A Voyage to Arcturus
"Just because Crimtyphon's sports are strange to you, you murder him - and you would
like to murder me."
"Sports! That diabolical cruelty."
"Oh, you're sentimental!" said Oceaxe contemptuously. "Why do you need to make such
a fuss over that man? Life is life, all the world over, and one form is as good as another.
He was only to be made a tree, like a million other trees. If they can endure the life, why
"And this is Ifdawn morality!"
Oceaxe began to grow angry. "It's you who have peculiar ideas. You rave about the
beauty of flowers and trees - you think them divine. But when it's a question of taking on
this divine, fresh, pure, enchanting loveliness yourself, in your own person, it
immediately becomes a cruel and wicked degradation. Here we have a strange riddle, in
"Oceaxe, you're a beautiful, heartless wild beast - nothing more. If you weren't a woman -
"Well" - curling her lip - "let us hear what would happen if I weren't a woman?"
Maskull bit his nails.
"It doesn't matter. I can't touch you - though there's certainly not the difference of a hair
between you and your boy - husband. For this you may thank my 'foreign
preconceptions.' .. . Farewell!"
He turned to go. Oceaxe's eyes slanted at him through their long lashes.
"Where are you off to, Maskull?"
"That's a matter of no importance, for wherever I go it must be a change for the better.
You walking whirlpools of crime!"
"Wait a minute. I only want to say this. Blodsombre is just starting, and you had better
stay here till the afternoon. We can quickly put that body out of sight, and, as you seem to
detest me so much, the place is big enough - we needn't talk, or even see each other."
"I don't wish to breathe the same air."
"Singular man!" She was sitting erect and motionless, like a beautiful statue. "And what
of your wonderful interview with Surtur, and all the undone things which you set out to