Þe Call of Cthulhu
By H.P. Lovecraft
Oferset by Cascadia_
(Funde Among þe Writs of þe Late Franc Wayland Þurston, of Boston)
"Of such great mights or beings þere may be faþomendly an oferlifing . . . an oferlifing of a greatly farlen eld when . . . cwiccness was atewed, mayhaps, in shapes and cindes long sinse wiþdrawn before þe tide of inroading mancinde . . . shapes of which leeþ and tale alone hafe fanged a flying min and called þem gods, fifles, talesome beings of all sets and cindes. . . ."
Þe Brow in Clay
Þe most rooþful þing in þe world, I þinc, is þe shortcoming of þe minde of man to cnit all its inholdings. We life on a smilt iland of uncnowledge in þe midst of blacc seas of endlessness, and it was not meant þat we shold fare far. Þe witships, each streching in its own heading, hafe hiþerto harmed us little; but some day þe lincing togeþer of farflung cnowledge will open up such dread sights of weerdom, and of ure frightful stead þerein, þat we shall iþer go mad from þe unheeling or flee from þe deadly light into þe friþ and griþ of a new darc eld.
Troþuþewits hafe gesst at þe awesome mearþ of þe rodderly wharft wherein ure world and mancind mace fleeting befallings. Þey hafe hinted at odd oferlifings in cwids which wold freese þe blood if not grimed by a wan upbeat. But it is not from þem þat þere came þe lone glimse of forbidden elds which chills me when I þinc of it and maddens me when I dream of it. Þat glimpse, lice all dread glimses of trooþ, flasht ute from a haply cnitting togeþer of sundered þings—in þis hap an old newswrit and þe notes of a dead learer. I hope þat no oþer will alast þis cnitting; wisly, if I life, I shall nefer cnowningly yare a linc in so attle a lench. I þinc þat þe learer too, ettled to ceep still abute þe deal he cnew, and þat he wold hafe forspilt his notes had not swift deaþ tacen him.
My cnowledge of þe þing began in þe winter of 1926-27 wiþ þe deaþ of my eld-eam Yoricc Gammell Angell, Sweþer Learer of Yoodish Tungs in Brune Lorehuse, God’s Will, Red Iland. Learer Angell was widely cnown as a wiccner on fern graftings, and was often gone to by þe heads of mear yorehuses; so þat his deaþ at þe eld of ninety-two may be eftcalled by many. In God’s Will, grip was highþened by þe becludedness of þe inting of deaþ. Þe learer had been striccen whilst eftcoming from þe Newport boat; falling swiftly, as witnesses said, after hafing been bumpt by a seafaring-loocing blacc who had come from won of þe cweer darc worþs on þe steep hillside which made up a short cut from þe waterfront to þe dead man’s home in Willhelms Street. Leeches cold not finde any seendly wunde, but chose after dwereful cneating þat some mircy wem of þe hart, broght upon by þe cwicc climb of so steep of hill by so elderly a man, was witeful for þe end. At þe time I saw no rode to woan abute þis cwid, but latterly I am fuse to wonder—and more þan wonder.
As my eld-eam’s erfnimmer and trustman, for he died a childeless widower, I was wonted to go ofer his writs wiþ some þoroghness; and for þat how shriþed his whole set of sheafes and boxes to my rooms in Boston. Many of þe worcs which I sammened will be later þrucht by þe Americcish Fernlore Siþeship, but þere was won box which I funde ofergoingly befuddling, and which I felt loaþ to show to oþer eyes. It had been locct, and I did not finde þe cey till þe þoght came to me to smey þe leedy ring which þe learer bore always wiþ him in his bag. Þen indeed I spowed in opening it, but when I did so seemed only to be met wiþ a greater and more closely locct remming. For what cold be þe meaning of þe cweer clay low-unheel and þe loose notings, ramblings, and cuttings which I funde? Had my eam, in his latter years, become a beleefer in þe most shallow focens? I chose to seec ute þe oddball grafter witeful for þis seeming unstilling of an old man’s friþ of minde.
Þe low-unheel was a rogh righthooc less þan an inch þicc and abute fife by six inches in spot; suttly of latterday more. Its shapes, howefer, were far from latterday in mood and licening; for alþogh þe whims of worfleleef and towardleef are many and wilde, þey do not often bring forþ þat dile steadiness which lurcs in foreyore writing. And writing of some cinde þe bulc of þese shapes seemed wisly to be; þogh my min, notwiþstanding much cooþness wiþ þe writs and leasings of my eam, cold not in any way accnow þis sundry stocc, or efen to hint at its farlenest licenings.
Abofe þese seeming fernstafes was an ansine of suttly bildly ettle, þogh its inþruchly shape forbade an uncluded begrip of its being. It seemed to be a cinde of fifle, or tocen standing for a fifle, of a shape which only a sicc minde cold umbfang. If I say þat my somewhat unþrifty faþoming yeelded samed bilds of a bleecfish, a drace, and þe liceness of a man, I shall not be untroþful to þe sule of þe þing. A mashy, feelered head atop an uncindeful and shaly body wiþ unorn wings; but it was þe amean uteline of þe whole which made it most shoggingly frightful. Behinde þe ansine was an unsuttle licening of a Woneyed bildcraft baccgrunde.
Þe writing coming wiþ þis oddness was, aside from a stacc of news cuttings, in Learer Angell’s most latter hand; and made no lichetting to boocly lite. What seemed to be þe headwrit was headed “CTHULHU CHURCH” in stafes carefully written to forbear þe dwalesome reading of a word so unheard-of. Þe handwrit was brocen into two deals, þe first of which was headed “1925—Dream and Dream Worc of H. A. Wilcox, 7 Tomas St., God’s Will, R.I.”, and þe oþer, “Race of Inloocer Yon R. Legrasse, 121 Bienville St., New Orleans, La., at 1908 A. F. S. Mtg.—Notes on Same, ⁊ Learer Webb’s Race.” Þe oþer handwrit leafes were all short notes, some of þem races of þe cweer dreams of sundry folc, some of þem forþtees from troþuþewitly boocs and tidewrits (cooþly W. Scott-Elliot’s Atlantis and þe Lost Lemury), and þe lafe cwids on long-oferlifing dern amones and hidden churches, wiþ cwids abute deals in such folclorely and manlorely forþtee-boocs as Fraser’s Golden Bogh and Lady Murray’s Wich-Church in Western Yewrope. Þe cuttings mostly wised to odd minde illnesses and utebreacs of dright madness or moonsiccness in þe spring of 1925.
Þe first half of þe main handwrit told an efer so odd tale. It seems þat on Reeþmonþ 1t, 1925, a þin, darc yong man of harrowed and giddy cinde had called upon Learer Angell bearing þe odd clay low-unheel, which was þen awfully damp and fresh. His board bore þe name of Henricc Anton Wilcox, and my eam had accnowed him as þe yongest son a frim hird slightly cnown to him, who had latterly been learning graftiworc at þe Red Iland Lorehuse of Graft and lifing alone at þe Blossom-of-þe-Lily Bilding near þat body. Wilcox was a raþeripe yewþ of cnown brainmight but great oddness, and had from childehood broght yeem to himself þrogh þe funny tales and odd dreams he was wont to efttell. He called himself “oferceen of þe sowl”, but þe grunded folc of þe fern chapborogh wrote him off as noght but “cweer”. Nefer mingling much wiþ his cinde, he had droppt stepwise from fellowly sight, and was now cnown only to a small set of listmen from oþer tunes. Efen þe God’s Will List Club, wary to aceep its husebandleef, had funde him raþer hopeless.
On þe þrow of þe neese, ran þe learer’s handwrit, þe grafter offhandedly asct for þe note of his gestgifer’s fernlorely cnowledge in accnowing þe fernstafes on þe low-unheel. He spoce in a dreamy, stilted way which broght to minde a front and a fremt efensorrow; and my eam showed some sharpness in ancweaþing, for þe marced freshness of þe bred infolded cinship wiþ anyþing but fernlore. Yong Wilcox’s yeeldbacc, which stunned my eam enogh to mace him eftcall it and write it dune word for word, was of a wonderfully leeþy cast which must hafe inbodied his whole mooting, and which I hafe sinse funde to be a hallmarc of his. He said, “It is new, indeed, for I made it last night in a dream of odd boroghs; and dreams are older þan brooding Tire, or þe þoghtful Sfinx, or yard-girdled Babilon.”
It was þen þat he began þat rambling tale which swiftly played upon a sleeping min and won þe fefered grip of my eam. Þere had been a slight earþcwace shace þe night before, þe greatest felt in New England for some years; and Wilcox’s faþoming had been ceenly rined. Upon sweþering, he had an astunding dream of great Woneyed boroghs of ettin cleats and scy-flung greatstones, all dripping wiþ green wose and awc wiþ sleeping dread. Fernstafes had smoþered þe walls and sweers, and from some unrecconed spot below had come a stefen þat was not a stefen; a mad anyet which only faþoming cold wend into lude, but which he fanded to yeeld by þe almost unspeacendly staffay, “Cthulhu fhtagn”.
Þis wordly gumble was þe cey to þe eftcalling which þrilled and harrowed Learer Angell. He frained þe grafter wiþ witshiply þoroghness; and conned wiþ almost reeþful swiþness þe low-unheel on which þe yewþ had funde himself worcing, chilled and clad only in his night-cloþes, when wacing had stolen bewilderingly ofer him. My eam blamed his old eld, Wilcox afterward said, for his slowness in accnowing boþe fernstafes and bildly shape. Many of his frains seemed highly ute-of-stead to his gest, namely þose which fanded to linc þe latter wiþ odd churches or amones; and Wilcox cold not understand þe efted behights of stillness which he was offered in wrixle for a welcoming into some widespread runey or heaþenly troþly body. When Learer Angell became swayed þat þe grafter was indeed nitten of any church or layute of dile lore, he besat his gest wiþ behests for toward errandwrits of dreams. Þis bore steady ofets, for after þe first meeting þe handwrit taces dune daily calls of þe yong man, during which he told startling stiches of nightish bilds whose burden was always some awful Woneyed meeting of darc and dripping stone, wiþ an undergrunde stefen or minde rooping samely in runely anyet-crashes unwritendly but as babble. Þe two ludes most often efted are þose yeelded by þe stafes “Cthulhu” and “R’lyeh”.
On Reeþmonþ 23d, þe handwrit went on, Wilcox trucct to show up; and ascs at his rooms unheeled þat he had been striccen wiþ a mircy cinde of fefer and tacen to þe home of his hird in Waterman Street. He had roopt ute in þe night, wacing many oþer listmen in þe bilding, and had atewed sinse þen only waferings between swime and madness. My eam at wonse called þe hird, and from þat time forward cept close wach of þe illness; calling often at þe Þayer Street followþ of L. Tobey, whom he learned to be þe head. Þe yewþ’s feferish minde, seemingly, was dwelling on odd þings; and þe leech shuddered nu and þen as he spoce of þem. Þey inheld not only an efting of what he had dreamt before, but rined wildely on an ettinish þing “miles high” which walct or stumbled abute. He at no time fully arecct þis body, but now and þen þere were mad words, efted by L. Tobey, þat swayed þe learer to beleefe þat it must be þe same as þe nameless dreadnoght he had soght to show in his dream-graftiworc. Ettling to þis þing, þe leech eced, was wisly a forebooc to þe yong man’s slip into listlessness. His warmþ, oddly enogh, was not greatly abofe mean; but his whole ship was oþerwise such as to put forþ trew fefer raþer þan illness of þe minde.
On Eastermonþ 2þ at abute 3 in þe afternoon efery shred of Wilcox’s illness suttly ended. He sat upright in bed, astunded to finde himself at home and wholly nitten of what had happened in dream or weerdom sinse þe night of Reeþmonþ 22þ. Deemed well by his leech, he eftwent to his rooms in þree days; but to Learer Angell he was of no furþer help. All shreds of odd dreaming had swunde wiþ his bootening, and my eam cept no writ of his night-þoghts after a weec of bootless and eaþly races of þoroghly broocly meetings.
Here þe first deal of þe handwrit ended, but forþtees to wis of þe scattered notes gafe me much antimber for þoght—so much, indeed, þat only þe inwroght unbeleef þen macing up my uþewit can arecc my forþgoing untrust of þe listman. Þe notes in frain were þose areccly of þe dreams of sundry folc ofer þe same time as þat in which yong Wilcox had had his odd night meetings. My eam, it seems, had cwiccly put in stead an ettinishly far-flung body of ascs amongst nearly all þe frends whom he cold frain wiþute being too bold, ascing for nightly errandwrits of þeir dreams, and þe talemarcs of any noteworþy meetings for some time bacc. Þe onfanging of his behest seems to hafe been feelfold, but he must, at þe last, hafe fanged more ancweaþs þan an ameanly man cold hafe handled wiþute a helper. Þese form errandwrits were not acept, but his notes made up a þorogh and trewly marced race. Ameanly folc in amone and business—New England’s wonely “salt of þe earþ”—gafe an almost wholly nay utecome, þogh scattered haps of uneasy but shapeless nightish inþruches show up here and þere, always between Reeþmonþ 23d and Eastermonþ 2þ—þe time of yong Wilcox’s madness. Witshiply men were little more rined, þogh fowr falls of unsuttle areccing foreset fleeting glimses of odd landships, and in won fall þere is broght up a dread of someþing unwonted.
It was from þe listmen and þe leeþers þat þe linct answers came, and I cnow þat fright wold hafe brocen loose had þey been fit to licen notes. As it was, laccing þe errandwrits þemselfes, I half reasowed þe sammener of hafing asct leading frains, or of hafing adighted þe errandwrits in bearing ute of what he had dernly wanted to see. Þat is why I forþwent feeling þat Wilcox, somehu aware of þe old rawput which my eam had held, had been putting upon þe elderly witshipman. Þese ancweaþs from listmen told a frightening tale. From Soalmonþ 28þ to Eastermonþ 2þ a great deal of þem had dreamt efer so odd þings, þe swiþness of þe dreams being unmetendly stronger during þe time of þe grafter’s madness. Ofer a furþe of þose who lised anyþing, lised sights and half-ludes not unlice þose which Wilcox had arecct; and some of þe dreamers told of sharp fear of þe ettinish nameless þing seendly toward þe last. Won hap, which þe note areccs wiþ highlight, was efer so sad. Þe underþrow, a widely cnown draftsman wiþ leanings toward troþuþewit and þe oþerworldly, went heastly mad on þe talemarc of yong Wilcox’s fit, and died many monþs later after unending screamings to be barrowed from some atwunde dweller of hell. Had my eam forþteed to þese haps by name instead of only by tale, I shold hafe fanded some bearing ute and leedy shruttening; but as it was, I spowed in finding only a few. All of þese, huefer, bore ute þe notes in full. I hafe often wondered if all þe underþrows of þe learer’s fraining felt as addled as did þis deal. It is well þat no areccing shall efer finde þem.
Þe news cuttings, as I hafe bestowed, rined on haps of frights, madness, and oddness during þe gifen time. Learer Angell must hafe broght in a cutting business, for þe tale of cwids was ettinish and þe forþtees scattered þroghute þe world. Here was a nightish selfcwell in London, where a lone sleeper had leapt from a window after a shogging roop. Here licewise a rambling errandwrit to þe adighter of a newswrit in Suþe America, where a moonling puts forward a sliþe toward from swefens he has seen. An onsend from Califforny areccs a Troþuþewit settling as donning white loþs all at wonse for some “þrimful fulfilling” which nefer comes, whilst writs from Ind speac wardedly of starc arlander unrest toward þe end of Reeþmonþ. Voodoo rights manifold in Haity, and African uteposts lise foreboding mutterings. American headwards in þe Filipines finde wis stems boþersome abute þis time, and New Yorc lawmen are swarmed by Lefantmen on þe night of Reeþmonþ 22-23. Þe west of Ireland, too, is full of wilde hearsay and folctales, and a wonderful meter named Ardois-Bonnot hangs a teelworþy “Dream Landship” in þe Paris spring listhall of 1926. And so talesome are þe written ails in madhuses, þat only a wonder can hafe stopt þe leechcraft broþerhood from noting odd licenings and drawing swercened endings. An odd bunch of cuttings, all told; and I can at þis talemarc hardly faþom þe cold rode wiþ which I set þem aside. But I was þen swayed þat yong Wilcox had cnown of þe older þings broght up by þe learer.
Þe Tale of Inloocer Legrasse
Þe older þings which had made þe grafter’s dream and low-unheel so weighty to my eam made up þe underþrow of þe twoþ half of his long handwrit. Wonse before, it seems, Learer Angell had seen þe hellish utelines of þe nameless brow, looct ofer þe uncnown fernstafes, and heard þe dread staffays which can be yeelded only as “Cthulhu”; and all þis is so stirring and dreadful a lincing þat it is small wonder he went after yong Wilcox wiþ ascs and behests for rawput.
Þe earlier ordeal had come in 1908, sefenteen years before, when þe Americcish Fernlore Siþeship held its yearly meeting in Hallow Louis. Learer Angell, as befitted won of his weeld and bringings-forþ, had had a weighty deal in all þe choosings; and was won of þe first to be nighed by many utesiders who brooct þe gaþering to offer frains for right answering and hiches for arade ceys. Þe head of þese utesiders, and in a short time þe lodestone of grip for þe whole meeting, was an amean-loocing middle-eld man who had fared all þe way from New Orleans for wis sundry cnowledge ungettendly from any nearby spring. His name was Yon Raymond Legrasse, and he was by craft an Inloocer of þe Law. Wiþ him he bore þe underþrow of his neese, a small, siccening, attle, and seemingly trewly fern graftiworc whose from he was at a loss to finde. It must not be faþomed þat Inloocer Legrasse had þe least grip in fernlore. Raþer, his wish for inlightening was shied by wholly worcwise grundes. Þe graftiworc, godyeeld, dwalegod, or whatefer it was, had been fanged some monþs before in þe wooded swams suþe of New Orleans during a road on a reasowed voodoo meeting; and so utelandish and attle were þe rights linct wiþ it, þat þe lawmen cold not but underyet þat þey had stumbled on a darc church wholly uncnown to þem, and endlessly more shuccish þan efen þe blaccest of þe African voodoo rings. Of its spring, oþer þan þe wild-witted and unbeleefendly tales drawn from þe hafted fellows, utterly noþing was to be funde; hense þe angness of þe law for any fern cnowledge which might help þem to stead þe frightful tocen, and þrogh it loast þe church to its headspring.
Inloocer Legrasse was hardly ready for þe þrill which his offering made. Won sight of þe þing had been enogh to þrow þe gaþered men of witship into a hoad of taght whetting, and þey lost no time in cruding arunde him to stare at þe small ansine whose utter oddness and whiþ of trewly newel fernness hinted so strongly at unopened and eldly sights. No cnown leef of graftiworc had cwiccened þis awful þing, yet hundreds and efen þusands of years seemed written in its dim and greenish bred of unaccnowendly stone. Þe ansine, which was endly handed ofer slowly from man to man for close and careful conning, was between sefen and eight inches in highþ, and of litefully listful worcmanship. It stood for a fifle of a seemingly man-lice uteline, but wiþ a bleecfish-lice head whose ansine was a mass of feelers, a shaly, rubbery-loocing body, ettinish claws on hinde and fore feet, and long, narrow wings behinde. Þis þing, which seemed steept wiþ a fearsome and uncindeful hatred, was of a somewhat bloated fatness, and huncht efilly on a righthoocly cleat or footstone smoþered in unaccnowendly stafes. Þe tips of þe wings rined þe bacc edge of þe cleat, þe seat bued þe middle, whilst þe long byed claws of þe twiffolded, hunched hinde legs gripped þe front edge and streched a furþe of þe way dune toward þe bottom of þe footstone. Þe swidcin head was bent forward, so þat þe ends of þe ansinely feelers swept þe baccs of great fore hands which clappt þe huncher’s raised cnees. Þe shape of þe whole was uncindefully liffe-lice, and þe more dernly fearful for þat its spring was so wholly uncnown. Its great, awesome, and unareccendly eld was wis; yet not won linc did it show wiþ any cnown cinde of list belonging to tilþ’s yewþ—or indeed to any oþer time. Wholly sundry and asunder, efen þe antimber it was made from was an arune; for þe soapy, greenish-blacc stone wiþ its golden or shimmering fleccs and stripes looct noþing lice anyþing cnown to earþlore or stonelore. Þe stafes along þe staþle were efenly masing; and no man þere, notwiþstanding a tocening of half þe world’s arade learning in þis feeld, cold finde þe least begrip of efen þeir farlenest tungly cinship. Þey, lice þe ansine and antimber, belonged to someþing awfully farlen and asunder from mancinde as we cnow it; someþing frightfully eftminding of old and unhallowed wheels of liffe in which ure world and ure umbfangings hafe no deal.
And yet, as þe folc manifoldly shooc þeir heads and andetted unsye at þe Inloocer’s hich, þere was won man in þat gaþering who had a rine of utelandish cooþness in þe fiflish shape and writing, and who þen told wiþ some leeriness at þe odd bit he cnew. Þis man was þe late Willhelm Channing Webb, Learer of Manlore in Þengleton Lorehuse, and a farfarer of no slight note. Learer Webb had been, forty-eight years before, on a faring of Greenland and Iseland seecing some Runestaffly graftings which he did not unearþ; and whilst high up on þe West Greenland shore had come aþwart an odd stem or church of abroþen Inoocs whose troþ, a wreaty strain of shucc-worship, chilled him wiþ its willful bloodþirstiness and attleness. It was a troþ of which oþer Inoocs cnew little, and which þey spoce of only wiþ shudders, saying þat it had come dune from awfully fern elds before efer þe world was made. Besides nameless arights and manly tiferings þere were wis cweer streen rights nayed to a head shucc or tornasooc; and of þis Learer Webb had tacen a careful speacly aclofe from an elderly angecoc or wicher-preest, putting þe ludes in Roman stafes as best he cnew hu. But nu of head weight was þe dwalegod which þis church had worshipt, and abute which þey tumbed when þe norþern lights leapt high ofer þe ise cliffs. It was, þe learer said, a raþer rogh-hewn low-unheel of stone, made up of an attle bild and some dern writing. And so far as he cold tell, it was a rogh licening in all head marcs of þe fiflish þing now lying before þe meeting.
Þis rawput, fanged wiþ angness and astunde by þe gaþered folc, was twoþly gripping to Inloocer Legrasse; and he began at wonse to hunde his cenman wiþ frains. Hafing noted and aclofed a spocen aright among þe swam worshippers his men had nabbed, he besoght þe learer to eftcall as best he might þe staffays tacen dune amongst þe shuccleefly Inoocs. Þere þen followed a þorogh licening of meals, and an eyeblinc of trewly awed stillness when boþe gumshew and witshipper þasledged on þe seeming sameness of þe cwid funde in two hellish arights so many worlds of farl asunder. What, in body, boþe þe Inooc wichers and þe Louisiana swam-preests had sang to þeir cindred godyeelds was someþing much lice þis—þe word-breacs beings gesst at from folcish breacs in þe cwid as sang alude:
“Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn.”
Legrasse had won þing ofer Learer Webb, for many among his mixt hafts had efted to him what older dealnimmers had told þem þe words meant. Þese words, as gifen, ran someþing lice þis:
“In his huse at R’lyeh dead Cthulhu bides dreaming.”
And nu, in answer to a mean and earnest behest, Inloocer Legrasse told as fully as mightly his ordeal wiþ þe swam worshippers; telling a tale to which I cold see my eam faid deep weight. It smacct of þe wildest dreams of misþ-macer and troþuþewit, and put forward an astunding meting of rodderly faþoming among such mixt folc and utecasts as might be least weened to hafe it.
On Blootmonþ 1t, 1907, þere had come to þe New Orleans lawmen a maddened cying from þe swam and sealocc land to þe suþe. Þe settlers þere, mostly samwise but good-cinded afterbears of Lafitte’s men, were in þe grip of starc brow from an uncnown þing which had stolen upon þem in þe night. It was voodoo, seemingly, but voodoo of a more awful cinde þan þey had efer cnown; and some of þeir women and children had swinded sinse þe efil tom-tom had begun its unstopping beating far wiþin þe blacc gastly woods where no dweller fared. Þere were mad roops and harrowing screams, sowl-chilling songs and tumbing shucc-fire; and, þe frightened boder eced, þe folc cold stand it no more.
So a body of twenty lawmen, filling two bearings and a wain, had set ute in þe late afternoon wiþ þe shafing settler as a wiser. At þe end of þe drifendly road þey alighted, and for miles splasht on in stillness þrogh þe awful cyepress woods where day nefer came. Attle roots and hateful hanging cnots of Spanish moss beset þem, and nu and þen a heap of danc stones or stich of a rotting wall highþened by its hint of gloomy dwelling a bowl which efery misshapen tree and efery swambly holm cnitted togeþer to mace. At lengþ þe settlement, a wobegone huddle of hofles, hofe in sight; and oferwroght dwellers ran ute to cluster abute þe set of bobbing lightfats. Þe stifled beat of tom-toms was now wanly ludely far, far ahead; and a curdling screech came at seld betwixtfaccs when þe wind shifted. A reddish glare, too, seemed to sift þrogh þe wan undergrowþ beyond endless streets of wold night. Loaþ eden to be left alone again, each won of þe cued settlers werned wholly to fare anoþer inch toward þe stead of unholy worship, so Inloocer Legrasse and his nineteen fellows delfed on unwised into blacc goings of brow þat none of þem had efer trod before.
Þe land now infared by þe lawmen was won of wonely efil lise, mostly uncnown and unfared by white men. Þere were tales of a hidden lace unglimsed by earþly sight, in which dwelt a great, shapeless white þing of growþs wiþ lightbere eyes; and settlers whispered þat bat-winged shuccs flew up ute of shrafes in þe inner earþ to worship it at midnight. Þey said it had been þere before D’Iberville, before La Salle, before þe Indishmen, and before efen þe wholesome deer and birds of þe woods. It was nightmare itself, and to see it was to die. But it made men dream, and so þey cnew enogh to ceep away. Þe nuþe voodoo aright was, indeed, on þe smallest edge of þis hated land, but þat stead was bad enogh; hense mayhaps þe stead itself of þe worship had frightened þe settlers more þan þe shoggings ludes and haps.
Only leeþ or madness cold do right by þe ludes heard by Legrasse’s men as þey plughed on þrogh þe blacc marsh toward þe red glare and þe stifled tom-toms. Þere are ludely whichnesses from men, and ludely whichnesses from deer; and it is awful to hear þe won when þe spring shold yeeld þe oþer. Deerly wraþ and lewd roops here whipped þemselfes to shuccish highþs by hules and screaming aheafings þat tore and eftluded þrogh þose nighted woods lice cwilde-bringing storms from þe harbors of hell. Nu and þen þe less dighted barcing wold stop, and from what seemed well-drilled singers wiþ hoarse stefens wold rise in sing-song þat attle cwid or aright:
“Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn.”
Þen þe men, hafing reacht a spot where þe trees were þinner, came swiftly in sight of þe þing itself. Fowr of þem reeled, one ceeled ofer, and two were shacen into a mad roop which þe awful harshness of þe aright hapfully deadened. Legrasse dashed swam water on þe ansine of þe ceeled ofer man, and all stood shacing and nearly spellbunde wiþ dread.
In a cindeful glade of þe swam stood a grassy iland of mayhaps an acers breadþ, free of trees and þafendly dry. On þis nu leapt and twisted a more unareccendly swarm of manly uncindefulness þan any but a Sime or an Angarola cold mete. Bare of cloþing, þis mixt spring were rooping, bellowing, and wriþing abute a fiflish ring-shaped bonfire; in þe middle of which, unheeled by odd rifts in þe woghrift of fire, stood a greatstone some eight feet in highþ, on top of which, unfitting of its small standing, rested þe attle graftiworc. From a wide ring of ten settings set up at amean betwixtfaccs wiþ þe fire-girt greatstone as a middle hung, head duneward, þe oddly marred bodies of þe helpless settlers who had swinded. It was inside þis shape þat þe ring of worshippers leapt and roared, þe seeming heading of þe heaping shriþing being from left to right in endless merrymacing between þe ring of bodies and þe ring of fire.
It may hafe been only faþoming and it may hafe been only eftludes which begot won of þe men, a high-strung Spanman, to beleefe he heard answers in wend to þe aright from some far and unlightened spot deeper wiþin þe wood of fern tales and dread. Þis man, Yoseff D. Galvez, I later met and frained; and he was bewilderingly faþomish. He indeed went so far as to hint of þe slight beating of great wings, and of a glimse of shining eyes and a barrowish white bulc beyond þe farlenest trees—but I reasowed he had been hearing too many arlander offgalþs.
Trewly, þe dread stint of þe men was of a liceningly short span. Wiccen came first; and alþogh þere must hafe been nearly a hundred mongling merrymacers in þe þrong, þe lawmen lippened þeir guns and delfed willfully into þe attle rute. For fife stundelings þe following din and dwolm were beyond areccing. Wilde blows were strucc, shots were fired, and atwinds were made; but in þe end Legrasse cold tale some forty-sefen brooding hafts, whom he made to cloþe þemselfes swiftly and fall into line between two rows of lawmen. Fife of þe worshippers lay dead, and two starcly wunded were borne off on maceshift strechers by þeir fellow hafts. Þe bild on þe greatstone, indeed, was carefully tacen and borne bacc by Legrasse.
Looct ofer at þe head followþ after a fare of great strain and weariness, þe hafts all seemed to be of a raþer low, mixt-blooded, and sicc of þe minde stocc. Most were seamen, and a sprincling of blaccs and half-blaccs, mostly West Indishmen or Brafa Portingales, gafe a smattering of voodoo to þe mixt church. But before many frains were asct, it became suttle þat someþing far deeper and older þan blacc dwalegodleef was at play. Bemeaned and loreless as þey were, þe deer held wiþ shogging sameness to þe head begrip of þeir loaþsome troþ.
Þey worshippt, so þey said, þe Great Old Wons who lifed elds before þere were any men, and who came to þe yong world ute of þe scy. Þose Old Wons were gone nu, inside þe earþ and under þe sea; but þeir dead bodies had told þeir derns in dreams to þe first men, who made a church which had nefer died. Þis was þat church, and þe hafts said it had always been and always wold be, hidden in farlen weastens and darc steads all ofer þe world until þe time when þe great preest Cthulhu, from his darc huse in þe mighty borogh of R’lyeh under þe waters, shold rise and bring þe earþ again beneaþ his sway. Some day he wold call, when þe stars were ready, and þe dile church wold always be biding to free him.
Meanwhile no more must be told. Þere was a dern which efen tintrey cold not draw ute. Mancinde was not wholly alone among þe ware þings of earþ, for shapes came ute of þe darc to finde þe troþful few. But þese were not þe Great Old Wons. No man had efer seen þe Old Wons. Þe grafted godyeeld was great Cthulhu, but none might say wheþer or not þe oþers were wis lice him. No won cold read þe old writing nu, but þings were told by word of muþe. Þe sung aright was not þe dern—þat was nefer spocen alude, only whispered. Þe song meant only þis: “In his darc huse at R’lyeh dead Cthulhu bides dreaming.”
Only two of þe hafts were funde right-minded enogh to be hanged, and þe rest were betaght to sundry madhuses. All wiþsaid a hand in þe rightly murder, and set forþ þat þe cilling had been done by Blacc Winged Wons which had come to þem from þeir fern meeting-stead in þe gastly wood. But of þose runey þofters no understandendly race cold efer be gained. What þe law did finde, came mostly from a half-Indishman of great eld named Castro, who said he had sailed to odd ports and talct wiþ þe undying leaders of þe church in þe barrows of Caþay.
Old Castro eftminded bits of attle tales þat oferwent þe gesses of troþuþewits and made man and þe world seem late and fleeting indeed. Þere had been elds when oþer Þings rixt on þe earþ, and Þey had had great boroghs. Lafe of Þem, he said þe deaþless Caþaymen had told him, were still to be funde as Woneyed stones on islands in þe Still Sea. Þey all died far greatelds of time before men came, but þere were rights which cold edcwicc Þem when þe stars had come abute again to þe right steads in þe plot of forefer. Þey had, indeed, come Þemselfes from þe stars, and broght Þeir bilds wiþ Þem.
Þese Great Old Wons, Castro went on, were not made altogeþer of flesh and blood. Þey had shape—for did not þis star-made bild asooþ it?—but þat shape was not made of anworc. When þe stars were right, Þey cold fly from world to world þrogh þe scy; but when þe stars were wrong, Þey cold not life. But alþogh Þey no longer lifed, Þey wold nefer trewly die. Þey all lay in stone huses in Þeir great borogh of R’lyeh, acept by þe spells of mighty Cthulhu for a wolderful gainrising when þe stars and þe earþ might onse more be ready for Þem. But at þat time some þrace from uteside must þew to free Þeir bodies. Þe spells þat acept Þem whole licewise stopt Þem macing þe first shriþe, and Þey cold only lie awace in þe darc and þinc whilst untaled þusands of years flew by. Þey cnew all þat was happening in þe allworld, but Þeir cost of speech was onsent þoght. Efen nu Þey talct in Þeir grafes. When, after endlessnesses of dwolm, þe first men came, þe Great Old Wons spoce to þe ceen among þem by shaping þeir dreams; for only þus cold Þeir tung reach þe fleshly mindes of succledeer.
Þen, whispered Castro, þose first men made þe church abute small godyeelds which þe Great Wons showed þem; godyeelds broght in dim elds from darc stars. Þat church wold nefer die till þe stars came right again, and þe dile preests wold tace great Cthulhu from His grafe to edcwicc His folc, and picc up his rix of earþ. Þe time wold be eaþ to cnow, for þen mancinde wold hafe become as þe Great Old Wons; free and wilde and beyond good and efil, wiþ laws and þews þrown aside and all men rooping and cilling and bascing in glee. Þen þe freed Old Wons wold teach þem new ways to roop and cill and basc and win, and all þe earþ wold be affire wiþ a bloodbaþ of bliss and freedom. Meanwhile þe church, by wonted rights, must ceep alife þe min of þose fern ways and shadow forþ þe witydom of þeir eftcoming.
In þe elder time chosen men had talct wiþ þe buried Old Wons in dreams, but þen someþing had happened. Þe great stone borogh R’lyeh, wiþ its greatstones and grafes, had sunc beneaþ þe wafes; and þe deep waters, full of form rune þrogh which not efen þoght can forþfare, had cut off þe gostly mooting. But min nefer died, and high-preests said þat þe borogh wold rise again when þe stars were right. Þen came ute of þe earþ þe blacc sules of earþ, moldy and shadowy, and full of dim hearsay picct up in shrafes beneaþ forgotten sea-bottoms. But of þem old Castro dared not speac much. He cut himself off hurriedly, and no andefen of weeming or slightness cold bring more forþ in þis heading. Þe sise of þe Old Wons, too, he notendly did not bring forþ. Of þe church, he said þat he þoght þe middle lay amid þe paþless weastens of Araby, where Iram, þe Borogh of Sweers, dreams hidden and unrined. It was not þofted to þe Yewropish wich-church, and was almost wholly uncnown beyond its fellows. No booc had efer trewly hinted of it, þogh þe deaþless Caþaymen said þat þere were twoþ meanings in þe Booc of þe Dead of þe mad Arab Abdool Alhasred which þe aholied might read as þey chose, namely þe much-umbspocen cwids:
Legrasse, deeply fased and not a little bewildered, had frained bootlessly abute þe yorely lincings of þe church. Castro, seemingly, had told þe trewþ when he said þat it was wholly dile. Þe wiccners at Tulane Lorehuse cold shed light upon niþer church nor bild, and nu þe gumshew had come to þe highest wiccners in þe land and met wiþ no more þan þe Greenland tale of Learer Webb.
Þe feferish grip awacened at þe meeting by Legrasse’s tale, borne ute as it was by þe graftiworc, is eftluded in þe following errandwrits of þose who were þere; alþogh scant nemmening is þere in þe lofty þruchings of þe siþeship. Wariness is þe first care of þose wont to seeing swindlers and shams nu and þen. Legrasse for some time lent þe bild to Learer Webb, but at þe latter’s deaþ it was gifen bacc to him and is still in his haft, where I looct upon it not long ago. It is trewly an awful þing, and wisly acin to þe dream-graftiworc of yong Wilcox.
Þat my eam was þrilled by þe tale of þe grafter I did not wonder, for what þoghts must arise upon hearing, after a cnowledge of what Legrasse had learnt of þe church, of a ceen yong man who had dreamt not only þe ansine and wis ferngrafts of þe swam-funde bild and þe Greenland shucc bred, but had come in his dreams upon at least þree of þe wis words of þe onaliceness uttered alice by Inooc shuccleefers and mongling Louisianish? Learer Angell’s start anon on a shruttening of þe utmost þoroghness was marcedly cindeful; þogh sundrily I had an incling þat yong Wilcox had heard of þe church in some bacchanded way, and of hafing made up a string of dreams to highþen and lead on þe rune at my eam’s loss. Þe dream-races and cuttings broght togeþer by þe learer were, trewly, strong bearing; but þe rode of my minde and þe unþrift of þe whole underþrow led me to choose what I þoght to be þe most anyettle answers. So, after þoroghly loocing ofer þe handwrit again and licening þe troþuþewitly and manlorely notes wiþ þe church race of Legrasse, I made a fare to God’s Will to see þe grafter and gife him þe þrafe I þoght fitting for so boldy putting upon a learned and elded man.
Wilcox still lifed alone in þe Blossom-of-þe-Lily Bilding in Tomas Street, an attle Fictorenish efenledging of sefenteenþ-yearhundred Gallwelsh bilding-cinde which boasts its plastered front amidst þe lofely settling huses on þe fern hill, and under þe shadow itself of þe finest Yoriccish steeple in America. I funde him at worc in his rooms, and at wonse chose from þe graftiworcs scattered abute þat his brainmight is indeed great and trew. He will, I beleefe, some time be heard from as won of þe great listmen; for he has frosen in clay and will won day glass in marmstone þose nightmares and shineloccs which Arþur Machen brings forþ in writing, and Clarc Ashton Smiþ maces seendly in leeþ and meting.
Darc, tidder, and somewhat uncempt in ansine, he went lasily at my cnocc and asct me my business wiþute rising. When I told him who I was, he showed some grip; for my eam had whetted his firwit in prodding his odd dreams, yet had nefer aread þe inhide of þe worc. I did not greaten his cnowledge in þis ansine, but soght wiþ some slightness to draw him ute. In a short time I was won ofer þat he was telling trewþ, for he spoce of þe dreams in a sid none cold misnim. Þey and þeir neþermindely leafings had swayed his list greatly, and he showed me a deaþly graftiworc whose shapes almost made me shace wiþ þe strengþ of its blacc foresetting. He cold not eftcall hafing seen þe first of þis þing oþer þan in his own dream low-unheel, but þe utelines had made þemselfes uncnowendly under his hands. It was, wis, þe ettinish shape he had yelled of in madness. Þat he trewly cnew noþing of þe hidden church, oþer þan from what my eam’s unending traghtening had let fall, he soon made wis; and again I cempt to þinc of some way in which he cold mightly hafe gotten þe odd inþruches.
He talct of his dreams in an oddly leeþful way; macing me see wiþ awful bleefulness þe damp Woneyed borogh of slimy green stone—whose shapelore, he oddly said, was all wrong—and hear wiþ frightened highting þe endless, half-mindeful calling from undergrunde: “Cthulhu fhtagn”, “Cthulhu fhtagn”. Þese words had made a deal of þat dread aright which told of dead Cthulhu’s dream-wach in his stone grafe at R’lyeh, and I felt deeply shriþed notwiþstanding my rodeful beleefs. Wilcox, I was wis, had heard of þe church in some offhand way, and had soon forgotten it amidst þe weight of his efenly odd reading and faþoming. Later, by cust of its sheer stun, it had funde neþermindeful uttering in dreams, in þe low-unheel, and in þe awful graftiworc I now beheld; so þat his putting upon my eam had been a wholly lutter won. Þe yewþ was of a cinde, at wonse slightly mad and slightly ill-þewed, which I cold nefer lice; but I was willing enough nu to andet boþe his brainmight and his trewþfulness. I tooc leafe of him frendily, and wish him all þe spow his bent will bring.
Þe underþrow of þe church still went on gripping me, and at time I had sights of leedy lise from delfing into its spring and lincings. I went to New Orleans, talct wiþ Legrasse and oþers of þat old-time roading-hoose, saw þe frightful bild, and efen drained such of þe mongling hafts as still oferlifed. Old Castro, haplessly, had been dead for some years. What I now heard so stricingly at first-hand, þogh it was trewly no more þan a mealed starcening of what my eam had written, þrilled me afresh; for I felt wis þat I was on þe tread of a wholly trew, wholly dile, and wholly fern troþ whose unheeling wold mace me an manlorer of note. My mood was still won of utter anworcleef, as I wish it still were, and I tweed wiþ almost unareccendly bullheadedness þe licehappening of þe dream notes and odd cuttings broght togeþer by Learer Angell.
Won þing I began to þinc, and I now fear I cnow, is þat my eam’s deaþ was far from cindeful. He fell on a narrow hill street leading up from a fern waterfront swarming wiþ uteland monglings, after a careless shofe from a blacc sailer. I did not forget þe mixt blood and seafaring undertacings of þe church-fellows in Louisiana, and wold not be shogged to learn of dile ways and atter needles as rooþless and as fernly cnown as þe hidden rights and beleefs. Legrasse and his men, it is trew, hafe been let alone; but in Norway a wis seaman who saw þings is dead. Might not þe deeper frainings of my eam after coming across þe grafter’s rawput hafe come to feendish ears? I thinc Learer Angell died for his cnowing too much, or for he was licely to learn too much. Wheþer I shall go as he did has yet to be seen, for I hafe learnt much nu.
Þe Madness from þe Sea
If heafen efer wishes to atiþe me a boon, it will be a whole wiping ute of þe follows of a tiny hap which fixt my eye on a wis stray bit of shelf-leaf. It was noþing on which I wold cindefully hafe stumbled in þe way of my daily abute, for it was an old tale of a New Hollander newswrit, þe Sidney Newtidings for Eastermonþ 18, 1925. It had fled from efen þe cutting business which had at þe time of its leesing been ceenly bringing togeþer writs for my eam’s undertacing.
I had mostly gifen ofer my frains into what Learer Angell called þe “Cthulhu Church”, and was calling upon a learned frend in Patterson, New Goresite; þe caretacer of a nearby yorehuse and a stonelorer of note. Loocing won day upon þe acept lorebisens set on þe hoardern shelfes in a rear room of þe yorehuse, my eye was caght by an odd bild in won of þe old writs spread beneaþ þe stones. It was þe Sidney Newtidings I hafe nemmened, for my frend has wide lincings in all faþomendly utelands; and þe bild was a half-shade cut of an attle stone bild almost þe same as þat which Legrasse had funde in þe swam.
Eagerly wiping þe sheet of its erstwhile inholdings, I read ofer þe writ closely; and was let dune to finde it of only middling lengþ. What it broght forþ, huefer, was of dooming weight to my flagging hunt; and I carefully tore it ute for forþwiþ undertacing. It read as follows:
Wachful Lends Wiþ Helpless Yared New Sealand Yaght in Tow.
Won Oferlifer and Dead Man Funde Aboard. Tale of
Forlorn Hilde and Deaþs at Sea.
Nered Seaman Wiþholds
Meals of Odd Happening
Odd Godyeeld Funde in His Holding. Frainingto Follow.
Þe Morrison Bs.’s laster Wachful, bunde from Valparaiso, lent þis morning at its wharf in Darling Harbor, hafing in tow þe marred and hamstrung but heafily yared steam yaght Wary of Dunedin, N. S., which was sighted Eastermonþ 12þ in S. Buhighþ 34° 21′, W. Bulengþ 152° 17′ wiþ won lifing and won dead man aboard.
Þe Wachful left Valparaiso Reeþmonþ 25þ, and on Eastermonþ 2þ was drifen notendly suþe of her way by geasonly heafy storms and ettinish wafes. On Eastermonþ 12þ þe forleese was sighted; and þogh seemingly forlet, was funde upon boarding to hold won oferlifer in a half-mad hoad and won man who had suttly been dead for more þan a weec. Þe lifing man was cluching an awful stone godyeeld of uncnown spring, abute a foot in highþ, abute whose being wiccners at Sidney Lorehuse, þe Cinn Siþeship, and þe Yorehuse in Lorehuse Street all andet þorogh befuddling, and which þe oferlifer says he funde in þe shiproom of þe yaght, in a small grafted shrine of amean onaliceness.
Þis man, after he came bacc to his anyets, told an astundingly odd tale of seareafery and slaghter. He is Gustaf Johansen, a Nornishman of some orþanc, and had been twoþ mett of þe two-masted scooner Emma of Alcland, which sailed for Callao Soalmonþ 20þ wiþ a crude of elefen men. Þe Emma, he says, was baccened and þrown widely suþe off her paþ by þe great storm of Reeþmonþ 1t, and on Reeþmonþ 22þ, in S. Buhighþ 49° 51′, W. Bulengþ 128° 34′, came aþwart þe Wary, manned by a cweer and efil-loocing crude of Canacas and mixt folc. Being bade foranely to go bacc. S.L. Collins werned; whereupon þe odd crude began to fire wildely and wiþute warning upon þe scooner wiþ a selcooþly heafy body of brass greatguns macing up a deal of þe yaght’s hirst. Þe Emma’s men showed fight, says þe oferlifer, and þogh þe scooner began to sinc from shots beneaþ þe waterline þey were barely fit to heafe alongside þeir fo and board her, grappling wiþ þe wilde crude on þe yaght’s þacc, and being aneeded to cill þem all, þe tale being slightly greater, for þeir wisly hateful and rash þogh raþer clumsy cost of fighting.
Þree of þe Emma’s men, inning S.L. Collins and First Mett Green, were cilled; and þe eight oferlifers under Twoþ Mate Johansen went on to go abute þe hafted yacht, going ahead in þeir first heading to see if any grunde for þeir bidding bacc had been. Þe next day, it seems, þey raised and landed on a small iland, alþogh none is cnown to be in þat deal of þe sea; and six of þe men somehu died ashore, þogh Johansen is cweerly wiþholding abute þis deal of þe tale, and speacs only of þeir falling into a rocc chine. Later, it seems, he and won fellow boarded þe yaght and fanded to steer her, but were beaten abute by þe storm of Eastermonþ 2þ. From þat time till his nering on þe 12þ þe man eftcalls little, and he does not efen eftcall when Willhelm Briden, his fellow, died. Briden’s deaþ unheels no seeming inting, and was licely from þrill or weaþering. Wire lises from Dunedin show þat þe Wary was well cnown þere as an iland chapper, and bore an efil lise along þe waterfront. It was owned by a selcooþ band of mixt folc whose often meetings and night fares into þe woods drew no little firwit; and it had set sail in great swiftness right after þe storm and earþ shaces of Reeþmonþ 1t. Ure Alcland errandwriter gifes þe Emma and her crude a wonderful lise, and Johansen is arecct as a staid and worþy man. Þe fleetlordship will start a spirring on þe whole underþrow beginning tomorrow, at which efery shofe will be made to get Johansen to speac more freely þan he has done hiþerto.
Þis was all, togeþer wiþ þe bild of þe hellish shape; but what a string of begrips it started in my minde! Here were new goldhoards of rawput on þe Cthulhu Church, and suttling þat it had odd holdings at sea as well as on land. What rode shied þe mixt crude to bid bacc þe Emma as þey sailed abute wiþ þeir attle godyeeld? What was þe uncnown iland on which six of þe Emma’s crude had died, and abute which þe mett Johansen was so dile? What had þe under-fleetlordship’s spirring broght ute, and what was cnown of þe stincing church in Dunedin? And most awesome of all, what deep and more þan cindeful lincing of talemarcs was þis which gafe an efil and nu unwiþsaiendly weight to þe sundry happenings so carefully noted by my eam?
Reeþmonþ 1t—ure Soalmonþ 28þ emforþ þe Alþeedish Talemarc Line—þe earþcwace and storm had come. From Dunedin þe Wary and her attle crude had gone eagerly forþ as if mightily becconed, and on þe oþer side of þe earþ leeþers and listmen had begun to dream of an odd, danc, Woneyed borogh whilst a yong grafter had made in his sleep þe shape of þe dreaded Cthulhu. Reeþmonþ 23d þe crude of þe Emma landed on an uncnown iland and left six men dead; and on þat talemarc þe dreams of oferceen men tooc a highþened bleefulness and darcened wiþ dread of an ettin fifle’s efil hunt, whilst a draftsman had lost his minde and a grafter had fallen swiftly into madness! And what of þis storm on Eastermonþ 2þ—þe talemarc on which all dreams of þe danc borogh stoppt, and Wilcox rose unharmed from þe þrall of odd fefer? What of all þis—and of þose hints of old Castro abute þe suncen, star-born Old Wons and þeir coming rix; þeir troþful church and þeir mastery of dreams? Was I tottering on þe brinc of rodderly brows beyond man’s might to bear? If so, þey must be brows of þe minde alone, for in some way þe twoþ of Eastermonþ had put a stop to whatefer fiflish feend had begun its umbsetting of mancinde’s sule.
Þat efening, after a day of hurried lincing and dighting, I bade my gestman farewell and tooc a tugwain to Hallow Francisco. In less þan a monþ I was in Dunedin; where, however, I funde þat little was cnown of þe odd church-fellows who had lingered in þe old sea-alehuses. Waterfront scum was far too mean for noteworþ; þogh þere was unsuttle talc abute won inland fare þese monglings had made, during which wan drumming and red fire were noted on þe farlen hills. In Alcland I learned þat Johansen had eftcame wiþ yellow hair gone white after an unþincing and ungaining fraining at Sidney, and had þereafter sold his cot in West Street and sailed wiþ his wiffe to his old home in Oslo. Of his stirring hap he wold tell his frends no more þan he had told þe fleetlordship doomern, and all þey cold do was to gife me his Oslo sitline.
After þat I went to Sidney and talct gainlessly wiþ seamen and fellows of þe under-fleetlordship doomern. I saw þe Wary, nu sold and in business brooding, at Ringly Berþ in Sidney Cofe, but gained noþing from its empty-worded bulc. Þe stooping bild wiþ its cuttlefish head, drace body, shaly wings, and fernstafed footstone, was acept in þe Yorehuse at Hide Ersh; and I looct upon it long and well, finding it a þing of balefully sheen worcmanship, and wiþ þe same utter rune, awful fernness, and unearþly oddness of antimber which I had noted in Legrasse’s smaller lorebisen. Stonelorers, þe ceeper told me, had funde it a fiflish befuddling; for þey behighted þat þe world held no rocc lice it. Þen I þoght wiþ a shace of what old Castro had told Legrasse abute þe form Great Wons: “Þey had come from þe stars, and had broght Þeir bilds wiþ Þem.”
Shacen wiþ such a mindeful stirring as I had nefer before cnown. I nu chose to finde Mett Johansen in Oslo. Sailing for London, I eftboarded at onse for þe Nornish headborogh; and won fall day landed at þe trim wharfes in þe shadow of þe Egeberg. Johansen’s sitline, I funde, lay in þe Old Tune of Cing Harald Haardrada, which cept alife þe name of Oslo during all þe yearhundreds þat þe greater borogh lichetted as “Cristiana”. I made þe short fare by feewain, and cnocct wiþ uneasy hart at þe door of a neat and fern bilding wiþ plastered front. A sad-ansined woman in blacc answered my beccon, and I was stung wiþ bite when she told me in halting English þat Gustaf Johansen was no more.
He had not oferlifed his eftcoming, said þe wiffe, for þe doings at sea in 1925 had brocen him. He had told her no more þan he had told þe folc, but had left a long handwrit—of “crafty underþrows” as he said—written in English, wisly to ward her from þe plight of offhand reading. During a walc þrogh a narrow lane near þe Gotenborogh docc, a bundle of writs falling from a loft window had cnocct him dune. Two Lashcar sailers at onse helpt him to his feet, but before þe siccwain cold reach him he was dead. Leeches funde no till inting for þe end, and laid it to an ailing hart and a weacened body.
I now felt gnawing at my lifetocens þat darc brow which will nefer leafe me till I, too, am at rest; “haply” or oþerwise. Weeming þe widow þat my lincing wiþ her were’s “crafty underþrows” was enogh to beright me to his handwrit, I bore þe þing away and began to read it on þe London boat. It was a wonfold, rambling þing—A wide-eyed sailer’s fand at an afterward daybooc—and cempt to eftcall day by day þat last awful iþelode. I cannot fand to eftwrite it word for word in all its cludiness and edledgedness, but I will tell its hart enogh to show why þe lude of þe water against þe ship’s sides became so unlastendly to me þat I stoppt my ears wiþ godweb.
Johansen, þanc God, did not cnow all, efen þogh he saw þe borogh and þe Þing, but I shall nefer sleep smiltly again when I þinc of þe brows þat lurc unendingly behinde liffe in time and in rodder, and of þose unhallowed wemcwids from elder stars which dream beneaþ þe sea, cnown and ored by a nightmare church ready and eager to loose þem on þe world whenefer anoþer earþcwace shall heafe þeir fiflish stone borogh again to þe sun and loft.
Johansen’s fare had begun wis as he told it to þe under-fleetlordship. Þe Emma, in ballast, had left Alcland on Soalmonþ 20þ, and had felt þe full might of þat earþcwace-born storm which must hafe heafed up from þe sea-bottom þe brows þat filled men’s dreams. Wonse more under weeld, þe ship was macing good headway when held up by þe Wary on Soalmonþ 22þ, and I cold feel þe mett’s roo as he wrote of her blasting and sincing. Of þe swarþy church-feends on þe Wary he speacs wiþ weighty brow. Þere was some selcooþly fiflish whichness abute þem which made þeir wrace seem almost a wiccen, and Johansen shows wide-eyed wonder at þe begreed of rooþlessness broght against his crude during þe forþgoings of þe doomern of spirring. Þen, drifen ahead by firwit in þeir hafted yaght under Johansen’s weeld, þe men sight a great stone sweer sticcing ute of þe sea, and in S. Buhighþ 47° 9′, W. Bulengþ 126° 43′ come upon a shore-line of mingled mud, wose, and weedy Woneyed stoneworc which can be noþing less þan þe rinendly antimber of earþ’s greatest brow—þe nightmare lichame-borogh of R’lyeh, þat was bilt in meteless elds behinde yore by þe great, loaþsome shapes þat seept dune from þe darc stars. Þere lay great Cthulhu and his swarms, hidden in green slimy wholfes and sending ute at last, after elds untellendly, þe þoghts þat spread fear to þe dreams of þe ceen and called mightily to þe troþful to come on a holy guþe of freedom and anewing. All þis Johansen did not reasow, but God cnows he soon saw enogh!
I ween þat only a lone barrow-top, þe attle greatstone-helmed fasten whereon great Cthulhu was buried, trewly arose from þe waters. When I þinc of þe breadþ of all þat may be brooding dune þere I almost wish to cill myself forþwiþ. Johansen and his men were awed by þe rodderly lonc of þis dripping Babilon of elder shuccs, and must hafe gesst wiþute wise þat it was noþing of þis or of any rightminded tungle. Awe at þe unbeleefendly sise of þe greenish stone cleats, at þe disying highþ of þe grafted greatstone, and at þe astunding liceness of þe ettinish graftiworcs and low-unheels wiþ þe cweer bild funde in þe shrine on þe Wary, is wisly seendly in efery line of þe mett’s frightened areccing.
Wiþute knowing what towardleef is lice, Johansen þroghteed someþing efer so close to it when he spoce of þe borogh; for instead of areccing any wis frame or bilding, he dwells only on broad stroces of widegale whems and stone breds—breds too great to belong to any þing right or comely for þis earþ, and godshildly wiþ attle bilds and fernstafes. I bring up his talc abute whems for þat it brings to minde someþing Wilcox had told me of his awful dreams. He had said þat þe shapelore of þe dream-stead he saw was uncindeful, unearþly, and loaþsomely swecht of trendles and worlds asunder from ures. Nu an unlearned seaman felt þe same þing whilst staring at þe awful sooþ.
Johansen and his men landed at a sloping mud-staþ on þis fiflish fasten, and climbed slipperily up ofer ettin wosey cleats which cold hafe been no manmade stairwell. Þe sun of heafen itself seemed unstill when seen þrogh þe sundering stench welling ute from þis sea-soact onwending, and twisted hate and taghtness lurct leeringly in þose crasily fleeting whems of grafted rocc where a twoþ glimse showed inbight after þe first showed ute.
Someþing much lice fright had come ofer all þe spurriers before anyþing more wis þan rocc and wose and weed was seen. Each wold hafe fled had he not feared þe hoocer of oþers, and it was only half-hartedly þat þey soght—gainlessly, as was seen—for some handy ceepsace to bear away.
It was Rodriguez þe Portingale who climbed up þe foot of þe greatstone and roopt of what he had funde. Þe rest followed him, and looct firwitly at þe great grafted door wiþ þe nu cooþ swid-drace low-unheel. It was, Johansen said, lice a great barn-door; and þey all felt þat it was a door for þe smiccer sills, þreshold, and legs arunde it, þogh þey cold not choose wheþer it lay flat lice a trap-door or slantwise lice an uteside underroom-door. As Wilcox wold hafe said, þe shapelore of þe stead was all wrong. Won cold not be wis þat þe sea and þe grunde were flat, hense þe bearings of eferyþing else seemed gastily missly.
Briden shofed at þe stone in many spots wiþute follow. Þen Donofan felt ofer it softly abute þe edge, þringing each spot sundrily as he went. He climbed unendingly along þe attle stone shaping—þat is, it wold be called climbing if þe þing was not after all flat—and þe men wondered hu any door in þe allworld cold be so widegale. Þen, efer so softly and slowly, þe acer-great bred began to gife inward at þe top; and þey saw þat it was efened. Donofan slid or somehu bore himself dune or along þe leg and eftþeeded his fellows, and efery man wacht þe cweer ebbing of þe fiflishly grafted gateway. In þis shinelocc of lightly instilling it shriþed uncindefully in a roodwise way, so þat all þe laws of anworc and utelooc seemed upset.
Þe gateway was blacc wiþ a darcness almost rinendly. Þat gloominess was indeed a good þing; for it becluded such deals of þe inner walls as aght to hafe been unheeled, and trewly burst forþ lice smoce from its elds-long haft, seendly darcening þe sun as it slunc away into þe þe shruncen and waning scy on flapping hamish wings. Þe stench arising from þe newly opened depþs was unbearendly, and at lengþ þe cwicc-eared Hawcins þoght he heard a nasty, slobbering lude dune þere. Efery man listened, and efery man was listening still when It lumbered slobberingly into sight and gropingly cweased Its gummy green greatness þrogh þe blacc doorway into þe sullied uteside loft of þat atter borogh of madness.
Nogh Johansen’s handwriting almost gafe ute when he wrote of þis. Of þe six men who nefer reacht þe ship, he þincs two fell of sheer fright in þat acursed eyeblinc. Þe Þing cannot be arecct—þere is no tung for such depþs of shrecing and fern moonstruccness, such eldrich gainsayings of all anworc, þrace, and rodderly wharft. A barrow walct or stumbled. God! What wonder þat aþwart þe earþ a great draftsman went mad, and nogh Wilcox gabbled wiþ fefer in þat mindelincish eyeblinc? Þe Þing of þe godyeelds, þe green, sticcy offspring of þe stars, had awacened to tace his own. Þe stars were right again, and what an eld-old church had trucct to do by plot, a band of lutter sailers had done by hap. After untalendly þusands and þusands of years great Cthulhu was loose again, and hungry for delight.
Þree men were swept up by þe flabby claws before anybody went. God rest þem, if þere be any rest in þe allworld. Þey were Donofan, Guerrera, and Ångstrom. Ersher slippt as þe oþer þree were flying madly ofer endless sights of green-swaþed rocc to þe boat, and Johansen swears he was swallowed up by a whem of stoneworc which sholdn’t hafe been þere; a whem which was sharp, but behafed as if it were dull. So only Briden and Johansen reacht þe boat, and pulled wildely for þe Wary as þe barrowish fifle floppt dune þe slimy stones and drecht wallowing at þe edge of þe water.
Steam had not yet gone dune wholly, notwiþstanding þe leafing of all hands for þe shore; and it was þe worc of only a few eyeblincs of feferish rushing up and dune between wheel and gearworcs to get þe Wary under way. Slowly, amidst þe misshapen brows of þat unareccendly sight, she began to churn þe deadly waters; whilst on þe stoneworc of þat grafeyard shore þat was not of earþ þe ettin Þing from þe stars slabbered and babbled lice Polifeme cursing þe fleeing ship of Odisseus. Þen, bolder þan þe manitaled Woneye, great Cthulhu slid rissly into þe water and began to hunt wiþ great wafe-raising strokes of rodderly might. Briden looct bacc and went mad, laghing shrilly as he cept on laghing stundemeal till deaþ funde him won night in þe shiproom whilst Johansen was wandering crasedly.
But Johansen had not gifen ute yet. Cnowing þat þe Þing cold wisly ofertace þe Wary until steam was fully up, he chose on a mad licelihood; and, setting þe gearworc for full speed, ran lightning-lice on decc and edwent þe wheel. Þere was a mighty eddying and foaming in þe hateful brine, and as þe steam rose higher and higher þe stalworþ Nornishman drofe his ship head on against þe following nettle which rose abofe þe unclean froþ lice þe stern of a shucc man-of-war. Þe awful swid-head wiþ wriþing feelers came nearly up to þe busprute of þe harty yaght, but Johansen drofe on rooþlessly. Þere was a blasting as of a bursting bladder, a slushy nastiness as of a clofen sunfish, a stench as of a þusand opened grafes, and a lude þat þe tidewriter wold not put on leaf. For an eyeblinc þe ship was befuled by a sharp and blinding green clude, and þen þere was only a yelstry seeþing astern; where—God in heafen!—þe scattered bendsomeness of þat nameless scy-spring was mircily edhewing in its hateful form shape, whilst its farl widened efery brightom as þe Wary gained birr from its peacing steam.
Þat was all. After þat Johansen only brooded ofer þe godyeeld in þe shiproom and besaw to a few antimbers of food for himself and þe laghing madman by his side. He did not fand to steer after þe first bold flight, for þe wiþerdeed had tacen someþing ute of his sule. Þen came þe storm of Eastermonþ 2þ, and a gaþering of þe cludes abute his minde. Þere is a string of gostly whirling þrogh lay bights of endlessness, of disying rides þrogh reeling allworlds on þe tail of a shooting star, and of mad fallings from þe pit to þe moon and from þe moon bacc again to þe pit, all lifened by a caccling band of þe warpt, roaring elder gods, and þe green bat-winged teeling imps of hell.
Ute of þat dream came nering—þe Wachful, þe under-fleetlordship doomern, þe streets of Dunedin, and þe long fare bacc home to þe old huse by þe Egeberg. He cold not tell—þey wold þinc him mad. He wold write of what he cnew before deaþ came, but his wiffe must not gess. Deaþ wold be a boon if only it cold blot ute þe mins.
Þat was þe writing I read, and nu I hafe put it in þe tin box beside þe low-unheel and þe writs of Learer Angell. Wiþ it shall go þis writ of mine—þis fand of my own minde, wherein is put togeþer þat which I hope may nefer be put togeþer again. I hafe looct upon all þat þe allworld has to hold of brow, and efen þe scies of spring and þe blossoms of summer must efer afterward be atter to me. But I do not þinc my liffe will be long. As my eam went, as nogh Johansen went, so I shall go. I cnow too much, and þe church still lifes.
Cthulhu still lifes, too, I gess, again in þat dwolm of stone which has sheelded him sinse þe sun was yong. His acursed borogh is suncen wonse more, for þe Wachful sailed ofer þe spot after þe Eastermonþ storm; but his þanes on earþ still bellow and strut abute godyeeld-cappt greatstones in lonely steads. He must hafe been trappt by þe sincing whilst wiþin his blacc newelness, or else þe world wold by nu by screaming wiþ fright and madness. Who cnows þe end? What has risen may sinc, and what has sunc may rise. Loaþsomeness bides and dreams in þe deep, and rot spreads ofer þe tottering boroghs of men. A time will come—but I must not and cannot þinc! Let me bid þat, if I do not oferlife þis handwrit, my trustmen may put wariness ofer boldness and see þat it meets no oþer eye.