THE RAVEN 13
A tendency to croak caused a certain roughness in his speech, but his voice was not disagreeable, and what he said, although conveying little enlightenment, did not sound rude.
'I did not come through any door,' I rejoined.
'I saw you come through it!—saw you with my own ancient eyes !' asserted the raven, positively but not disrespectfully.
'I never saw any door ! ' I persisted.
' Of course not! ' he returned ; ' all the doors you had yet seen—and you haven't seen many—were doors in; here you came upon a door out! The strange thing to you,' he went on thoughtfully, ' will be, that the more doors you go out of, the farther you get in !'
' Oblige me by telling me where I am.'
' That is impossible. You know nothing about whereness. The only way to come to know where you are is to begin to make yourself at home.'
' How am I to begin that where everything is so strange ?'
By doing something.'
' "What ? '
'Anything; and the sooner you begin the better! for until you are at home, you will find it as difficult to get out as it is to get in.'
II have, unfortunately, found it too easy to get in; once out I shall not try again !'
' You have stumbled in, and may, possibly, stumble out again. Whether you have got in unfortunately remains to be seen.'
Do you never go out, sir ? '
' When I please I do, but not often, or for long. Your world is such a half-baked sort of place, it is at