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Chapter 5

  • The following winter brought an event no less strange than Wilbur's first tri_utside the Dunwich region. Correspondence with the Widener Library a_arvard, the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris, the British Museum, th_niversity of Buenos Ayres, and the Library of Miskatonic University at Arkha_ad failed to get him the loan of a book he desperately wanted; so at lengt_e set out in person, shabby, dirty, bearded, and uncouth of dialect, t_onsult the copy at Miskatonic, which was the nearest to him geographically.
  • Almost eight feet tall, and carrying a cheap new valise from Osborne's genera_tore, this dark and goatish gargoyle appeared one day in Arkham in quest o_he dreaded volume kept under lock and key at the college library - th_ideous Necronomicon of the mad Arab Abdul Alhazred in Olaus Wormius' Lati_ersion, as printed in Spain in the seventeenth century. He had never seen _ity before, but had no thought save to find his way to the universit_rounds; where indeed, he passed heedlessly by the great white-fanged watchdo_hat barked with unnatural fury and enmity, and tugged frantically at it_tout chain.
  • Wilbur had with him the priceless but imperfect copy of Dr Dee's Englis_ersion which his grandfather had bequeathed him, and upon receiving access t_he Latin copy he at once began to collate the two texts with the aim o_iscovering a certain passage which would have come on the 751st page of hi_wn defective volume. This much he could not civilly refrain from telling th_ibrarian - the same erudite Henry Armitage (A.M. Miskatonic, Ph.D. Princeton,
  • Litt.D. Johns Hopkins) who had once called at the farm, and who now politel_lied him with questions. He was looking, he had to admit, for a kind o_ormula or incantation containing the frightful name Yog-Sothoth, and i_uzzled him to find discrepancies, duplications, and ambiguities which mad_he matter of determination far from easy. As he copied the formula he finall_hose, Dr Armitage looked involuntarily over his shoulder at the open pages;
  • the left-hand one of which, in the Latin version, contained such monstrou_hreats to the peace and sanity of the world.
  • Nor is it to be thought (ran the text as Armitage mentally translated it) tha_an is either the oldest or the last of earth's masters, or that the commo_ulk of life and substance walks alone. The Old Ones were, the Old Ones are,
  • and the Old Ones shall be. Not in the spaces we know, but between them, the_alk serene and primal, undimensioned and to us unseen. Yog-Sothoth knows th_ate. Yog-Sothoth is the gate. Yog-Sothoth is the key and guardian of th_ate. Past, present, future, all are one in Yog-Sothoth. He knows where th_ld Ones broke through of old, and where They shall break through again. H_nows where They had trod earth's fields, and where They still tread them, an_hy no one can behold Them as They tread. By Their smell can men sometime_now Them near, but of Their semblance can no man know, saving only in th_eatures of those They have begotten on mankind; and of those are there man_orts, differing in likeness from man's truest eidolon to that shape withou_ight or substance which is Them. They walk unseen and foul in lonely place_here the Words have been spoken and the Rites howled through at thei_easons. The wind gibbers with Their voices, and the earth mutters with Thei_onsciousness. They bend the forest and crush the city, yet may not forest o_ity behold the hand that smites. Kadath in the cold waste hath known Them,
  • and what man knows Kadath? The ice desert of the South and the sunken isles o_cean hold stones whereon Their seal is engraver, but who bath seen the dee_rozen city or the sealed tower long garlanded with seaweed and barnacles?
  • Great Cthulhu is Their cousin, yet can he spy Them only dimly. Iä! Shub-
  • Niggurath! As a foulness shall ye know Them. Their hand is at your throats,
  • yet ye see Them not; and Their habitation is even one with your guarde_hreshold. Yog-Sothoth is the key to the gate, whereby the spheres meet. Ma_ules now where They ruled once; They shall soon rule where man rules now.
  • After summer is winter, after winter summer. They wait patient and potent, fo_ere shall They reign again.
  • Dr. Armitage, associating what he was reading with what he had heard o_unwich and its brooding presences, and of Wilbur Whateley and his dim,
  • hideous aura that stretched from a dubious birth to a cloud of probabl_atricide, felt a wave of fright as tangible as a draught of the tomb's col_lamminess. The bent, goatish giant before him seemed like the spawn o_nother planet or dimension; like something only partly of mankind, and linke_o black gulfs of essence and entity that stretch like titan phantasms beyon_ll spheres of force and matter, space and time. Presently Wilbur raised hi_ead and began speaking in that strange, resonant fashion which hinted a_ound-producing organs unlike the run of mankind's.
  • 'Mr Armitage,' he said, 'I calc'late I've got to take that book home. They'_hings in it I've got to try under sarten conditions that I can't git here,
  • en' it 'ud be a mortal sin to let a red-tape rule hold me up. Let me take i_long, Sir, an' I'll swar they wun't nobody know the difference. I dun't nee_o tell ye I'll take good keer of it. It wan't me that put this Dee copy i_he shape it is… '
  • He stopped as he saw firm denial on the librarian's face, and his own goatis_eatures grew crafty. Armitage, half-ready to tell him he might make a copy o_hat parts he needed, thought suddenly of the possible consequences an_hecked himself. There was too much responsibility in giving such a being th_ey to such blasphemous outer spheres. Whateley saw how things stood, an_ried to answer lightly.
  • 'Wal, all right, ef ye feel that way abaout it. Maybe Harvard won't be s_ussy as yew be.' And without saying more he rose and strode out of th_uilding, stooping at each doorway.
  • Armitage heard the savage yelping of the great watchdog, and studie_hateley's gorilla-like lope as he crossed the bit of campus visible from th_indow. He thought of the wild tales he had heard, and recalled the old Sunda_tories in the Advertiser; these things, and the lore he had picked up fro_unwich rustics and villagers during his one visit there. Unseen things not o_arth - or at least not of tridimensional earth - rushed foetid and horribl_hrough New England's glens, and brooded obscenely on the mountain tops. O_his he had long felt certain. Now he seemed to sense the close presence o_ome terrible part of the intruding horror, and to glimpse a hellish advanc_n the black dominion of the ancient and once passive nightmare. He locke_way the Necronomicon with a shudder of disgust, but the room still reeke_ith an unholy and unidentifiable stench. 'As a foulness shall ye know them,'
  • he quoted. Yes - the odour was the same as that which had sickened him at th_hateley farmhouse less than three years before. He thought of Wilbur, goatis_nd ominous, once again, and laughed mockingly at the village rumours of hi_arentage.
  • 'Inbreeding?' Armitage muttered half-aloud to himself. 'Great God, wha_impletons! Show them Arthur Machen's Great God Pan and they'll think it _ommon Dunwich scandal! But what thing - what cursed shapeless influence on o_ff this three-dimensional earth - was Wilbur Whateley's father? Born o_andlemas - nine months after May Eve of 1912, when the talk about the quee_arth noises reached clear to Arkham - what walked on the mountains that Ma_ight? What Roodmas horror fastened itself on the world in half-human fles_nd blood?'
  • During the ensuing weeks Dr Armitage set about to collect all possible data o_ilbur Whateley and the formless presences around Dunwich. He got i_ommunication with Dr Houghton of Aylesbury, who had attended Old Whateley i_is last illness, and found much to ponder over in the grandfather's las_ords as quoted by the physician. A visit to Dunwich Village failed to brin_ut much that was new; but a close survey of the Necronomicon, in those part_hich Wilbur had sought so avidly, seemed to supply new and terrible clues t_he nature, methods, and desires of the strange evil so vaguely threatenin_his planet. Talks with several students of archaic lore in Boston, an_etters to many others elsewhere, gave him a growing amazement which passe_lowly through varied degrees of alarm to a state of really acute spiritua_ear. As the summer drew on he felt dimly that something ought to be don_bout the lurking terrors of the upper Miskatonic valley, and about th_onstrous being known to the human world as Wilbur Whateley.