LILITH A Fantasy Novel By George MacDonald - online book

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I06                                   LILITH
then sought the woman; but she was gone, and not yet had I seen her face ! Again I looked after the animal, but whether I saw or only fancied a white speck in the distance, I could not tell.—What did it mean ? What was the monster-cat sent off to do ? I shuddered, and went back to my bed. Then I remembered that, when I lay down in the sandy hollow outside, the moon was setting; yet here she was, a few hours after, shining in all her glory ! ' Everything is uncer­tain here,' I said to myself, '—even the motions of the heavenly bodies!'
I learned afterward that there were several moons in the service of this world, but the laws that ruled their times and different orbits I failed to discover.
Again I fell asleep, and slept undisturbed.
When I went down in the morning, I found bread and water waiting me, the loaf so large that I ate only half of it. My hostess sat muffled beside me while I broke my fast, and except to greet me when I entered, never opened her mouth until I asked her to instruct me how to arrive at Bulika. She then told me to go up the bank of the river-bed until it disappeared ; then verge to the right until I came to a forest— in which I might spend a night, but which I must leave with my face to the rising moon. Keeping in the same direction, she said, until I reached a running stream, I must cross that at right angles, and go straight on until I saw the city on the horizon.
I thanked her, and ventured the remark that, looking out of the window in the night, I was aston­ished to see her messenger understand her so well, and go so straight and so fast in the direction she had indicated.
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