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A Voyage to Arcturus

"There is such a myth, The hero's name was Prometheus."
"Well, you seem to be identified in my mind with that action - but what it all means I
can't say, Maskull."
"Accept it as a good omen, for Panawe never lies, and never speaks thoughtlessly."
"There must be some confusion. These are heights beyond me," said Maskull calmly, but
looking rather contemplative.
"Where do you come from?"
"From the planet of a distant sun, called Earth."
"What for?"
"I was tired of vulgarity," returned Maskull laconically. He intentionally avoided
mentioning his fellow voyagers, in order that Krag's name should not come to light.
"That's an honourable motive," said Panawe. "And what's more, it may be true, though
you spoke it as a prevarication."
"As far as it goes, it's quite true," said Maskull, staring at him with annoyance and
surprise.
The swampy lake extended for about half a mile from where they were standing to the
lower buttresses of the mountain. Feathery purple reeds showed themselves here and
there through the shallows. The water was dark green. Maskull did not see how they were
going to cross it.
Joiwind caught his arm. "Perhaps you don't know that the lake will bear us?"
Panawe walked onto the water; it was so heavy that it carried his weight. Joiwind
followed with Maskull. He instantly started to slip about - nevertheless the motion was
amusing, and he learned so fast, by watching and imitating Panawe, that he was soon able
to balance himself without assistance. After that he found the sport excellent.
For the same reason that women excel in dancing, Joiwind's half falls and recoveries
were far more graceful and sure than those of either of the men. Her slight, draped form -
dipping, bending, rising, swaying, twisting, upon the surface of the dark water - this was
a picture Maskull could not keep his eyes away from.
The lake grew deeper. The gnawl water became green - black. The crags, gullies, and
precipices of the shore could now be distinguished in detail. A waterfall was visible,
descending several hundred feet. The surface of the lake grew disturbed - so much so that
Maskull had difficulty in keeping his balance. He therefore threw himself down and
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