A Voyage to Arcturus HTML version

Chapter 18. Haute
While Maskull sat, Corpang walked restlessly to and fro, swinging his arms. He had lost
his staff. His face was inflamed with suppressed impatience, which accentuated its
natural coarseness. At last he stopped short in front of Maskull and looked down at him.
"What do you intend to do?"
Maskull glanced up and idly waved his hand toward the distant mountains. "Since we
can't walk, we must wait."
"For what?"
"I don't know ... How's this, though? Those peaks have changed colour, from red to
"Yes, the lich wind is travelling this way."
"The lich wind?"
"It's the atmosphere of Lichstorm. It always clings to the mountains, but when the wind
blows from the north it comes as far as Threal."
"It's a sort of fog, then?"
"A peculiar sort, for they say it excites the sexual passions."
"So we are to have lovemaking," said Maskull, laughing.
"Perhaps you won't find it so joyous," replied Corpang a little grimly.
"But tell me - these peaks, how do they preserve their balance?"
Corpang gazed at the distant, overhanging summits, which were fast fading into
"Passion keeps them from falling."
Maskull laughed again; he was feeling a strange disturbance of spirit. "What, the love of
rock for rock?"
"It is comical, but true."
"We'll take a closer peep at them presently. Beyond the mountains is Barey, is it not?"