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The Moon Pool

Chapter 27. The Coming Of Yolara
"NEVER was there such a girl!" Thus Larry, dreamily, leaning head in hand on one of
the wide divans of the chamber where Lakla had left us, pleading service to the Silent
"An', by the faith and the honour of the O'Keefes, an' by my dead mother's soul may God
do with me as I do by her!" he whispered fervently.
He relapsed into open-eyed dreaming.
I walked about the room, examining it--the first opportunity I had gained to inspect
carefully any of the rooms in the abode of the Three. It was octagonal, carpeted with the
thick rugs that seemed almost as though woven of soft mineral wool, faintly shimmering,
palest blue. I paced its diagonal; it was fifty yards; the ceiling was arched, and either of
pale rose metal or metallic covering; it collected the light from the high, slitted windows,
and shed it, diffused, through the room.
Around the octagon ran a low gallery not two feet from the floor, balustraded with
slender pillars, close set; broken at opposite curtained entrances over which hung thick,
dullgold curtainings giving the same suggestion of metallic or mineral substance as the
rugs. Set within each of the eight sides, above the balcony, were colossal slabs of lapis
lazuli, inset with graceful but unplaceable designs in scarlet and sapphire blue.
There was the great divan on which mused Larry; two smaller ones, half a dozen low
seats and chairs carved apparently of ivory and of dull soft gold.
Most curious were tripods, strong, pikelike legs of golden metal four feet high, holding
small circles of the lapis with intaglios of one curious symbol somewhat resembling the
ideographs of the Chinese.
There was no dust--nowhere in these caverned spaces had I found this constant
companion of ours in the world overhead. My eyes caught a sparkle from a corner.
Pursuing it I found upon one of the low seats a flat, clear crystal oval, remarkably like a
lens. I took it and stepped up on the balcony. Standing on tiptoe I found I commanded
from the bottom of a window slit a view of the bridge approach. Scanning it I could see
no trace of the garrison there, nor of the green spear flashes. I placed the crystal to my
eyes--and with a disconcerting abruptness the cavern mouth leaped before me, apparently
not a hundred feet away; decidedly the crystal was a very excellent lens--but where were
the guards?
I peered closely. Nothing! But now against the aperture I saw a score or more of tiny,
dancing sparks. An optical illusion, I thought, and turned the crystal in another direction.
There were no sparklings there. I turned it back again-and there they were. And what
were they like? Realization came to me--they were like the little, dancing, radiant atoms