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I saw him but once, and then only his back. But that was

world 2023-12-05 07:53:4413911

One part of the sky began to get lighter than the rest. Maskull cried out to his companions, but received no response. This frightened him. He went on shouting out, at irregular intervals - equally alarmed at the silence and at the sound of his own voice. Finally, as no answering hail came, he thought it wiser not to make too much noise, and after that he lay quiet, waiting in cold blood for what might happen.

I saw him but once, and then only his back. But that was

In a short while he perceived dim shadows around him, but these were not his friends.

I saw him but once, and then only his back. But that was

A pale, milky vapour over the ground began to succeed the black night, while in the upper sky rosy tints appeared. On earth, one would have said that day was breaking. The brightness went on imperceptibly increasing for a very long time.

I saw him but once, and then only his back. But that was

Maskull then discovered that he was lying on sand. The colour of the sand was scarlet. The obscure shadows he had seen were bushes, with black stems and purple leaves. So far, nothing else was visible.

The day surged up. It was too misty for direct sunshine, but before long the brilliance of the light was already greater than that of the midday sun on earth. The heat, too, was intense, but Maskull welcomed it - it relieved his pain and diminished his sense of crushing weight. The wind had dropped with the rising of the sun.

He now tried to get onto his feet, but succeeded only in kneeling. He was unable to see far. The mists had no more than partially dissolved, and all that he could distinguish was a narrow circle of red sand dotted with ten or twenty bushes.

He felt a soft, cool touch on the back of his neck. He started forward in nervous fright and, in doing so, tumbled over onto the sand. Looking up over his shoulder quickly, he was astounded to see a woman standing beside him.

She was clothed in a single flowing, pale green garment, rather classically draped. According to earth standards she was not beautiful, for, although her face was otherwise human, she was endowed - or afflicted - with the additional disfiguring organs that Maskull had discovered in himself. She also possessed the heart tentacle. But when he sat up, and their eyes met and remained in sympathetic contact, he seemed to see right into a soul that was the home of love, warmth, kindness, tenderness, and intimacy. Such was the noble familiarity of that gaze, that he thought he knew her. After that, he recognised all the loveliness of her person. She was tall and slight. All her movements were as graceful as music. Her skin was not of a dead, opaque colour, like that of an earth beauty, but was opalescent; its hue was continually changing, with every thought and emotion, but none of these tints was vivid - all were delicate, half - toned, and poetic. She had very long, loosely plaited, flaxen hair. The new organs, as soon as Maskull had familiarised himself with them, imparted something to her face that was unique and striking. He could not quite define it to himself, but subtlety and inwardness seemed added. The organs did not contradict the love of her eyes or the angelic purity of her features, but nevertheless sounded a deeper note - a note that saved her from mere girlishness.

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