The Moon Pool
Chapter 5. Into The Moon Pool
"GOODWIN," Throckmartin went on at last, "I can describe him only as a thing of living
light. He radiated light; was filled with light; overflowed with it. A shining cloud whirled
through and around him in radiant swirls, shimmering tentacles, luminescent, coruscating
"His face shone with a rapture too great to be borne by living man, and was shadowed
with insuperable misery. It was as though it had been remoulded by the hand of God and
the hand of Satan, working together and in harmony. You have seen that seal upon my
own. But you have never seen it in the degree that Stanton bore it. The eyes were wide
open and fixed, as though upon some inward vision of hell and heaven!
"The light that filled and surrounded him had a nucleus, a core--something shiftingly
human shaped--that dissolved and changed, gathered itself, whirled through and beyond
him and back again. And as its shining nucleus passed through him Stanton's whole body
pulsed radiance. As the luminescence moved, there moved above it, still and serene
always, seven tiny globes of seven colors, like seven little moons.
"Then swiftly Stanton was lifted--levitated--up the unscalable wall and to its top. The
glow faded from the moonlight, the tinkling music grew fainter. I tried again to move.
The tears were running down now from my rigid lids and they brought relief to my
"I have said my gaze was fixed. It was. But from the side, peripherally, it took in a part of
the far wall of the outer enclosure. Ages seemed to pass and a radiance stole along it.
Soon drifted into sight the figure that was Stanton. Far away he was--on the gigantic wall.
But still I could see the shining spirals whirling jubilantly around and through him; felt
rather than saw his tranced face beneath the seven moons. A swirl of crystal notes, and he
had passed. And all the time, as though from some opened well of light, the courtyard
gleamed and sent out silver fires that dimmed the moonrays, yet seemed strangely to be a
part of them.
"At last the moon neared the horizon. There came a louder burst of sound; the second,
and last, cry of Stanton, like an echo of his first! Again the soft sighing from the inner
terrace. Then--utter silence!
"The light faded; the moon was setting and with a rush life and power to move returned
to me. I made a leap for the steps, rushed up them, through the gateway and straight to
the grey rock. It was closed--as I knew it would be. But did I dream it or did I bear,
echoing through it as though from vast distances a triumphant shouting?
"I ran back to Edith. At my touch she wakened; looked at me wanderingly; raised herself
on a hand.