What secret compulsion made this lovely girl the handmaiden to unnatural horrors?
rcled him with an even cincture about two inches wide.
"Burn it!" he said, and offered me his cigarette. I drew back. He gestured--peremptorily. I pressed the glowing end of the cigarette into the ribbon of white flesh. He did not flinch nor was there odour of burning nor, as I drew the little cylinder away, any mark upon the whiteness.
"Feel it!" he commanded again. I placed my fingers upon the band. It was cold--like frozen marble.
He drew his shirt around him.
"Two things you have seen," he said. "It--and its mark. Seeing, you must believe my story. Goodwin, I tell you again that my wife is dead--or worse--I do not know; the prey of--what you saw; so, too, is Stanton; so Thora. How--"
Tears rolled down the seared face.
"Why did God let it conquer us? Why did He let it take my Edith?" he cried in utter bitterness. "Are there things stronger than God, do you think, Walter?"
"Are there? Are there?" His wild eyes searched me.
The previous reviewers pretty much nailed it. Incredibly wordy - I skipped much of the descriptive prose. Melodramatic characters. Lots of false spiritualism, and the author makes much of explaining ancient Irish mythology. The story just barely rates three stars, and be prepared to be let down at the disappointing ending.
He WAS getting paid by the word! All the pulp authors were, which is why you find that overblown language in a lot of work from his time.
I actually rather enjoy Merritt and The Moon Pool is a delightfully weird story set in an amazingly weird place. If I have only one criticism of his writing it is that he seems unwilling to write a happy ending. Obviously he read too much Victor Hugo in his misspent youth.
Starts right away and keeps on going. Just as you think you're heading into familair territory something new and surprising happens. Merritt sometimes gets carried away with his discriptions, making you almost think he was getting paid by the word. Its a minor complaint compared to the fun of the whole story.