The Moon Pool HTML version

Chapter 3. The Moon Rock
"I DO not intend to tell you now," Throckmartin continued, "the results of the next two
weeks, nor of what we found. Later--if I am allowed, I will lay all that before you. It is
sufficient to say that at the end of those two weeks I had found confirmation for many of
my theories.
"The place, for all its decay and desolation, had not infected us with any touch of
morbidity--that is not Edith, Stanton, or myself. But Thora was very unhappy. She was a
Swede, as you know, and in her blood ran the beliefs and superstitions of the Northland--
some of them so strangely akin to those of this far southern land; beliefs of spirits of
mountain and forest and water werewolves and beings malign. From the first she showed
a curious sensitivity to what, I suppose, may be called the 'influences' of the place. She
said it 'smelled' of ghosts and warlocks.
"I laughed at her then- "Two weeks slipped by, and at their end the spokesman for our
natives came to us. The next night was the full of the moon, he said. He reminded me of
my promise. They would go back to their village in the morning; they would return after
the third night, when the moon had begun to wane. They left us sundry charms for our
'protection,' and solemnly cautioned us to keep as far away as possible from NanTauach
during their absence. Half-exasperated, half-amused I watched them go.
"No work could be done without them, of course, so we decided to spend the days of
their absence junketing about the southern islets of the group. We marked down several
spots for subsequent exploration, and on the morning of the third day set forth along the
east face of the breakwater for our camp on Uschen-Tau, planning to have everything in
readiness for the return of our men the next day.
"We landed just before dusk, tired and ready for our cots. It was only a little after ten
o'clock that Edith awakened me.
"'Listen!' she said. 'Lean over with your ear close to the ground!'
"I did so, and seemed to hear, far, far below, as though coming up from great distances, a
faint chanting. It gathered strength, died down, ended; began, gathered volume, faded
away into silence.
"'It's the waves rolling on rocks somewhere,' I said. 'We're probably over some ledge of
rock that carries the sound.'
"'It's the first time I've heard it,' replied my wife doubtfully. We listened again. Then
through the dim rhythms, deep beneath us, another sound came. It drifted across the
lagoon that lay between us and Nan-Tauach in little tinkling waves. It was music--of a
sort; I won't describe the strange effect it had upon me. You've felt it--"