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A Voyage to Arcturus

"What happened?"
"The rock you dislodged struck this other rock just above the spring. It tore it out of its
bed. See - now there's room for us to get in!"
"Don't get excited!" said Maskull. "It's a remarkable accident, but we have plenty of time.
Let me look."
He peered into the hole, which was large enough to admit a big man without stooping.
Contrasted with the daylight outside it was dark, yet a peculiar glow pervaded the place,
and he could see well enough. A rock tunnel went straight forward into the bowels of the
hill, out of sight. The valley brook did not flow along the floor of this tunnel, as he had
expected, but came up as a spring just inside the entrance.
"Well Leehallfae, not much need to deliberate, eh? Still, observe that your stream parts
company with us here."
As he turned around for an answer he noticed that his companion was trembling from
head to foot.
"Why, what's the matter?"
Leehallfae pressed a hand to aer heart. "The stream leaves us, but what makes the stream
what it is continues with us. Faceny is there."
"But surely you don't expect to see him in person? Why are you shaking?"
"Perhaps it will be too much for me after all."
"Why? How is it affecting you?"
The phaen took him by the shoulder and held him at arm's length, endeavouring to study
him with aer unsteady eyes. "Faceny's thoughts are obscure. I am his lover, you are a
lover of women, yet he grants to you what he denies to me."
"What does he grant to me?"
"To see him, and go on living. I shall die. But it's immaterial. Tomorrow both of us will
be dead."
Maskull impatiently shook himself free. "Your sensations may be reliable in your own
case, but how do you know I shall die?"
"Life is flaming up inside you," replied Leehallfae, shaking aer head. "But after it has
reached its climax - perhaps tonight - it will sink rapidly and you'll die tomorrow. As for
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