Myr rheynn jeh'n obbyr aym Gaelg er skeealyn beggey y chur, shoh shiartanse dy skeealyn H. P. Lovecraft. My ta shiu fakin marranys ennagh 'syn obbyr, as s'cosoylagh dy nee, cur fys dou my sailliu. Ta fys persoonagh er y duillag "mychione".
As part of my project to translate short stories into Manx, here are a few Lovecraft stories. If you notice any errors in the work, which there certainly will be, please let me know. Contact information is on the "about" page.
Y Shenn Dooinney Atçhimagh
V'eh fo Angelo Ricci as Joe Czanek as Manuel Silva shilley er y Çhenn Dooinney Atçhimagh y chur. Ta'n shenn dooinney shoh cummal ny lomarcan ayns thie shenn ass cooinaghtyn er Straid yn Ushtey faggys da'n vooir, as rere roo t'eh feer verçhagh as feer 'aase chammah; ny chooish feer tayrnagh da lught keirdey Vrn. Ricci, Czanek as Silva, er y fa dy nee maarliaght hene y cheird ooasle v'ayn.
Ny ta cummaltee Phurt y Ree gra as smooinaghtyn mychione y Çhenn Dooinney Atçhimagh, t'eh ny choadey dy cadjin veih geill lheid ny deiney ooasle as Mnr. Ricci as e cho-obbreeyn, ga dy nee nhee bunnys shickyr dy vel eh tashtey fortan ass towse raad ennagh 'sy çhenn çhagh keoyeeagh echey. Dy firrinagh, she dooinney feer whaagh t'ayn. T'ad credjal dy row eh ny chaptan lhuingey ny h-Injyn Shiar 'sy laa echey; t'eh cho shenn nagh gooin lesh peiagh erbee yn aegid echey, as cho fastagh nagh vel fys er yn 'eer ennym echey agh er beggan beg. Mastey biljyn crammanagh ayns garey toshee y çhenn ynnyd gyn arrey, t'eh freayll çhaglym dy chlaghyn mooarey, er nyn bossanaghey as daahghey dy joarree do t'ad gollrish jallooyn çhiamble fadaneagh Hiar ennagh. S'taittin lesh guillyn beggey ennagh ceau flout er y Çhenn Dooinney Atçhimagh mychione e 'olt as faasaag liauyr bane, ny brishey uinnagyn beg-cherrinagh y thie lesh tilganeyn olkyssagh. Son y chooid smoo, ta'n çhaglym shoh cur orroo freayll ersooyl fo aggle; agh ta reddyn elley cur aggle er ny sleih shinney skeetagh ta snaue rish y thie ny keayrtyn dys blakey stiagh trooid ny kerrinyn joanagh. T'adsyn gra dy vel taabyl ayns shamyr follym laare y thallooin, as shimmey boteil quaagh t'er, as ayns dagh fer ta meer leoaie croghey myr crogheydane er streng. As t'ad gra dy vel y Shenn Dooinney Atçhimagh loayrt rish ny boteilyn, fo enmyn myr Jack, Screebagagh, Thom Liauyr, Joe Spaainagh, Mac Peddyr, as Aavainshter Ellis; as tra t'eh loayrt rish boteil ennagh, dy vel y crogheydane ayn cur magh craaghyn er lheh myr dy beagh eh freggyrt. Adsyn t'er nyeeaghyn er y Çhenn Dooinney Atçhimagh liauyr shang ec lheid ny coloayrtyssyn, cha nel ad jeeaghyn er reesht. Agh cha row Angelo Ricci as Joe Czanek as Manuel Silva jeh fuill Phurt ny Ree; v'adsyn ass y phobble noa yl-cheintagh joarree ta ny lhie çheumooie jeh çhaaghlagh sheeant bea as cliaghtey Hostyn Noa, as cha vaik ad y Shenn Dooinney Atçhimagh agh ny henn dooinney lheeah lhag anheiltagh nagh dod shooyl agh lesh cooney maidjey cassit, as ny laueyn echey er craa dy treih. Va çhymmey oc, 'syn aght oc, er y çhenn dooinney lomarcan neuennoil ren cagh shaghney as ny moddee gounsternee er dy neuchadjin. Agh she keird eh keird, as da roosteyr t'er chur e annym da, she red miolagh eh shenn dooinney feer 'aase gyn coontys banc ta kionnaghey cooid veg y vea ayns shapp y valley lesh airh Spaainagh as argid hie er cooiney daa eash erash.
Reih Mrn. Ricci, Czanek as Silva oie chied laa jeig Averil er son y cheayrt. Yinnagh Mnr. Ricci as Mnr. Silva co-akin y shenn dooinney boght, choud's duirreeagh Mnr. Czanek orroo, as er y laad meainagh jerkit, lesh gleashtan cleagh ayns Straid ny Lhuingey rish y yiat trooid boalley cooyl ard faaieaghyn yn oastagh oc. She mian shaghney ceau soilshey neuymmyrçhagh er y chooish dy vrishagh meoir-shee neuyerkit stiagh orroo ghreinn ad dy chiarail yn immeeaght chiune neuvooaralagh shoh.
Rere'n chummey, hoshee y tree fer as fer dys lhiettal drogh-ourys goanlyssagh eiyrtyssagh erbee. Veeit Mrn. Ricci as Silva ayns Straid yn Ushtey rish giat toshee y çhenn dooinney, as ga nagh b'haittin lhieu bree soilshey ny h-eayst soilshean trooid banglaneyn çheet my vlaa ny biljyn crammanagh, va reddyn strimmey oc dy smooinaghtyn orroo na credjue fardailagh gyn bun. B'aggle daue dy beagh eh obbyr meehaitnyssagh cur er y Çhenn Dooinney Atçhimagh ve focklagh mychione yn argid as airh hashtit echey; ta ambee sturneishagh as noi-freihagh er shenn chaptanyn marrey. Ny yei shen, v'eh feer shenn as feer 'aase, as va daa cheayrtagh ayn. Va Mrn. Ricci as Silva oayllagh rish cur focklaght er sleih neuarryltagh, as s'aashagh eh plooghey screeaghyn dooinney faase as shenn ass towse. Myr shen, hooill ad da'n uinnag soilshit lomarcan, as eaishtagh rish y Çhenn Dooinney Atçhimagh loayrt dy lambaanagh rish ny boteilyn as crogheydaneyn ayndaue. Eisht hug ad far-eddinyn moo as cronkal dy cooyrtoil er dorrys fuyghagh as daah ny h-emshir er.
By liauyr eh fuirraghtyn da Mnr. Czanek as eshyn fidjal dy neuaashagh 'sy ghleashtan rish giat cooyl y Çhenn Dooinney Atçhimagh ayns Straid ny Lhuiney. V'eh keain harrish y chadjin, as cha b'vie lesh y screeaghey agglagh va ry-chlashtyn jeh'n thie kiart ny yei y traa oardit da'n obbyr. Nagh row eh er insh daue ve cho meein as jantagh rish y shenn chaptan marrey treih? Dy imneagh, vlak eh er y yiat coon darree 'sy voalley ard cloaie fo brat hibbin. Yeeagh eh er ooreyder dy mennick, as goaill yindys er y voalys. Row y shenn dooinney er ngeddyn baase roish my hoilshee magh eh yn ynnyd tashtee, as row feme oc er ronsaghey dowin? Cha by vie lesh Mnr. Czanek fuirraghtyn rish cho foddey ayns lheid y voayl dorraghey. Eisht dennee eh kesmad ny crankal beg er y chassan çheusthie y dorrys, as clashtyn rish loaghtey meein lesh sneg fo smooirane ruy, as fakin y dorrys coon trome leaystey stiagh. As fo soilshean treih y tollys straiddey ynrican, cheyllee eh e hooillyn dys fakin ny va'n co-obbree echey cur lhieu magh ass y thie baggyrtagh datt cho faggys nyn yei. Agh rish jeeaghyn, cha vaik eh ny v'eh jerkal; cha nee e cho-obbree v'ayn er chor erbee, agh y Shenn Dooinney Atçhimagh ny lomarcan, as eshyn ny hassoo lesh y vaidjey cassit as mongey er dy jouyllagh. Cha row Mnr. Czanek rieau er chur geill da daah sooilley y dooinney neayr's shen; eisht honnick eh dy row ad buigh.
Ta cooishyn beggey moir mushtaa mooar ayns baljyn beggey, as shen y fa loayr sleih Phurt y Ree car ny h-arree as souree er ny tree kirp gyn enney, er nyn ngiarrey myr liorish ymmodee cliweyn marrey, as er nyn lhuddyraghey myr liorish ymmodee boynnyn dewil, hie er skeabey seose er y roayrt. As loayr sleih ennagh eer er lheid y chooish fardailagh as y gleashtan neuhaaghit hooar ad ayns Straid ny Lhuingey, ny yllee feer neughooinoil dy row, jeh baagh feie ny ushag arraghee s'cosoylagh, cheayll seyraanee neuchadlagh ennagh 'syn oie. Agh cha row sym erbee ec y Çhenn Dooinney Atçhimagh 'sy skeealeraght fardailagh valley shoh. Va dooghys tostagh echey, as tra t'ou shenn as faase, ta'n fastid ayd daa wheesh as lajer. Ansherbee, shegin da captan marrey cho shenn er n'akin feedyn dy chooish foddey ny s'greesee ayns laghyn e aegid foddey ass cooinaghtyn 'sy yoin.
The Terrible Old Man
It was the design of Angelo Ricci and Joe Czanek and Manuel Silva to call on the Terrible Old Man. This old man dwells all alone in a very ancient house on Water Street near the sea, and is reputed to be both exceedingly rich and exceedingly feeble; which forms a situation very attractive to men of the profession of Messrs. Ricci, Czanek, and Silva, for that profession was nothing less dignified than robbery.
The inhabitants of Kingsport say and think many things about the Terrible Old Man which generally keep him safe from the attention of gentlemen like Mr. Ricci and his colleagues, despite the almost certain fact that he hides a fortune of indefinite magnitude somewhere about his musty and venerable abode. He is, in truth, a very strange person, believed to have been a captain of East India clipper ships in his day; so old that no one can remember when he was young, and so taciturn that few know his real name. Among the gnarled trees in the front yard of his aged and neglected place he maintains a strange collection of large stones, oddly grouped and painted so that they resemble the idols in some obscure Eastern temple. This collection frightens away most of the small boys who love to taunt the Terrible Old Man about his long white hair and beard, or to break the small-paned windows of his dwelling with wicked missiles; but there are other things which frighten the older and more curious folk who sometimes steal up to the house to peer in through the dusty panes. These folk say that on a table in a bare room on the ground floor are many peculiar bottles, in each a small piece of lead suspended pendulum-wise from a string. And they say that the Terrible Old Man talks to these bottles, addressing them by such names as Jack, Scar-Face, Long Tom, Spanish Joe, Peters, and Mate Ellis, and that whenever he speaks to a bottle the little lead pendulum within makes certain definite vibrations as if in answer. Those who have watched the tall, lean, Terrible Old Man in these peculiar conversations, do not watch him again. But Angelo Ricci and Joe Czanek and Manuel Silva were not of Kingsport blood; they were of that new and heterogeneous alien stock which lies outside the charmed circle of New England life and traditions, and they saw in the Terrible Old Man merely a tottering, almost helpless greybeard, who could not walk without the aid of his knotted cane, and whose thin, weak hands shook pitifully. They were really quite sorry in their way for the lonely, unpopular old fellow, whom everybody shunned, and at whom all the dogs barked singularly. But business is business, and to a robber whose soul is in his profession, there is a lure and a challenge about a very old and very feeble man who has no account at the bank, and who pays for his few necessities at the village store with Spanish gold and silver minted two centuries ago.
Messrs. Ricci, Czanek, and Silva selected the night of April 11th for their call. Mr. Ricci and Mr. Silva were to interview the poor old gentleman, whilst Mr. Czanek waited for them and their presumable metallic burden with a covered motor-car in Ship Street, by the gate in the tall rear wall of their host's grounds. Desire to avoid needless explanations in case of unexpected police intrusions prompted these plans for a quiet and unostentatious departure.
As prearranged, the three adventurers started out separately in order to prevent any evil-minded suspicions afterward. Messrs. Ricci and Silva met in Water Street by the old man's front gate, and although they did not like the way the moon shone down upon the painted stones through the budding branches of the gnarled trees, they had more important things to think about than mere idle superstition. They feared it might be unpleasant work making the Terrible Old Man loquacious concerning his hoarded gold and silver, for aged sea-captains are notably stubborn and perverse. Still, he was very old and very feeble, and there were two visitors. Messrs. Ricci and Silva were experienced in the art of making unwilling persons voluble, and the screams of a weak and exceptionally venerable man can be easily muffled. So they moved up to the one lighted window and heard the Terrible Old Man talking childishly to his bottles with pendulums. Then they donned masks and knocked politely at the weather-stained oaken door.
Waiting seemed very long to Mr. Czanek as he fidgeted restlessly in the covered motor-car by the Terrible Old Man's back gate in Ship Street. He was more than ordinarily tender-hearted, and he did not like the hideous screams he had heard in the ancient house just after the hour appointed for the deed. Had he not told his colleagues to be as gentle as possible with the pathetic old sea-captain? Very nervously he watched that narrow oaken gate in the high and ivy-clad stone wall. Frequently he consulted his watch, and wondered at the delay. Had the old man died before revealing where his treasure was hidden, and had a thorough search become necessary? Mr. Czanek did not like to wait so long in the dark in such a place. Then he sensed a soft tread or tapping on the walk inside the gate, heard a gentle fumbling at the rusty latch, and saw the narrow, heavy door swing inward. And in the pallid glow of the single dim street-lamp he strained his eyes to see what his colleagues had brought out of that sinister house which loomed so close behind. But when he looked, he did not see what he had expected; for his colleagues were not there at all, but only the Terrible Old Man leaning quietly on his knotted cane and smiling hideously. Mr. Czanek had never before noticed the colour of that man's eyes; now he saw that they were yellow.
Little things make considerable excitement in little towns, which is the reason that Kingsport people talked all that spring and summer about the three unidentifiable bodies, horribly slashed as with many cutlasses, and horribly mangled as by the tread of many cruel boot-heels, which the tide washed in. And some people even spoke of things as trivial as the deserted motor-car found in Ship Street, or certain especially inhuman cries, probably of a stray animal or migratory bird, heard in the night by wakeful citizens. But in this idle village gossip the Terrible Old Man took no interest at all. He was by nature reserved, and when one is aged and feeble one's reserve is doubly strong. Besides, so ancient a sea-captain must have witnessed scores of things much more stirring in the far-off days of his unremembered youth.
Coontey Randolph Carter
Ta mee ginsh diu reesht, gheiney ooasle; cha feeu erbee eh mish y cheishtey. Pryssoonee mee ayns shoh er son dy bragh my sailliu; jean my ghooney stiagh ny my chur gys baase my ta feme oc er surransagh dys cummal seose y chonrieught ta shiu genmys cairys; cha noddym gra ny smoo ny ny ta grait aym hannah. Dagh ooilley red s'cooin lhiam eh, ta mee er ny ghra dy jeeragh. Cha nel red erbee jeh cassit ny follit aym, as my ta'n chooish neuchruinn foast, shen er coontey ynrican y vodjal dorraghey t'er jeet harrish my aigney - y bodjal shen as dooghys kayeeagh ny scoaghyn hug eh orrym.
Jirrym reesht, cha s'aym cre'n erree haink er Harley Warren, agh er lhiam - s'treisht lhiam, faggys - dy vel eh ec fea er neunhee nish, my ta lheid y stayd sheeant ayn raad erbee. S'feer eh dy vel mee e charrey s'ainjyssee rish queig bleeantyn, as lieh-ayrniagh 'syn aahirrey agglagh jeant echey er cooishyn gyn enney. Cha nee'm jiooldey, ga dy vel my chooinaghtyn neuhickyr as neuchronnal, dy vaik feanishagh ennagh eu y jees ain ec lieh-oor lurg nane-jeig yn oie agglagh shen, as shinyn shooyll ry-cheilley er raad keesh Ghainsville rish Curragh Chuphar Vooar. Shickyreeym dy arryltagh dy dymmyrk shin londeyryn lectragh, kiebbyn, as streng chaslit whaagh as jeshaghtyn kianglt ree; va laue ocsyn ooilley 'sy çhilley owanagh ynrican t'er ny 'owanaghey er my chooinaghtyn jeeillit. Agh er ny haghyr ny yei, as er y fa hooar ad mish my lomarcan as thollaneagh ec oirr ny curree y nah voghrey, shegin dou gra nagh cooin lhiam red erbee agh ny ta mee er n'insh diu reesht as reeshtagh. Dinsh shiu dou nagh vel boayl erbee 'sy churragh ny'n ard oddagh ve ynnyd ny taghyrtyn atçhimagh shen. Ta mee freggyrt nagh vel fys aym agh er ny honnick mee. Foddee dy nee ashlish ny tromlhie v'ayn - s'mian jeean lhiam dy nee ashlish ny tromlhie v'ayn - agh shen ooilley s'cooin lhiam eh jeh taghyrtyn atçhimagh ny h-ooryn erreish dooin faagail tastey deiney. As er y fa nagh daink Harley Warren erash, eshyn ny'n scaa echey - ny nhee ennagh gyn enney nagh noddym soilshaghey magh - cha hoilshee agh y traa shen.
Myr dooyrt mee, va mee ainjyssagh rish studeyrys quaagh Harley Warren, as ghow mee ayrn ayn ny keayrtyn. Mastey'n çhaglym ass towse echey dy lioaryn joarree goaney er cooishyn neulhiggit, ta mee er lhiah dagh fer ta screeut ayns çhengey t'aym; agh t'adsyn beg cosoylit roosyn t'ayns çhengaghyn nagh noddym toiggal. Ta'n chooid smoo jeu ayns Arabish, ta mee credjal; as y lioar jouyll-screeut hayrn y jerrey orrin - lioar hug lesh eh 'sy phoagey echey magh ass y teihll - v'eshyn screeut ayns lettyryn nagh vaik mee rieau y lheid oc. Cha row Warren arryltagh rieau dy insh dou ny v'aynsyn, dy jeeragh. As bentyn rish y studeyrys jeant ain - nhegin dou gra reesht nagh gooin lhiam y clane foast? Er lhiam dy nee myghin t'ayn; she studeyrys agglagh v'ayn, as lhian mee roo kyndagh rish cleaynaghey neuarryltagh, cha nel rish mian hene. Va kioneys ec Warren orrym rieau, as va aggle orrym roish ny keayrtyn. S'cooin lhiam yn aght va mee er craa yn oie roish ny taghyrtyn agglagh, as eshyn loayrt gyn scuirr erbee er y çheiltynys echey, er y fa nagh vel merriu ennagh loauaghey arragh, agh marraghtyn dy fondagh as roayr ayns ny tommanyn oc rish milley bleeaney. Agh cha nel aggle aym roish nish; er lhiam dy vel enney echey nish er scoaghaghyn ass my oayllys. Nish ta aggle aym er-e-hon.
Ta mee ginsh diu reesht nagh vel fys baghtal aym er y dean v'ain yn oie shen. Son shickyrys, v'eh bentyn rish red ennagh 'sy lioar hrog Warren eh - y shenn lioar ayns lettyryn do-lhiah v'er ny roshtyn ass yn Injey mee er dy henney - agh breearreeym nagh row fys aym er ny v'eh jerkal feddyn eh. Ta'n feanishagh eu gra dy vaik eh shin mysh lieh-oor lurg nane-jeig er raad keesh Ghainsville, shooyll cour Curragh Chuphar Vooar. S'feer eh, s'cosoylagh, agh cha gooin lhiam eh dy baghtal. Cha nel agh un çhilley grainnit er my annym, as shegin dasyn ve foddey lurg mean oie; va eayst eairkagh vaarnee ny soie ard ayns ny niaughyn gaalagh.
She shenn ruillick v'ayn; ruillick cho shenn va mee er craa lesh ymmodee cowraghyn bleeantyn ass towse. V'ee ny soie ayns laggan dowin tash, fo lane-choodagh faiyr rank, keynnagh, as sarkil snauee whaagh, as er ny feie haink soar neuchronnal dou chianglee my aigney meecheayllagh rish claghyn molkagh. Er gagh çheu va cowraghyn neuyeadid as drogh-oardrailys ry-akin, as haink eie lhiantynagh orrym dy nee Warren as mish ny kied chretooryn vioey haink stiagh er tostid marrooagh ny h-eashyn. Vlak eayst eairkagh vaarnee hreih harrish oirr y ghlion trooid gaal nieunagh dirree ass oaighyn gyn enney, er lhiam. Fo skaggyn moaley kirkinagh e soilshey dod mee cronnaghey straih graynoil dy leacyn oaie, crockyn, lhiaghtyn cooinaght as eddinyn toman mooar; v'ad ooilley boghlanagh, coodit lesh keynnagh, daahit liorish tashtid, as lieh-'ollit liorish rankid arraghtagh ny glasseraght neufollan.
Y chied chooinaght vaghtal aym jinyn 'sy ruillick agglagh shen, shen Warren as mish scuirr roish lhiaght lieh-naardit er lheh, as lhiggey da laad ennagh va shin er n'ymmyrkey tuittym sheese. Hug mee my ner nish dy row londeyr lectragh as daa chiebbey ayms, choud's va londeyr cosoylagh rish ec my charrey, as farrys çhellvane ymmyrkagh. Cha loayr shin fockle erbee; v'eh jeeaghyn dy row ynnyd as obbyr mie er fys ain daa, as gyn feiyal ghow shin kiebbey y pheesh as goaill toshiaght scughey faiyr, sarkil as thalloo chailjey jeh thie rea shenn-emshiragh ny merriu. Erreish dooin seyrey y lane eaghtyr, as eshyn jeant jeh tree claghyn tryal fouwragh, hayrn shin erash dys goaill towshan jeh'n reayrtys baaish. Er lhiam dy ren Warren co-earroo inçhynagh ennagh. Eisht hooill eh erash da'n oaie, as jannoo eab dy phrisal seose y leac va s'faggys da tholtanagh cloaie va ny lhiaght cooinaghtyn 'sy laa, foddee. Cha daink eh lesh, as chowree eh er son cooney. Fy yerrey, ren y lane niart ain feaysley y leac, as hrog shin eh as seiy eh ass y raad.
Ren arraghey y leac taishbyney barney doo, as gheayrt magh smoghan dy ghas miasmagh cho feodagh lheim shin erash fo grayn. Agh rish tammylt, hayrn shin faggys da'n slogh reesht, as dennee shin dy row y soar ny sloo do-hurranse. Hoilshee ny londeyryn kione roie greeishyn, as ingyr dwoaieagh ennagh y thalloo sthie sheeley harroo, as boallaghyn tash fo scroig neetar ny çhemmalyn oc. As nish son y chied cheayrt ta taggloo beill cooinit aym; Warren loayr rhym er liurid 'sy choraa tennoragh menoyragh echey, as eshyn neuvoirit dy quaagh liorish y çhymbyllaght agglagh mygeayrt-y-mooin.
"S'treih lhiam shassoo ort fuirraghtyn er y thalloo," as eh, "agh by pheccah eh lhiggey da fer cho lhaggey e nearagyn goll sheese ayns shen. Cha nod oo sheiltyn, gyn scansh da ny t'ou er lhiah as ny ta mee er ninsh dhyt, ny vees orrym fakin as jannoo eh. She obbyr jouyllagh t'ayn, Charter, as ta ourys aym dy noddagh fer erbee gyn daanys yiarn ny hurranse as tannaghtyn bio as er e cheayll. Cha mian lhiam frioggan ort, as ta fys ec Jee by voggey dou dty heshaght; agh ta currym orrym, aght ennagh, as cha noddym tayrn lheid y fer nearagagh sheese marym dys baase ny baanrys cosoylagh. Ta mee ginsh dhyt, cha nod oo sheiltyn rieughid y nhee! Agh ta mee gialdyn dy hoilshaghey dagh kesmad y turrys dhyt er y çhellvane - jeeagh, ta streng dy liooar aym dys roshtyn cree ny cruinney as erash!"
Ta ny focklyn shen as e choraa chiune ry-chlashtyn aym foast, as s'cooin lhiam ny çhionnraaghyn hug mee er. By vian jeean dou goll marish my charrey stiagh 'sy çharvaal ghrouw, er lhiam, agh v'eh kione-lajeragh as creoi. Keayrt ennagh vaggyr eh dy 'aagail y jurnaa dy danneein shassooagh; haink y baggyrt shen lesh, er y fa nagh row feaysley y chooish agh echeysyn. S'cooin lhiam ooilley shen, ga nagh gooin lhiam nish cre'n nhee hirr shin. Erreish da cur orrym lhie roish y chiarail echey, hrog Warren y rollian streng as cochiartaghey ny jeshaghtyn. As eshyn snoggal, ghow mee fer jeu as soie sheese er shenn leac oaie daahit ec ny h-eashyn, faggys da'n doarlish noa-feddynit. Eisht chrie ad my laue, as cur y rollian streng er e gheaylin, as skellal stiagh 'sy thie craueyn do-insh.
Rish tammylt, dreill mee shilley er soilshey y losteyr, as va moostrey streng ry-chlashtyn tra hug eh eh sheese ny yei; agh dy gerrid, herree y soilshey dy doaltattym, myr dy row eh er gassey corneil ennagh 'sy roie greeishyn cloaie, as lheie magh y sheean myrgeddin. Va mee my lomarcan, agh er my chiangley da'n diunid gyn enney ec snaieyn obbeeys jeen lhie geayney fo skaggyn moaley ny h-eayst eairkagh vaarnee.
Ayns tostid fadaneagh ard-valley lheeah as treigit ny merriu, ren my inçhyn gientyn scaanyn as conrieughtyn scoaghagh ass towse; as er lhiam dy daink persoonid graney er ny çhiambleyn as leacyn arraghtagh - far-enney ennagh. Va scaanyn gyn cummey lhie cooyl chlea ayns cuilleigyn s'dorree y lhaggan sarkyllagh, er lhiam, as gimman myr cosheeaght drogh-chliaghtagh vollaghtagh shaghey beill ny tommanyn molmagh 'sy lhargagh; scaanyn nagh dod ve ceaut ec yn eayst eairkagh vlakee, treih.
Cheau mee shillaghyn kinjagh er my ooreyder lesh soilshey y losteyr lectragh, as eaishtagh rish y ghlackeyder çhellvane as imnea jeean orrym; agh rish kerroo oor as ny smoo, cha geayll mee veg. Eisht haink criggaraght beg ass y jeshaght, as deam mee sheese da my charrey lesh coraa toghtit. Ga dy row mee twoaieagh, cha row mee aarloo da ny focklyn cheayll mee girree neese magh ass yn ooig neuheiltagh, as y blass orroo scoaghit as er creau erskyn focklyn erbee cheayll mee rieau jeh Harley Warren. Eshyn v'er my 'aagail cho kiune tammylt beg er-dy-henney, v'eh gyllagh neese ayns sannish craagh ny smoo drogh-vonneydagh na screeagh er ard.
"Yee! Dy vaikagh oo ny ta mee fakin!"
Cha dod mee freggyrt. Gyn choraa, cha dod mee agh fuirraghtyn. Loayr y coraa toghtit reesht:
"Charter, t'eh agglagh - eajee - neuchredjallagh!"
Y cheayrt shoh cha huitt my choraa, as gheayrt mee thooilley feyshtyn greesit stiagh 'sy ghlackeyder. As aggle ass towse orrym, dooyrt mee gyn scuirr, "Warren, c'red t'eh? C'red t'eh?"
Haink coraa my charrey reesht, peeaghaneagh lesh aggle, as blass drogh-hreihys er nish.
"Cha noddym ginsh dhyt, Charter! T'eh ass smooinaght dy bollagh - cha lhoys dou gra - cha nod fer erbee tannaghtyn bio as fys echey er - Yee ooilley-niartal! Cha heill mee rieau y lheid!"
Tostid reesht, er lhimmey jeh'n stroo meeresoonagh dy 'eyshtyn gheayrt mee magh er creau. Eisht coraa Warren as ardjey ard-yindys keoie er:
"Charter! Son graih Yee, cur y leac erash as magh ass shoh my foddee uss! Tappee! - Faag y clane as immee çheumooie - shen y caa ynrican dhyt! Jean ny dooyrt mee, as ny shirr baght er orrym!
Cheayll mee, agh cha dod mee agh aaloayrt ny feyshtyn dy baanrit. Va tommanyn as dorraghys as scaanyn mygeayrt aym; as foym va cryggyl erskyn creeagh sheiltynys deiney. Agh va my charrey ayns gaue ny strimmey na mish, as trooid yn aggle va corree ennagh orrym dy chred eh dy noddin treigeil eh rish lheid y tuittymys. Tooilley criggaraght, as farkaght, as eisht yllagh treih ass Warren.
"Fow royd! Son graih Yee, cur y leac erash as trog er, Charter!"
B'vaghtal eh dy row my chumraag lhottit, as ren blass ennagh 'sy raa guilleydagh feaysley my ablid greimmit. Ren as dyllee mee kiarail, "Warren, gow cree! Ta mee çheet sheese!" Agh rish y çhebbal chaghlaa blass my choloayrtagh da yllagh lane veehreishteil:
"Ny jig! Cha nel oo toiggal! T'eh ro-anmagh - as s'lhiams y varranys. Cur y leac erash as roie - cha nel freggyrt erbee ayds ny ec peiagh erbee nish!"
Chaghlaa y coraa reesht, as haink blass kiune er nish, myr surranse gyn doghys. Agh va çhennid imnea er foast er my hon.
"Tappee - roish my vel eh ro-anmagh!"
Ren mee eab gyn cur geill da; dys brishey trooid y neuheiltys voogh mee, as cooilleeiney my vreearrey dy ratçh dy chooney eh. Agh hooar y nah hannish mish foast neughleashagh ayns driaghtyn jiarg-scoagh.
"Charter - jean siyr! Cha nel ymmyd erbee - shegin dhyt goll - ny share un na daa - y leac-"
Scuirr, ny smoo criggaraght, as coraa faase Warren:
"Faggys jeant nish - ny jean eh ny s'creoi - coodee ny greeishyn mollaghtagh as roie er son dty vea - t'ou uss coayl traa - bannaght lhiat, Charter - cha vaikym uss reesht."
As myr shen vooadee sannish Warren dys yllagh; yllagh dirree dy moal dys screeagh lughtit lesh lane ghrayn ny h-eashyn:
"Mollaght er ny nheeghyn iurinagh - çhionnalyn jeu - Graih Yee! Trog er! Trog er! TROG ER!"
As ny yei shen, tostid. Cha s'aym cre wooad dy h-eashyn gyn jerrey hannee mee my hoie as mish thollaneagh; sansheraght, mungley, gyllaghey, screeaghey stiagh 'sy çhellvane. Reesht as reeshtagh car ny h-eashyn shen hanshee mee, as vungil, as dyllee, as deam, "Warren! Warren! Loayr rhym - vel oo ayns shen?"
As eisht haink orrym yn ard-scoagh - y red do-chredjal, do-smooinaghtagh; do-insh, faggys. Ta mee er ngra dy jagh eashyn shaghey erreish da Warren screeaghey magh y raaue meehreishteilagh s'jerree, as nagh vrish agh my focklyn hene y tostid atçhimagh nish. Agh lurg tammylt cheayll mee criggaraght reesht 'sy ghlackeyder, as heeyn mee my chleayshyn da. Dyllee mee sheese reesht, "Warren, vel oo ayns shen?" as myr freggyrt cheayll mee ny t'er cheau y dolley shoh er my inçhyn. Cha nee'm eab, my gheiney seyrey, soilshey y cheau er y chooish - y coraa shen - as cha noddym cur coontey myn jeh noadyr; ren ny kied 'ocklyn raipey ersooyl my enney as faagail folmid cooinaghtyn derrey ghooisht mee 'sy thie lheihys. Lhisin gra dy row eh trome; mooghit; gleiynagh; feayr; neuheihllt; neughooinoil; neuchorpoil? C'red noddym gra? By jerrey my chooinaghtyn eh, as she jerrey my skeeal t'ayn. Cheayll mee eh, as coayl enney - cheayll mee eh as mish lhejit my hoie 'sy ruillick gyn enney 'sy laggan, mastey claghyn as tommanyn boghlanagh, as glasseraght rank, as gaal miasmagh - cheayll mee eh brooightey neese ass brein s'diuney ny h-oiae 'oshlit imshee shen tra ghaunse scaadooghyn merriu-eeagh gyn cummey fo eayst vollaghtagh vaarnee.
As shoh ny dooyrt eh:
"VOLVANE, TA WARREN MARROO!"
The Statement of Randolph Carter
I repeat to you, gentlemen, that your inquisition is fruitless. Detain me here forever if you will; confine or execute me if you must have a victim to propitiate the illusion you call justice; but I can say no more than I have said already. Everything that I can remember, I have told with perfect candour. Nothing has been distorted or concealed, and if anything remains vague, it is only because of the dark cloud which has come over my mind—that cloud and the nebulous nature of the horrors which brought it upon me.
Again I say, I do not know what has become of Harley Warren; though I think—almost hope—that he is in peaceful oblivion, if there be anywhere so blessed a thing. It is true that I have for five years been his closest friend, and a partial sharer of his terrible researches into the unknown. I will not deny, though my memory is uncertain and indistinct, that this witness of yours may have seen us together as he says, on the Gainesville pike, walking toward Big Cypress Swamp, at half past eleven on that awful night. That we bore electric lanterns, spades, and a curious coil of wire with attached instruments, I will even affirm; for these things all played a part in the single hideous scene which remains burned into my shaken recollection. But of what followed, and of the reason I was found alone and dazed on the edge of the swamp next morning, I must insist that I know nothing save what I have told you over and over again. You say to me that there is nothing in the swamp or near it which could form the setting of that frightful episode. I reply that I know nothing beyond what I saw. Vision or nightmare it may have been—vision or nightmare I fervently hope it was—yet it is all that my mind retains of what took place in those shocking hours after we left the sight of men. And why Harley Warren did not return, he or his shade—or some nameless thing I cannot describe—alone can tell.
As I have said before, the weird studies of Harley Warren were well known to me, and to some extent shared by me. Of his vast collection of strange, rare books on forbidden subjects I have read all that are written in the languages of which I am master; but these are few as compared with those in languages I cannot understand. Most, I believe, are in Arabic; and the fiend-inspired book which brought on the end—the book which he carried in his pocket out of the world—was written in characters whose like I never saw elsewhere. Warren would never tell me just what was in that book. As to the nature of our studies—must I say again that I no longer retain full comprehension? It seems to me rather merciful that I do not, for they were terrible studies, which I pursued more through reluctant fascination than through actual inclination. Warren always dominated me, and sometimes I feared him. I remember how I shuddered at his facial expression on the night before the awful happening, when he talked so incessantly of his theory, why certain corpses never decay, but rest firm and fat in their tombs for a thousand years. But I do not fear him now, for I suspect that he has known horrors beyond my ken. Now I fear for him.
Once more I say that I have no clear idea of our object on that night. Certainly, it had much to do with something in the book which Warren carried with him—that ancient book in undecipherable characters which had come to him from India a month before—but I swear I do not know what it was that we expected to find. Your witness says he saw us at half past eleven on the Gainesville pike, headed for Big Cypress Swamp. This is probably true, but I have no distinct memory of it. The picture seared into my soul is of one scene only, and the hour must have been long after midnight; for a waning crescent moon was high in the vaporous heavens.
The place was an ancient cemetery; so ancient that I trembled at the manifold signs of immemorial years. It was in a deep, damp hollow, overgrown with rank grass, moss, and curious creeping weeds, and filled with a vague stench which my idle fancy associated absurdly with rotting stone. On every hand were the signs of neglect and decrepitude, and I seemed haunted by the notion that Warren and I were the first living creatures to invade a lethal silence of centuries. Over the valley's rim a wan, waning crescent moon peered through the noisome vapours that seemed to emanate from unheard-of catacombs, and by its feeble, wavering beams I could distinguish a repellent array of antique slabs, urns, cenotaphs, and mausolean facades; all crumbling, moss-grown, and moisture-stained, and partly concealed by the gross luxuriance of the unhealthy vegetation. My first vivid impression of my own presence in this terrible necropolis concerns the act of pausing with Warren before a certain half-obliterated sepulchre, and of throwing down some burdens which we seemed to have been carrying. I now observed that I had with me an electric lantern and two spades, whilst my companion was supplied with a similar lantern and a portable telephone outfit. No word was uttered, for the spot and the task seemed known to us; and without delay we seized our spades and commenced to clear away the grass, weeds, and drifted earth from the flat, archaic mortuary. After uncovering the entire surface, which consisted of three immense granite slabs, we stepped back some distance to survey the charnel scene; and Warren appeared to make some mental calculations. Then he returned to the sepulchre, and using his spade as a lever, sought to pry up the slab lying nearest to a stony ruin which may have been a monument in its day. He did not succeed, and motioned to me to come to his assistance. Finally our combined strength loosened the stone, which we raised and tipped to one side.
The removal of the slab revealed a black aperture, from which rushed an effluence of miasmal gases so nauseous that we started back in horror. After an interval, however, we approached the pit again, and found the exhalations less unbearable. Our lanterns disclosed the top of a flight of stone steps, dripping with some detestable ichor of the inner earth, and bordered by moist walls encrusted with nitre. And now for the first time my memory records verbal discourse, Warren addressing me at length in his mellow tenor voice; a voice singularly unperturbed by our awesome surroundings.
"I'm sorry to have to ask you to stay on the surface," he said, "but it would be a crime to let anyone with your frail nerves go down there. You can't imagine, even from what you have read and from what I've told you, the things I shall have to see and do. It's fiendish work, Carter, and I doubt if any man without ironclad sensibilities could ever see it through and come up alive and sane. I don't wish to offend you, and heaven knows I'd be glad enough to have you with me; but the responsibility is in a certain sense mine, and I couldn't drag a bundle of nerves like you down to probable death or madness. I tell you, you can't imagine what the thing is really like! But I promise to keep you informed over the telephone of every move—you see I've enough wire here to reach to the centre of the earth and back!"
I can still hear, in memory, those coolly spoken words; and I can still remember my remonstrances. I seemed desperately anxious to accompany my friend into those sepulchral depths, yet he proved inflexibly obdurate. At one time he threatened to abandon the expedition if I remained insistent; a threat which proved effective, since he alone held the key to the thing. All this I can still remember, though I no longer know what manner of thing we sought. After he had secured my reluctant acquiescence in his design, Warren picked up the reel of wire and adjusted the instruments. At his nod I took one of the latter and seated myself upon an aged, discoloured gravestone close by the newly uncovered aperture. Then he shook my hand, shouldered the coil of wire, and disappeared within that indescribable ossuary. For a moment I kept sight of the glow of his lantern, and heard the rustle of the wire as he laid it down after him; but the glow soon disappeared abruptly, as if a turn in the stone staircase had been encountered, and the sound died away almost as quickly. I was alone, yet bound to the unknown depths by those magic strands whose insulated surface lay green beneath the struggling beams of that waning crescent moon.
In the lone silence of that hoary and deserted city of the dead, my mind conceived the most ghastly phantasies and illusions; and the grotesque shrines and monoliths seemed to assume a hideous personality—a half-sentience. Amorphous shadows seemed to lurk in the darker recesses of the weed-choked hollow and to flit as in some blasphemous ceremonial procession past the portals of the mouldering tombs in the hillside; shadows which could not have been cast by that pallid, peering crescent moon. I constantly consulted my watch by the light of my electric lantern, and listened with feverish anxiety at the receiver of the telephone; but for more than a quarter of an hour heard nothing. Then a faint clicking came from the instrument, and I called down to my friend in a tense voice. Apprehensive as I was, I was nevertheless unprepared for the words which came up from that uncanny vault in accents more alarmed and quivering than any I had heard before from Harley Warren. He who had so calmly left me a little while previously, now called from below in a shaky whisper more portentous than the loudest shriek:
"God! If you could see what I am seeing!"
I could not answer. Speechless, I could only wait. Then came the frenzied tones again:
"Carter, it's terrible—monstrous—unbelievable!"
This time my voice did not fail me, and I poured into the transmitter a flood of excited questions. Terrified, I continued to repeat, "Warren, what is it? What is it?"
Once more came the voice of my friend, still hoarse with fear, and now apparently tinged with despair:
"I can't tell you, Carter! It's too utterly beyond thought—I dare not tell you—no man could know it and live—Great God! I never dreamed of THIS!" Stillness again, save for my now incoherent torrent of shuddering inquiry. Then the voice of Warren in a pitch of wilder consternation:
"Carter! for the love of God, put back the slab and get out of this if you can! Quick!—leave everything else and make for the outside—it's your only chance! Do as I say, and don't ask me to explain!"
I heard, yet was able only to repeat my frantic questions. Around me were the tombs and the darkness and the shadows; below me, some peril beyond the radius of the human imagination. But my friend was in greater danger than I, and through my fear I felt a vague resentment that he should deem me capable of deserting him under such circumstances. More clicking, and after a pause a piteous cry from Warren:
"Beat it! For God's sake, put back the slab and beat it, Carter!"
Something in the boyish slang of my evidently stricken companion unleashed my faculties. I formed and shouted a resolution, "Warren, brace up! I'm coming down!" But at this offer the tone of my auditor changed to a scream of utter despair:
"Don't! You can't understand! It's too late—and my own fault. Put back the slab and run—there's nothing else you or anyone can do now!" The tone changed again, this time acquiring a softer quality, as of hopeless resignation. Yet it remained tense through anxiety for me.
"Quick—before it's too late!" I tried not to heed him; tried to break through the paralysis which held me, and to fulfil my vow to rush down to his aid. But his next whisper found me still held inert in the chains of stark horror.
"Carter—hurry! It's no use—you must go—better one than two—the slab—" A pause, more clicking, then the faint voice of Warren:
"Nearly over now—don't make it harder—cover up those damned steps and run for your life—you're losing time— So long, Carter—won't see you again." Here Warren's whisper swelled into a cry; a cry that gradually rose to a shriek fraught with all the horror of the ages—
"Curse these hellish things—legions— My God! Beat it! Beat it! Beat it!"
After that was silence. I know not how many interminable aeons I sat stupefied; whispering, muttering, calling, screaming into that telephone. Over and over again through those aeons I whispered and muttered, called, shouted, and screamed, "Warren! Warren! Answer me—are you there?"
And then there came to me the crowning horror of all—the unbelievable, unthinkable, almost unmentionable thing. I have said that aeons seemed to elapse after Warren shrieked forth his last despairing warning, and that only my own cries now broke the hideous silence. But after a while there was a further clicking in the receiver, and I strained my ears to listen. Again I called down, "Warren, are you there?", and in answer heard the thing which has brought this cloud over my mind. I do not try, gentlemen, to account for that thing—that voice—nor can I venture to describe it in detail, since the first words took away my consciousness and created a mental blank which reaches to the time of my awakening in the hospital. Shall I say that the voice was deep; hollow; gelatinous; remote; unearthly; inhuman; disembodied? What shall I say? It was the end of my experience, and is the end of my story. I heard it, and knew no more. Heard it as I sat petrified in that unknown cemetery in the hollow, amidst the crumbling stones and the falling tombs, the rank vegetation and the miasmal vapours. Heard it well up from the innermost depths of that damnable open sepulchre as I watched amorphous, necrophagous shadows dance beneath an accursed waning moon. And this is what it said:
"YOU FOOL, WARREN IS DEAD!"
Notey: Va sannish gloo as shenn-emshiragh er y skeeal shen hug ennaghtyn joaney as dullyr er. Ren mee my chooid shen yn ennaghtyn cheddin y chur er y lhieggey Gaelg; myr shen, ta shenn-chaaynt ry-akin ayn nish as reesht.
Haink ashlish donney er y Varran creoi
As ad nyn gadley, shimmey scaa-doo loau
Ayns cummey buitçh as jouyll as beishteig ghrouw
Voir er ny goaldee.
—Keats (The Eve of St. Agnes).
Nagh treih eshyn nagh vow ayns cooinaghtyn aegid agh aggle as meevaynrys! Nagh treih eshyn ta jeeaghyn ny yei er ooryn ny lomarcan ayns shamyryn buillvollee groamey, lane dy hapeishyn dhoney as straihyn baanragh dy henn lioaryn; ny er ammyn atçhimagh ayns keylljyn keeiragh raad ta biljyn foawragh arraghtagh fo ghreim raiseyder sheeyney seose banglaneyn caslagh foddey er-e-skynn nyn dost! Shen y cronney hug ny jeeghyn orryms - orryms t'er shaghryn, mollit, follym, brisht. As gyn y wooise da, ta mee bwooiagh aght ennagh, as ta mee greimmey dy çhionn er ny cooinaghtyn lhomey shen tra ta'n aigney aym sheeyney magh gys shirrey er fir elley.
Cha s'aym cre'n y voayl ruggyree, agh by henn ass towse as owanagh ass towse y cashtal shid. Shimmey limmer dorraghey v'ayn, as sar-vullee ardjey oc, raad nagh dooar my ghaa hooill agh sneeuaneyn as scaaghyn. By hash graynoil dy kinjagh claghyn ny gorradoyryn tholtanagh, as hannee soar breinn mollaghtagh trooid y clane, myr veih merriu charnaneagh ny h-eashyn. Cha vrish soilshey erbee y vurgeeaght rieau, as ny keayrtyn, doad mee cainleyn as blakey orroo er son couyr ennagh; cha daink soilshey ny greiney dou noadyr trooid ny biljyn eajee daase foddey erskyn toor s'yrdjey roshtynagh y chashtal. Va toor doo ynrican ny hassoo ny s'yrdjey foast, as heeyn eshyn ass shilley 'sy speyr do-akin dou; agh by lieh-vrisht eh, as yn aght ynrican dy chosney, veagh shen drappal neuyantagh, bunnys, greim as greim seose y voalley cloaie jeeragh.
Shegin dou er gummal 'sy voayl rish bleeantyn, agh cha noddym ad y howse. Shegin da bioee er ngoaill kiarail jeem, agh cha gooin lhiam peiagh erbee agh mee hene; dy firrinagh, cha gooin lhiam red bio erbee agh roddanyn as craitnagyn as feederyn tostagh. Y voandyr yarroodit hrog mee, shegin jee er ve shenn atçhimagh; y chied sheiltynys v'aym er peiagh, shen red gollrhym pene gys fannidys, agh cassit as shirgit as loauaghey myr ren y cashtal. Cha dooar mee arraghtaght erbee jeh ny craueyn as ushylee skeayll harrish shiartanse dy chabbalyn cloaie dowiney mastey ny binn. Ard-yindyssagh myr t'eh, va lheid ny reddyn laaoil dooys, as ny smoo dooghyssagh na ny cummaghyn daahit bioee hooar mee ayns lioaryn er lheeah. Jynsee mee y clane fys aym jeusyn. Cha dug ynseyder erbee greinney ny stiurey dooys, as cha gooin lhiam clashtyn coraa erbee er feie ny bleeantyn liauyrey — eer my choraa hene; ga dy row mee er lhiah jeh glare, cha row yn eie rieau er duittym orrym eab er y jannoo. Hug mee wheesh dy neuhastey da'n chummey orrym; cha row scaane erbee 'sy chastal, as myr shen, heill mee my hene rere ny sleih aegey dooar mee tayrnit as daahit ayns ny lioaryn. Dennee mee my aegid er coontey'n veggan cooinaghtyn v'aym.
Çheumooie, harrish y jeeg vreinn as fo ny biljyn dorraghey tostey, lhie mee dy mennick as ceau ooryn fo ashlish er cooid ny lioaryn; as mian lajer orrym, heill mee mee hene mastey çhionnal gennal 'syn teihll grianagh foddey jeh'n cheyll gyn chaghliagh. Keayrt dy row, ren mee eab dy scapail jeh'n cheyll, agh ny s'odjey hie mee jeh'n chashtal, ny s'glooey yn doorey as ny strimmey atçhim groamagh ny h-aerey; derrey roie mee erash er çhea fo aggle ragh mee er coayl ayns cartage host ny h-oie.
As er fud coleayrtys gyn yerrey ren mee dreamal as fuirriaghtyn, gyn enney er ny duirree mee er. Eisht my lomarcan scaadooagh daase lheid y vian aynym er sollys nagh dod mee surranse foast, as skeayll mee laueyn aghinagh cour y toor doo brisht ynrican jirree erskyn ny keylley gys y speyr mooie neuakinit. As fy-yerrey chiar mee y toor y ghrappal, dy duittin ny gyn; ny share shilley jeh'n speyr as baase neesht y gheddyn, na bea veayn gyn fakin arragh laa.
'Sy choleayrtys tash ghrapp mee ny shenn ghreeishyn craiuit derrey rosh mee y brishey, as eisht chrog dy cryggylagh er greimyn beggey jirree seose. Nagh by ghrouw as agglagh eh y speek chloaie varroo gyn ghreeish! Doo as brisht, as treigit, as baggyrtagh lesh craitnagyn moostey jirree er skianyn tostey. Agh ny s'grouwey as ny s'aggley foast va meillid my irree; ga dy ghrapp mee lesh ooilley my niart, cha hannee y dorraghys er-my-skyn, as skeayll feayraght noa my hrooid myr shenn lheeah scaanjoonagh. Va mee er craa tra smooinee mee cre'n fa nagh rosh mee y soilshey, as yinnin er nyeeaghyn seose dy b'lhoys dou. Heill mee dy row yn oie er duittym orrym çhelleeragh, as loaght lesh laue follym er sprey, gys blakey magh as seose as towse yn yrjid v’er ny chosney aym; agh cha dooar mee fer erbee.
Dy doaltattym, lurg beaynid atçhim drappal my ghellid seose yn eaynin coobagh gaueagh shid, venn my chione rish nhee fondagh as hoig mee dy row mee er gosney y mullagh, ny laare ennagh er y chooid sloo. ‘Sy dorraghys, heeyn magh my laue follym y lhiettrim y phrowal, as hooar mee dy row eh neuscughee as cloaie. Eisht keayrt varrooagh mygeayrt y toor, croghey er greim erbee va ry-gheddyn er y woalley shliawin; derrey darree y lhiettrim fo my laue prowee as hyndaa mee seose reesht. Heiy my chione er y leac ny dorrys, as mish croghey er daa laue er son y drappal agglagh. Cha daink soilshey erbee neose, agh heeyn my laueyn seose as feddyn magh dy beagh jerrey er drappal rish tammylt. Va’n leac ny cooylley hroggee da barney ayns laare chloaie rea, ny shlea na crantessen y toor; laare hamyr yeeaghee reamyssagh ard ennagh, gyn ourys. Snaue mee ny hrooid dy kiarailagh, as jannoo eab gyn lhiggey da’n leac hrome tuittym erash ‘sy voayl eck, agh cha daink lhiam shen. As mish my lhie er troggloo er y laare chloaie, cheayll mee mactullee neuheiltagh e tuittym, agh va doghys aym dy noddin e fosley rere feme.
Er lhiam dy row mee feer ard nish, foddey erskyn banglaneyn mollaghtagh ny keylley. Jirree mee dy loaganagh as loaghtey er son uinniag, do oddin fakin y speyr son y chied cheayrt, as yn eayst as ny rollageyn lhaih mee jeu. Agh va mee mollit er dagh çheu; cha dooar mee agh skellooghyn marmyr buillvollee lane dy chishtaghyn dronuillagagh eajee er mooadys boiragh. Smooinee mee er dy trome, as sheiltyn ny shenn ‘olliaghtyn oddagh tannaghtyn ‘sy thie ard shoh, er ny rheynn veih’n chashtal rish wheesh dy eashyn. Eisht, gyn yerkallys, dooar my laueyn doarlish, as dorrys cloaie garroo quaagh-e-ghrainney croghey ayn. Phrow mee eh, as feddyn magh dy row eh fo ghlass; agh lesh freayney niart, hug mee fo chosh dagh lhiettrimys as tayrn stiagh eh. Liorishyn haink dou yn eunys s’glenney dennee mee rieau: trooid cleeah yiarn yesheenagh, sheese roie greeishyn cloaie jirree seose voish y dorrys noa-feddynit, hoilshean lane-eayst lossanagh nagh vaik mee rieau roish shen agh ayns slammyn as ashlishyn neuhickyr nagh lhoys dou enmys myr cooinaghtyn.
Hoig mee dy nhegin dou er roshtyn eer veinn y chashtal, as goaill toshiaght dy roie seose ny greeishyn goaney trooid y dorrys; agh huitt coodagh bodjallagh harrish yn eayst dy doaltattym as cur orrym snapperal, as loaght mee er son y raad dy moal 'sy dorraghys. By ghorraghey foast eh tra rosh mee yn chleeah; phrow mee ee dy kiarailagh as feddyn magh nagh row ee fo ghlass, agh cha doshil mee ish er aggle dy duittin veih'n yrjid thanvaneagh va mee er nrappal da. Eisht haink ree yn eayst.
Y yindys s'jouyllee erskyn ooilley, shen yindys gyn yerkallys as neuchredjallagh gys arraghtaght. Cha row taghyrt erbee er chur aggle orrym cosoylagh rish ny honnick mee nish; rish yindyssyn joarree chowree y reayrtys shid. Va'n reayrtys shen cho cadjin as v'eh sevreainagh: raad yerk mee reayrtys bir viljyn voish mullagh ard verragh thollaneys orrym, heeyn magh thalloo fondagh er my cheim pene çheu elley ny cleeahey, stooamit as jesheenit lesh leacyn as collooyn marmyr, as y clane fo scaa shenn cheeill chloaie as speek vrisht eck lonree dy neuheiltagh fo hoilshey ny h-eayst.
Lieh my neealloo, doshil mee y chleeah as loaganey magh gys cassan shillee vane heeyn magh er daa heu. Wheesh dallit as fud-y-cheilley as va my aigney, va mian keoie urree er sollys, as cha dod eer y taghyrt ard-yindyssagh shoh my lhiettal. Cha s’aym my she ashlish ny baanrid ny obbeeys v’ayn, as by gummey lhiam eh; begin dou fakin gennalys as bioyrid gyn scansh da’n leagh. Cha s’aym quoi ny c’red ny c’raad va mish; agh tra skyrree mee roym, haink orrym enney er cooinaghtyn follit owanagh ennagh hug orrym ennaghtyn nagh nee immeeaght lane taghyrtagh v’ayn. Hie mee fo aae magh ass thalloo ny leacyn as collooyn, as rouail trooid çheer follym; rish raad baghtal ny keayrtyn, agh ny keayrtyn elley daag mee eh er fa quaagh ennagh gys shooyl harrish lheeantyn gyn agh tholtan goan myr feanish shenn raad caillt. Snaue mee harrish awin tappee raad chowree seyirsaght chloaie voghlaneagh, coadit lesh keynnagh, dy row droghad ayn keayrt dy row.
Begin da daa oor er ngoll shaghey roish my rosh mee y dean gyn enney aym: shenn chashtal hibbinagh ayns pairk cheylljagh ghloo. V’eh ainjyssagh torçhagh dou, agh lane dy yoarreeaght anveaghee. Honnick mee dy row y chlash ushtey lhieent, as kuse jeh ny tooryn ainjyssagh er nyn lhieggey; choud’s va buin noa ayns gys molley y dooinney fakin. Agh erskyn ooilley hug mee geill da ny h-uinnagyn foshlit, as hug adsyn eunys dooys — v’ad lonraghey lesh sollys aalin as deayrtey magh sheeanyn giense gennal ass sheiltyn. Hooill mee gys nane jeu as jeeaghyn stiagh er lught coamrit quaagh dy liooar; v’ad cummal reaid as coloayrt dy bioyr. V’eh baghtal nagh row mee rieau er glashtyn glare deiney; as cha dod mee agh sheiltyn ny v’ad gra. Er eddin nish as reesht ‘sy lught, honnick mee dreagh ghooisht aachooinaghtyn ass duinid foddey; va fir elley lane joarree.
Eisht ren mee kesmad roym trooid yn uinnag injil stiagh ayns y çhamyr hollysh er bashtal, as liorishyn ren mee kesmad veih’n tullagh lomarcan doghys sollysh ayms gys my heaym s’dorraghey rieau jeh dooghid as toiggal. Haink y tromlhie dy tappee; as mish çheet stiagh, haink my vlaa y taishbyney s’agglee heill mee rieau. Eer as mish goll harrish y leac uinnag, huitt atçhim jeean graynoil er y lane çheshaght çhelleeragh as gyn raaue erbee. Chammee eh dagh eddin as tayrn magh yllee agglagh ass dagh scoarnagh. Hyndaa ad myrane lesh y cheilley as çhea, as mastey boiraneys as sevreain y çhionnal, huitt kuse jeu neeal, derrey hayrn caarjyn er çhea ad ersooyl maroo. Cheau fir jeu laueyn harrish nyn sooillyn, as loaganey dy doal as staagagh lesh scapail; chledd ad stoo thie as bwoalley noi ny boallaghyn roish my dod ad roshtyn dorrys ennagh as skellal roish.
B’agglagh y screeaghey; as mish my hassoo lomarcan er shaghryn ‘sy çhamyr hollysh, clashtyn rish yn aawoalley jeu skellal rish, va mee er craa liorish sheiltyn ny va sleetçhal mygeayrt ass my hilley. Ec y chied hilley neuchooishagh, er lhiam dy row y çhamyr follym; agh tra hooill mee cour cuilleig ennagh, heill mee dy chronn mee red ennagh. Va sannish arraghey ennagh çheu elley jeh aae airh-oirrit doshil er shamyr elley gollrish y fer va mee ayn. As mish tayrn er gerrey da, b’leayrey dou ny v’aynjee; as eisht, lesh y chied heean as jerrinagh ren mee coraaghey – ny screeaghey feohdoil hug wheesh grayn orrym as y bun dwoaiagh jeh – honnick mee dy baghtal as owanagh y beisht do-heiltyn, do-hoilshaghey, do-ghra v’er nyannoo griaght cheoie er çhea jeh lught gennal liorish çheet rish ynrican.
Cha noddym cur sannish hene diu er; v’eh ny chovestey jeh dagh ooilley red neughlen, neughooghyssagh, feohdagh as dwoaiagh. She scaa gowlagh loauys, shenndaght as treihys v’ayn; eidolon breinn yngyragh taishbyney anchasherick; roostey atçhimagh ny lhisagh y thalloo myghinagh follaghey er son dy bragh. Ta fys ec Jee nagh row eh jeh’n teihll shoh – ny nagh lhisagh eh ve foast – agh fo atçhim ass towse, hoig mee y cummey crimmit gys taishbyney craueyn myr arrish craidagh graney jeh cummey deiney; as hug quallid ennagh erskyn insh ‘syn eaddagh ooiragh v’echey ny smoo scoagh foast orrym.
Va mee bunnys kyrloghit, agh va bree dy liooar faagit aynym eab faase er scapail y yannoo; ny snapperal erash nagh vrish y gess va’n veishteig gyn ennym ny coraa cur orrym. Fo ghruiaght ny gruinnagyn marroo vlak cho agglagh orrym, dobb my ghaa hooill dy ghooney; agh v’ad dullyr, bwooise da Jee, as erreish da’n chied woalley, cha hoilshee ad y nhee atçhimagh dy cronnal. Ren mee eab my laue y hroggal gys dooney magh ny vaik mee, agh cha dod my laue cur lane viallys fo hrimmid y greain nearagagh v’orrym. Agh va’n eab dy liooar mish y chur ass cormid, as v’eh orrym loaganey roym kesmad ny ghaa do nagh duittin. Hug mee my ner dy angaishagh cho faggys va’n red convayrtagh, as lieh-heill mee dy cheayll mee eh tayrn ennal dy mooghit graney. Dobbyr dou goll ass my cheeayll, agh haink rhym my laue y cheau roym gys castey yn arragh breinn ying stiagh orrym; as eisht, myr tullagh co-leaystagh scoagh ooilley-stroiagh as taghyrt iurinagh, venn my vair rish maaig loauaghey sheeynt ny beishteig fo’n aae airhey.
Cha dyllee mee, agh ‘sy tullagh cheddin dyllee dagh ooilley ghowl ta markiagh er geay ny h-oie er-my-hon, tra huitt lhieggey cooinaghtyn giare-heiltagh er my aigney as cur lesh my annym gys veg. Ayns y tullagh shid by chooin lhiam dagh ooilley red; by chooin lhiam ny va çheu elley y chashtal agglagh as ny viljyn, as haink enney orrym er y troggal ceaghlit va mee my hoie aynsyn nish; as atçhim erskyn ooilley, haink enney orrym er y jalloo dwoaiagh anchasherick vlak orrym as mish tayrn magh my veir sollit veih ny veir echey.
Agh ta shelliu ‘sy chruinney myrgeddin as sherruid, as she lus y gheu t’ayn. Liorish scoagh jerrinagh y tullagh shen yarrood mee ny v’er chur lheid yn atçhim orrym, as skell magh y thooilley drogh-chooinaghtyn ayns corvaal jallooyn mactullee. Roie mee fo ashlish veih’n troggal mollaghtagh scaanagh, tappee as tost fo hoilshey ny h-eayst. Tra rosh mee y ruillick varmyragh as goll sheese ny greeishyn, hooar magh mee nagh row y cooylley hroggee chloaie ry-hroggal reesht; agh cha treih lhiam eh. Va dwoaie aym er y çhenn chashtal as ny biljyn. Nish ta mee markiagh marish gowlyn craidagh as caarjagh er geay ny h-oie, as ‘sy laa ta shin cloie mastey oaiaghyn Nephren-Ka ayns glion Hodath sealit as follit rish y Neel. Ta fys aym nagh row soilshey cooie dou, er lhimmey jeh soilshey ny h-eayst harrish tommanyn cloaie Neb, as cha nel reaid cooie dou agh feaillaghyn gyn ennym Nitokris fo’n Phyramid Mooar; agh seyr as feie as ta mee nish, ta mee bunnys cur failt er sherruid joarreeys.
Ga dy vel lus y gheu er my chiunaghey, ta fys aym dy kinjagh dy nee joarree t’ayn; joarree ‘syn eash shoh as mastey adsyn ta nyn neiney foast. Ta’n fys shoh er ve aym dy kinjagh neayr’s heeyn magh mee my veir da’n dwoaiagh ‘syn aae airhey vooar shid; heeyn magh my veir as bentyn rish eaghtyr feayr as anchorragh kerrin glonney gloasit.
Note: This story was originally written in a dense and semi-archaic style that helps to evoke a cobwebby, gloomy atmosphere. I have tried to maintain that feel in the translation, so the Manx has a few archaisms of its own.
Unhappy is he to whom the memories of childhood bring only fear and sadness. Wretched is he who looks back upon lone hours in vast and dismal chambers with brown hangings and maddening rows of antique books, or upon awed watches in twilight groves of grotesque, gigantic, and vine-encumbered trees that silently wave twisted branches far aloft. Such a lot the gods gave to me—to me, the dazed, the disappointed; the barren, the broken. And yet I am strangely content, and cling desperately to those sere memories, when my mind momentarily threatens to reach beyond to the other.
I know not where I was born, save that the castle was infinitely old and infinitely horrible; full of dark passages and having high ceilings where the eye could find only cobwebs and shadows. The stones in the crumbling corridors seemed always hideously damp, and there was an accursed smell everywhere, as of the piled-up corpses of dead generations. It was never light, so that I used sometimes to light candles and gaze steadily at them for relief; nor was there any sun outdoors, since the terrible trees grew high above the topmost accessible tower. There was one black tower which reached above the trees into the unknown outer sky, but that was partly ruined and could not be ascended save by a well-nigh impossible climb up the sheer wall, stone by stone.
I must have lived years in this place, but I cannot measure the time. Beings must have cared for my needs, yet I cannot recall any person except myself; or anything alive but the noiseless rats and bats and spiders. I think that whoever nursed me must have been shockingly aged, since my first conception of a living person was that of something mockingly like myself, yet distorted, shrivelled, and decaying like the castle. To me there was nothing grotesque in the bones and skeletons that strowed some of the stone crypts deep down among the foundations. I fantastically associated these things with every-day events, and thought them more natural than the coloured pictures of living beings which I found in many of the mouldy books. From such books I learned all that I know. No teacher urged or guided me, and I do not recall hearing any human voice in all those years—not even my own; for although I had read of speech, I had never thought to try to speak aloud. My aspect was a matter equally unthought of, for there were no mirrors in the castle, and I merely regarded myself by instinct as akin to the youthful figures I saw drawn and painted in the books. I felt conscious of youth because I remembered so little.
Outside, across the putrid moat and under the dark mute trees, I would often lie and dream for hours about what I read in the books; and would longingly picture myself amidst gay crowds in the sunny world beyond the endless forest. Once I tried to escape from the forest, but as I went farther from the castle the shade grew denser and the air more filled with brooding fear; so that I ran frantically back lest I lose my way in a labyrinth of nighted silence.
So through endless twilights I dreamed and waited, though I knew not what I waited for. Then in the shadowy solitude my longing for light grew so frantic that I could rest no more, and I lifted entreating hands to the single black ruined tower that reached above the forest into the unknown outer sky. And at last I resolved to scale that tower, fall though I might; since it were better to glimpse the sky and perish, than to live without ever beholding day.
In the dank twilight I climbed the worn and aged stone stairs till I reached the level where they ceased, and thereafter clung perilously to small footholds leading upward. Ghastly and terrible was that dead, stairless cylinder of rock; black, ruined, and deserted, and sinister with startled bats whose wings made no noise. But more ghastly and terrible still was the slowness of my progress; for climb as I might, the darkness overhead grew no thinner, and a new chill as of haunted and venerable mould assailed me. I shivered as I wondered why I did not reach the light, and would have looked down had I dared. I fancied that night had come suddenly upon me, and vainly groped with one free hand for a window embrasure, that I might peer out and above, and try to judge the height I had attained.
All at once, after an infinity of awesome, sightless crawling up that concave and desperate precipice, I felt my head touch a solid thing, and I knew I must have gained the roof, or at least some kind of floor. In the darkness I raised my free hand and tested the barrier, finding it stone and immovable. Then came a deadly circuit of the tower, clinging to whatever holds the slimy wall could give; till finally my testing hand found the barrier yielding, and I turned upward again, pushing the slab or door with my head as I used both hands in my fearful ascent. There was no light revealed above, and as my hands went higher I knew that my climb was for the nonce ended; since the slab was the trap-door of an aperture leading to a level stone surface of greater circumference than the lower tower, no doubt the floor of some lofty and capacious observation chamber. I crawled through carefully, and tried to prevent the heavy slab from falling back into place; but failed in the latter attempt. As I lay exhausted on the stone floor I heard the eerie echoes of its fall, but hoped when necessary to pry it open again.
Believing I was now at a prodigious height, far above the accursed branches of the wood, I dragged myself up from the floor and fumbled about for windows, that I might look for the first time upon the sky, and the moon and stars of which I had read. But on every hand I was disappointed; since all that I found were vast shelves of marble, bearing odious oblong boxes of disturbing size. More and more I reflected, and wondered what hoary secrets might abide in this high apartment so many aeons cut off from the castle below. Then unexpectedly my hands came upon a doorway, where hung a portal of stone, rough with strange chiselling. Trying it, I found it locked; but with a supreme burst of strength I overcame all obstacles and dragged it open inward. As I did so there came to me the purest ecstasy I have ever known; for shining tranquilly through an ornate grating of iron, and down a short stone passageway of steps that ascended from the newly found doorway, was the radiant full moon, which I had never before seen save in dreams and in vague visions I dared not call memories.
Fancying now that I had attained the very pinnacle of the castle, I commenced to rush up the few steps beyond the door; but the sudden veiling of the moon by a cloud caused me to stumble, and I felt my way more slowly in the dark. It was still very dark when I reached the grating—which I tried carefully and found unlocked, but which I did not open for fear of falling from the amazing height to which I had climbed. Then the moon came out.
Most daemoniacal of all shocks is that of the abysmally unexpected and grotesquely unbelievable. Nothing I had before undergone could compare in terror with what I now saw; with the bizarre marvels that sight implied. The sight itself was as simple as it was stupefying, for it was merely this: instead of a dizzying prospect of treetops seen from a lofty eminence, there stretched around me on a level through the grating nothing less than the solid ground, decked and diversified by marble slabs and columns, and overshadowed by an ancient stone church, whose ruined spire gleamed spectrally in the moonlight.
Half unconscious, I opened the grating and staggered out upon the white gravel path that stretched away in two directions. My mind, stunned and chaotic as it was, still held the frantic craving for light; and not even the fantastic wonder which had happened could stay my course. I neither knew nor cared whether my experience was insanity, dreaming, or magic; but was determined to gaze on brilliance and gaiety at any cost. I knew not who I was or what I was, or what my surroundings might be; though as I continued to stumble along I became conscious of a kind of fearsome latent memory that made my progress not wholly fortuitous. I passed under an arch out of that region of slabs and columns, and wandered through the open country; sometimes following the visible road, but sometimes leaving it curiously to tread across meadows where only occasional ruins bespoke the ancient presence of a forgotten road. Once I swam across a swift river where crumbling, mossy masonry told of a bridge long vanished.
Over two hours must have passed before I reached what seemed to be my goal, a venerable ivied castle in a thickly wooded park; maddeningly familiar, yet full of perplexing strangeness to me. I saw that the moat was filled in, and that some of the well-known towers were demolished; whilst new wings existed to confuse the beholder. But what I observed with chief interest and delight were the open windows—gorgeously ablaze with light and sending forth sound of the gayest revelry. Advancing to one of these I looked in and saw an oddly dressed company, indeed; making merry, and speaking brightly to one another. I had never, seemingly, heard human speech before; and could guess only vaguely what was said. Some of the faces seemed to hold expressions that brought up incredibly remote recollections; others were utterly alien.
I now stepped through the low window into the brilliantly lighted room, stepping as I did so from my single bright moment of hope to my blackest convulsion of despair and realisation. The nightmare was quick to come; for as I entered, there occurred immediately one of the most terrifying demonstrations I had ever conceived. Scarcely had I crossed the sill when there descended upon the whole company a sudden and unheralded fear of hideous intensity, distorting every face and evoking the most horrible screams from nearly every throat. Flight was universal, and in the clamour and panic several fell in a swoon and were dragged away by their madly fleeing companions. Many covered their eyes with their hands, and plunged blindly and awkwardly in their race to escape; overturning furniture and stumbling against the walls before they managed to reach one of the many doors.
The cries were shocking; and as I stood in the brilliant apartment alone and dazed, listening to their vanishing echoes, I trembled at the thought of what might be lurking near me unseen. At a casual inspection the room seemed deserted, but when I moved toward one of the alcoves I thought I detected a presence there—a hint of motion beyond the golden-arched doorway leading to another and somewhat similar room. As I approached the arch I began to perceive the presence more clearly; and then, with the first and last sound I ever uttered—a ghastly ululation that revolted me almost as poignantly as its noxious cause—I beheld in full, frightful vividness the inconceivable, indescribable, and unmentionable monstrosity which had by its simple appearance changed a merry company to a herd of delirious fugitives.
I cannot even hint what it was like, for it was a compound of all that is unclean, uncanny, unwelcome, abnormal, and detestable. It was the ghoulish shade of decay, antiquity, and desolation; the putrid, dripping eidolon of unwholesome revelation; the awful baring of that which the merciful earth should always hide. God knows it was not of this world—or no longer of this world—yet to my horror I saw in its eaten-away and bone-revealing outlines a leering, abhorrent travesty on the human shape; and in its mouldy, disintegrating apparel an unspeakable quality that chilled me even more.
I was almost paralysed, but not too much so to make a feeble effort toward flight; a backward stumble which failed to break the spell in which the nameless, voiceless monster held me. My eyes, bewitched by the glassy orbs which stared loathsomely into them, refused to close; though they were mercifully blurred, and shewed the terrible object but indistinctly after the first shock. I tried to raise my hand to shut out the sight, yet so stunned were my nerves that my arm could not fully obey my will. The attempt, however, was enough to disturb my balance; so that I had to stagger forward several steps to avoid falling. As I did so I became suddenly and agonisingly aware of the nearness of the carrion thing, whose hideous hollow breathing I half fancied I could hear. Nearly mad, I found myself yet able to throw out a hand to ward off the foetid apparition which pressed so close; when in one cataclysmic second of cosmic nightmarishness and hellish accident my fingers touched the rotting outstretched paw of the monster beneath the golden arch.
I did not shriek, but all the fiendish ghouls that ride the night-wind shrieked for me as in that same second there crashed down upon my mind a single and fleeting avalanche of soul-annihilating memory. I knew in that second all that had been; I remembered beyond the frightful castle and the trees, and recognised the altered edifice in which I now stood; I recognised, most terrible of all, the unholy abomination that stood leering before me as I withdrew my sullied fingers from its own.
But in the cosmos there is balm as well as bitterness, and that balm is nepenthe. In the supreme horror of that second I forgot what had horrified me, and the burst of black memory vanished in a chaos of echoing images. In a dream I fled from that haunted and accursed pile, and ran swiftly and silently in the moonlight. When I returned to the churchyard place of marble and went down the steps I found the stone trap-door immovable; but I was not sorry, for I had hated the antique castle and the trees. Now I ride with the mocking and friendly ghouls on the night-wind, and play by day amongst the catacombs of Nephren-Ka in the sealed and unknown valley of Hadoth by the Nile. I know that light is not for me, save that of the moon over the rock tombs of Neb, nor any gaiety save the unnamed feasts of Nitokris beneath the Great Pyramid; yet in my new wildness and freedom I almost welcome the bitterness of alienage.
For although nepenthe has calmed me, I know always that I am an outsider; a stranger in this century and among those who are still men. This I have known ever since I stretched out my fingers to the abomination within that great gilded frame; stretched out my fingers and touched a cold and unyielding surface of polished glass.
Tra haink shenn-eash er y teihll, as skeill yindys magh ass aigney deiney; tra ren caayryn lheeah sheeyney seose da’n speyr yaaghagh nyn dooryn graney groamagh, as ad mooghey dagh ashlish ny greiney ny jeh lheeantyn arree my vlaa; tra ren ynsagh skilley breidey aalinid ny cruinney j’ee, as nagh ghow bardyn arragh arrane agh er conrieught chassit er ny fakin liorish sooillyn goorlagh çhyndaait çheusthie; erreish da ny reddyn shoh çheet gy-kione, as doghys lambaanagh lheie ersooyl er son dy bragh, ren dooinney dy row jurnaa magh ass bea dys ronsaghey yn ‘eaynid raad va ashlishyn deiney er ngeddyn fastee.
Mychione ennym as oayll y dooinney, s’goan ny ta screeuit; venn adsyn rish y teihll doostee ynrican; agh t’ad gra dy row ad imlagh. S’liooar eh toiggal dy chum eh ayns caayr ard-woallit fo cheeiraght hiast, as tooilleil er fud y laa mastey scaa as corvaal, as çheet thie ‘syn oie da shamyr raad nagh doshil yn uinniag lomarcan er magheryn as keyjlyn, agh er close dullyr fo vlakey dooagh uinniagyn sheer-hreih elley. Trooid yn uinniag shid cha vaik oo agh boallaghyn as uinniagyn, mannagh chroymm magh oo foddey ny keayrtyn as jeeaghyn seose er ny rollageyn beggey hiauill harryd. As er y fa dy nhegin da boallaghyn as uinniagyn lhomey cur dooinney ashlishyn as lioaryn ass e cheayll dy leah, boallagh baghagh ny shamyr shid croymmey magh oie er oie as blakey seose dys geddyn shilley beg er sleig erbee jeh reddyn erskyn y teihll doostee as lheeaghys caayryn ardey. Erreish da bleeantyn ghow eh toshiaght enmyn er ny rollageyn shiaullee y chur, as eiyrt orroo liorish sheiltynys tra snaue ad dy arryssagh ass e hilley; derrey fy-yerrey lheeadee e hastid da ymmodee reayrtyssyn follit harrish oayllys sooilley cadjin. As oie dy row hie çharvaal vooar er tarcheimnaghey, as lhieen y speyr ashlishagh neose da uinniag yn arreyder lomarcan dys covestey marish aer breen ny shamyr as eshyn y ghoaill stiagh ‘sy yindys thanvaneagh echey.
Da’n çhamyr shid haink awinyn feie ny mean-oie phlooreenagh as joan airhey glistral ayndaue; eeiraghyn ooirey as ailey chass magh ass ny h-ard-eaynidyn as ad trome lesh coorane harrish oayllys ny seihill. Gheayrt faarkaghyn cadleenag ayns shid, fo hoilshey greiney nagh vel rieau ny arragh ry-akin ec y tooill, as shimmey doraid whaagh as shee-varrey ny diunidyn do-chooinaghtyn v’ayns ny puill sluggee oc. Ren neuyerrinaght hostagh y dreamyder y hoailley as y heidey ersooyl dy meein, gyn eer bentyn rish y chorp ghob magh dy creoi ass yn uinniag lomarcan; as rish laghyn ass towse imbee deiney ren tidaghyn cruinnaghyn foddey eh y ymmyrkey dy meein da quaiyl ny h-ashlishyn v’eh yeearree orroo; ashlishyn caillt deiney. As rish ymmodee lhingyn daag ad eh, dy meiyghagh, ny chadley er traie ghlass ec irree ny greiney; traie ghlass mastey soar millish blaaghyn-lotus as breck lesh lossreeyn ny folley jiargey.
When age fell upon the world, and wonder went out of the minds of men; when grey cities reared to smoky skies tall towers grim and ugly, in whose shadow none might dream of the sun or of spring’s flowering meads; when learning stripped earth of her mantle of beauty, and poets sang no more save of twisted phantoms seen with bleared and inward-looking eyes; when these things had come to pass, and childish hopes had gone away forever, there was a man who travelled out of life on a quest into the spaces whither the world’s dreams had fled.
Of the name and abode of this man but little is written, for they were of the waking world only; yet it is said that both were obscure. It is enough to know that he dwelt in a city of high walls where sterile twilight reigned, and that he toiled all day among shadow and turmoil, coming home at evening to a room whose one window opened not on the fields and groves but on a dim court where other windows stared in dull despair. From that casement one might see only walls and windows, except sometimes when one leaned far out and peered aloft at the small stars that passed. And because mere walls and windows must soon drive to madness a man who dreams and reads much, the dweller in that room used night after night to lean out and peer aloft to glimpse some fragment of things beyond the waking world and the greyness of tall cities. After years he began to call the slow-sailing stars by name, and to follow them in fancy when they glided regretfully out of sight; till at length his vision opened to many secret vistas whose existence no common eye suspects. And one night a mighty gulf was bridged, and the dream-haunted skies swelled down to the lonely watcher’s window to merge with the close air of his room and make him a part of their fabulous wonder.
There came to that room wild streams of violet midnight glittering with dust of gold; vortices of dust and fire, swirling out of the ultimate spaces and heavy with perfumes from beyond the worlds. Opiate oceans poured there, litten by suns that the eye may never behold and having in their whirlpools strange dolphins and sea-nymphs of unrememberable deeps. Noiseless infinity eddied around the dreamer and wafted him away without even touching the body that leaned stiffly from the lonely window; and for days not counted in men’s calendars the tides of far spheres bare him gently to join the dreams for which he longed; the dreams that men have lost. And in the course of many cycles they tenderly left him sleeping on a green sunrise shore; a green shore fragrant with lotus-blossoms and starred by red camalotes.
Ta’n cooinaghtyn aym lane fud-y-cheilley. Cha nel mee shickyr eer er cre’n toshiaght oc; ny keayrtyn ta mee gennaghtyn reayrt atçhimagh dy vleeantyn skeaylley magh my yei, agh ny keayrtyn elley ta’n smooinaght orrym dy vel y tullagh t’ayn ny phoynt lomarcan mastey neuchreaghnys lheeah gyn cummey. Cha nel mee shickyr eer cre’n aght ta mee cur yn çhaghteraght shoh. Ta fys aym dy vel mee loayrt, agh ta’n eie neuloaghtagh orrym dy bee feme er sheealtaght whaagh ennagh, as agglagh, foddee, dys ymmyrkey ny ta mee dy ghra da’n eaishtaght chiarit aym. Erskyn shen, ta’n enney hene aym kayeeagh shaghrynagh. Er lhiam dy vel mee er surranse greain vooar — liorish aase eajee ennagh ny çhymshallyn dy haghyrtyn neuchredjallagh as gyn cosoylaght t’aym, foddee.
Gyn ourys, she shenn lioar lane beishteigyn va bun ooilley ny çhymshallyn ennee shen. S’cooin lhiam tra hooar mee ee, ayns boayl lieh-hoilshit faggys da’n awin ghoo ooillagh as beayn-chay cassey er-ny-skyn. She boayl feer shenn v’ayn, as va skellooyn lane dy lioaryn loauey roshtyn dys mullagh y thie; heeyn ad ersooyl gyn jerrey trooid shamyryn sthie as cuilleigyn gyn uinniag erbee. Nyn mast’oc va carnaneyn mooarey dy lioaryn neureajagh er y laare ny ayns coir awey; as by ayndaue hooar mee ish. Cha dynsee mee rieau yn ennym urree, va ny duillagyn leah caillt; agh doshil ee faggys da’n jerrey as cur dou falleays jeh red ennagh hug my cheeallyn er shaghryn.
Va formley ayn — rolley reddyn ry-yannoo as ry-ghra — as va enney aym er myr nhee doo as neulhiggit da deiney. Dy jarroo, nhee ennagh va mee er lhaih ersyn hannah ayns screeuyn keillt lane dy ghrayn as dy ghrualtys mestit, screeuit ec shenn reuyreyder quaagh ennagh ayns folliaghtyn arrit ny cruinney. Bynney lhiam ronsaghey teksyn ooiragh lheid ny deiney. She ogher v’ayn, ogher ny kaart-çheerey da giatyn as cassanyn va oaylyssee dreamal as sonsheraght my-nyn-gione rish aegid chloan gheiney. Giatyn da seyrsnys as toiggalys erskyn ny tree towshanyn, as ny rheamyssyn bea as stoo, ta shin oayllagh roo. Rish keeadyn cha by gooin lesh dooiney erbee cooid vreeoil ny lioar, ny boayll erbee v’ee foast ry-gheddyn aynsyn; agh by henn jeer ee y lioar shen. Cha nee clou ren ee; va laue vonnagh lieh-cheoie ennagh er dayrn ny raaghyn Ladjynagh baggyrtagh, ayns unshee shenndeeaght atçhimagh.
S’cooin lhiam smooirey yn çhenn dooinney, as y cowrey laue quaagh ren eh as mish cur lhiam ee ersooyl. Dobb eh argid erbee, as by foddey eh derrey hoig mee yn oyr. As mish kirtagh thie fo chay trooid straiddyn keylley lhoobagh çheu ny marrey, heill mee dy agglagh dy row spaagyn kiuney geiyrt orrym dy folliaghtagh. Er lhiam dy row olkys noa as foudagh cur bree bio da ny shenn thieyn tuittymagh mygeayrt-y-moom — myr dy row dorrys tastaght olk ennagh, dooint derrey nish, er vosley dy geyre. Er lhiam dy row ny h-uinniagyn sooillagh, ass kerrinyn diamanagh yeeastagh, blakey orrym — as va ny boallaghyn as gaabyllyn ass breek millchayit as fuygh fungyssagh jeean dy immeeaght as mish y vroojey. As mish gyn lhaih agh sleig sloo y roon ard-vollaghtagh roish my ghooin mee y lioar as cur lhiam ee ersooyl! S’cooin lhiam yn aght lhaih mee ee, ’sy jerrey — fo ghlass ’sy gharrad va mee foddey er ny ’lane chur da ronsaghey quaagh, as daah yn vaaish orrym. Va’n thie mooar feer chiune; cha row mee er ngoll seose derrey mean oie. Er lhiam dy row lught-thie aym ec y traa shid — agh ta enmyn as eddinyn caillt aym nish — as s’leayr dou dy row ymmodee sharvaantyn ayn. Cha s’aym cre’n vlein ynrican v’ayn; shimmey eash as towshan ta mee oayllagh rish neayr’s shen, as ta dagh eie v’aym er traa er ny lheie as aachroo. Lhaih mee fo hoilshey cainleyn, dy shickr — s’cooin lhiam sheer-drigey ny kerey — as nish as reesht haink clingyn ass shamyr chluig ennagh foddey jeem. Er lhiam dy dug mee tastey jeean quaagh da ny clingyn shid, as aggle orrym dy gluinnin toan gynoaltagh foddey foast nyn mast’oc.
Eisht haink y chied screebey as clabberey moandagh ec yn uinniag chlea hug reayrt ard erskyn mullee elley ny caayrey. Cheayll mee eh tra chronnee mee er ard nuyoo rane y chaayn bun-eashagh, as hoig mee er-creau y cheeall v’echey. Eshyn hedys shaghey ny grinnaghyn, chosnys eh scaa, as cha dod eh ve arragh reesht ny lomarcan. Va mee er dayrn magh — as va’n lioar dy jarroo ooilley shen va mee er gredjal jee. Yn oie shid hie mee shaghey ny grinney dys eeirey traa as reayrtys cassit, as erash ’sy gharrad rish y voghrey, yeeagh mee er boallaghyn as skellooyn as cooid, as fakin reddyn ayndaue nagh vaik mee rieau roish shid.
Chamoo dod mee arragh fakin y seihll ’sy chummey b’oayllagh dou. Gyn scansh da’n reayrt laaragh honnick mee, va blass y traa chaie dy kinjagh er as beggan y traa ry-heet dy kinjagh mestit aynsyn. ’Syn aght keilley noa stow shilley s’lhea orrym, va dagh nhee b’oayllagh dou ayns cummey joarree. Er dyn yn oie shid, hooill mee ayns ashlish ard-yindyssagh ass cummaghyn lieh-ainjyssagh as gyn enney; as ny smoo grinnaghyn hie mee nyn drooid, ny sloo leayr yn enney v’aym er nheeghyn ny cruinney choon v’er my chiangley rish tammylt liauyr. Ny honnick mee mygeayrt-y-moom, cha vaik fer erbee elley eh; as haink mee dy ve daa wheesh cho fastagh as neuheshaghtagh er aggle dy derragh ad briwnys baanrid orrym. Ghow moddee aggle roym, er y fa dy dennee ad y scaa joarree nagh daag mee rieau. Ny yei shen as ooilley lhaih mee ny smoo — ayns lioaryn as scrollaghyn follit as jarroodit dashlee my hilley noa dou — as seiy roym trooid grinnaghyn oorey spoar, as ve, as dooghys vea, cour cree hene y dowan gyn enney.
S’cooin lhiam yn oie ren mee ny queig kiarkil cho-chiarklagh ailey er y laare, as shassoo ’sy vean oc canteyraght y litane eajee hug çhaghter Tartaragh dou. Ren ny boallaghyn lheie ersooyl, as geay doo mish y skeabey trooid çharvaalyn lheeah do-huntal as ard-vullee snaidagh sleityn gyn enney meeillaghyn foym. Rish tammylt haink lane dorraghys, as eisht soilshey jeih-thousane rollage ayns co-hollyssyn quaagh as joarree. Fy-yerrey honnick mee strah foddey foym fo hoilshey geayney, as cronnaghey urree tooryn cassit caayrey v’er ny troggal rere kiaddey nagh row mee rieau er vakin, ny lhaih ny dreamal er. As mish snaue ny s’faggys jee, honnick mee troggal foawragh kerrinagh cloaie ayns boayl follym, as haink scoagh owanagh orrym. Ren mee screeaghey as streppey, as erreish da merriuid ennagh va mee ’sy gharrad reesht, my surlley harrish ny queig kiarkil lossanagh er y laare. Ayns wandreilys ny h-oie shid, cha row ny smoo quaaghys na v’ec ymmodee oieyn elley; agh va ny smoo scoagh ayn, er fys dy row mee ny s’faggys da ny feaynidyn as seihill wooie na va mee rieau. Ny yei ghow mee ny smoo kiarail lesh pishagys, son cha row mian erbee aym dy gholl er giarrey jeh corp as thalloo ayns çharvaalyn gyn enney nagh dod mee rieau çheet erash voue.
Notey: Ta'n skeeal shoh ry-gheddyn myr skeeal clashtynagh lhaiht aym pene: recortys MP3
My memories are very confused. There is even much doubt as to where they begin; for at times I feel appalling vistas of years stretching behind me, while at other times it seems as if the present moment were an isolated point in a grey, formless infinity. I am not even certain how I am communicating this message. While I know I am speaking, I have a vague impression that some strange and perhaps terrible mediation will be needed to bear what I say to the points where I wish to be heard. My identity, too, is bewilderingly cloudy. I seem to have suffered a great shock — perhaps from some utterly monstrous outgrowth of my cycles of unique, incredible experience.
These cycles of experience, of course, all stem from that worm-riddled book. I remember when I found it — in a dimly lighted place near the black, oily river where the mists always swirl. That place was very old, and the ceiling-high shelves full of rotting volumes reached back endlessly through windowless inner rooms and alcoves. There were, besides, great formless heaps of books on the floor and in crude bins; and it was in one of these heaps that I found the thing. I never learned its title, for the early pages were missing; but it fell open toward the end and gave me a glimpse of something which sent my senses reeling.
There was a formula — a sort of list of things to say and do — which I recognised as something black and forbidden; something which I had read of before in furtive paragraphs of mixed abhorrence and fascination penned by those strange ancient delvers into the universe’s guarded secrets whose decaying texts I loved to absorb. It was a key — a guide — to certain gateways and transitions of which mystics have dreamed and whispered since the race was young, and which lead to freedoms and discoveries beyond the three dimensions and realms of life and matter that we know. Not for centuries had any man recalled its vital substance or known where to find it, but this book was very old indeed. No printing-press, but the hand of some half-crazed monk, had traced these ominous Latin phrases in uncials of awesome antiquity.
I remember how the old man leered and tittered, and made a curious sign with his hand when I bore it away. He had refused to take pay for it, and only long afterward did I guess why. As I hurried home through those narrow, winding, mist-choked waterfront streets I had a frightful impression of being stealthily followed by softly padding feet. The centuried, tottering houses on both sides seemed alive with a fresh and morbid malignity — as if some hitherto closed channel of evil understanding had abruptly been opened. I felt that those walls and overhanging gables of mildewed brick and fungous plaster and timber — with fishy, eye-like, diamond-paned windows that leered — could hardly desist from advancing and crushing me . . . yet I had read only the least fragment of that blasphemous rune before closing the book and bringing it away.
I remember how I read the book at last — white-faced, and locked in the attic room that I had long devoted to strange searchings. The great house was very still, for I had not gone up till after midnight. I think I had a family then — though the details are very uncertain — and I know there were many servants. Just what the year was, I cannot say; for since then I have known many ages and dimensions, and have had all my notions of time dissolved and refashioned. It was by the light of candles that I read — I recall the relentless dripping of the wax — and there were chimes that came every now and then from distant belfries. I seemed to keep track of those chimes with a peculiar intentness, as if I feared to hear some very remote, intruding note among them.
Then came the first scratching and fumbling at the dormer window that looked out high above the other roofs of the city. It came as I droned aloud the ninth verse of that primal lay, and I knew amidst my shudders what it meant. For he who passes the gateways always wins a shadow, and never again can he be alone. I had evoked — and the book was indeed all I had suspected. That night I passed the gateway to a vortex of twisted time and vision, and when morning found me in the attic room I saw in the walls and shelves and fittings that which I had never seen before.
Nor could I ever after see the world as I had known it. Mixed with the present scene was always a little of the past and a little of the future, and every once-familiar object loomed alien in the new perspective brought by my widened sight. From then on I walked in a fantastic dream of unknown and half-known shapes; and with each new gateway crossed, the less plainly could I recognise the things of the narrow sphere to which I had so long been bound. What I saw about me none else saw; and I grew doubly silent and aloof lest I be thought mad. Dogs had a fear of me, for they felt the outside shadow which never left my side. But still I read more — in hidden, forgotten books and scrolls to which my new vision led me — and pushed through fresh gateways of space and being and life-patterns toward the core of the unknown cosmos.
I remember the night I made the five concentric circles of fire on the floor, and stood in the innermost one chanting that monstrous litany the messenger from Tartary had brought. The walls melted away, and I was swept by a black wind through gulfs of fathomless grey with the needle-like pinnacles of unknown mountains miles below me. After a while there was utter blackness, and then the light of myriad stars forming strange, alien constellations. Finally I saw a green-litten plain far below me, and discerned on it the twisted towers of a city built in no fashion I had ever known or read of or dreamed of. As I floated closer to that city I saw a great square building of stone in an open space, and felt a hideous fear clutching at me. I screamed and struggled, and after a blankness was again in my attic room, sprawled flat over the five phosphorescent circles on the floor. In that night’s wandering there was no more of strangeness than in many a former night’s wandering; but there was more of terror because I knew I was closer to those outside gulfs and worlds than I had ever been before. Thereafter I was more cautious with my incantations, for I had no wish to be cut off from my body and from the earth in unknown abysses whence I could never return.