Quailsloth's & Darwin's Quails, Pt 1 & 2.

Jon fetter does not post much, but what he does post is quality stuff, I found these posts to be amongst the funniest ever. especially Darwins Quails, which IMHO is hilarious..

I'm still catching up on a lot of back mail. I came across dlang's quail ravings about ancient quails, and it reminded me of something I saw on the Reuters web-page recently.


Reuters: "New Prehistoric Tracks found in Kenya"

(OULDAVI GORGE) Dr. T.G.Q. Fane smiled as he pointed to the level surface of rock where workers were busily removing sand from what appears to be a set of animal tracks nearly 2 million years old. "We were packing it in for the season and we were all in the vans when I realized I had to take a wiz. And this is what I, er, uncovered."

Fane points to some large bird footprints leading off in a trail to the south and spits through his teeth. "This was once a fertile plain swarming with large game mammals, but there was some volcanic activity that covered the area in soft ash, which allowed these prints to be made as the animals escaped the region in search of food. We thought these tracks here were an early ostrich or emu, but looky here up ahead. Ostriches and emus don't trip and fall like that. It's a complete body print, and by the pear-shape of the body and the impression of the humhius, or apical feather, we can determine it was a quail. Or to be more precise, a Giant Sloth Quail."

The print indicated this particular Giant Sloth Quail was seven feet tall and weighed almost 400 lbs.

What stunned Fane beyond the fact that he had found the tracks of a previously unknown animal was the repitition of the body-print in the space of only another meter. When he found the third body print soon after the second, he thought the quail must have been wounded or dying. However, the print was to be repeated fourteen more times before Fane tossed that theory aside and decided to dig down into the impression of the head in one print, and found the answer he was looking for.

"Snail shell fragments, driven two inches into the ground. It had been feeding! It needed the force of its fall to break the shell, as its neck muscles weren't strong enough to do it alone."

Fane waved his hand across the gorge, coughing a moment as he retched up a tetse-fly that had flown into his mouth. "Imagine this as it was two million years ago, a lush plain massed with herds of these giants belly-flopping their way placidly across it, then back again. They must have made an easy meal for predators."

Indeed, Fane has found the proverbial end of the trail in a clutter of what he thinks are Australopithecus footprints, possibly relatives of "Lucy" found by the Leakeys thirty years ago.

"The monkey boys came in from every direction. If it hadn't been a plain at the time I'd say this critter was dry-gulched." Fane points at the top of the print, kicking an untenured junior professor out of the way. "The head print is six inches deeper than in those in the other body prints, and an extremely hard fall does not explain such a depth. These other deep impressions around the head area suggest that the Australopithicenes were using clubs.

The prints of early hominids revealed more facts about prehistoric life.

"Australopithecenes had terrible aim. Look at these prints here, the large, deeper ones; they suggest an overweight male. His foot print here near the quail's head is at a depth similar to that of the head, thus it was probably driven there by a club-strike. And we think we know who did it. Those smaller, shallower prints of a thin male. See how they're pigeon-toed to brace for the blow. We call these two Laurel and Hardy.

"Apparently the injury was enough to incapacitate Hardy, so he had to be dragged off by Desi, Bud and Ethel, whose tracks appear here, before they could return from over yonder to cut up and make off with the quail sloth. We assume Lucy was at home getting the dinner-fire going."

Fane, no relation to the evil professor of the same name, is a member of an international paleontological team searching for early primate fossils, sponsored by Quailcom Corp.

Jon Fetter

Darwins Quails

Those of you who will be attending the Quail's Party in May (among whom, I, alas, will not number, being twelve time zones away from the east coast and in a country totally devoid of wombats or teleport nodes),imagine that you are at the party and it's late. A lull has fallen on the conversation, broken only by the sound of lj smashing every bottle in the house and the dry comments that float down the stairs from the Eb-o-matic in the attic. Your blood-shot eyes rove around the room for a new topic. They glance across the large tapioca-quail squatting like Bal on the dining room table which everyone had feared to eat, the sad-eyed velvet quail paintings in the living room, the quail sundial in the front lawn visible through the window, and you end up staring at the quail-shrine in the kitchen alcove. There are 32 quail figurines of different shapes, sizes, and countries of origin, and before the shrine is an ancient Roman mosaic of Bacchus and quails (you hope the stains are ketchup). You've been avoiding it all night, but now you're drunk, damn the tarpaulins, you take a last swig of centipede liquor, grimace, spit out a segment, and broach the quail subject.

But what do you really know about quails?

Well, recently I had the pleasure of reading a truly enlightening book, and I can't recommend it enough if you want to learn more about quails: "Darwin's Quails." (Addison-Wesley, 1986, 349 pp.). Anyone worth knowing certainly knows about Darwin's Finches, whose diverse adaptations to diverse situations in the Galapagos Islands gave Darwin the backbone for his growing theory of Natural Selection. For unknown reasons (perhaps severe Fear-of-Being-Laughed-At), he failed to mention the various and many species of quails living there, all showing the same degree of adaptation to diverse environments. Sadly, most have gone extinct by the present date.

The book brings to light unpublished sections from his personal diary while aboard the HMS Beagle. An excerpt:

"April 9, Albemarle Island: The quails of this island are very friendly and tame, as they have had no experience with mankind. I spent the day allowing the gentle creatures to approach me close enough so that I could grab and throttle them for our larder.

"Seaman Barclay was flogged today for blasphemy and drunkeness.

"April 25, Indefatigable Island: The quails (Supermoronicus anaosseus) here are certainly of a degenerative form, and the men and I had to restrain ourselves from putting the dreadful creatures out of their collective miseries. They appear to totally lack a skeleton except for two hardened 'horns' attatched to the 'head' which they use to drag the boneless body along in their search for old snails in their death-throes that have turned upside-down. They were capable of vocalization, but the point of it was not clear to me except maybe to express their extreme misery and disgust at the trick fate has played on them. "

"I have heard of a similar subspecies among the great mooses of Canada. What kind of selective pressures would result in such a mess? Or is it a massive mutation? Regardless, I fear 'S. anaosseus' is not long for this world. I thought at first they could be raised commercially as a source of boneless meat, but they will only eat the old up-side down snails, which would make raising them too work-intensive.

"Seaman Barclay was flogged today because he asked to be.

"May 5, Chatham Island: Today I had the pleasure of watching the feeding behavior of "Moronicus aquaticus," the only marine quail species in the world. The men from the ship entertained themselves by chumming for sharks near the quails' feeding grounds, leading to the inevitable feeding frenzy amid the reluctant quails.

"Seaman Barclay was flogged today for drunkeness and denying the existence of zero.

"May 19, Bindloe Island: No quails living on this island, only snails with noticeably thickened shells. Some digging around brought to light some quail fossils of a new species, "Macromoronicus sp." and some snail fossils. I have reconstructed the fossil record and found that strangely enough, the quails' beaks got smaller as the thickness of the snail shells increased. The fractured skulls of the latest quail fossils (which lacked a beak entirely) indicate that "Macromoronicus" went extinct due to bashing its brains out on increasingly harder snails. I find the evidence from this island very disturbing. According to Natural Selection, quail beaks should have gotten bigger and heavier. Cursed quails! I now have to create a special case called "Anti-Co-Evolution" to explain it. Maybe if I just toss the samples overboard...

"Seaman Barclay was flogged today for drunkeness again.

"May 29, Abingdon Island: Horrors of horrors. We sent a crew of five to shore to get water, and when five hours had passed and no one could be seen on the beach, we assumed the worst and sent an armed crew ashore. For some reason I was allowed to go along, even though it was quite likely we would be facing pirates.

"No pirates, and no sign of the sailors, but plenty of large, dark quails (if they could be called quails) living in small huts in a settlement!!! That animals such as quails should be constructing shelters and living socially is amazing enough, but they also had developed language, social castes, and religion!!! The evolutionary ramifications were mind-blowing!

"Living among these quails was an old Spaniard who said that he had been cast adrift as a young man and had landed here, where the "Dipwuns" (as the quails called themselves) hailed him as a god, offering him only the best raw pulverized snails, which he had to eat in order not to offend, as he was in constant fear for his life that he would be revealed as mortal.

"He had learned their language, and said that the chief quail desired to meet us in the temple, to which we were led. There we found our shipmates, bound to a stone pillar on which perched a terrible stone statuette of a hideous bat-winged quail. Around them swirled an ullulating horde of Dipwuns, from which the occasional twittering wurble of 'Ian, Ian Holm' and 'Ia, Ia Th'grateqale' could be heard. Needless to say we opened fire immediately.

" We were victorious, losing only the Spaniard, and in our righteous disgust we set fire to the village and temple so that all evidence of this ghastly race would be erased. We were all sworn to secrecy, and I will probably have to destroy these pages. I hope to perhaps write a fiction about the poor Spaniard someday, and title it 'The Man Who Would be Quail.'

"Seaman Barclay was flogged again for drinking the preservative alcohol from some of my specimen jars. He must have been desperate, as they were my stink bug collection.

"June 3--While spelunking in a smallish cave on Abingdon Island,one of the crewmen assisting me, Seaman Parsley, stumbled into a large hole in the cave floor. The other men with me approached the lip of the hole, when Parsley broke out into cries of terror and screams that he was not alone in the hole. Our torch light revealed what had startled Parsley: A four-foot tall, shapeless monstrosity, whose numerous pink, blind eyes and featherless, cadaverous white skin caused Seaman Basil to scream "My God, I'm going to be sick!" Yes, it was the Blind Cave Quail, Monomoronicus tenebrius, the only one known in the world, inhabiting a 12 foot deep hole 8 feet long by 4 feet wide, from which it could not nor did not want to escape, as the hole was loaded with millions of large snails.

"What was most startling was that this was not an individual organism, but a colony of quails (a Macrocovey) fused together leaving only the heads protuding from a central body which probably contained a central gut and shared(?) sex organs. Locomotion was without legs or wings, but by a pseudopod (not unlike a snails'--how ironic). What had kept it from crawling out of the hole were the overhanging lips of the rim. How many centuries, nay millenia, had this creature crawled back and forth in this dark hole, hitting the wall, turning around, hitting the opposite wall, turning around, never changing course as the dark years spun by? How long would it continue till the overhang collapsed and ended its' existence or provided an escape, or until the snails learned how to get out of the way?

"With a short rope we retrieved the mucus-covered Parsley.

"As part of the Sunday service, Seaman Barclay was flogged today while carrying a large wooden cross and wearing a crown of thorns.

"June 10th--Victory Island: While collecting tree snails I sent Seaman Barclay inland to collect some upland specimens. As he did not return at the agreed time, I went in search of him, and failing to find him, informed the other men, and together we combed the small island for Barclay. In total failure we returned to the boat to inform the captain that more searchers were required for the morrow. The bosun, responsible for the meting out of floggings, broke out loudly into sobs.

"June 11th--With almost the entire crew searching, we again failed to turn up any sign of Barclay or any clue to his disappearance. When the Captain uttered his suspicion that the "damn fool was probably swept out to sea" the bosun started bawling again and the Captain ordered him flogged.

"June 12th--Giving up Barclay for dead, we prepared to set sail for the next island when the lookout reported that he saw a figure on the shore. A boat was dispatched, and Barclay was recovered unscathed for the moment except for some strange scratches about his neck, not unlike those of a hung man. The captain pronouced him derelict of duty and subject to 20 lashes, at which point the bosun fainted with a sick smile on his lips.

"June 15th--Certainly the strangest thing has occurred today. Seaman Barclay, in good health though raw of back, was eating lunch with the other men on the deck when he was taken by a fit of intense vomiting. The surgeon, attempting to assist him, tore open Barclay's shirt. To our collective horror and with a spurt of blood, a spine-like FEATHER pierced its way through his ribcage, followed by the bloody head of what was unmistakeably a QUAIL, albeit featherless (except for that fearsome apical Hmuh) and bearing three large sets of beaks set within each other. It seemed to glare at us, then giving out a piercing "tweet" it extracted itself from the now-deceased Barclay and bolted for the hatch below-decks.

"Bosun Allspice saved the ship when he, although still in shock and mixed rage, lashed out with the cat o'nine tails, which tripped up the little monstrosity and allowed an alert crewman to cast a net over it. It possessed incredible strength and was soon making short work of the net. I stepped over and with a pole cast it overboard. It sank out of sight, and I hope it can not swim.

"The Captain told me later that Victory Island would be declared a no-man's zone when he made his report to the Admiralty. However I overheard him later that night telling the First Mate his plans to suggest that a ship be sent on our return to "rescue a lost crewman" and to "retrieve some specimens that would prove useful to national defense."

"Seaman Barclay was flogged for endangering the ship by bringing aboard contraband animals, then buried at sea.

"June 30th--Tower Island: What I at first mistook for bowling pins studding a rock among the surf and reefs on closer examination revealed the existence of the only sedentary quails known to man, and the second marine and colonial species I had seen among these islands. I named them Polymoronicus subaquaticus.

"They had managed to fill a niche normally filled by the corals, and subsisted on sea snails collected by the long, purple tentacles (actually modified feathers) of the feeding bodies. Other bodies were differentiated to serve the purposes of reproduction, anchoring, and defense. As they still required oxygen while submerged, there were three large ballon-like bodies that were busy inflating themselves during the low tide. In case of prolonged submersion during a storm, each body had a long hollow hmuh which could act as a snorkel.

"How could a vertebrate come to inhabit such a fringe habitat? I can only surmise that this species' ancestors failed utterly to succeed at occupying any niche on the island due to better performance of other species, and it was finally "pushed" off of the island.

"Seaman Barclay was flogged today in effigy."

Jon Fetter

Subject: MS Found in a Bad Book (some cone content)

Date: Sun, 16 Aug 1998

From: Jon Fetter

To: fegmaniax@smoe.org

Some few of you might remember a previous post of mine concerning Darwin, quails, and some wacky going-ons on the HMS Beagle involving a Seaman Barclay. What I have to tell you now has been brought about by one of those improbable chain of events that make fiction great (if credibility is sustained) and reality unbearable.

On my trip to Thailand in June I was looking through the over-priced fare offered in a second-hand book store on Khao San Road in Bangkok which is often frequented by travellers. I came across a copy of Piers Antony's "On a Pale Horse." Holding back my rising gorge, I picked it up to browse through it and re-live my incredible disappointment experienced on my first reading of Piers' putrid prose, and also to re-read the self-laudatory notes in the back of the "book."

A bookmark fell out. The horrible apparatus of the universe clicked, spun and whined.

What I thought was a bookmark was really three pages of yellow legal-sized paper. Unfolding it once, I found a traveller's list of banal things to do in Bangkok, including the selling of second-hand books. Opening it all the way, I found a manuscript in a different, smaller, yet more extravagant hand.

The pages I found were only three of probably thousands, so I can only guess at the whole picture.

Well, enough suspense. I quote the MS below:


Captain Fitzroy was in a fine pickle over the disappearance of Barclay on the island, and given his proclivity for fits (later found to be hereditary, as expressed by his uncle Lord Castlereagh's suicide and his own later zealous opposition to Darwin's theories), we all gave him a wide berth. I was feeling very guilty over the lashings I had been giving Barclay, and thought that they had caused him to desert, but he had seemed to enjoy it so! Ah, the innocence and gullibility of youth.

So relieved was I by Barclay's return, but also so sure of his forgiveness for my previous eagerness with the lash, that I fainted dead away when the captain declared that Barclay was a deserter and subject to 20 lashes by me! After his punishment, I tended his wounds personally rather than the doctor, but Barclay was a different man, and remained taciturn, quite unlike his old self when, after a good ten chained to the grating, he would still beg for more, and when refused, would smile quietly to himself.

Three days later Barclay was dead and that THING first entered my life.

If only I had not been so vigilant a bosun, it might be someone else writing this today and I would lie in an unmarked grave in India! If only...oh, curse all contingencies, my life lies straight ahead without variance but that one I dread.

The quail-horror had been swept overboard, but I had a feeling something so lethal could not be so easily dispatched. The crew, Fitzroy, even Darwin seemed to put it out of mind almost immediately when it failed to reemerge shrieking for man-blood from the blue Pacific. I was caught in a double-bind of my feelings for Barclay and my fears. And so I took the extra-duty of night watch.

I was watching from the bowsprit, looking straight ahead into fathomless clouds of uncertainties when I heard the first exhalation behind me. Exhalation, I say, as I am still not sure they breathe as we do. I wheeled around just as the first tentacle wrapped around my neck and there I stood face-to-face with all seven feet of proof that the race of Adam is cursed by its creator. Eight more white whips whistled and wrapped around my neck. I was lifted off of the deck bodily and brought to within a foot of those hell-forged burning eyes. The skin around the eyes was white, corpse-like and flabby, and stretched where it joined the larger, external beak. As I struggled voicelessly I chanced to look above the eyes and saw the first great shock of my now horribly twisted life. Where should have been an apical feather on the head of any normal quail was a thickened,fleshy knob about six inches long. But what really shocked me to the spine was that there was--oh God, Barclay's face tatooed in stubby-feathery outines on that fleshy spindle. Maybe at that time it was hallucination, but I heard HIS voice mumble mockingly

"The cat, henh, henh, lash me, Barnaby Allspice! Lash me! I beggggg thee"

I started at my name and struggled anew, but at the same time the hellish hmuh quickly began to elongate and twitch, the image of Barclay distorting to the aspect of a damned soul funnelling down to blazes before the tip lunged and forced into my mouth. No chance to scream, no chance to dream, I was immediately knocked into fire-lit mansions of near-memoriless sleep, except for brief moments of struggling to consciousness only to shudder back to a senseless heap. There were others huddled there, and a great coming and going at all times, and a sense of an outside to those grey wet halls where the quail-call echos unchanged from the first twitter in that first epochal morning, "Come out, come out, man! Why die of thirst when outside lie fountains of white wine!" But those calls also had a brazen sound of trumpets to them, and I'm no hero.

I also half-remember, and sometimes dream of, waking on a narrow ledge high up the side of some black cliff, unsure of which world I was in. A terrible, metallic "D-LANG, D-LANG" sound thundered on my ears. Turning my head I beheld a limitless plain studded with massive revolving cones, their basaltic sides studded with immense pictograms. The meaning of the pictograms became clear after a full revolution of the cones, as their turning revealed new drawings, giving them a semblance of movement akin to animation. Revolving before my revolted eyes was the history of an ancient, alien race, banished from their own dark planet to Earth millions of years ago and forced to assume the diminuitive shape of quails.

Two days later I awoke screaming in my hammock.

I was treated with distrust by everyone, since I bore the same marks as Barclay, and I was relieved of all duties till the surgeon wouldclear me. I was made to stay in a storeroom, which was locked, for fear of a repetition of Barclay's "accident."

There I sat on a case of Darwin's mollusc specimens, waiting for the inevitable like a French royal for the guillotine. My appetite diminished and I became increasingly lethargic. The morning of the crucial fifth day came and a watch with muskets was posted in front of my door with orders to shoot on first sign of trouble. I removed my shirt and gave it to a friend, as I saw no need to have it ruined in the bloody emergence to come. I think he burned it.

But that day passed, and another. I began to regain my strength, if not my appetite. Finally, after a week of good health and a general exam by the doctor, they let me out. I resumed my duties, and exept for a few of the more superstitious members of the crew, was accepted as normal. When the Beagle returned to Portsmouth, I was paid and discharged with the rest of the crew.

I immediately sought more expert medical help. Alas, the best of London was little different from the worst of the navy, and after being bled, leeched, and simultaneously told to seek fresh air in high altitudes and thick air in bogs, I set off upon the sea again.

Ten years later, at the age of 33, I was shot through the eye in an ambush by Indian rebels in Madras and left to die by my panicked comrades.I recovered the next day and caught up with them. They fell away from me in fear. I ignored them till one brought me a shaving mirror and showed memy newly regrown eye!

To top that, as I continued my travels I continued to have the same youthful appearance of a 23-year old man, and the same youthful energy. My appetite even eventually returned to normal, except


End of the first page. The next page is in the same handwriting, but from my understanding of it, it is talking about events at least 90 years from the Voyage of the Beagle.


...and with this degree I was able to begin an internship at a hospital in Chicago. I always sought to work late, and finally the night came when I could sneak into the X-Ray room and take that first chest x-ray, something I had dreaded yet had needed to do on first hearing of the first x-ray pictures years ago.

I clamped the developed image onto the light table. I think I hesitated before turning on the light, but glimpses I had caught of the unilluminated image had already confirmed my long-running fear. When the light came on I was only half-surprised to see the fetal QUAIL curled up in a sac formed out of a section of stomach lining. The eyes were full-formed, and seemed to look at the source of the rays with a malevolent consciousness. A blur above the head confirmed that the hmuh was formed and currently active. A form of umbilical cord connected to the beak and branched out into my stomach and into my small intestine like a silver tapeworm. It was still alive...and my incredible longevity and extended youth...These thoughts raced through my brain as I sought to piece it all together as I ran to the men's room to throw up.

As my nausea diminished I noticed that the outlines of the commode were becoming vague, that the tile walls were taking on a cold, grey, stony, appearance, and I heard the same savage calls which I had first heard on the Beagle while in a coma. I was later to learn that I had been given a large dose of a hallucinogen by the fetal quail directly into my bloodstream. At the same time, my stomach convulsed. Was this the time of emergence? Was my long waiting over? The bathroom mirror shifted into a stone window. I stumbled to its ledge and looked out over an abhorrent city of stone built in an incomprehensible architecture. Through the bathroom walls walked three large quails, hmuhs waving with sinister intent. They surrounded me, their hmuhs lashing over me. At first I winced, but as I felt no impact, no pain, a part of my mind told me that they couldn't harm me, even though they were aware of me. Although struck with horror, I mangaed to relax enough to lower my shielding hands. Just then the embryonic quail's hmuh pushed out of my chest. I fell to the ground, staring at those hate-filled eyes 5 inches before my face. It seemed to take great delight, if possible to such things, in emerging as slowly and destructively as it could.

I felt no pain, though the horror caused me to pass out. I recovered to see the embryonic quail in an apparent conference with its elders, hmuhs enwrapped. From my right I was aware of the sound ofapproaching footsteps and I saw a shadowy group of figures approach. I took some dim hope in their human-like forms, and even dared dream of some kind of rescue, but when the first figure could be seen clearly with its Egyptian Thoth-head on a man's body, my hopes dissolved and my mind was numbed by the hideous menagerie that passed me by in chains. I shrunk back as twelve short men with long black heads, a cobweb-weaving platypus, a floating phosphorescent wombat, a vinegar-swilling be-hmuhed pack of nuns riding monstrous prawns, and mushroom-headed hippoes in Elizabethan garments passed by. This grim parade was driven on by a giant meerkat whose head had been replaced by a bright orange cone turning like a tank turret, out of which a quail's head projected. The grey walls started to assume a tilish look as the quail calls reached a deafening volume. The quail imp,with a look of menace, left the giants and like a lightning flash dashed back into my chest as the calls twittered away like a departing train.

Back fully into the men's room of the hospital, my paralysis left me as my hands reached convulsively to rip open my shirt. Nothing, no sign of the gaping hole I had seen.

Taking the x-ray negative with me, I walked home with a new determination to study biochemistry and to drink lots of milk.


The third page is the shortest and most recent. The ink is from a cheap ballpoint pen and has already begun to fade, where as the other two were written with a fountain pen. The paper was the same throughout.


With every advance of medical science, I learned more and more about the creature in my chest. CAT scans gave me clear pictures of the thing and its activity, and with ultrasound I could sit and watch it squirm and twist in its confinement.

Confinement indeed. By some freak chance of my genetic make-up, Iwas dealt a gene that was highly effective in producing calcium compounds.This condition would have caused me trouble later in life, but it never got the chance. My body, sensing the foreign presence in my gut, went to work and for all intents and purposes locked the quail in stone. Its embryonic membrane was completely calcified, frozen in what I take to be the third day of development.

The quail still had its food suppy from my digestive tract, and its connection to my blood stream. But it couldn't develop any further. I suppose it managed to put itself into some form of stasis, still secreting the chemicals that have given me an unchanging existence and regenerative powers, until that x-ray woke it up. The thing is a biochemical wonder. I have found and analyzed completely new compounds floating in my bloodstream, the subsequent synthesis and commercial application of whichhave made me moderately rich.

Stopped in its development, it decided to play a waiting game and keep me alive until the day when it could complete it's growth and kill me. The chemicals that checked the aging process must have been released soon after it knew it was trapped, as I have not found any compounds extant that could be responsible for this "phenomenon." I have identified the regenerative componds, but I dare not release the results. I dread a race of superhumans, of people who would have no fear of injury and thus of their careless actions. As for the hallucinogen, I have also kept its composition from the eyes of others and am still seeking some form of antidote. Modern methods of study of the embryo are much less intrusive, so my "trips" to the "city" have become less common, thank God.

I have long consoled myself in literature. A young Argentinian writer soon became one of my favorites--his short stories reflected my daily dilemma. I still remember the day I read his story about a city of immortals...I fear he had firsthand knowledge of such a place, as did his muse, Homer. Ah, but they went blind, and I, Ha! Still, all my letters to him seeking to meet him were returned unopened.

And last week I received a package at the GPO from "Reginald Fane"again, no return address other than "NW Territories," and inside yet another tape of "Quail Calls of the World."

I don't know what IT's waiting for. An attack of the planet by quails? After reading and then meeting Lovecraft, I dare to think that perhaps it is waiting till the stars are right.



That's all. I combed the bookstore for more such scraps of paper, but didn't find any. I doubt the Antony book was his own; just a fellow traveller's who, in seeking a bookmark, must have borrowed these pieces from the author. I assume he has once again sought a life upon the road.

Poor guy. No more floggings. Well, maybe Singapore...


Here endeth ( for the moment - at least ) this particular thread......

"They are grubby little creatures of a sea floor 530 million years old, but

we greet them with awe because they are the Old Ones, and they are trying

to tell us something."

--Stephen Jay Gould

surreal posse

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