Sigsand Manuscript


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On we ran. A minute, perhaps, passed. All at once I heard a hoarse cry ahead followed by a loud scream, which ceased suddenly. With fear plucking at my heart, I spurted forward, Will close behind. Round the corner we burst, and I saw the two men bending over something on the ground.
 “Have you got it?” I shouted excitedly. The men turned quickly, and, seeing me, beckoned hurriedly. A moment later I was with them, and kneeling alongside a silent form. Alas! it was the brave young fellow who had been the first to volunteer. His neck seemed to be broken. Standing up, I turned to the men for an explanation.
 “It was this way, sir; Johnson, that’s him,” nodding to the dead man, “he was smarter on his legs than we be, and he got ahead. Just before we reached him we heered him shout. We was close behind, and I don’t think it could ha’ been half a minute before we was up and found him.”
 “Did you see anything---” I hesitated. I felt sick. Then I continued, “anything of That―you know what I mean?”
 “Yes, sir; leastways, my mate did. He saw it run across to those bushes an’--”
 “Come on, Will,” I cried, without waiting to hear more; and throwing the light of our lanterns ahead of us, we burst into the shrubberies. Scarcely had we gone a dozen paces when the light struck full upon a towering figure. There was a crash, and my lantern was smashed all to pieces. I was thrown to the ground, and something slid through the bushes. Springing to the edge, we were just in time to catch sight of it running in the direction of the lake. Simultaneously we raised our pistols and fired. As the smoke cleared away, I saw the Thing bound over the railings into the water. A faint splash was borne to our ears, then―silence.
 Hurriedly we ran to the spot, but could see nothing.
 “Perhaps we hit it,” I ventured.
 “You forget,” laughed Will hysterically, “marble won’t float. ”
“Don’t talk rubbish,” I answered angrily. Yet I felt that I would have given something to know what it was really.
 For some minutes we waited; then, as nothing came to view, we moved away towards the gate―the men going on ahead, carrying their dead comrade. Our way lead past the little clearing where the statue stood. It was still dark when we reached it.
 “Look, Herton, look!” Will’s voice rose to a shriek. I turned sharply. I had been lost momentarily in perplexing thought. Now, I saw that we were right opposite the place of the marble statue, and Will was shining the light of the lantern in its direction; but it showed me nothing save the pedestal, bare and smooth.



"The Goddess of Death"
Written by William Hope Hodgson
Transrated by shigeyuki