Lorelei arrived at the mess hall at the bottom of the hill but found it had been completely looted. “Nevermind” he thought. “A brisk constitution instead.” He breathed a sigh of relief as the grounds were curiously clear of anybody and he entertained the possibility of a peaceful walk to the valley.
He bore to the east, around the big top, and onward past the elephant pen. “That’s odd,” he noticed. “No elephants.” He concluded they must be grazing.
As he continued to walk he suddenly felt disoriented. The landscape before him seemed to contract. No, it was loose. No it was heat rays. No. What was it? He kept pace as he tried to reconcile the strange oozing principle that had rallied itself on the horizon.
The next thing he knew, he was down on the ground.
“KURST!” The doctor yelled. He tried to push himself up but found that his ankles and his wrists were being yanked back down again. He was still moving. He was sliding! He was in a muck rapid.
The muck’s swell became rapacious. Try as he might, he was being carried along. For every one jerk backwards it was two sucks forward. Up ahead, Lorelei could see the ground falling away. He remembered the cliffed tract of the valleytop and realized with a dash of total certainty that he was destined to go over the edge.
“Ahoy!” A strange voice bugled. Lorelei felt himself hit in the head with something. It was rope.
“Grab the rope, stupid!” said the voice.
Lorelei grabbed the rope.