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The Moon Pool

Chapter 34. The Coming Of The Shining One
THE NORSEMAN turned toward us. There was now no madness in his eyes; only a
great weariness. And there was peace on the once tortured face.
"Helma," he whispered, "I go a little before! Soon you will come to me--to me and the
Yndling who will await you --Helma, mine liebe!"
Blood gushed from his mouth; he swayed, fell. And thus died Olaf Huldricksson.
We looked down upon him; nor did Lakla, nor Larry, nor I try to hide our tears. And as
we stood the Akka brought to us that other mighty fighter, Rador; but in him there was
life, and we attended to him there as best we could.
Then Lakla spoke.
"We will bear him into the castle where we may give him greater care," she said. "For, lo!
the hosts of Yolara have been beaten back; and on the bridge comes Nak with tidings."
We looked over the parapet. It was even as she had said. Neither on ledge nor bridge was
there trace of living men of Muria--only heaps of slain that lay everywhere--and thick
against the cavern mouth still danced the flashing atoms of those the green ray had
destroyed.
"Over!" exclaimed Larry incredulously. "We live then-heart of mine!"
"The Silent Ones recall their veils," she said, pointing to the dome. Back through the
slitted opening the radiance was streaming; withdrawing from sea and island; marching
back over the bridge with that same ordered, intelligent motion. Behind it the red light
pressed, like skirmishers on the heels of a retreating army.
"And yet--" faltered the handmaiden as we passed into her chamber, and doubtful were
the eyes she turned upon the O'Keefe.
"I don't believe," he said, "there's a kick left in them--"
What was that sound beating into the chamber faintly, so faintly? My heart gave a great
throb and seemed to stop for an eternity. What was it--coming nearer, ever nearer? Now
Lakla and O'Keefe heard it, life ebbing from lips and cheeks.
Nearer, nearer--a music as of myriads of tiny crystal bells, tinkling, tinkling--a storm of
pizzicati upon violins of glass! Nearer, nearer--not sweetly now, nor luring; no--raging,
wrathful, sinister beyond words; sweeping on; nearer- The Dweller! The Shining One!
 
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