HOW THEY GATHERED THE SILK FOR THE WEAVING OF THE BUTTERFLY-NET
CYRIL GREY made the midnight invocation to the Sun-God, Khephra, the Winge_eetle, upon the crest of the Long Rocher; and he made the morning invocatio_o the Sun-God, Ra, the Hawk, upon the heights that overlooked the hamlet o_arbizon.
Thence, like Chanticleer himself, he woke the people of the Inn, who, i_emory of the days Stevenson had spent with them, honour his ashes b_mulating the morality of Long John Silver.
They were prepared for the breakfast order; but Cyril's requirement, a long- distance call to Paris, struck them as unseasonable and calculated to distur_he balance of the Republic. They asked themselves if the Dreyfus case wer_ome again. However, Cyril got his call, and Simon Iff his information, befor_even o'clock. Long before Douglas, who had waited until midnight for the new_f his triumph, had recovered from the sleep following its celebration, Iff i_is fastest automobile had picked up the lovers at an agreed spot in th_orest, the Croix du Grand Maitre, whirled them to Dijon, and put them int_he train for Marseilles. There they took ship, and came to Naples by sea, without adventure.
The enemy, in one way or another, had been thrown utterly off the track.  It was early in the morning when they landed; at three o'clock they ha_isited such local deities as commanded their more urgent piety; the Museum, Vergil's Tomb, also Michaelsen the bookseller and vendor of images of th_neffable. At four they started, hand in hand, along the shore, towards thei_ew home.
An hour's walk brought them to the foot of a long stairway, damp stonework, narrow, between high walls, that led vertical and steep to the very crest o_osilippo. One could see the old church amid its cluster of houses. Cyri_ointed to a house a couple of hundred yards north of the church. It was th_ost attractive building on the hillside.
The house itself was not large, but it was built like a toy imitation of on_f those old castles that one sees everywhere on difficult heights, throughou_ost of Southern and even Central Europe; in a word, like a castle in a fairy- story. It looked from below, owing to foreshortening, as if it were built ove_ sheer rampart, like the Potala at Lhassa; but this was only the effect o_erging a series of walls which divided the garden by terraces.
"Is that the Butterfly-net?" cried Lisa, slapping her hands with delight.
"That," he dissented, "is The Net."
Once again Lisa felt a pang of something like distrust. His trick of sayin_he simplest things as if they bore a second meaning, hidden from her, annoye_er. He had been strangely silent on the voyage, and wholly aloof from her o_hose planes where she most needed him; that was a necessary condition of th_xperiment, of course; but none the less it tended to disturb her happiness.
Such talks as they had had were either purely educative, Magick in Six Eas_essons, he called it, or Magick without Tears, or else they were conventiona_over's chats, which she  felt sure he despised. He would tell her tha_er eyes were like the stars; and she would think that he meant: "What am I t_ay to this piece of wood?" Even nature seemed to stir his contempt in som_ay. One night she had noticed him rapt in a poetic trance leaning over th_ows watching the foam. For a long while he remained motionless, his breas_ising quickly and falling, his lips trembling with passion — and then h_urned to her and said in cold blood: "Ought that to be used to advertize _entifrice or a shaving soap?" She was sure that he had rehearsed the whol_cene merely to work her up in order to have the fun of dropping her again.
Only the next morning she woke early, to find a pencilled sonnet on his table, a poem so spiritual, so profound, and of such jewelcraft, that she knew wh_he few people whom he had allowed to read his work thought him the match o_ilton. So apt were the similes that there could be no doubt that he ha_hought it out line by line, in that trance which he had marred, for her, b_is brutal anti-climax.
She had asked him about it.
"Some people," he had said quite seriously, "have one brain; some have two. _ave two." A minute later: "Oh, I forgot. Some have none."
She had refused to be snubbed. "What do you mean by your having two brains?"
"I really have. It seems as if; in order to grasp anything, I were obliged t_ake its extremes. I see both the sublime and the ridiculous at once, and _an't imagine one existing apart from the other, any more than you can have _tick with only one end. So I use one point of view to overbalance the other, like a child starting to swing itself. I am never happy until I hav_dentified an idea with its opposite. I take the idea of murder — just _lain, horrid idea. But I don't stop there. I multiply  that murder, an_ntensify it a millionfold, and then a millionfold again. Suddenly one come_ut into the sublime idea of the Opening of the Eye of Shiva, when th_niverse is annihilated in an instant. Then I swing back, and make the whol_hing comic by having the hero chloroform Shiva in the nick of time, so tha_e can marry the beautiful American heiress.
"Until I have been all round the clock like that, I don't feel that I have th_dea at all. If you had only let me go on about the shaving soap, I shoul_ave made it into something lovely again — and all the time I should hav_erceived the absolute identity of even the two contradictory phases."
But it was beyond her still, in each case as it came up "That is the Net!" _iddle? It might mean a thousand things; and to a woman of her positive an_rosaic temperament (which she had, for all her hysteria and romanticism) doubt was torture. Love itself always torments women of this type; they wan_heir lovers under lock and key. They would like love itself to be a mor_ubstantial commodity, a thing that one could buy by the pound, and store in _afe or an ice-chest.
Doubt and jealousy, those other hand-maidens of love, are also the children o_magination. But people wrongly use the word "imagination" to mean abstractio_f ideas from concrete facts. And this is the reverse of the truth.
Imagination makes ideas visible, clothes Being in form. It is, in short, ver_uch like the "faith" of which Paul speaks. When true imagination makes tru_mages of the Unseen, we have true love, and all true gods; when fals_magination makes false images — then come the idols, Moloch, Jahveh, Jaganath, and their kindred, attended by all shapes of vice, of crime, o_isery.
Lisa was thinking, as she climbed the apparently unending staircase, that sh_ad taken pretty long  odds. She had not hesitated to buck the Tiger, Life. Simon Iff had warned her that she was acting on impulse. But — on th_op of that — he had merely urged her to be true to it. She swore once mor_hat she would stick to her guns. The black mood fell from her. She turned an_ooked upon the sea, now far below. The sun, a hollow orb of molten glory, hung quivering in the mist of the Mediterranean; and Lisa entered for a momen_nto a perfect peace of spirit. She became one with Nature, instead of a bein_ternally at war with it.
But Cyril turned his face again to the mountain; she knew that he wanted t_erform the evening adoration from the terrace of the house itself.
At last they came out from their narrow gangway to the by-street behind th_hurch. It was an old and neglected thoroughfare, far from the main automobil_oad that runs along the crest. It was a place that the centuries ha_orgotten. Lisa realized that it was a haven of calm — and in a sense sh_esented the fact. Her highly-coloured nature demanded constant stimulus. Sh_as an emotion-fiend, if one may construct the term by analogy with anothe_ranch of pathology.
The lovers turned to the left through the village; in a few minutes the roa_pened, and they saw the villa before them. It stood on a spur of rock, separated from the main hill by a sharply-cut chasm. This was spanned by a_ld stone bridge, a flying arch set steeply from the road to the house. I_lmost gave the effect of a frozen cascade issuing from the great doorway.
Cyril led Lisa across the bridge. This house was not served like that they ha_eft behind them in Paris. Visitors were not expected or desired at any time, and the inmates rarely left the grounds, except on duty. 
It was therefore some time before an answer to the summons reached them.
Cyril's hand, dragging down an iron rope, had set swinging a great bell, dee_nd solemn, like a tocsin, in the turret which overlooked the chasm. Not unti_ts last echo was dumb did a small Judas in the door slide back. Cyril held u_is left hand, and showed his seal-ring. Immediately the door swung open; _an of fifty odd years of age, dressed in black, with a great sword, like hi_rother guard at the Profess-House in Paris, stood bowing before them.
"Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. I enter the house."
With these words Cyril Grey assumed possession. "Lead me to Sister Clara." Th_an turned and went before them down a long corridor which opened upon a ston_errace, flagged with porphyry. A circular fountain in the middle had, for it_entre a copy of the Venus Callipyge in black marble. The parapet wa_ecorated with statues of satyrs, fauns, and nymphs.
The woman who came to meet them was assuredly kin to that ancient company. Sh_as about forty years of age, robust and hardy, burnt dark with years o_utdoor life, her face slightly pitted with smallpox, her eyes black, stern, and true. Her whole aspect and demeanour expressed devoting capacity an_etermination. It was she who ruled the house in the absence of Simon Iff.
A brief colloquy between this woman and Cyril Grey followed their firs_reetings, whose austere formality inexplicably conveyed the most cordia_indness. He explained that he wished her to continue in full control of th_ouse, only modifying its rules so far as might be necessary for the succes_f a certain experiment in magick which he had come to carry out. Sister Clar_cquiesced with the  slightest of nods; then she raised her voice, an_ummoned the others to the evening adoration of the Sun.
Cyril performed this as leader; the duty done, he was free to meet his ne_rothers and sisters.
Sister Clara was assisted by two young women, both of the slender willowy type — rather babyish even, one might say, with their light brown fluffiness an_heir full, red soft lips. They remained standing apart from the men, wh_umbered five. First in rank came the burly Brother Onofrio, a man of som_hirty-five years, strong as a bull, with every muscle like iron from constan_hysical toil. Two men of thirty stood beside him, and behind them two lads o_bout sixteen.
They were all devoted — so far as the outer world was aware — to the healin_f humanity in respect of its physical ills. The men were doctors, o_tudents, the women nurses; though in fact Sister Clara was herself the mos_rilliant of them all, a surgeon who could have held her own against any ma_n Europe.
But it was contrary to the rule of the house for any sick person to lodg_here; the private hospital which was attached to it was situated some thre_undred yards further back from the hillside.
At a glance Lisa perceived that she had come into a circle where disciplin_as the first consideration.
Every one moved as if a Prussian sergeant had been in charge of him fro_nfancy. Every one looked as if his responsibility were ever present to hi_ind. These manners sat naturally enough upon Clara and Onofrio; on the other_he idea was hardly yet assimilated. But there was no evidence of any outwar_onstraint; even the youngest of the boys was proud to take himself s_eriously as he did.
A touch of frost was in the air; Cyril led Lisa within. A special set of room_ad been prepared  for their reception; but Lisa was displeased to fin_hat they had been arranged entirely with reference to feminine tastes an_equirements. A single scheme of colour embraced the whole suite; white, blu_nd silver. The tapestries, the carpets, the very ceilings, were wholly i_hese and no other lights.
The pictures and statues were of Artemis, no other goddess; the very object_n the apartment were crescent shaped, and the only metal in evidence wa_ilver. Where the crescent could not serve the purpose, the surfaces had bee_ngraved with stars of nine points.
Only three books lay upon the table; they were the _Endymion_ of Keats, th_Atalanta in Calydon_ of Swinburne, and one other. But in a small bookshel_ere several other volumes; and Lisa found later that each one described, suggested, or had been more or less directly inspired by the moon. In a silve_enser, too, burnt an incense whose predominating ingredient was camphor.
Everything present was designed or chosen so that it might turn the girl'_ind to the earth's satellite. Subsequently she discovered that this pla_xtended even to her diet — she was to live exclusively on those foods whic_ise men of old classified as lunar in nature, on account either of thei_nherent qualities, or because they are traditionally sacred to Diana.
After the beginning of the experiment, no male was to enter that apartment.
She was a little frightened on grasping the fact that Cyril must have forsee_er perfect compliance from the beginning. He noticed it with a slow smile, and began to explain to her why he had chosen the moon as the type of
"butterfly" they were going to snare.
"The moon is the most powerful influence in your horoscope," he said. "Sh_tands, in her own sign Cancer, in the mid-heaven. The Sun and  Mercur_re rising in square to her, which is not specially good; it may bring troubl_f a certain kind; But Neptune is sextile to her, Jupiter and Venus trine. I_s about as good a horoscope as one could hope for in such a case. The wors_anger is the conjunction of Luna and Uranus — they are much too close to b_omfortable. My own nativity goes well with yours, for I am primarily solar b_ature, though (Heaven knows!) Herschel in the ascendant modifies it; and so _ake the complement to you. But I am not to influence you or associate wit_ou too much. I shall sleep with the men in the square tower yonder, which i_ept magically separate from the rest of the house. We shall all be workin_onstantly to invoke the moon's influence and to keep off intruders. Siste_lara is egregiously powerful in work of this special kind; she has made _articular study of it for twenty years; and during the past ten she has neve_poken to a man, except in strict necessity. Her pupils have taken a simila_esolution. There is no question of vows, which imply self-distrust — fear o_eakness and of vacillation; the women of our order execute their own wills, with no need of external pressure. Go thou and do likewise!" Suddenly he ha_ecome stern and gloomy; and she felt how terrible would be his anger o_ontempt.
The morning broke brilliant; and Lisa found, not for the first time, that th_ost bracing influence resulted from the routine peculiar to the Profess- houses. To rise before dawn; to make a ceremonial ablution with the intentio_f so purifying both body and mind that they should be as it were new-born; then the joyous outburst of adoration as the sun rose to sight: this was _rue Opening of the Day. Insensibly the years slipped from her; she becam_ike a maiden in thought and in activity.
About a week was to elapse before the new moon,  at the moment of whic_he operation was timed to commence; but it was a busy week for Cyril Grey.
With Brother Onofrio, for whom he had taken an immense liking, he inspecte_very inch of the defences of the house. It was already a kind of fortress; the terraces were bounded by ramparts angled or rounded so as to suggest tha_ld-fashioned pattern of military work of which Fort William in Calcutta i_aid to be the most perfect example.
But the defence of which the magicians were thinking was of a different order; the problem was to convert the whole place as it stood into an impregnabl_agical circle. For years, of course, the place had been defended, but not a_gainst its present dangers. It had been hitherto sufficient to exclude evi_nd ignorant beings, things of the same class as Douglas' watcher; but now _ar more formidable problem was in view, how to dissuade a Soul, a being arme_ith the imperial right to enter, from approaching. Demons and elementals an_ntelligences were only fractions of true Entities, according to the theory; they were illusions, things merely three-dimensional, with no core o_ubstance in themselves. In yet another figure, they were adjectives, and no_ouns. But a human soul is a complete reality. "Every man and every woman is _tar."
To repel one such from its demand to issue into the world of matter was _erious difficulty — and, also, possibly involved no mean responsibility.
However, Cyril's main hope was that any passing souls would be reasonable, an_ot try to force themselves into uncongenial company, or plant themselves i_nsuitable soil. He had always held that incarnation was balked when the sou_iscovered that the heredity and environment of the embryo it had chosen wer_oo hostile to allow the desired manifestation; the soul would then withdraw, with the physical result of  miscarriage, still-birth, or, where th_mbryo, deserted by the human soul, becomes open to the obsession of som_ther thing, such as a Vampire or what the Bible calls a "dumb spirit," th_roduction of monsters or idiots.
Cyril Grey, by insisting upon constant devotion to the human ideal, hoped t_ard off all other types of soul, just as the presence of a pack of wolve_ould frighten away a lamb; and he further trusted to attract potent forces, who would serve as a kind of lighthouse to his harbour. He imagined hi_esired Moon-soul, afloat in space, vehemently spurred towards the choir o_ympathetic intelligences whom it could hardly fail to perceive, by reason o_he intensity of the concentration of the magical forces of the operators upo_he human idea.
Two days before the beginning of the operation, a telegram from Paris reache_im. It stated that, as he suspected, Balloch and Douglas were the force_ehind the attack; further, that Grey's presence in Naples was known, and tha_hree members of the Black Lodge had left Paris for Italy.
He thought it undesirable to communicate the news to Lisa.
But he renewed his general warnings to her.
"Child!" he said, "you are now ready for our great experiment. On Monday, th_ay of the New Moon, you take the oath of dedication; and we shall be able t_esume those relations which we temporarily renounced. Now let me say to yo_hat you are absolutely guarded in every way but one. The weak spot is this: we cannot abolish unsuitable thoughts entirely from your mind. It is for yo_o do that, and we have done our best to make the conditions as favourable a_ossible; but I warn you that the struggle may be bitter. You will be amaze_t the possibilities of your own mind, its fertility of  cunning, it_atally false logic, its power of blinding you to facts that ought to be a_lear as daylight — yes, even to the things before your very eyes. It wil_eek to bewilder you, to make you lose your mental balance — every trick i_ossible. And you will be so beaten and so blind that you have only one safe — guard; which is, to adhere desperately to the literal terms of your oath.
"Do that, and in a little while the mind will clear; you will understand wha_mpty phantoms they were that assailed you. But if you fail, your onl_tandard is gone; the waters will swirl about you and carry you away to th_byss of madness. Above all, never distinguish between the spirit and th_etter of your oath! The most exquisite deceit of the devil is to lure yo_rom the plain meaning of words. So, though your instinct, and your reason, and your common sense, and your intelligence all urge you to interpret som_uty otherwise than in the plain original sense; don't do it!"
"I don't see what you mean."
"Here's a case. Suppose you swore 'not to touch alcohol.' The devil would com_ith a sickness, and an alcholic medicine; he would tempt you to say that o_ourse your oath didn't mean 'medicinally.' Or you would wish to rub your ski_ith eau-de-cologne; of course 'touch' really meant 'drink.'"
"And I should really be right to be stupidly literal, like that?"
"Yes, in a case where the mind, being under a magical strain, becomes unfit t_udge. It's the story of Bluebeard; only you must alter it so that th_ontents of the fatal chamber exist only in the woman's imagination, that sh_ad so worked herself up by what she thought she might see that she als_hought she saw it. So be on your guard!" 
On the last day of the old moon he gave her an idea of the main programme.
First, the honeymoon; their normal relations were to endure until there wa_vidence of the need to emphasize the crucial point of the operation. Fro_hat moment she was to see nothing of Cyril save in the ceremonies o_nvocation; all other relations were to cease. The lover would become th_ermit. The magician had calculated the probable moment of incarnation a_bout six months before the day of birth. Once it became certain that the sou_ad taken possession of the embryo, the hermit would become the elder brother.
It was clearly the middle period that was critical; not only because of th_agical difficulties, but because Lisa herself would be under intense strain, and isolated from her lover's active sympathy. But Cyril thought it best t_are these dangers rather than to allow his own soul to influence he_tmosphere, as his solar personality might possibly drive away the very
"butterfly" which they wished to collect. In fact, his human individuality wa_ne of the things that had to be banished from her neighbourhood. She mus_now nothing of him but the purely magical side, when, clothed in robe_uitable to the invocations of Luna and with word and gesture concentrate_holly upon the work, he sank Cyril Grey utterly in the Priest of Artemis —