Page:Weird Tales volume 36 number 01.djvu/90

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116
WEIRD TALES

There was a velvet couch at the center of the long wall and before it something that looked exactly like the altar in the cave.

The rest of the room contained little furniture—an oddly carved chest and a few chairs. The floor was covered with a thick green carpet of the same illusive shade as the walls.

I saw all this in the second that Harvey pulled aside the damask drapery for me to look. Then he let it fall to again, shutting the room off. "We cannot enter there now," he said firmly.

The house was odd enough. The big room was its core. Around it ran a corridor six feet wide from which other rooms opened, enclosing the whole in a big square. Harvey showed me to a very pretty bedroom which had a modern bathroom attached.

On a chair was laid a pile of green chiffon. Harvey pointed to it. "If you'll rest an hour and then put this on, we can go back to the big room and wait the time."

I might have been a stranger for there was no personal touch in Harvey's tones. I nodded and he left telling me he would call me in time. I couldn't rest. I lay on the bed thinking of Harvey utterly obsessed with a pictured face, and of myself too, for I could see the Lost God's features line for line. I wished the Gods would come long enough to free us from this obsession and then return to the starry spaces.

I felt strangely keyed up and my mind darted hither and thither like a restless swallow until I could not focus it on any subject.

It was a relief to hear Harvey's knock on the door and his, "Hurry, it is nearly time!"

I called out that I would. Harvey didn't come in so I struggled into the garment he had left on the chair. It was patterned after the robe of the Lost Godess, made of several layers of various coloured green chiffons. I slipped it over my head and fastened it around my waist with Her girdle. The necklace was already on my neck, the necklace which She had worn. As a last touch I put my feet into odd looking sandals of gilded leather.

Then I looked at myself in the long mirror set into the door.

The strange costume was becoming. Through the layers of chiffon I could glimpse the flesh tones of my skin. My bare legs were straight and slim. I looked like a temple neophyte with my black curls clustering about my face. I had not the radiant beauty of the Goddess but at least I wouldn't shame Harvey.

Slowly I went out into the corridor. Harvey was waiting—a Harvey who looked handsomer than I had ever seen him. He wore a short length of green material wrapped around his hips, held at his waist with the jeweled girdle. It fell to a point a little above his knees. His legs were straight and firm, his physique marvelous. I found myself wishing that we could forget this foolishness of Lost Gods and think only of ourselves. As Harveey surveyed me, I was glad my figure was fine enough to stand the revelations of the close clinging garment he had given me to wear. He took my hand and led me along the corridor. My heart beat faster as we went.

I had made up my mind to humor him, come what would. If nothing happened, then I meant to claim him as my own. It vas a lucky thing I could not foresee how I would claim him nor what would happen when I did.

Harvey opened a thich heavy door in the corridor and pulled aside folds of green damask for me. I entered the big room.

As I did so, I heard the clang of the great door shutting behind us and when I looked back Harvey stood beside me and the wall entirely green damask. I