A Voyage to Arcturus HTML version

Chapter 2. In The Street
The three men gathered in the street outside the house. The night was slightly frosty, but
particularly clear, with an east wind blowing. The multitude of blazing stars caused the
sky to appear like a vast scroll of hieroglyphic symbols. Maskull felt oddly excited; he
had a sense that something extraordinary was about to happen "What brought you to this
house tonight, Krag, and what made you do what you did? How are we understand that
"That must have been Crystalman's expression on face," muttered Nightspore.
"We have discussed that, haven't we, Maskull? Maskull is anxious to behold that rare
fruit in its native wilds."
Maskull looked at Krag carefully, trying to analyse his own feelings toward him. He was
distinctly repelled by the man's personality, yet side by side with this aversion a savage,
living energy seemed to spring up in his heart that in some strange fashion was
attributable to Krag.
"Why do you insist on this simile?" he asked.
"Because it is apropos. Nightspore's quite right. That was Crystalman's face, and we are
going to Crystalman's country."
"And where is this mysterious country?"
"That's a quaint name. But where is it?"
Krag grinned, showing his yellow teeth in the light of the street lamp.
"It is the residential suburb of Arcturus."
"What is he talking about, Nightspore? .. . Do you mean the star of that name?" he went
on, to Krag.
"Which you have in front of you at this very minute" said Krag, pointing a thick finger
toward the brightest star in the south- eastern sky. "There you see Arcturus, and
Tormance is its one inhabited planet."
Maskull looked at the heavy, gleaning star, and again at Krag. Then he pulled out a pipe,
and began to fill it.