Sigsand Manuscript


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I glanced at Will. The lantern was shaking visibly in his grasp. Then I looked towards the pedestal again in a dazed manner. I stepped up to it and passed my hand slowly over the top. I felt very queer.
 After that, I walked round it once or twice, No use! there was no mistake this time. My eyes showed me nothing, save that vacant place, where, but a few hours previously, had stood the massive marble.
 Silently we left the spot. The men had preceded us with their sad burden. Fortunately, in the dim light, they had failed to note the absence of the goddess.
 Dawn was breaking as in mournful procession we entered the town. Already the news seemed to have spread, and quite a body of the town people escorted us to the hotel.
 During the day a number of men went up to the park, armed with hammers, intending to destroy the statue, but returned later silent and awestruck, declaring that it had disappeared bodily, only the great altar remaining.
 I was feeling unwell. The shock thoroughly upset me, and a sense of helplessness assailed me.
 About midnight, feeling worn out, I went to bed. It was late on the following morning when I woke with a start. An idea had some to me, and, rising, I dressed quickly and went downstairs. In the bar I found the landlord, and to him I applied for information as to where the library of the late Colonel Whigman had been removed.
 He scratched his head a moment reflectively.
 “I couldn’t rightly say, sir; but I know Mr. Jepson, the town clerk, will be able to, and I daresay he wouldn’t mind telling you anything you might want to know.”
 Having inquired where I was likely to meet this official, I set off, and in a short while found myself chatting to a pleasant, ruddy-faced man of about forty.
 “The late colonel’s library!” he said genially, “certainly, come this way, Sir Horton,” and he ushered me into a long room, lined with books.
 What I wanted was to find if the colonel had left among his library any diary or written record of his life in India. For a couple of hours I searched persistently. Then, just as I was giving up hope, I found it―a little green-backed book, filled with closely-written and crabbed writing.
 Opening it, I found staring me in the face, a rough pen-and-ink sketch of―the marble goddess.



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