A Voyage to Arcturus
"What can that mean?"
"Yet there's a horrible joy in it," added Haunte, with a sickly smile. He put his hand on
the woman's shoulder. She awoke softly, glanced up at them, smiled, and then resumed
eating her fruit. Maskull did not imagine that she had intelligence enough to speak.
Haunte suddenly dropped on his knees, and kissed her lips.
She did not repulse him. During the continuance of the kiss, Maskull noticed with a
shock that her face was altering. The features emerged from their indistinctness and
became human, and almost powerful. The smile faded, a scowl took its place. She thrust
Haunte away, rose to her feet, and stared beneath bent brows at the three men, each one
in turn. Maskull came last; his face she studied for quite a long time, but nothing
indicated what she thought.
Meanwhile Haunte again approached her, staggering and grinning. She suffered him
quietly; but the instant lips met lips the second time, he fell backward with a startled cry,
as though he had come in contact with an electric wire. The back of his head struck the
ground, and he lay there motionless.
Corpang sprang forward to his assistance. But, when he saw what had happened, he left
him where he was.
"Maskull, come here quickly!"
The light was perceptibly fading from Haunte's skin, as Maskull bent over. The man was
dead. His face was unrecognisable. The head had been split from the top downward into
two halves, streaming with strange-coloured blood, as though it had received a terrible
blow from an axe.
"This couldn't be from the fall," said Maskull.
"No, Sullenbode did it."
Maskull turned quickly to look at the woman. She had resumed her former attitude on the
ground. The momentary intelligence had vanished from her face, and she was again