Read Cup of Gold Online

Authors: John Steinbeck

Cup of Gold (33 page)

Henry had noticed a peculiar thing. If he looked steadily at one of the crouched, faceless beings, it disappeared. He amused himself by staring first at one and then at another until all of them were gone.
“Did you really stand there in the dark?”
“I do not know. Perhaps I only thought I did.” He looked for Elizabeth, but she, too, had disappeared. In her place there was a red smoldering ember, and the light was dying out of it.
“Wait, Elizabeth— Wait. Tell me where my father is. I want to see my father.”
The dying ember answered him.
“Your father is happily dead. He was afraid to test even death.”
“But Merlin, then— Where is Merlin? If I could only find him.”
“Merlin? You should know of him. Merlin is herding dreams in Avalon.”
The fire went out of the ember with a dry, hard snap. There was no light anywhere. For a moment, Henry was conscious of the deep, mellow pulsation of the Tone.

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