asure would have been to risk the loss of it. He found that as the dawn advanced, and the amount of diffused light increased, the crystal became to all appearance non-luminous. And for some time he was unable to see anything in it, except at night-time, in dark corners of the shop.
But the use of an old velvet cloth, which he used as a background for a collection of minerals, occurred to him, and by doubling this, and putting it over his head and hands, he was able to get a sight of the luminous movement within the crystal even in the day-time. He was very cautious lest he should be thus discovered by his wife, and he practised this occupation only in the afternoons, while she was asleep upstairs, and then circumspectly in a hollow under the counter. And one day, turning the crystal about in his hands, he saw something. It came and went like a flash, but it gave him the impression that the object had for a moment opened to him the view of a wide and spacious and strange country; and turning it about, h
It’s a very effective mix of domestic satire and sci-fi fantasy. A little shrivelled antique shop owner, who is bullied by his wife and step-children, takes refuse in the bizarre extra terrestrial images only he can see broadcast inside a crystal egg (which is wife is determined that he sell for five pounds).
It has an ambiguous ending and, so I believe, can be considered a precursor to Well’s War of the Worlds.
Interesting story that precursors War of the Worlds. It was well done, very suspenseful till the end. I thought it would have made a great Twilight Zone episode. A dealer of unusual items gets an crystal egg from another dead dealer and sees things in it. I enjoyed the story but would have preferred a slightly better ending.
2013 SFR GALAXY AWARD WINNER
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