even know about it yet. We'll see if it's the one."
We went downstairs softly, for it was late and the house was sleeping. We went into the darkened reception room. Chambers didn't wait to turn on the lights. In the darkness I reached out and depressed the B flat. At first gently, then vigorously, I shook the key up and down.
The note was dead—the hammer shaft broken.
In the dim dark I heard Chambers whisper, "It's the one?"
My voice was taut, unnatural, high-pitched as I whispered my reply, "It's the one."
His voice was quivering, too, now, as, with a curious triumphant eagerness, he persisted, "Then it was Alicia—who was sending music to our ears from this piano tonight?"
I could feel the flesh crawling along my spine as I sought to formulate my answer. It was incredible, yet there was only one answer, could be only one answer. Then, my lips stiff and dry, my heart palpitating like a triphammer, I spoke—that answer.
"Yes, John. It was—Alicia—!"
By CLARK ASHTON SMITH
As in the Sabatt's ancient round
With strange and subtle steps you went:
And toward the heaven and toward the ground
Your steeple shapen hat was bent
As in the sabbat's ancient round.
Between the windy, swirling fire
And all the stillness of Ihe moon.
Sweet witch, you danced at my desire,
Turning some weird and lovely tune
To paces like the swirling fire.