The Moon Pool HTML version

Chapter 4. The First Vanishings
"WE CARRIED Thora back, down to where Edith was waiting. We told her what had
happened and what we had found. She listened gravely, and as we finished Thora sighed
and opened her eyes.
"'I would like to see the stone,' she said. 'Charles, you stay here with Thora.' We passed
through the outer court silently --and stood before the rock. She touched it, drew back her
hand as I had; thrust it forward again resolutely and held it there. She seemed to be
listening. Then she turned to me.
"'David,' said my wife, and the wistfulness in her voice hurt me--'David, would you be
very, very disappointed if we went from here--without trying to find out any more about
it--would you?'
"Walter, I never wanted anything so much in my life as I wanted to learn what that rock
concealed. Nevertheless, I tried to master my desire, and I answered--'Edith, not a bit if
you want us to do it.'
"She read my struggle in my eyes. She turned back toward the grey rock. I saw a shiver
pass through her. I felt a tinge of remorse and pity!
"'Edith,' I exclaimed, 'we'll go!'
"She looked at me again. 'Science is a jealous mistress,' she quoted. 'No, after all it may
be just fancy. At any rate, you can't run away. No! But, Dave, I'm going to stay too!'
"And there was no changing her decision. As we neared the others she laid a hand on my
"'Dave,' she said, 'if there should be something--well-inexplicable tonight--something that
seems--too dangerous --will you promise to go back to our own islet tomorrow, if we
can--and wait until the natives return?'
"I promised eagerly--the desire to stay and see what came with the night was like a fire
within me.
"We picked a place about five hundred feet away from the steps leading into the outer
"The spot we had selected was well hidden. We could not be seen, and yet we had a clear
view of the stairs and the gateway. We settled down just before dusk to wait for whatever
might come. I was nearest the giant steps; next me Edith; then Thora, and last Stanton.