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The Moon Pool

Chapter 33. The Meeting Of Titans
IT IS NOT my intention, nor is it possible no matter how interesting to me, to set down
ad seriatim the happenings of the next twelve hours. But a few will not be denied recital.
O'Keefe regained cheerfulness.
"After all, Doc," be said to me, "it's a beautiful scrap we're going to have. At the worst
the worst is no more than the leprechaun warned about. I would have told the Taitha De
about the banshee raid he promised me; but I was a bit taken off my feet at the time. The
old girl an' all the clan'll be along, said the little green man, an' I bet the Three will be
damned glad of it, take it from me."
Lakla, shining-eyed and half fearful too:
"I have other tidings that I am afraid will please you little, Larry--darlin'. The Silent Ones
say that you must not go into battle yourself. You must stay here with me, and with
Goodwin--for if--if--the Shining One does come, then must we be here to meet it. And
you might not be, you know, Larry, if you fight," she said, looking shyly up at him from
under the long lashes.
The O'Keefe's jaw dropped.
"That's about the hardest yet," he answered slowly. "Still --I see their point; the lamb
corralled for the altar has no right to stray out among the lions," he added grimly. "Don't
worry, sweet," he told her. "As long as I've sat in the game I'll stick to the rules."
Olaf took fierce joy in the coming fray. "The Norns spin close to the end of this web," he
rumbled. "Ja! And the threads of Lugur and the Heks woman are between their fingers
for the breaking! Thor will be with me, and I have fashioned me a hammer in glory of
Thor." In his hand was an enormous mace of black metal, fully five feet long, crowned
with a massive head.
I pass to the twelve hours' closing.
At the end of the coria road where the giant fernland met the edge of the cavern's ruby
floor, hundreds of the Akka were stationed in ambush, armed with their spears tipped with
the rotting death and their nail-studded, metal-headed clubs. These were to attack when
the Murians debauched from the corials. We had little hope of doing more here than
effect some attrition of Yolara's hosts, for at this place the captains of the Shining One
could wield the Keth and their other uncanny weapons freely. We had learned, too, that
every forge and artisan had been put to work to make an armour Marakinoff had devised
to withstand the natural battle equipment of the frog-people--and both Larry and I had a
disquieting faith in the Russian's ingenuity.
 
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