The Moon Pool HTML version

Chapter 16. Yolara Of Muria Vs. The O'keefe
I AWAKENED with all the familiar, homely sensation of a shade having been pulled up
in a darkened room. I thrilled with a wonderful sense of deep rest and restored resiliency.
The ebon shadow had vanished from above and down into the room was pouring the
silvery light. From the fountain pool came a mighty splashing and shouts of laughter. I
jumped and drew the curtain. O'Keefe and Rador were swimming a wild race; the dwarf
like an otter, out-distancing and playing around the Irishman at will.
Had that overpowering sleep--and now I confess that my struggle against it had been
largely inspired by fear that it was the abnormal slumber which Throckmartin had
described as having heralded the approach of the Dweller before it had carried away
Thora and Stanton--had that sleep been after all nothing but natural reaction of tired
nerves and brains?
And that last vision of the golden-eyed girl bending over Larry? Had that also been a
delusion of an overstressed mind? Well, it might have been, I could not tell. At any rate, I
decided, I would speak about it to O'Keefe once we were alone again--and then giving
myself up to the urge of buoyant well-being I shouted like a boy, stripped and joined the
two in the pool. The water was warm and I felt the unwonted tingling of life in every vein
increase; something from it seemed to pulse through the skin, carrying a clean vigorous
vitality that toned every fibre. Tiring at last, we swam to the edge and drew ourselves out.
The green dwarf quickly clothed himself and Larry rather carefully donned his uniform.
"The Afyo Maie has summoned us, Doc," he said. "We're to--well--I suppose you'd call it
breakfast with her. After that, Rador tells me, we're to have a session with the Council of
Nine. I suppose Yolara is as curious as any lady of--the upper world, as you might put it--
and just naturally can't wait," he added.
He gave himself a last shake, patted the automatic hidden under his left arm, whistled
"After you, my dear Alphonse," he said to Rador, with a low bow. The dwarf laughed,
bent in an absurd imitation of Larry's mocking courtesy and started ahead of us to the
house of the priestess. When he had gone a little way on the orchid-walled path I
whispered to O'Keefe:
"Larry, when you were falling off to sleep--did you think you saw anything?"
"See anything!" he grinned. "Doc, sleep hit me like a Hun shell. I thought they were
pulling the gas on us. I--I had some intention of bidding you tender farewells," he
continued, half sheepishly. "I think I did start 'em, didn't I?"
I nodded.