human beings. and he heard the shivering clang deafening above him. and hurried him on toward the hill whereon the Veiled King's palace rises many-domed and marvellous. nor is it unwhispered that deep flights of onyx steps go down to mysteries that are never told. And down the seven great walks stalked the long files of bowlbearing priests in their singular way. all but the broad curving one where the king and his companions ride on yaks or in yak-drawn chariots. and under balconies and oriels whence sometimes floated soft strains of music 761 . Carter and his guide climbed up an alley that was all steps. Carter did not enter the temple.through them. Even the ship-captain did not like that spot. But before he left the garden the hour of the bell came. The ways to the onyx palace are steep and narrow. between inlaid walls hearing strange signs in gold.

No other human presence was there. and half-fabulous even in the land of dreams.or breaths of exotic fragrance. and at length they passed under a great black arch and emerged in the gardens of the monarch's pleasure. and Carter was glad it 762 . and the fantastic silhouette of the distant impassable peaks on the right. the pedestalled and almost breathing statues of veined black marble. the tiny temples of iridescent singing birds atop carven columns. the basaltbottomed lagoon's tiled fountains with luminous fish. And ever the small birds and the fountains sang. There Carter paused in faintness at so much beauty. the gay porterres and delicate flowering trees espaliered to golden lattices. Always ahead loomed those titan walls. for the onyx terraces and colonnaded walks. while the perfume of rare blossoms spread like a veil over that incredible garden. with the domed and fretted magnificence of the palace ahead. the marvellous scrollwork of the great bronze gates. and clustered and bulbous domes for which the Veiled King's palace is famous. There it shimmered like a vision under that grey twilight sky. mighty buttresses. the brazen urns and tripods with cunning bas-reliefs. and the blossoming vines trained along every inch of the polished walls all joined to form a sight whose loveliness was beyond reality.

they said farewell. near the Gate of the Caravans. for the miners were timid and evasive about the cold desert to the north and the quarry that no man visits. and to send out queer dreams to the curious. There were many men in that inn. After that the captain took Carter to the north quarter of the town. Then they turned and descended again the onyx alley of steps. for the palace itself no visitor may enter. for business called the captain whilst Carter was eager to talk with miners about the north. and of evil presences and nameless sentinels far north among the scattered rocks. They had fears of fabled emissaries from around the mountains where Leng is said to lie. But all that he learned was not much more than he knew before. saying that he was an old miner of onyx. and anxious to know somewhat of Inquanok's quarries.was so. and it is not well to look too long and steadily at the great central dome. where are the taverns of the yak-merchants and the onyx-miners. indeed for the best that no man 763 . And they whispered also that the rumoured Shantak-birds are no wholesome things. since it is said to house the archaic father of all the rumoured Shantak-birds. it being. and the traveller was not long in speaking to some of them. in a low-ceiled inn of quarrymen. And there.

and in the morning resumed his northward pilgrimage. saying that he wished to look over all the various mines for himself and to visit the scattered farms and quaint onyx villages of Inquanok. And to that austere and reticent cotter he was careful to speak very well of the gods. The next day. It is here that the great caravan road turns 764 . At some of these houses the seeker stopped to ask questions. that he felt certain he had come at last upon one of the Great Ones themselves. with many odd farmhouses crowned by low domes. Carter hired a yak and stuffed great leathern saddle-bags for a journey. and so full of an unplaced majesty like to that in the huge features on Ngranek. and paused in its taverns till noon. dwelling amongst men.has ever truly seen one (for that fabled father of Shantaks in the king's dome is fed in the dark). Beyond the Gate of the Caravans the road lay straight betwixt tilled fields. or upon one with full nine-tenths of their blood. once finding a host so austere and reticent. and to praise all the blessings they had ever accorded him. That night Carter camped in a roadside meadow beneath a great lygath-tree to which he tied his yak. At about ten o'clock he reached the small-domed village of Urg. where traders rest and miners tell their tales.

On the second night he camped in the shadow of a large black crag. tethering his yak to a stake driven in the ground. And by evening the low hills on his left had risen into sizable black cliffs.west toward Selarn. with no vegetation at all. and the farther he went. All the afternoon he followed that rising road. which was somewhat narrower than the great highway. but only great rocky fragments scattered about a floor of black earth. And on the third morning he came in sight of the first onyx quarry. and which now led through a region with more rocks than tilled fields. Before evening he had passed eleven quarries. the land being here given over altogether to onyx cliffs and boulders. but Carter kept on north by the quarry road. the worse tales he heard of them from the scattered farmers and traders and drivers of lumbering onyx-carts along the way. so that he knew he was close to the mining country. He observed the greater phosphorescence of the clouds at his northerly point. All the while the great gaunt sides of the impassable mountains towered afar off at his right. and greeted the men who there laboured with picks and chisels. with the grey impassable peaks always rising gaunt and sinister 765 . and more than once thought he saw dark shapes outlined against them.

shewing such strange knowledge of the olden days and the habits of gods that Carter could see they held many latent memories of their sires the Great Ones. And they sang many songs and told many tales. They asked him whither he went. and would take no more risks than were common among prospectors. After two more quarries the inhabited part of Inquanok seemed to end. whose conjectured traffick with Leng was the gossip of distant Dylath-Leen. and cautioned him not to go too far to the north. But he did not like it when. he thought he saw approaching the camp that squat and evasive old merchant with slanting eyes. Always on the right towered the gaunt and distant peaks. turning back to wave a last farewell. In the morning he bade them adieu and rode on into the darkening north. The third night he spent in a camp of quarry men whose flickering fires cast weird reflections on the polished cliffs to the west. where they had warned him he would find the feared and unvisited quarry whence hands older than men's hands had wrenched prodigious blocks.on his right. and as Carter climbed farther and farther into this untraversed realm he found it 766 . and the road narrowed to a steeply rising yak-path among forbidding black cliffs. but he replied that he was seeking new cliffs of onyx.

Soon he perceived that there were no prints of feet or hooves on the black path beneath. In two hours Carter saw ahead a definite crest. But in the main he was alone with his shaggy steed. and was perilous with loose black gravel and small stones. Then 767 . beyond which was nothing but dull grey sky. It was a bad footing. and it troubled him to observe that this excellent yak became more and more reluctant to advance. however. and began to display an even greater steepness than before. and blessed the prospect of a level or downward course. To reach this crest. and now and then a flapping behind some vast rock would make him think uncomfortably of the rumoured Shantak-bird. and the yak often slipped on the stony fragments strewn thickly about. was no easy task.grew darker and colder. Eventually Carter dismounted and led his dubious yak. and realised that he was indeed come into strange and deserted ways of elder time. and more and more disposed to snort affrightedly at any small noise along the route. The path now contracted between sable and glistening walls. and keeping his own footing as best he might. pulling very hard when the animal balked or stumbled. Once in a while a raven would croak far overhead. for the way had grown nearly perpendicular.

Far back into the solid precipice ran that cyclopean gouge. and vague whirrings in the unseen depths told of bats or urhags or less mentionable presences haunting the endless blackness. All at once the yak uttered a cry and burst from his control. It was no quarry of man. High over its jagged rim huge ravens flapped and croaked. where some archaic power had riven and rent the native cliffs of onyx in the form of a giant's quarry. and the concave sides were scarred with great squares. which told of the size of the blocks once hewn by nameless hands and chisels.suddenly he came to the top and saw beyond. with the same lines of high natural walls as before. The path indeed led straight ahead and slightly down. There Carter stood in the narrow way amidst the twilight with the rocky path sloping down before him. yards wide. but on the left hand there opened out a monstrous space. leaping past him and darting on in a panic till it vanished down the narrow slope toward the north. Stones kicked by its flying hooves 768 . vast acres in extent. and gasped at what he saw. and deep down within earth's bowels its lower delvings yawned. tall onyx cliffs on his right that led on as far as he could see and tall cliffs on the left chopped off just ahead to make that terrible and unearthly quarry.

Carter's pursuit of the yak became now a flight from an unseen thing. for though he dared not glance over his shoulder he felt that the presence 769 . The gaunt grey flanks of the distant impassable peaks were again visible above the right-hand crags. but this time giving terror instead of encouragement because he realised that they were not the frightened hoofbeats of his fleeing yak. and ahead were the rocks and boulders of an open space which was clearly a foretaste of the dark arid limitless plain. The beats were ruthless and purposeful. He was covering miles. and doubled his speed from this encouragement. And once more those hoofbeats sounded in his ears. making the way once more a narrow lane. and little by little the way was broadening in front till he knew he must soon emerge on the cold and dreaded desert to the north. but Carter ignored the perils of that scanty path as he raced breathlessly after the flying steed.fell over the brink of the quarry and lost themselves in the dark without any sound of striking bottom. Once he thought he heard the hoofbeats of the frightened beast. and still the traveller leaped on after the yak whose great wide prints told of its desperate flight. Soon the left-behind cliffs resumed their course. plainer than before. and they were behind him.

Then dim and misty in the darkling north before him he glimpsed a terrible thing. so that the oncoming night fell over a great waste of sand and spectral rocks wherein all paths were lost. and even they were less clear as the grey twilight waned and the sickly phosphorescence of the clouds took its place. and he did not like to ask himself whether it had followed him from the haunts of men or had floundered up out of that black quarry pit. and even silhouetted parts of it as vapours glowed behind. Only those remote and impassable peaks on the right gave him any sense of direction.behind him could be nothing wholesome or mentionable. He had thought it for some moments a range of black mountains. He could not see the hoofprints of his yak. That he was losing ground seemed unhappily clear to him. How distant it was he could not tell. The phosphorescence of the brooding clouds shewed it plainly. Meanwhile the cliffs had been left behind. mingled now and then with what he fancied were titanic flappings and whirrings. but always from behind him there came that detestable clopping. but it 770 . and he knew he was hopelessly lost in this broken and blasted desert of meaningless rocks and untravelled sands. but now he saw it was something more. His yak must have heard or felt it first.

stretching in a great concave arc from the grey impassable peaks to the unimagined westward spaces. for some hand greater than man's had touched them. Winged and whirring. crowned with clouds and mists and guarding the secrets of the north forever. those forms grew larger each moment. Silent they squatted there atop the world like wolves or ghouls. They were not any birds or bats known elsewhere on earth or in dreamland.must have been very far. those dog-like mountains carven into monstrous watching statues. All in a great half circle they squatted. But now these hills were hills no more. And as he stopped in final resignation he dared at last to look 771 . It was only the flickering light of the clouds that made their mitred double heads seem to move. and their right hands were raised in menace against mankind. and the traveller knew his stumbling was at an end. for they were larger than elephants and had heads like a horse's. and wondered no more what evil guardians and nameless sentinels made men avoid the boreal rock desert. and had once indeed been a ridge of mighty onyx hills. It was thousands of feet high. but as Carter stumbled on he saw arise from their shadowy caps great forms whose motions were no delusion. Carter knew that they must be the Shantak-birds of ill rumour.

Then the man motioned Carter to mount one of the repugnant Shantaks. till at last there lay beneath them those fabled summits which the folk of Inquanok have 772 . Far above the clouds they flew. grinning astride a lean yak and leading on a noxious horde of leering Shantaks to whose wings still clung the rime and nitre of the nether pits. Once he was seated. Lofty and horrible those titan gargoyles towered above him. There now followed a hideous whirl through frigid space. the slant-eyed man hopped up behind him. Trapped though he was by fabulous and hippocephalic winged nightmares that pressed around in great unholy circles.behind him. while the slant-eyed merchant leaped down from his yak and stood grinning before the captive. helping him up as his judgement struggled with his loathing. leaving the lean yak to be led away northward toward the ring of carven mountains by one of the incredible bird colossi. Randolph Carter did not lose consciousness. endlessly up and eastward toward the gaunt grey flanks of those impassable mountains beyond which Leng was said to be. for the Shantak-bird has scales instead of feathers. where indeed was trotting the squat slant-eyed trader of evil legend. It was hard work ascending. and those scales are very slippery.

And there came from those huts and villages a shrill droning of pipes and a nauseous rattle of crotala which proved at once that Inquanok's people are right in their geographic rumours. and saw upon their topmost peaks strange caves which made him think of those on Ngranek.never seen. For travellers have heard such sounds before. and know that they float only from the cold desert plateau which healthy folk never visit. hurrying past nervously and shewing great tension until they were left far in the rear. for no healthy folk have ever 773 . that haunted place of evil and mystery which is Leng. As they descended there appeared at intervals lone huts of granite and bleak stone villages whose tiny windows glowed with pallid light. Carter beheld them very plainly as they passed below. and Carter was curious as to what manner of beings they might be. Around the feeble fires dark forms were dancing. and which lie always in high vortices of gleaming mist. but he did not question his captor about these things when he noticed that both the man and the horse-headed Shantak appeared oddly fearful of them. revealing beneath the canopy of cloud a grey barren plain whereon at great distances shone little feeble fires. The Shantak now flew lower.

but most of them were quite furry. They leaped as though they had hooves instead of feet. As the Shantak flew lower. For the cryptic folk of Leng were of one race with the uncomfortable merchants of the black galleys that traded rubies at Dylath-Leen. Behind they had dwarfish tails. Very slowly and awkwardly did those forms leap. and the prisoner kept straining his eyes and racking his memory for clues to where he had seen such creatures before. and the place is known only by its fires and stone huts as seen from afar. or the fear in which all dreamland holds their abhorrent frozen plateau. and that they did not wear any wigs or headpieces after all. those not quite human merchants who are the slaves of the monstrous moon-things! They were indeed the same dark folk who had shanghaied Carter on their noisome galley so long ago. so that Carter did not wonder at the monstrous evil imputed to them by vague legend. and seemed to wear a sort of wig or headpiece with small horns. Of other clothing they had none. and when they glanced upward he saw the excessive width of their mouths. Then he knew what they were.been to Leng. and whose kith he had 774 . the repulsiveness of the dancers became tinged with a certain hellish familiarity. and with an insane twisting and bending not good to behold.

seen driven in herds about the unclean wharves of that accursed lunar city. and finally they came to a wind-swept table-land which seemed the very roof of a blasted and tenantless world. and shuddered at the thought that Leng must be known to these formless abominations from the moon. Now he saw where such ambiguous creatures came from. and Carter surmised 775 . with the leaner ones toiling and the fatter ones taken away in crates for other needs of their polypous and amorphous masters. and the Shantak would answer with tittering tones that rasped like the scratching of ground glass. rose the uncouth stones of a squat windowless building. Day came. But the Shantak flew on past the fires and the stone huts and the less than human dancers. and the phosphorescence of low clouds gave place to the misty twilight of that northern world. There. around which a circle of crude monoliths stood. and still the vile bird winged meaningly through the cold and silence. In all this arrangement there was nothing human. AlI this while the land was getting higher. all alone in the hush and the dusk and the cold. and soared over sterile hills of grey granite and dim wastes of rock and ice and snow. At times the slant-eyed man talked with his steed in a hateful and guttural language.

It seemed likely that this merchant had caused his former capture by the slaves of the moon-things in Dylath-Leen. for clearly the slant-eyed merchant was an agent of the darker powers. Of the purpose of his seizure Carter now felt very sure. and the slant-eyed man hopped down and helped his captive alight. 776 . taking the victim to some dread rendezvous with monstrous Nyarlathotep and telling with what boldness the seeking of unknown Kadath had been tried. eager to drag before his masters a mortal whose presumption had aimed at the finding of unknown Kadath and the saying of a prayer before the faces of the Great Ones in their onyx castle. and there the passes to Kadath are well guarded. The loathsome bird now settled to the ground.from old tales that he was indeed come to that most dreadful and legendary of all places. Leng and the cold waste north of Inquanok must be close to the Other Gods. the remote and prehistoric monastery wherein dwells uncompanioned the High-Priest Not To Be Described. which wears a yellow silken mask over its face and prays to the Other Gods and their crawling chaos Nyarlathotep. and that he now meant to do what the rescuing cats had baffled.

Through those archaic frescoes Leng's annals stalked. and passed within the circle of standing rocks and into the low arched doorway of that windowless stone monastery. and shuddered at the tale they told. hooved.The slant-eyed man was small. and there were scenes also of the coming of the black galleys from the moon. After countless aeons their pigments were brilliant still. but the evil merchant lit a small clay lamp bearing morbid basreliefs and prodded his prisoner on through mazes of narrow winding corridors. There were scenes of old wars. and the horned. but the great hippocephalic bird was there to see he was obeyed. Those slippery greyish-white 777 . On the walls of the corridors were printed frightful scenes older than history. so Carter followed where he led. and of the submission of Leng's people to the polypous and amorphous blasphemies that hopped and floundered and wriggled out of them. Carter saw them fleetingly in the rays of that dim and moving lamp. There were no lights inside. for the cold and dryness of hideous Leng keep alive many primal things. and widemouthed almost-humans danced evilly amidst forgotten cities. wherein Leng's almost-humans fought with the bloated purple spiders of the neighbouring vales. and in a style unknown to the archaeologists of earth.

There could be no mistake. and what city it was that the almost-humans had ruled so anciently before the coming of the black galleys. proud and pillared betwixt the cliffs and the basalt wharves. Again and again were those huge winged lions shewn. nor ever complained when scores of their best and fatted males were taken away in the black galleys. and Carter could tell from the frescoes that this was none other than the lone nameless rock he had seen when sailing to Inquanok. that grey accursed rock which Inquanok's seamen shun. And as Carter stumbled past their frequent and repeated pictures it came to him at last what indeed they were. And in those frescoes was shewn the great seaport and capital of the almost-humans. and from which vile howlings reverberate all through the night. their mighty flanks of diarite glistening in the grey twilight of the day and the cloudy phosphorescence of the night.blasphemies they worshipped as gods. The monstrous moon-beasts made their camp on a jagged isle in the sea. Great gardens and columned streets led from the cliffs and from each of the six sphinx-crowned gates to a vast central plaza. for the legends 778 . and wondrous with high fanes and carven places. and in that plaza was a pair of winged colossal lions guarding the top of a subterrene staircase.

and the monstrous Shantakbirds that build nests on the ledges half way up. and whose twin titan lions guard eternally the steps that lead down from dreamland to the Great Abyss. curving horns. whose ruins had bleached for a million years before the first true human saw the light. and who own not Nyarlathotep but hoary Nodens as their lord. For they were the dreaded night-gaunts. Carter had seen those caves when he passed over them. prehensile paws and rubbery bodies were not strange to him. Other views shewed the gaunt grey peaks dividing Leng from Inquanok. flitting and clutching creatures before. And they shewed likewise the curious caves near the very topmost pinnacles. He had met those silent.of dreamland are generous and profuse. barbed tails. Now he knew that the likeness was more than a chance one. and had noticed their likeness to the caves on Ngranek. who never laugh or smile because they have no faces. and how even the boldest of the Shantaks fly screaming away from them. those mindless guardians of the Great Abyss whom even the Great Ones fear. Indubitably that primal city was no less a place than storied Sarkomand. and those bat-wings. and who flop unendingly in the dark betwixt 779 . for in these pictures were shewn their fearsome denizens.

of that. and whose centre held a gaping circular pit surrounded by six malignly stained stone altars in a ring. and the lurker in the dark replied by raising a disgustingly carven flute of ivory in silkcovered paws and blowing certain loathsome sounds from beneath its flowing yellow mask. The slant-eyed merchant had now prodded Carter into a great domed space whose walls were carved in shocking bas-reliefs. This colloquy went on for some time. and there on a golden throne sat a lumpish figure robed in yellow silk figured with red and having a yellow silken mask over its face. before the rescuing rush of earth's friendly cats. At the farther end was a high stone dais reached by five steps. To this being the slant-eyed man made certain signs with his hands. It made him think of a frightful redlitten city and of the revolting procession that once filed through it. and of an awful climb through lunar countryside beyond. He knew that 780 . and to Carter there was something sickeningly familiar in the sound of that flute and the stench of the malodorous place.the Vale of Pnath and the passes to the outer world. There was no light in this vast evil-smelling crypt. and the small lamp of the sinister merchant shone so feebly that one could grasp details only little by little.

yet in spite of all this there was in his mind only the instant need to get away from that wriggling. And in that hideous second. and that even on that table-land the noxious Shantek still waited. silk-robed monstrosity. for in all his shaken consciousness there was room only for one frantic will to escape from what squatted on that golden throne. Then the figured silk slipped a trifle from one of the greyish-white paws. and Carter knew what the noisome High-Priest was. and had moved forward somewhat to talk to the High-Priest with his hands. stark fear drove him to something his reason would never have dared to attempt. 781 . hitherto wholly passive. The slant-eyed man had set the curious lamp upon one of the high and wickedly stained altar-stones by the pit. of which legend whispers such fiendish and abnormal possibilities. now gave that man a terrific push with all the wild strength of fear. Carter.the creature on the dais was without doubt the High-Priest Not To Be Described. so that the victim toppled at once into that gaping well which rumour holds to reach down to the hellish Vaults of Zin where Gugs hunt ghasts in the dark. but he feared to think just what that abhorred High-Priest might be. He knew that hopeless labyrinths of stone lay betwixt him and the cold table-land outside.

and he would soon be in pitch blackness with no means of sight or guidance. At times he felt the stone floor sloping up or down. and slackened his pace somewhat. True. and he knew he was not in the corridors leading outside. In time he became quite sure he was not followed. and prayed to the Great Ones for such help as they might afford. but scarce had he breathed in half relief when a new peril beset him. After a few moments he regretted his thoughtless haste. and wished he had tried to follow backward the frescoes he had passed on the way in. racing this way and that as chance determined and trying not to think of the stealthy padding of shapeless paws on the stones behind him. Those he now saw were even more horrible than those he had seen then. but he wished none the less he had made the attempt. or of the silent wrigglings and crawlings which must be going on back there in lightless corridors. When the light was all gone he groped slowly in the dark. and once he stumbled over a step for which no reason seemed to exist. The farther he went the damper it seemed to 782 .In almost the same second he seized the lamp from the altar and darted out into the frescoed labyrinths. His lamp was waning. they were so confused and duplicated that they could not have done him much good.

but it seemed to take hours of delirious nausea and ecstatic frenzy. All around were crumbling walls and broken columns. Ahead stretched double rows 783 . with the phosphorescent clouds of a northern night shining sickly above him. that his general course was down. He believed. and the next he was shooting dizzily downward in the dark through a burrow which must have been well-nigh vertical. only the thing itself with its terror and shock and breath-taking chaos. Of the length of that hideous sliding he could never be sure. Then he realized he was still. and pierced by an arched and carven entrance to the inner blacknesses out of which he had come. and the vault-like smell and incrustations on the greasy walls and floor alike warned him he was burrowing deep in Leng's unwholesome table-land. and the pavement on which he lay was pierced by straggling grass and wrenched asunder by frequent shrubs and roots. its dark side sculptured into repellent scenes. But there was not any warning of the thing which came at last. though. Behind him a basalt cliff rose topless and perpendicular. and when he was able to feel a junction or the mouth of a side passage he always chose the way which sloped downward the least. One moment he was groping slowly over the slippery floor of an almost level place.be.

Of how to get from Sarkomand to the peopled parts of dreamland he knew nothing at all. and these dark ruins were in truth primordial Sarkomand. Far off at its end the pillars spread to mark a vast round plaza. He wished no follower from Leng's hateful monastery. and the fragments and pedestals of pillars. and in that open circle there loomed gigantic under the lurid night clouds a pair of monstrous things. and from the urns and basins along the way he knew it had been a great street of gardens. And Carter knew right well what they must be. with blackness and shadow between them.of pillars. and snarled derisive on the ruins around them. for legend tells of only one such twain. for along the way ahead would lurk enough of other dangers. Huge winged lions of diarite they were. They were the changeless guardians of the Great Abyss. Full twenty feet they reared their grotesque and unbroken heads. nor could he gain much by descending to the grottoes of the ghouls. Carter's first act was to close and barricade the archway in the cliff with fallen blocks and odd debris that lay around. since he knew they were no better informed than he. that spoke of a broad and bygone street. The three ghouls which had helped him through the city of Gugs to the outer world had not known 784 .

but had planned to ask old traders in Dylath-Leen. and it did not appear likely that he could ever make one. for the primal frescoes in the monastery labyrinth had shewn that this frightful place lies not far from Sarkomand's basalt quays. Now he saw far ahead and on 785 . If he could get a boat he might sail back to Inquanok past the jagged and hideous rock in the sea. while at the journey's end there would no doubt be the Shantaks and perhaps other things to deal with. But to find a boat in this aeon-deserted city was no probable thing. Such were the thoughts of Randolph Carter when a new impression began beating upon his mind. for the High-Priest's emissaries must be many. yet he felt he might have to try this course if all else failed.how to reach Sarkomand in their journey back. All this while there had stretched before him the great corpse-like width of fabled Sarkomand with its black broken pillars and crumbling sphinxcrowned gates and titan stones and monstrous winged lions against the sickly glow of those luminous night clouds. Over Leng's plateau past the lone monastery he dared not go unaided. He did not like to think of going again to the subterrene world of Gugs and risking once more that hellish tower of Koth with its Cyclopean steps leading to the enchanted wood.

and crept forward again instead of retreating. Secure as he was in the shadow of monstrous ruins. Once in crossing an open street he wriggled worm-like on his stomach. flickering with a greenish tinge which did not reassure the watcher. he saw a stirring among the vague dark forms and heard a peculiar and unmistakable sound. It was the frightened meeping of a ghoul. Carter allowed his curiosity to conquer his fear. Beyond was the oily lapping of the harbour water with a great ship riding at anchor. And when he crept closer.the right a glow that no clouds could account for. The glow rose and fell fitfully. so that 786 . just as he was about to creep back from that detestable flame. and in another place he had to rise to his feet to avoid making a noise among heaps of fallen marble. and in a moment it had swelled to a veritable chorus of anguish. Then. and Carter paused in stark terror when he saw that the ship was indeed one of the dreaded black galleys from the moon. and a lethal odour hanging heavily over all. he perceived that it was a campfire near the wharves with many vague forms clustered darkly around it. and knew he was not alone in the silence of that dead city. down the littered street and through some narrow gaps between tumbled walls. But always he succeeded in avoiding discovery.

Some of these slaves were heating curious iron spears in the leaping flames. From the motions of their tentacles Carter could see that the blunt-snouted moonbeasts were enjoying the spectacle hugely. Of how the ghouls had been captured he could not guess. and at intervals applying their white-hot points to three tightly trussed prisoners that lay writhing before the leaders of the party. and Carter saw that he could do nothing now to save his former allies. but fancied that the grey toadlike blasphemies had heard them inquire in Dylath-Leen concerning the way to Sarkomand and had not wished them to approach so closely the hateful plateau of 787 . The number of malodorous moonbeasts about that greenish fire was very great. and vast was his horror when he suddenly recognised the frantic meeping and knew that the tortured ghouls were none other than the faithful trio which had guided him safely from the abyss. There around a hideous fire fed by the obnoxious stems of lunar fungi. there squatted a stinking circle of the toadlike moonbeasts and their almost-human slaves.in a short time he had found a spot behind a titan pillar where he could watch the whole green-litten scene of action. and had thereafter set out from the enchanted wood to find Sarkomand and the gate to their native deeps.

edging slowly toward the great central plaza and the winged lions. So Carter began another silent crawl through the ruins. but he did not fear these faceless creatures now. Clearly it was wisest to creep east to the plaza of twin lions and descend at once to the gulf. and where he might soon find ghouls eager to rescue their brethren and perhaps to wipe out the moonbeasts from the black galley. where assuredly he would meet no horrors worse than those above. and recalled how near he was to the gate of the ghouls' black kingdom. It occurred to him that the portal. and the ghoul which was Pickman had taught him how to glibber a password they understood. At last he reached the open space and picked his way among the stunned trees and vines that had grown up therein. He had learned that they are bound by solemn treaties with the ghouls. like other gates to the abyss. It was ticklish work. The gigantic lions loomed terrible above him in the sickly glow of the phosphorescent night clouds. might be guarded by flocks of night-gaunts.Leng and the High-Priest Not To Be Described. but he manfully persisted toward them and presently 788 . For a moment he pondered on what he ought to do. but the moonbeasts were pleasantly busy and did not hear the slight noises which he twice made by accident among the scattered stones.

Ten feet apart crouched the mocking-faced beasts of diarite. So worn and narrow were the steps. and Carter soon saw that he had indeed reached the yawning gulf whose crusted and mouldy stone steps lead down to the crypts of nightmare. All about him was a stifling odour of nether gulfs. and he was likewise uncertain just when or how the guardian nightgaunts would suddenly pounce upon him. that the climber never quite knew when to expect a breathless fall and hurtling down to the ultimate pits. moving more from automatic impulse than from reasoned will. brooding on cyclopean pedestals whose sides were chiselled in fearsome bas-reliefs. if indeed there were any stationed in this primeval passage. and he felt that the air of these choking depths was not made for mankind. Terrible is the memory of that dark descent in which hours wore themselves away whilst Carter wound sightlessly round and round down a fathomless spiral of steep and slippery stairs. In time he became very numb and somnolent. Midway in this space a black well opened. nor did he realize 789 .crept round to their faces. knowing it was on that side he would find the mighty darkness which they guard. and so greasy with the ooze of inner earth. Betwixt them was a tiled court with a central space which had once been railed with balusters of onyx.

though inarticulate. and as Carter gave a loud meep of urgent summons. seemed to understand what was said. He was flying very rapidly through the air before a malevolent tickling told him that the rubbery nightgaunts had performed their duty. Scattered tombstones and osseous fragments told of the denizens of that place. and shewed greater haste and purpose in their flight. Thus encouraged Carter ventured some explanations. a score of burrows emptied forth their leathery. The 790 . for all tickling stopped at once. damp clutch of the faceless flutterers. The night-gaunts. Awaked to the fact that he was in the cold. and there opened up ahead one of those flat sterile plains on which ghouls love to squat and gnaw. the effect was instantaneous. and of the need of assembling a party to rescue them. dog-like tenants. telling of the seizure and torture of three ghouls by the moonbeasts. and the creatures hastened to shift their captive to a more comfortable position. Carter remembered the password of the ghouls and glibbered it as loudly as he could amidst the wind and chaos of flight. Suddenly the dense blackness gave place to the grey twilight of inner earth.any change when he stopped moving altogether as something quietly seized him from behind. Mindless though night-gaunts are said to be.

seemed very much impressed. and to him Carter glibbered a very full account of what had occurred. Thereafter there were constant accessions to the hunched flock of nightgaunts on the plain. Carter glibbered his message rapidly and explicitly to the grotesque company. after scanning the ranks with care. till at length the slimy soil was fairly black with them. and four of them at once departed through different burrows to spread the news to others and gather such troops as might be available for a rescue. After a long wait a ghoul of some importance appeared. Finally. pleased to greet his ancient friend again. In time there appeared that proud and influential ghoul which was once the artist Richard Pickman of Boston. the assembled chiefs all meeped in unison and began 791 . The erstwhile Pickman. causing two of the latter to fly off into the dark. all glibbering excitedly and forming in crude battle array not far from the huddled night-gaunts. afterward withdrawing a little and forming a hunched semicircle on the ground while the ghouls greeted the newcomer.night-gaunts now flew low and set their passenger upon his feet. and held a conference with other chiefs a little apart from the growing throng. Meanwhile fresh ghouls crawled out of the burrows one by one. and made significant signs to the night-gaunts.

glibbering orders to the crowds of ghouls and night-gaunts. up to the gate of the winged and the special ruins of primal Sarkomand. The greenish flare near the wharves still glim- 792 . A large detachment of the horned flyers vanished at once. Day. and a few pairs of night-gaunts. Pickman explained that night-gaunts are the advance guard and battle steeds of the ghouls. and that the army was issuing forth to Sarkomand to deal with the moonbeasts. but so strong was the army that no surprise of the enemy would be needed. till at last the whole throng had vanished save for Carter. awaiting the approach of the ghouls one by one. When. he was taken up and borne away into the blackness. and the other chiefs. Another moment and all were whirling in wind and darkness. Carter saw again the sickly light of Sarkomand's nocturnal sky. endlessly up. Then Carter and the ghoulish chiefs approached the waiting bearers and were taken up by the damp. must be almost due. Pickman. up. after a great interval. it was to behold the great central plaza swarming with militant ghouls and night-gaunts. he felt sure. while the rest grouped themselves two by two on their knees with extended forelegs. As each ghoul reached the pair of night-gaunts to which he was assigned. slippery paws.

When a 793 . though the absence of ghoulish meeping shewed that the torture of the prisoners was over for the nonce. of course. even the sentinels shirking a duty which in this realm must have seemed to them merely perfunctory. each of the greyish toadlike blasphemies and their almost-human slaves being seized by a group of night-gaunts before a sound was made. but nothing availed against the strength of those black prehensile talons. Carter was now beside Pickman in the front rank of ghouls. The final swoop of the night-gaunts and mounted ghouls was very sudden. and saw as they approached the noisome camp that the moonbeasts were totally unprepared. The three prisoners lay bound and inert beside the fire. the ghouls presently rose in wide whirring columns and swept on over the bleak ruins toward the evil flame. Softly glibbering directions to their steeds and to the flock of riderless night-gaunts ahead. were voiceless. Horrible were the writhings of those great jellyfish abnormalities as the sardonic night-gaunts clutched them. The almost-human slaves were asleep. and even the slaves had little chance to scream before rubbery paws choked them into silence. The moonbeasts. while their toadlike captors slumped drowsily about in no certain order.mered faintly.

a night-gaunt would seize and pull its quiv