Some horrible intelligence

Jean Stafford, The interior castle, New York, Harcourt, 1953.

« Sir », he said solemnly, « sir, did you ever go fishing in the sound for bass, using a caddis worm as bait? » The wine in the man’s throat gurgled like a death rattle as he lokked out at the leveled mountains. « The was a short notice in some review or other », he said, « outlined in black. Even so… even so » « In the limbo where he waited a moment before he wakened fully, he thought he was writing the opening paragraph of a children’s story in which a little boy on hos stomach drinking water from a stream. Suddenly his eyes encountered two others, hooded, sparkling with some horrible intelligence . They belonged to a monstrous caddis worm which advanced through the water as he withdrew. He woke violently. He clasped his hands to his forehead and in the darkness softly moaned. ‘ I must control myself. I must not perish here. »