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The Call of Cthulhu

Chapter I

The Horror in Clay

(Found among the papers of the late Francis Wayland Thurston, of Boston)

Of such great powers or beings there may be conceivably a survival. . . a survival of a hugely remote period when. . . consciousness was manifested, perhaps, in shapes and forms long since withdrawn before the tide of advancing humanity. . . forms of which poetry and legend alone have caught a flying memory and called them gods, monsters, mythical beings of all sorts and kinds. . .

—Algernon Blackwood

The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far. The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the deadly light into the peace and safety of a new dark age.

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Chapter II

The Tale of Inspector Legrasse

The older matters which had made the sculptor's dream and bas-relief so significant to my uncle formed the subject of the second half of his long manuscript. Once before, it appears, Professor Angell had seen the hellish outlines of the nameless monstrosity, puzzled over the unknown hieroglyphics, and heard the ominous syllables which can be rendered only as "Cthulhu"; and all this in so stirring and horrible a connection that it is small wonder he pursued young Wilcox with queries and demands for data.

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Chapter III

The Madness from the Sea

If heaven ever wishes to grant me a boon, it will be a total effacing of the results of a mere chance which fixed my eye on a certain stray piece of shelf-paper. It was nothing on which I would naturally have stumbled in the course of my daily round, for it was an old number of an Australian journal, the Sydney Bulletin for April 18, 1925. It had escaped even the cutting bureau which had at the time of its issuance been avidly collecting material for my uncle's research.

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End Notes

Howard Phillips Lovecraft was a US author known for largely horror and occult themes. His most famous work is the Cthulhu Mythos. H. P. Lovecraft frequently encouraged others to use his worlds and characters in their own works, especially the Cthulhu mythos. His work is often influenced by Edgar Allan Poe. Sadly, most of his fame was posthumous.

The Call of Cthulhu 1st appeared in Weird Tales, February 1928, and is considered to be in the Public Domain in the US due to non-renewal, as well as in countries where the copyright term is life +75 years or less.

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