At the mountains of madness
At the mountains of madness art
Matter of highest—I might say transcendent—importance. The health of our land party— twenty men and fifty-five Alaskan sledge dogs—was remarkable, though of course we had so far encountered no really destructive temperatures or windstorms. These fragments, with their odd marking, must have been million to a thousand million years old. Was wrong about volcanism. How far this continuity had extended beyond the Oligocene age when the cavern was closed, was of course past all speculation. The disappearance of Gedney, the one dog, the eight uninjured biological specimens, the three sledges, and certain instruments, illustrated technical and scientific books, writing materials, electric torches and batteries, food and fuel, heating apparatus, spare tents, fur suits, and the like, was utterly beyond sane conjecture; as were likewise the spatter-fringed ink-blots on certain pieces of paper, and the evidences of curious alien fumbling and experimentation around the planes and all other mechanical devices both at the camp and at the boring. And I am the more reluctant because my warning may be in vain. They cannot stand the things. It had been set some distance from the camp because of the hatred of the animals for those hellish Archaean organisms, but the precaution seemed to have been taken in vain. That is the impression I gather after those rare, irresponsible moments when he whispers disjointed things to me—things which he repudiates vehemently as soon as he gets a grip on himself again. Despite their age, 8 of the 14 specimens appear to be in almost pristine condition. Later, when not using all the other planes for moving apparatus, we would employ one or two in a shuttle transportation service between this cache and another permanent base on the great plateau from six hundred to seven hundred miles southward, beyond Beardmore Glacier. The wind may have done that, though the greater breakage on the side next the camp, which was not the windward one, suggests an outward leap or break of the frantic beasts themselves. Steel head, jointed rods, gasoline motor, collapsible wooden derrick, dynamiting paraphernalia, cording, rubbish-removal auger, and sectional piping for bores five inches wide and up to feet deep all formed, with needed accessories, no greater load than three seven-dog sledges could carry; this being made possible by the clever aluminum alloy of which most of the metal objects were fashioned. That seething, half-luminous cloud background held ineffable suggestions of a vague, ethereal beyondness far more than terrestrially spatial, and gave appalling reminders of the utter remoteness, separateness, desolation, and aeon-long death of this untrodden and unfathomed austral world.
Six of the specimens have been badly damaged, while another eight have been preserved in pristine condition. Then, too, there was the upsetting of the larder, the disappearance of certain staples, and the jarringly comical heap of tin cans pried open in the most unlikely ways and at the most unlikely places.
Compulsively they are drawn in, finding further horrors: evidence of dead Old Ones caught in a brutal struggle and blind six-foot-tall penguins wandering around placidly. Early in the boring the sandstone had given place to a vein of Comanchian limestone full of minute fossil cephalopods, corals, echini, and spirifera, and with occasional suggestions of siliceous sponges and marine vertebrate bones—the latter probably of teliosts, sharks, and ganoids.
The distribution of cryptical cave-mouths on the black snow-denuded summits seemed roughly even as far as the range could be traced.
Altogether, little could be said to have been solved; and Lake fell back on mythology for a provisional name—jocosely dubbing his finds "The Elder Ones. Shaped like five-pointed star with tips broken off, and signs of other cleavage at inward angles and in center of surface. Early in the boring the sandstone had given place to a vein of Comanchian limestone, full of minute fossil cephalopods, corals, echini, and spirifera, and with occasional suggestions of siliceous sponges and marine vertebrate bones—the latter probably of teleosts, sharks, and ganoids.
At the mountains of madness audiobook
It is also true that we found none of the Archaean biological objects in a condition to take outside as a whole. There is a hint that all earthly life evolved from cellular material left over from the creation of the shoggoths. It will be hard work deterring others from the great white south, and some of our efforts may directly harm our cause by drawing inquiring notice. Carroll, with magnifier, thinks he can make out additional markings of geologic significance. Still, they will be doubted because of the great lengths to which clever fakery can be carried. Some members of the expedition have read Miskatonic University's copy of the Necronomicon. Douglas gave out a call congratulating everybody on the important find, and Sherman, the cache operator, seconded his sentiments. He is part of the Lake sub-expedition and is also butchered by the Old Ones. We were some feet above sea-level, and when experimental drillings revealed solid ground only twelve feet down through the snow and ice at certain points, we made considerable use of the small melting apparatus and sunk bores and performed dynamiting at many places where no previous explorer had ever thought of securing mineral specimens. Lovecraft twice cites Poe's "disturbing and enigmatic" story in his text, and explicitly borrows the mysterious phrase "Tekeli-li! It is further against us that we are not, in the strictest sense, specialists in the fields which came primarily to be concerned. As more buildings are explored, the explorers learn about the Elder Things' conflict with both the Star-spawn of Cthulhu and the Mi-go , who arrived on Earth shortly afterwards. Since our return we have all constantly worked to discourage antarctic exploration, and have kept certain doubts and guesses to ourselves with splendid unity and faithfulness. Will mean to biology what Einstein has meant to mathematics and physics. To demonstrate HPL's expertise with dramtic language, I have put together a few examples of quotes from ATMOM along with a more straight-forward, less colorful approach that a lesser "non-awesome" writer NAW might employ.
The crowning abnormality, of course, was the condition of the bodies—men and dogs alike. Articulate speech, in the sense of syllable-utterance, seemed barely conceivable; but musical piping notes covering a wide range were highly probable.
At the mountains of madness
Shall transfer essentials to other three for return or further moves if necessary, but no more heavy plane travel needed just now. Then, too, there was the upsetting of the larder, the disappearance of certain staples, and the jarringly comical heap of tin cans pried open in the most unlikely ways and at the most unlikely places. But now that Starkweather-Moore party is organising, and with a thoroughness far beyond anything our outfit attempted. Marks of broken-off parts at ends and around sides. It is an unfortunate fact that relatively obscure men like myself and my associates, connected only with a small university, have little chance of making an impression where matters of a wildly bizarre or highly controversial nature are concerned. Many features obviously of almost incredible primitiveness. Apparent minute orifices in frame tubing at wing tips. Matter of highest—I might say transcendent—importance. Despite our speed, they were very slow in gaining prominence; hence we knew that they must be infinitely far off, and visible only because of their abnormal height. It was approximately 4 P. Sherman, with the sailors Gunnarsson and Larsen, took off at , and reported a quiet flight from several points on the wing. The eight perfect specimens mentioned by Lake seemed to have been completely blown away. That is the impression I gather after those rare, irresponsible moments when he whispers disjointed things to me—things which he repudiates vehemently as soon as he gets a grip on himself again. I was interested myself because of the antarctic scene of Poe's only long story—the disturbing and enigmatical Arthur Gordon Pym.
In both stories, the explorers use the nonhumans' artwork to deduce the history of their species. We did gather some minerals from a vast tumbled pile, including several of the greenish soapstone fragments whose odd five-pointed rounding and faint patterns of grouped dots caused so many doubtful comparisons; and some fossil bones, among which were the most typical of the curiously injured specimens.
We did not think much about that till later —indeed, only Danforth and I have thought of it at all. Close flying shows many cave mouths, some unusually regular in outline, square or semicircular.
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