Sigsand Manuscript


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Now, oft had I heard tell, not only in that great city which occupied the thousandth floor, but in others of the one thousand, three hundred and twenty cities of the Pyramid, that there was somewhere out in the desolation of the Night Lands a second Place of Refuge, where had gathered, in another part of this dead world, some last millions of the human race, to fight unto the end.
And this story I heard everywhere in my travels through the cities of the Great Redoubt, which travels began when I came upon my seventeenth year, and continued for three years and two hundred and twenty-five days, being even then but one day in each city, as was the custom in the training of every child
And truly it was a great journey, and in it I met with many, whom to know was to love; but whom never could I see again; for life has not space enough; and each must to his duty to the security and well-being of the Redoubt. Yet, for all that I have set down, we travelled much, always; but there were so many millions, and so few years.
And, as I have said, everywhere I went there was the same story of this other Place of Refuge; and in such of the Libraries of those cities as I had time to search, there were great numbers of works upon the existence of this other Refuge; and some, far back in the years, made assertion with confidence that such a Place was in verity; and, indeed, no doubt did there seem in those by-gone ages; but now these very Records were read only by Scholars, who doubted, even whilst they read. And so is it ever.
But of the reality of this Refuge, I had never a sound doubt, from the day of my hearing concerning it from our Master Monstruwacan, who with all his assistants occupied the Tower of Observation in the apex of the Pyramid. And here let me tell that he and I had always an affinity and close friendship one for the other; though he was full grown, and I but a youth; yet so it was; and thus, when I had come to an age of twenty-one years of life, he opened to me a post within the Tower of Observation; and this was a most wondrous good fortune to me; for in all the vast Redoubt, to be appointed to the Tower of Observation was the most desired; for thereby, even as in these days doth Astronomy, was the natural curiosity of Man eased somewhat, even while thwarted.
Now, let me tell here also, lest it be thought that I was unduly favoured because of my friendship with the Master Monstruwacan, that there was a sound justification for his choice, in that to me had been given that strange gift of hearing, which we called Night-Hearing; though this was but a fanciful name, and meant little. Yet the peculiar gift was rare, and in all the millions of the Pyramid, there was none with the gift to a great degree, saving only myself.



 だがこの《避難所》の実在については、ピラミッドの頂上にある 《監視塔》に部下と共に詰めている《怪物警備官》(モンストルワカン)の長官の口から聞いた日から、疑ったことがなかった。ここで言っておくが、彼と私はいつでも共感と親密な友情で結ばれていた。例え彼は充分に成熟した大人であり、私は少年に過ぎなかった時でさえも。今でもそうだ。だが私が二十一歳になったとき、彼は私に《監視塔》の役職を斡旋してくれた。そしてそれは私にとって最も驚くべき幸運であった。というのは、巨大な《閣砦》の中でも《監視塔》に配属されるのは最も栄誉あることだったからだ。それは、この終り行く世界にあってさえ、今の時代の天文学と同じように、人々が生まれながらに持っている好奇心をいくらかでも満足させるものであった

"The Night Land"
Written by William Hope Hodgson
Transrated by shigeyuki