by Lord Dunsany
One night I sat alone on the great down, looking over the edge of it
at a murky, sullen city. All day long with its smoke it had troubled
the holy sky, and now it sat there roaring in the distance and
glared at me with its furnaces and lighted factory windows. Suddenly
I became aware that I was not the only enemy of that city, for I
perceived the colossal form of the Hurricane walking over the down
towards me, playing idly with the flowers as he passed, and near me
he stopped and spake to the Earthquake, who had come up mole-like but
vast out of a cleft in the earth.
'Old friend,' said the Hurricane, 'rememberest when we wrecked the
nations and drave the herds of the sea into new pasturage?'
'Yes,' said the Earthquake, drowsily; 'Yes, yes.'
'Old friend,' said the Hurricane, 'there are cities everywhere. Over
thy head while thou didst sleep they have built them constantly. My
four children the Winds suffocate with the fumes of them, the
valleys are desolate of flowers, and the lovely forests are cut down
since last we went abroad together.'
The Earthquake lay there, with his snout towards the city, blinking
at the lights, while the tall Hurricane stood beside him pointing
fiercely at it.
'Come,' said the Hurricane, 'let us fare forth again and destroy
them, that all the lovely forests may come back and the furry
creeping things. Thou shalt whelm these cities utterly and drive the
people forth, and I will smite them in the shelterless places and
sweep their desecrations from the sea. Wilt thou come forth with me
and do this thing for the glory of it? Wilt thou wreck the world
again as we did, thou and I, or ever Man had come? Wilt thou come
forth to this place at this hour tomorrow night?'
'Yes,' said the Earthquake, 'Yes,' and he crept to his cleft again,
and head foremost waddled down into the abysses.
When the Hurricane strode away, I got up quietly and departed, but
at that hour of the next night I came up cautiously to the same
spot. There I found the huge grey form of the Hurricane alone, with
his head bowed in his hands, weeping; for the Earthquake sleeps long
and heavily in the abysses, and he would not wake.