Monday, June 30, 2014

A View of Dunsany, 1923

Lord Dunsany, by Bohun Lynch

The Selling of the Emerald Idol*

The beginnings of this tale are black with age, and they are to be found in the Infinitely Ancient Archives of the Mysteries. Strooth of the House of Rhot dwelling beyond the Hills of Bhosh set down the later happenings on a papyrus, and they keep it in the monasteries of Gloob. But the end is not yet.

When Sili Boob inherited from his father the secret of the Emerald Idol, how it had stood since the dawn of the world in the golden shrine among the lotus blooms and orchids of Sloosh, giving peace to the faithful, he went to the shrine with his wife Oogly Moog, and gave it fair speech, but it made no sign. Then taking it from the shrine, he wrapped the Emerald Idol in the skin of a newly slain goat, and brought it to Lord Dunsany in Go-by Street, who, being wise, counselled Sili Boob to take back the idol whence it had been brought.

But Sili Boob and Oogly Moog his wife had prayed daily to the Emerald Idol, and it had made no sign; and they prayed again, and still it made no sign, and their prayer remained unfulfilled; and on the following morning they took it to Mr. Bern­stein, whose other name is Fortescue, and sold it to him. Whereupon returning home they found their prayer had been granted in their absence, so that they had wronged the Emerald Idol. They sat all night awake expecting death, but it came not.

This story I related to Fujjh and Hang Mee and Sozzle, laughing as I told.

And they only answered, “This is a damn silly yarn.”

But I replied, “It is no worse than the others.”

And I said truth.

*from Decorations and Absurdities (1923), by Bohun Lynch and Reginald Berkeley

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