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Stevens-The Labyrinth by Unknown

Stevens-The Labyrinth by Unknown

Author:Unknown
Format: epub
Published: 2019-10-03T00:00:00+00:00


CHAPTER XIV. - ALARMING DISCOVERIES.

THE stairs led to a straight, narrow passage ending in a blind wall. Three other passages, similar to the first, branched off from it at varying angles.

Our first impression of these underground corridors was an extraordinary one. They were decorated with half-inch stripes of black on a white ground. The stripes ran up from a dead-black floor to the ceiling, across, and down the opposite wall. It gave an effect like the bars of a cage, and a perspective that was bewilderingly tiresome to the eyes.

The small electric bulbs placed at intervals were unfrosted and without globes. This so increased the dazzling effect that we only discovered the branch passages as we reached them. Adventuring a few paces along one of these branch ways, we came on yet another zebra-striped corridor opening from it.

"I believe," declared Ronny, suddenly inspired, "that we are in an underground duplicate of the privet maze--and we'd best be careful. This is precisely the way we lost ourselves up there."

"It looks so, but read that." I pointed out another inscription, set in a lozenge of white on the end wall of the passage we stood in. " 'Arise ye and depart, for this is not your rest.' Invitation to proceed. There must be something down here besides these futurist corridors."

Tolliver got out a pencil.

"If this is a second maze, we don't have to get lost." He made a cross on one of the white stripes of the wall. The pencil was soft and the mark stood out well against the painted cement. "We'll blaze a trail, and in that way can always return to the center. The hedges were a different proposition."

"Hello!" I said. "Some former victim had your bright idea, Rex. See his mark?"

It was a small, lop-sided cross that looked as if it had been smeared on the wall by a finger dipped in thin, reddish-brown paint. A few yards further along Veronica pointed to another white stripe.

"There's a red mark, too. But it's a circle instead of a cross."

With an impatient shake of the head, Rex made his own symbol, bold and black, just under the circle.

"Silly game for a man like Mason to waste money on," he commented. "The old fellow must have reached his second childhood."

Still hoping for something more interesting than empty passages, we followed the new angle, passed a couple of corridors, turned into a third, chose another intersection, another--and brought up at a blind wall, which announced the inevitable inscription:



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