The Moon Pool
Chapter 28. In The Lair Of The Dweller
IT IS WITH marked hesitation that I begin this chapter, because in it I must deal with an
experience so contrary to every known law of physics as to seem impossible. Until this
time, barring, of course, the mystery of the Dweller, I had encountered nothing that was
not susceptible of naturalistic explanation; nothing, in a word, outside the domain of
science itself; nothing that I would have felt hesitancy in reciting to my colleagues of the
International Association of Science. Amazing, unfamiliar--ADVANCED--as many of
the phenomena were, still they lay well within the limits of what we have mapped as the
possible; in regions, it is true, still virgin to the mind of man, but toward which that mind
is steadily advancing.
But this--well, I confess that I have a theory that is naturalistic; but so abstruse, so
difficult to make clear within the short confines of the space I have to give it, so
dependent upon conceptions that even the highest-trained scientific brains find difficult to
grasp, that I despair.
I can only say that the thing occurred; that it took place in precisely the manner I am
about to narrate, and that I experienced it.
Yet, in justice to myself, I must open up some paths of preliminary approach toward the
heart of the perplexity. And the first path is the realization that our world WHATEVER it
is, is certainly NOT the world as we see it! Regarding this I shall refer to a discourse
upon "Gravitation and the Principle of Relativity," by the distinguished English physicist,
Dr. A. S. Eddington, which I had the pleasure of hearing him deliver before the Royal
*1 Reprinted in full in Nature, in which those sufficiently interested may peruse it.--W.
I realize, of course, that it is not true logic to argue-"The world is not as we think it is--
therefore everything we think impossible is possible in it." Even if it BE different, it is
governed by LAW. The truly impossible is that which is outside law, and as nothing
CAN be outside law, the impossible CANNOT exist.
The crux of the matter then becomes our determination whether what we think is
impossible may or may not be possible under laws still beyond our knowledge.
I hope that you will pardon me for this somewhat academic digression, but I felt it was
necessary, and it has, at least, put me more at ease. And now to resume.
We had watched, Larry and I, the frog-men throw the bodies of Yolara's assassins into
the crimson waters. As vultures swoop down upon the dying, there came sailing swiftly
to where the dead men floated, dozens of the luminous globes. Their slender,
varicoloured tentacles whipped out; the giant iridescent bubbles CLIMBED over the