New Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos

By Ramsey Campbell

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A tender American peet, he was once. a guy of significant promise. regrettably, he gazed too lengthy upon the Black Stone! ' The Black Stone? ' Harry frowned. 'But-' 'And the following, years previous: "Charles Dexter Ward" - one other American, come to determine my books. And right here, an Englishman this time, certainly one of your individual countrymen, "John Kingsley Brown. "' He enable the pages turn via filthy hands. 'And the following one other, yet even more lately. See: "Hamilton Tharpe, November, 1959. " Ah, I be mindful Mr Tharpe good! We shared many an extraordinary dialogue the following during this very room. He aspired to the priesthood, yet - ' He sighed. 'Yes, seekers after wisdom all, yet lots of them ill-fated, I fear... ' 'You pointed out the Black Stone,' Julia acknowledged. 'I puzzled - ? ' 'Hmm? Oh, not anything. An previous legend, not anything extra. it's believed to be very undesirable good fortune to gaze upon the stone. ' 'Yes,' Harry nodded. 'We have been advised a lot an analogous factor in Stregoicavar. ' 'Ah! ' M~hrsen instantly cried, snapping close the publication of names, inflicting his viewers to leap. 'So you, too, have obvious the Black Stone? ' He again the quantity to the desk, then seemed them back, nodding interestingly. tooth yellow as his eyes confirmed as he betrayed a sly, suggestive smile. 'Now see right here -' Harry all started, irrational alarm and inflammation construction in him, welling within. M~hrsen's perspective, even if, replaced at the immediate. 'A fantasy, a superstition, a fairy tale! ' he cried, preserving out his fingers within the demeanour of a conjurer who has not anything up his sleeve. 'After all, what's a stone yet a stone? ' 'We'll must be going,' Julia stated in a faint voice. Harry spotted how she leaned on him, how her hand trembled as she clutched his arm. 'Yes,' he informed their wretched host, 'I'm afraid we actually needs to pass. ' 'But you haven't noticeable the gorgeous books! ' M~hrsen protested. 'Look, glance -' Down from a shelf he pulled a couple of big old tomes and opened them at the desk. They have been choked with exceptional, amazing illuminated texts; and regardless of themselves, their emotions of wierd revulsion, Harry and Julia dealt with the traditional works and in demand their nice attractiveness. 'And this publication, and this. ' M5hrsen piled literary treasures earlier than them. 'See, are they now not attractive. And now you're happy you got here, convinced? ' 'Why, sure, I suppese we are,' Harry grudgingly spoke back. 'Good, stable! i'll be one second - a few refreshment - please examine the books. take pleasure in them... ' And M~hrsen used to be long past, shuffling speedy out of the door and away into gloom. those books,' Julia acknowledged once they have been on my own. 'They needs to be worthy a small fortune! ' 'And there are literally thousands of them,' Harry spoke back, his voice awed and never a bit green with envy. 'But what do you think that of the outdated boy? ' 'He - frightens me,' she shuddered. 'And the way in which he smells! ' 'Ssh? he held a finger as much as his lips. 'He'll pay attention you. Where's he long gone, besides? ' 'He acknowledged anything approximately refreshment. I definitely desire he does not imagine i'm going to devour whatever he is ready! ' 'Look the following! ' Harry known as. He had moved over to a bookshelf close to the window and used to be fingering the spines of a very musty-looking row of books.

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