Logic came to his rescue. If he had seen and heard strange things, so, too, had Sime in Egypt—so had his father, both in Egypt and in London! Inexplicable things were happening around him; and all could not be mad!
“I’m getting morbid again,” he told himself; “the tricks of our damnable Ferrara are getting on my nerves. Just what he desires and intends!”
This latter reflection spurred him to new activity; and, pocketing the revolver, he switched off the light in the study and looked out of the window.
Glancing across the court, he thought that he saw a man standing below, peering upward. With his hands resting upon the window ledge, Cairn looked long and steadily.
There certainly was someone standing in the shadow of the 佛山桑拿会所上门服务 tall plane tree—but whether man or woman he could not
The unknown remaining in the same position, apparently watching, Cairn ran downstairs, and, passing out into the Court, walked rapidly across to the tree. There he paused in some surprise; there was no one visible by the tree and the whole court was quite deserted.
“Must have slipped off through the archway,” he concluded; and, walking back, he remounted the stair and entered his chambers again.
Feeling a renewed curiosity regarding the silken rope which had so strangely come into his possession, he sat down at the table, and mastering his distaste for the thing, took it in his hands and examined it closely by the light of the lamp.
He was seated with his back to the windows, facing the door, so that no one could possibly have entered the room unseen by 佛山夜生活美女qq him. It was as he bent down to scrutinise the
curious plaiting, that he felt a sensation stealing over him, as though someone were standing very close to his chair.
Grimly determined to resist any hypnotic tricks that might be practised against him, and well assured that
there could be no person actually present in the chambers, he sat back, resting his revolver on his knee. Prompted by he knew not what, he slipped the silk cord into the table drawer and turned the key upon it.
As he did so a hand crept over his shoulder—followed by a bare arm of the hue of old ivory—a woman’s arm!
Transfixed he sat, his eyes fastened upon the ring of dull metal, bearing a green stone inscribed with a complex figure vaguely resembling a spider, which adorned the index finger.
A faint perfume stole to his nostrils—that of the secret incense; and the ring was the ring of the Witch-Queen!
In this incredible moment he relaxed that iron control of his mind, which, alone, had saved him before. Even as he realised it, and strove to recover himself, he knew that it was too late; he knew that he was lost!
Gloom … blackness, unrelieved by any speck of light; murmuring, subdued, all around; the murmuring of a concourse of people. The darkness was odorous with a heavy perfume.
A voice came—followed by complete silence.
Again the voice sounded, chanting sweetly.
A response followed in deep male voices.
The response was taken up all around—what time a tiny speck grew, in the gloom—and grew, until it took form; and out of the darkness, the shape of a white-robed woman appeared—high up—far away.
Wherever the ray that illumined her figure emanated from, it did not perceptibly dispel the Stygian gloom all about her. She was bathed in dazzling light, but framed in impenetrable darkness.
Her dull gold hair was encircled by a band of white metal—like silver, bearing in front a round, burnished disk, that shone like a minor sun. Above the disk projected an ornament having the shape of a spider.
The intense light picked out every detail vividly. Neck and shoulders were bare—and the gleaming ivory arms were uplifted—the long slender fingers held
aloft a golden casket covered with dim figures, almost undiscernible at that distance.
A glittering zone of the same white metal confined the snowy draperies. Her bare 佛山桑拿按摩蒲友论坛 feet peeped out from beneath the flowing robe.
Above, below, and around her was—Memphian darkness!
Silence—the perfume was stifling…. A voice, seeming to come from a great distance, cried:—”On your knees to the Book of Thoth! on your knees to the Wisdom Queen, who is deathless, being unborn, who is dead though living, whose beauty is for all men—that all men may die….”
The whole invisible concourse took up the chant, and the light faded, until only the speck on the disk below the spider was visible.
Then that, too, vanished.
A bell was ringing furiously. Its din grew louder and louder; it became insupportable. Cairn threw out his arms and staggered up like a man intoxicated. He grasped at the table-lamp only just in time to prevent it overturning.
The ringing was that of his telephone bell. He had been unconscious, 广州佛山桑拿全套 then—under some spell!
He unhooked the receiver—and heard his father’s voice.
“That you, Rob?” asked the doctor anxiously.
“Yes, sir,” replied Cairn, eagerly, and he opened the drawer and slid his hand in for the silken cord.
“There is something you have to tell me?”
Cairn, without preamble, plunged excitedly into an account of his meeting with Ferrara. “The silk cord,” he concluded, “I have in my hand at the present moment, and—”
“Hold on a moment!” came Dr. Cairn’s voice, rather grimly.
Followed a short interval; then—
“Hullo, Rob! Listen to this, from to-night’s paper: ‘A curious discovery was made by an attendant in one of the rooms, of the Indian Section of the British
Museum late this evening. A case had been opened in some way, and, although it contained more valuable objects, the only item which 佛山桑拿夜生活论坛 the thief had abstracted was a Thug’s strangling-cord from Kundélee (district of Nursingpore).'”