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.