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The Moon Pool

Chapter 23. Dragon Worm And Moss Death
FOR a small eternity--to me at least--we waited. Then as silent as ever the green dwarf
returned. "It is well," he said, some of the strain gone from his voice. "Grip hands again,
and follow."
"Wait a bit, Rador," this was Larry. "Does Lugur know this side entrance? If he does,
why not let Olaf and me go back to the opening and pick them off as they come in? We
could hold the lot--and in the meantime you and Goodwin could go after Lakla for help."
"Lugur knows the secret of the Portal--if he dare use it," answered the captain, with a
curious indirection. "And now that they have challenged the Silent Ones I think he WILL
dare. Also, he will find our tracks--and it may be that he knows this hidden way."
"Well, for God's sake!" O'Keefe's appalled bewilderment was almost ludicrous. "If HE
knows all that, and YOU knew all that, why didn't you let me click him when I had the
chance?"
"Larree," the green dwarf was oddly humble. "It seemed good to me, too--at first. And
then I heard a command, heard it clearly, to stop you--that Lugur die not now, lest a
greater vengeance fail!"
"Command? From whom?" The Irishman's voice distilled out of the blackness the very
essence of bewilderment.
"I thought," Rador was whispering--"I thought it came from the Silent Ones!"
"Superstition!" groaned O'Keefe in utter exasperation. "Always superstition! What can
you do against it!
"Never mind, Rador." His sense of humour came to his aid. "It's too late now, anyway.
Where do we go from here, old dear?" he laughed.
"We tread the path of one I am not fain to meet," answered Rador. "But if meet we must,
point the death tubes at the pale shield he bears upon his throat and send the flame into
the flower of cold fire that is its centre--nor look into his eyes!"
Again Larry gasped, and I with him.
"It's getting too deep for me, Doc," he muttered dejectedly. "Can you make head or tail of
it?"
"No," I answered, shortly enough, "but Rador fears something and that's his description
of it."
 
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