hands and lips of a child ever reaching out for the cup
"Perhaps," said Joiwind. "I wonder .. . These friends of yours must be terrible men. Why did they come?"
"That I can tell you. They came to follow Surtur."
Her face grew troubled. "I don't understand it. One of them at least must be a bad man, and yet if he is following Surtur - or Shaping, as he is called here - he can't be really bad."
"What do you know of Surtur?" asked Maskull in astonishment.
Joiwind remained silent for a time, studying his face. His brain moved restlessly, as though it were being probed from outside. "I see.... and yet I don't see," she said at last. "It is very difficult.... Your God is a dreadful Being - bodyless, unfriendly, invisible. Here we don't worship a God like that. Tell me, has any man set eyes on your God?"
"What does all this mean, Joiwind? Why speak of God?"
"In ancient times, when the earth was young and grand, a few holy men are reputed to have walked and spoken with God, but those days are past."
"Our world is still young," said Joiwind. "Shaping goes among us and converses with us. He is real and active - a friend and lover. Shaping made us, and he loves his work."
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