Facing a six-hour deadline of death, young Larry raids a hostile world of rat-men and tinkling Devil Crystals.
ion of the "Cave of Blue Flames" of which Joan had written.
* * * * *
He arrived at the foot of the dune's slope without incident. But there he came to an abrupt halt as the silence was suddenly shattered by a strange sound from the shrubbery-covered crest just above him. It was a musical, tinkling crash, oddly suggestive of a handful of thin glass plates shattering upon a stone floor. A second later there came the agonized scream of some creature in its death throes.
The tinkling, crashing sound promptly swelled to a steady pulsing song like that of a brittle river of crystalline glass surging and breaking over granite boulders. There was an eery beauty in that tinkling burst of melody, yet with the beauty there was an intangible suggestion of horror that made Powell's flesh creep.
The crystalline song swelled to a crescendo climax. Then there came another sound, a single resonant note like that given when a string of a bass viol is violently plucked--and the tinkling melody abrup