The Moon Pool HTML version

Chapter 21. Larry's Defiance
A CLAMOUR arose from all the chambers; stilled in an instant by a motion of Yolara's
hand. She stood silent, regarding O'Keefe with something other now than blind wrath;
something half regretful, half beseeching. But the Irishman's control was gone.
"Yolara,"--his voice shook with rage, and he threw caution to the wind--"now hear ME. I
go where I will and when I will. Here shall we stay until the time she named is come.
And then we follow her, whether you will or not. And if any should have thought to stop
us--tell them of that flame that shattered the vase," he added grimly.
The wistfulness died out of her eyes, leaving them cold. But no answer made she to him.
"What Lakla has said, the Council must consider, and at once." The priestess was facing
the nobles. "Now, friends of mine, and friends of Lugur, must all feud, all rancour,
between us end." She glanced swiftly at Lugur. "The ladala are stirring, and the Silent
Ones threaten. Yet fear not--for are we not strong under the Shining One? And now--
leave us."
Her hand dropped to the table, and she gave, evidently, a signal, for in marched a dozen
or more of the green dwarfs.
"Take these two to their place," she commanded, pointing to us.
The green dwarfs clustered about us. Without another look at the priestess O'Keefe
marched beside me, between them, from the chamber. And it was not until we had
reached the pillared entrance that Larry spoke.
"I hate to talk like that to a woman, Doc," he said, "and a pretty woman, at that. But first
she played me with a marked deck, and then not only pinched all the chips, but drew a
gun on me. What the hell!she nearly had me-MARRIED--to her. I don't know what the
stuff was she gave me; but, take it from me, if I had the recipe for that brew I could sell it
for a thousand dollars a jolt at Forty-second and Broadway.
"One jigger of it, and you forget there is a trouble in the world; three of them, and you
forget there is a world. No excuse for it, Doc; and I don't care what you say or what Lakla
may say--it wasn't my fault, and I don't hold it up against myself for a damn."
"I must admit that I'm a bit uneasy about her threats," I said, ignoring all this. He stopped
"What're you afraid of?"
"Mostly," I answered dryly, "I have no desire to dance with the Shining One!"