Page by Page Books
Read Books Online, for Free
Lilith George MacDonald

The House Of Death

Page 3 of 9

Table Of Contents: Lilith

Previous Page

Next Page

Previous Chapter

Next Chapter

More Books

More by this Author

The Lady of Sorrow now led the way by my side; the elephants followed--the two that bore the princess in the centre; the leopardess brought up the rear; and just as we reached the frightful margin, the moon looked up and showed the shallow basin lying before us untroubled. Mara stepped into it; not a movement answered her tread or the feet of my horse. But the moment that the elephants carrying the princess touched it, the seemingly solid earth began to heave and boil, and the whole dread brood of the hellish nest was commoved. Monsters uprose on all sides, every neck at full length, every beak and claw outstretched, every mouth agape. Long-billed heads, horribly jawed faces, knotty tentacles innumerable, went out after Lilith. She lay in an agony of fear, nor dared stir a finger. Whether the hideous things even saw the children, I doubt; certainly not one of them touched a child; not one loathly member passed the live rampart of her body-guard, to lay hold of her.

"Little Ones," I cried, "keep your elephants close about the princess. Be brave; they will not touch you."

"What will not touch us? We don't know what to be brave at!" they answered; and I perceived they were unaware of one of the deformities around them.

"Never mind then," I returned; "only keep close."

They were panoplied in their blindness! Incapacity to see was their safety. What they could nowise be aware of, could not hurt them.

Tired of reading? Add this page to your Bookmarks or Favorites and finish it later.

But the hideous forms I saw that night! Mara was a few paces in front of me when a solitary, bodiless head bounced on the path between us. The leopardess came rushing under the elephants from behind, and would have seized it, but, with frightful contortions of visage and a loathsome howl, it gave itself a rapid rotatory twist, sprang from her, and buried itself in the ground. The death in my arms assoiling me from fear, I regarded them all unmoved, although never, sure, was elsewhere beheld such a crew accursed!

Mara still went in front of me, and the leopardess now walked close behind her, shivering often, for it was very cold, when suddenly the ground before me to my left began to heave, and a low wave of earth came slinking toward us. It rose higher as it drew hear; out of it slouched a dreadful head with fleshy tubes for hair, and opening a great oval mouth, snapped at me. The leopardess sprang, but fell baffled beyond it.

Almost under our feet, shot up the head of an enormous snake, with a lamping wallowing glare in its eyes. Again the leopardess rushed to the attack, but found nothing. At a third monster she darted with like fury, and like failure--then sullenly ceased to heed the phantom-horde. But I understood the peril and hastened the crossing--the rather that the moon was carrying herself strangely. Even as she rose she seemed ready to drop and give up the attempt as hopeless; and since, I saw her sink back once fully her own breadth. The arc she made was very low, and now she had begun to descend rapidly.

Page 3 of 9 Previous Page   Next Page
Who's On Your Reading List?
Read Classic Books Online for Free at
Page by Page Books.TM
George MacDonald

Home | More Books | About Us | Copyright 2004