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Catholicism

By Henry Kuttner

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Being extrahuman they had probably possessed this curious, light-headed, light-hearted freedom which even now interposed a cushion of partial indifference between Fenwick and his loss. Were not the gods supposed to spend their days in just this simple-minded joy, laughing and singing, dancing and drinking endlessly, never weary, never bored? Up to a point it was wonderful. But once you began to suspect that something had been removed, you lost your taste for the Olympian life and began at all costs to crave a soul.

Fenwick read the scroll carefully. At one point he looked up. " he asked. " "I will naturally want some kind of bond," the devil said. " "I’m sure I couldn’t," Fenwick said. "Not even in the death house. " "Certain of your memories of the past," the devil said. " Fenwick considered. "I’m thinking about amnesia. " "Not these. Amnesia is concerned with conscious memories. " "No," the devil said calmly. "It is a necessary part of the soul, of course, or it would be of no value to me. But you will keep the essentials until you choose to surrender them to me at death.

Suppose someone has taken old Murdoch’s head? Suppose someone else is having a Triumph in New York tonight, a greater Triumph than mine? The fear is choking me. I’ve failed. Some other Hunter has beaten me. I’m no good. . No. No! Listen. Listen to them shouting my name! Look, look at them pouring in through the opened doors, all the great Hunters and their jewel-flashing women, thronging in to fill the bright hall beneath me. I feared too soon. I was the only Hunter in the Park tonight, after all.

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