Soon it became as if his own kind thoughts and the sun's hot strength were one. The thing-that-prodded now was different, now it outpoured, gracious to meet his need. He could not have known that this was prayer! And so, by degree and small degree Gral saw the sinews grasp and tighten.
* * *
Not until the sun was low, at valley's Far End, did he dare reach out and take his shaft and put it to test. But already he knew! The stone held, and it held, and would continue to hold after many tries. He had fashioned a thing and it was wondrous--his own sole possession--a weapon beyond anything the valley-people had dreamed of--and it was his alone.
A stirring of vague alarm made him pause. He growled deep. The thing-that-prodded churned in a new way, a cunning way, and o