The Moon Pool HTML version

Chapter 9. A Lost Page Of Earth
WHEN I awakened the sun was streaming through the cabin porthole. Outside a fresh
voice lilted. I lay on my two chairs and listened. The song was one with the wholesome
sunshine and the breeze blowing stiffly and whipping the curtains. It was Larry O'Keefe
at his matins:
The little red lark is shaking his wings,
Straight from the breast of his love he springs
Larry's voice soared.
His wings and his feathers are sunrise red,
He hails the sun and his golden head,
Good morning, Doc, you are long abed.
This last was a most irreverent interpolation, I well knew. I opened my door. O'Keefe
stood outside laughing. The Suwarna, her engines silent, was making fine headway under
all sail, the Brunhilda skipping in her wake cheerfully with half her canvas up.
The sea was crisping and dimpling under the wind. Blue and white was the world as far
as the eye could reach. Schools of little silvery green flying fish broke through the water
rushing on each side of us; flashed for an instant and were gone. Behind us gulls hovered
and dipped. The shadow of mystery had retreated far over the rim of this wide awake and
beautiful world and if, subconsciously, I knew that somewhere it was brooding and
waiting, for a little while at least I was consciously free of its oppression.
"How's the patient?" asked O'Keefe.
He was answered by Huldricksson himself, who must have risen just as I left the cabin.
The Norseman had slipped on a pair of pajamas and, giant torso naked under the sun, he
strode out upon us. We all of us looked at him a trifle anxiously. But Olaf's madness had
left him. In his eyes was much sorrow, but the berserk rage was gone.
He spoke straight to me: "You said last night we follow?"
I nodded.
"It is where?" he asked again.
"We go first to Ponape and from there to Metalanim Harbour--to the Nan-Matal. You
know the place?"
Huldricksson bowed--a white gleam as of ice showing in his blue eyes.