A Voyage to Arcturus
She came to the river's edge and reviewed him from top to toe. "Now you are built more
like a man," she said, in her lovely, lingering voice.
"You see, the experiment was successful," he answered, smiling gaily.
Oceaxe continued looking him over. "Did some woman give you that ridiculous robe?"
"A woman did give it to me" - dropping his smile - "but I saw nothing ridiculous in the
gift at the time, and I don't now."
"I think I'd look better in it."
As she drawled the words, she began stripping off the skin, which suited her form so
well, and motioned to him to exchange garments. He obeyed, rather shamefacedly, for he
realised that the proposed exchange was in fact more appropriate to his sex. He found the
skin a freer dress. Oceaxe in her drapery appeared more dangerously feminine to him.
"I don't want you to receive gifts at all from other women," she remarked slowly.
"Why not? What can I be to you?"
"I have been thinking about you during the night." Her voice was retarded, scornful, viola
- like. She sat down on the trunk of a fallen tree, and looked away.
"In what way?"
She returned no answer to his question, but began to pull off pieces of the bark.
"Last night you were so contemptuous."
"Last night is not today. Do you always walk through the world with your head over your
It was now Maskull's turn to be silent.
"Still, if you have male instincts, as I suppose you have, you can't go on resisting me
"But this is preposterous" said Maskull, opening his eyes wide. "Granted that you are a
beautiful woman - we can't be quite so primeval."
Oceaxe sighed, and rose to her feet. "It doesn't matter. I can wait."
"From that I gather that you intend to make the journey in my society. I have no objection
- in fact I shall be glad - but only on condition that you drop this language."