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     The haggard-faced doctor came out of the dimly lit bedroom into the dirty, dingy, living room in the home of Tim Johnson. He closed the door to the bedroom and then leaned back against it and closed his eyes in agony. "I'm sorry, Mrs. Johnson," he said in a tremulous voice, "There's nothing I can do, in an hour or two he must die. There's just no hope for him."
     He wearily walked over to Tim's mother and affectionately patted her shoulder in a rather awkward manner as she let a sigh of grief escape from a throat dry from crying. "I wish to heaven that there was more that I could do for the poor boy, but his case is hopeless. It is best," he said resignedly, "that he can die in peace; he feels no pain. I'm thankful for that."
     Mrs. Johnson lifted her tear-streaked face to the feeble flickering of the sputtering candle that illuminated vaguely a small, chipped statue of the Madonna, and, stifling a sob, said, "Yes, it's best, he is home with his mother and he will die soon, but he will die happy."
      "What do you mean, happy?" he said as he sank into an old, rickety armchair that groaned suddenly as if to protest the weight. "Would anyone be happy to die?"
      Staring fixedly, as if hypnotized, into the candle flame she answered, "Just the morning before he was," she dabbed her eyes with her soiled apron, "was run down by the truck, he found a battered record that someone had thrown away and played it. The label had been soaked off by the water in the gutter where he found it, but I think it is a symphony or concert or some other classical piece. He played it once on our wheezy record player and was immediately put into a kind of a trance by the weird melody. After the record had run its course, he left the house in a dream and, paying no attention to the traffic, he walked across it. A truck came out of nowhere and---"
      She broke down completely under the sorrow and for many minutes the doctor could do nothing to alleviate the pain-wracked sobs that shook the woman's delicate frame.
      He wished, oh, how he wished, that something could be done for the poor child. He remembered the ride to the hospital in his car after he had rushed out into the street after hearing the shriek of a passerby who saw the truck bear down on the youth and send him spinning to the curb. He remembered the scornful looks that the attendants had given to the ragged youngster, and the shameful way they had brushed him off onto the small doctor's care with the excuse that the hospital was filled already. He shook the regrettable memories from his head and concentrated on consoling the inconsolable. Having at length quieted, to a small extent, her wailing, he again asked her about the fact that the boy would die happily. "Well," she continued, sniffling, "ever since you brought him home, I have been playing the record for him---that wouldn't harm him, would it?" she inquired hopefully, "It's the only thing that will stop his whimpering."
     "No, no," he muttered, absently. "It might even do him some good---as you say, it already has. Well," he said, rousing himself from his reverie, "I'm sorry I can't stay, but I have another emergency case up the street, that the hospital wouldn't take in," he said maliciously. "Call me here," he said, handing her a piece of paper with a telephone number scribbled on it, "if there is any change---which I'm afraid there will be---and, oh, yes, play that record for him as much as he wants you to." He pulled on his overcoat and went down the weed-grown path to the street, which had been transformed into a quagmire by the driving rains that hadn't stopped for the better part of the week.
     Mrs. Johnson wrapped her patched shawl close around her thin shoulders, carefully blew out the light to conserve on gas, and made her way across the room that had been plunged into stygian blackness but for the candle to the Virgin at the door of Tim's bedroom. Before she opened the door, she could hear his piteous moaning coming through the paper-thin wall; she knew that he was awake and that the record had again run its course. As she walked into the room, the fever-brightened eyes turned imploringly on her and begged that she would play the record again and again and again. She obediently placed the dull needle on the edge of the disc and turned on the switch---the switch that had put her boy into the trance that had so seriously injured him. She detested that record; if she hadn't known that it might kill him sooner, she would have flung it against the wall and ground the pieces to powder. But she played it. The music leapt from the machine and into the ears of the afflicted one in bed.
     It was indeed a strange, weird melody that floated in the dimness of the yellow-papered room. It rose and fell harmoniously in the still, warm air. Tim stirred in his bed and closed his eyes peacefully. He was content. Mrs. Johnson looked sorrowfully at her son, and then her heavy eyelids drooped, closed. She rested from their long vigil of the night before; she slept quite a while.
     The uppermost thought in Tim's mind when his mother walked into the room was his desire to hear the euphonious cadences of sound. When the black disc was placed in position and started, he laid his head on the patched pillow and was whisked away into the extravaganzas of fantastic visions.
     The vibrations of the stringed instruments: the violins, the violas, the violoncellos, and the rich, deep, contrabass, filled his entire existence. All awareness of his poverty-stricken surroundings vanished utterly in the exquisite cadences of the symphony. The violin strings soared dizzily upward, held there, broke, and fell in an undertone of trilling notes.
     His paralyzed legs stretched out before him, not miraculously, but imaginatively. He was out of his bed in an instant---he smiled vaguely in his slumber---and his toes tingled with the touch of amethystine clouds that floated out of the haze below him. Euterpe, the Muse of Music, had him firmly in her grasp, as she had never before held a human being. He was in her thrall, and the intoxicating power of her music overwhelmed him. The clouds beneath him changed tint slightly, even as the music that enveloped him changed in tempo. The violas cut, all was silent.
     A soft wind blew up from below him; it lingered between his feet. Upon looking down, he found he was clothed from head to toe in a shimmering, steel-blue gown. It did not startle him. It seemed to fit with his ethereal surroundings. It was made of some indefinite diaphanous material which, draped tunic-like over his pale shoulders, seemed to possess no weight of itself.
     Shreds of the mist beneath him began to spread apart, like wisps of the finest, sheerest cotton. Hazily, he could see something below the cloudbank, something intensely blue, intermingled with fields of grassy green. Far off, on the horizon of the strange world below him, he could see a fabulous, shimmering castle, rising tier upon tier above the plain below.
     The delicate, bell-like tones of the celesta arose above, beneath, around him; the ground below the clouds disappeared; the cloud on which he was standing became at once unsubstantial, and he felt himself falling, floating downward. The soft mellifluous chimes of the celesta rose to incredible pitches. The clouds were all about him now, kaleidoscopic flashes of lavender, lilac, heliotrope, solferino---and the myriad, unnamed, unnamable shades, hues, and tones of violet engulfed him. He was dancing, flying in utter, wild abandon. Cloud masses became stairs, balustrades, roads, ramps, escalators on which he traversed the upper and lower reaches of the gay cloud-land. The celesta emitted a barrage of intricate passages, and the violins joined in the triumphant outpouring of melody. He pirouetted in the ether, gamboled as a lamb over the meadows of mist, ascended, descended the layers of cloud. He did an utterly impossible ballet grand-jeté that would make any ballerina or faun in the forest green with envy. His tunic whipped out behind him. He had never known such gladness, such freedom. No more was he wounded or bed-ridden, he was free, freer than any bird that ascended into the vaults of heavenly sky, freer than a fish that effortlessly pushes its way through the waters of the seas.
     A thousand cellos zummed in the vapor, unseen, around him. His feet were completely detached from gravity, rhyme, or reason. They gyrated, curvetted, swirled, surged under him, and his body responded to the undulation of his lower limbs. Hair tossed back from his glistening forehead, tunic flying, ears filled with the deliciousness of the concerto, he exalted in his sublimation. The full strength of the strings welled over him, with hundreds of celestas resounding in his appreciative ears over all. He threw back his head and screeched with the fullness of his heart. The heart throbbed, but was not fatigued. It labored, but did not tire. He revolved, swirled, twirled, coiled in a frenzy of feeling. He sang lustily, to relieve the ineffable, indescribable feeling of happiness and glee. His cup was full to overflowing.
     Violins thundered in his ear, upward, outward, onward, more, more. Music soared to a supreme finish. Violins---though striking a note just below the range of human hearing, in perfect unison---flared to a close. He stopped, his arms flung out to his sides, listened to the last zenith of the shockingly beautiful last sustained note: and stopped. The clouds rushed in on him with alarming celerity and enfolded him. They turned smoky black and he felt himself falling swiftly to whatever lay below.
     The first movement of the composition had been executed.
     Mrs. Johnson awoke with a start, astounded by the light, tinkling laugh that rang out from the bedstead. She rose and put her bony hand on his cheek. He had a radiant smile on his pale, drawn face. His head was on fire. She rushed to the telephone, fumbled for the crumpled piece of paper in her apron pocket, and shakily dialed the number. The steady buzzer of the busy signal greeted her ears. She tried again, and slammed the phone into its cradle in anguish. She resumed her silent watch over her son.The second movement began.
     A harpist plucked her strings slowly, then progressively faster and faster until a rippling sound surrounded him. He felt himself lying on a hard surface that felt the least bit uncomfortable after his exquisite sensation of weightlessness in the upper regions. He opened his eyes slowly and looked around himself. Everything was exceedingly dimly lit; he could barely make out where he was. He put his hand out at his side and rotated it back and forth. He felt a distinct tug on him no matter what motion he essayed. Light came slowly and gradually to his resting place and when it got a bit clearer, he could see that he was in water. It was dark midnight-blue all around him, stretching above his head farther than he could imagine. There were no ripples or disturbances on the surface so far, so far above his head. Upon looking down, he found that the water was so milkily blue that he could not see the surface on which he sat. His lower torso dimmed and dissolved in the murkiness. He stood up and attempted to swim. It was a strange sensation, swimming without a thought as to keeping his nose out of the water. Of course, he didn't need to breathe; he knew that from the fact that when he had been so active in the upper air without having his heart palpitate as it so often did when it was overtaxed. Glistening with delight, his eyes tried to pierce the lightening gloom, but could not. He stooped and pushed himself up through the water to the surface. By paddling, he found he could ascend at a fairly rapid pace; however, after a few minutes of swimming upward, he was convinced that the sunlight above him was getting farther and farther away as he drew near.
     A feeling of listlessness filled him and he ceased his upward struggles. He allowed himself to fall slowly down to the bottom from whence he had come. The water was clearer; he could see giant fronds of seaweed at a great distance. Darting, silvery motes belied the presence of fish. An indefinite darkness below him showed the bottom. The shimmering dots came nearer, and thousands upon thousands of tiny minnows enveloped him like a living snowstorm. They brushed gently against his face, neck, and body in a delightful tickling manner that soon induced him to bubbly laughter. The bubbles could be seen ascending until they were lost in the vast distances of the water.
     The clearness of the liquid in which he floated became more pronounced. He could see distinctly large fish swimming at a great distance. Elongated dogfishes hovered a few yards away. Huge emerald sea-fronds swayed to and fro in the gentle current. Peace reigned everywhere.
     The invisible harpist launched into a lively syncopation which influenced the current. It swished around his eyes and he felt himself being carried off by the ebbing of the waters. Sand-swirls developed in the lower regions, occasionally coming into the intermittent shafts of gleaming water caused by the unknown lighting. There they sparkled like golden dust beclouding the calm aquamarine of the water. Vague forms elevated and descended from the masses of sand; imagination ran wild and saw men, trees, palaces and weird specters in the whirling cloud. A citron-tinted whirlpool advanced and engulfed him. Momentarily, his vision was obscured; when he could again see, it was like looking at another part of the sea. The bottom was completely hidden by the flowing sand.
     The music of the harp filled the strange undersea world, and the denizens of the deep and the fronds of the seas swayed in time with the lilting echoing.
     Livelier grew the fingers on the taunt harp-strings. Sprays of kelp pushed their way through the curtain of gold and waltzed in time with the harp. Fish were swimming around him in abundance now. Flounders and flying fish coursed by his legs, undulating in time with the intonations. Brilliant zancli, resembling the angelfish of other climes, darted hither and thither in the water. Gigantic sunfish hovered at the fringes of the various schools, occasionally darting in to swallow a few of the outer ones. Huge jellyfish, many feet in diameter, throbbed bonelessly past, trailing tendrils of diaphanous threads. Swarms of sea horses wriggled everywhere, propelled by the solitary fins on their armored backs.
     Veined and marbled seaweeds interspersed among the fish-life. Tall, waving kelp dominated the scene; however, branch coral sprang up out of the murkiness to form a resting place for the vividly red sea horses.
     Suddenly, with a rushing of musical drumfire, the entire seascape was buried in a mass of shifting sands. Also as suddenly, the fluid became completely translucent. Tremendous brain coral loomed unexpectedly near at hand. Beautiful rose coral carpeted the gentle slopes and ridges of the submarine valley. And valley it was. Far off, almost lost in its vastness, stood an immense range of undersea mountains, their summits rising above the limits of his vision. The water seemed to offer no resistance to him now. The music had changed into a chorus of soft, sweet pianissimo that affected all the things about him with its serenity. Sea anemones raised their flowered heads above the base of skeletal polyps. Colors ran riot over the sloping reefs. Pebbles of snow-white and silver vied for attention with the pitchy ebon of the rock beneath. Pepper-and-salt seaweeds sprouted among the russet, pale crimson, vermilion, olive, azure, and the various other polychromatic values of the spectrum: the anemones.
     The strings joined the harp for the final cadenza. Harmonics swept over the valley as a great wind, blowing everything in its path. The fronds bent and lashed in the current. Clumps of sargassum were whisked through the aqua, rolling like mundane tumbleweed. Turmoil reigned in those regions; eruptions of music filled the waves. Tim thought that it was funny: sound was entirely absent from the chaos. Leaden brain coral broke from their bases and were tossed in the fluid as if in air. The strings reached the apex of volume and sheer sublimity. Objects tore past him, and his feet were tugged from beneath him. Rolling through the water, he could see the monsters of the sea writhing against the onslaught of the tides. Sand whipped up and clouded the water. Huge twisting shapes appeared beside him---shapes that he could only see dimly. His dream had turned into a nightmare. The cascade of resonance filled his entire being, and he wished the music to be stopped. It was not yet finished.
     The sandy mist that hung in the water became thicker and blacker. He could no longer see. He was swept through illimitable reaches of weed-speckled, fish-crammed oceans. He felt like the whole existing universe had gone stark, raving mad. Immense sunfishes were swept past him, rolling in the gale-ridden waters. A grotesque sea devil, upflung from the extreme depths, stared him in the face for a gasping second. Stingrays folded their giant wings in on themselves and shot through the liquid. Long, shimmery eels flew past like arrows shot from a bow. Fragile jellies were literally torn to shreds by the rushing crosscurrents. The harp overshadowed the celesta, which in turn endeavored to surpass the violins, violas, cellos---soaring upward to a final, stupendous culmination. Farinaceous particles were everywhere, swirling to the last in accord with the ultimate! Silence descended like a pall; the sand blackened, swept in on him. He remembered no more.
     The second movement of the composition had been executed.
     "Doctor, Doctor," she sobbed into the phone. "Why, oh, why didn't you answer before?" She was frantic with anxiety. "I called and called and there was no answer---I tried, but I failed. Come, come quick, for the love of God!" No kind words from the doctor could satisfy her. "He is burning up!"
     When the doctor replied that he couldn't possibly come right away, the good mother fainted away on the cold, bare floor.
     The third movement began.
     The cool, verdant trees stretched away into infinity as the soft, trilling notes of the woodwinds dominated the scene. Birdcalls were wafted down to the listening ears of the attentive boy below. Occasionally, the perpetrators of these sounds could be seen, diving and swooping between the tops of the trees. The flute uttered the first timorous notes, followed rapidly by the piccolo, and the richness of the English horn. The deep, full-bodied tones of the bassoon lent themselves to the prelude, and the oboe, clarinet, and bass clarinet chimed in. As a last introduction, the saxophones emitted their varied tones from the bass to high-pitched soprano. They swung into the tempo set by the preceding movements, and the woods were alive.
     The verdurous greenery waved to and fro in time with the music. He started out along the wide, grassy path into the thick of the magnificent forest. Far above him, the tops of the trees whistled in the breeze; ahead, down the path, he could see the many different shapes and sizes of the presumably similar flora. Some were perfectly rounded; others were mainly square, while others pointed gracefully at the sky with their conical spires. In some places he could climb a tree by stepping on the lower branches, which trailed on the leafy ground; in others the lowest branches loomed above some of the fair-sized trees themselves.
     Impulsively looking back, he caught a glimpse of a speckled fawn wobbling uncertainly across the path on little-used legs. By peering intently into the brush at either side of the footpath, he could make out small animals crouching there: rabbits, squirrels, opossums, a tiny shrew, a stray porcupine. Out on a distant mountaintop, he could see the silhouette of an elk rising majestically on its crest.
     A flute solo induced the birds, hardly seen before, to become more active. A ruby-throated hummingbird could be observed flitting from orchid to lily to rose to dahlia along the margins of the walk. The far-off croon of the mourning dove could be heard above the chirrups of the robins, mockingbirds, chickadees, and swallows. Tiny redstarts flew overhead, while even tinier wrens perched on a nearby twig and cocked their heads inquiringly at the small intruder.
     A flock of crows croaked distinctively from a nearby thicket, and the dismal hoot of an owl came to him as he walked. The forest was full of life: bees buzzed from bud to bud, coaxing the stubborn mouths of the many-hued snapdragons; a snake slithered through the dry underbrush, frightening a nestling quail; ants scurried nowhere in particular in definite haste---everywhere could be seen life, and life was good.
     A moist mist settled over the heads of the trees and Tim Johnson felt a natural urge to sleep. No sooner than the idea entered his head that it commenced to get dark.
     The bassoon sonorously subdued the once-lively tempo of the masterpiece, and night fell over the lands of Euterpe, the Muse of Music.
     Time passed---hours to Tim; minutes, seconds to the musicians. The andante livened, blowing the leaves on the trees, the fur on the rabbit, the slime on the snake, and the feathers on the birds. Time passed---again the rhythm changed, unknown to the slumbering boy.
     If Tim had been awake, he would have loved the climax of the woodwinds, with the strings and the piercing celesta combining to form a colossal climax of purest music. On he slumbered.
     The third movement of the composition had been executed.
     After many long, breathless minutes, the still form on the floor stirred, and shakily got to its feet.
     "Mrs. Johnson, Mrs. Johnson, answer me. Hello. Hello! Operator, were we cut off? Hello." The frantic sounds coming from the phone cleared her feverish head. Hastily composing herself as well as she could under the circumstances, she grasped the dangling telephone cord and pulled the mouthpiece over to her face.
     "Yes, yes, doctor, I am here. I must have---no matter; you MUST come immediately. Get someone else to care for your patients. My son is dying!"
     The doctor considered this a moment, and replied, "I will try to get a nurse from the hospital to care for my case here. I will try." With that, he replaced the phone in its cradle, picked it up a second later, and dialed a number.
     The fourth movement began.
     Against the melodious background of strings and woodwinds, the brass instruments of the orchestra launched the fourth movement of the mysterious symphony. Cornets, trumpets, trombones, French horns and bass tubas raised their voices in unison.
     The first impression that embedded itself on the wakening mind of the boy was one of a huge, magnificent enormity. He found himself in a glorified Egyptianesque temple. Paintings of the great Hypostyle Hall of ancient Karnak crowded upon his memory. It was very like that.
     Towering papyrus columns dwarfed him and made him feel tremendously insignificant. Vaguely, through the mist of vapor that came from the pits of unseen censers, he could see the bell-topped capitals surmounting the pillars that upheld the far-distant roof of the enormous edifice. Incense perfumed the air strongly, and odors of pinewood and sandalwood mingled with it. The columns were vividly golden with hieroglyphics of rich maroon emblazoned on them to the roof. Each column was approximately fifteen feet in diameter and two hundred feet in height.
      The floor on which his sandeled foot rested was composed of the most incredible parquetry depicting sphinxes centered around a sun disk of prodigious dimensions. Along the borders of the mosaic floor were intricate geometrical designs, principally plane dodecahedrons constructed of prismatic semi-precious stones. Pendulous candelabra depended from the ceiling, shedding deep shadows behind the pillars and intense firelight on the tessellated flooring.
     Far, far, far down the shadowy room in which he stood, he could see a mighty, stately sculpture of an immense squatting figure, resembling a greenish Buddha, almost miniature in the intervening distance. It sat on a thick pedestal that, even for its bulkiness, seemed insufficient for the support of the leviathan. On either side of the statue, diverging corridors left the main hall, forming a gigantic Y with it. These passageways were darkened, so as to permit no view to be taken of their interior.
     Spinning on his heel, he could see the entrance, which he supposed to be right at his back---for the length of the chamber truly astonished him---sprawling interminably behind him to even a greater distance than that which he had already come. Above the doorway was an all-embracing sun disk. The hall was a perfect rectangle, he noticed for the first time---about twice as long as it was wide. There were no lounges or chairs or tables of any kind along the walls. As a matter of fact, he couldn't really know for certain, afterward, if there had been any walls at all. When he walked, he could hear the echoings ricocheting back and forth, so he granted that there were walls. The inlaid floor glided smoothly to the columns, but here the limited candlelight was impotent. Pathways of reflected light could be seen coursing down the sides beyond and between the pillars, but even those became darkened with the unmeasurable remoteness.
     The brass blared stridently; the woodwinds shrieked above them; the celesta was played as it had never been played before; the saxophone contributed its small part, rounded out by the viols. Startlingly, the corridors to the left and right of the idol brightened, and long rows of marbled colossi swooped down them---to be lost in the greatness of the perspective.
     Motion was observed in these halls, and hundreds of tiny, whirling figures danced out of the spacious hallways. These resolved into color groups; these groups, as they grew near, became dozens of bronzed dancing girls. They were dressed in gaudy, though flimsy, gowns that barely obscured their bare feet. Garments of silver, bronze, ruby, emerald, gold, amethyst, sapphire, apricot and pure white glanced here and there around him. As the dancers came closer, he could see the absence of any adornment on the costumes, save for a neutral-colored lining and a single, flawless diamond of incredible magnificence on the forehead of each dancer.
     Through the play of colors, he noticed a group of men advance from behind the statue, circle around it, and stand quietly for the rest of the ceremony, as he took it to be. There were ten of them, each wearing a flowing robe of a different color, matching the dresses of the maidens. The tenth man wore a garb of the most intense rose-colored material. They all carried censers which they swung back and forth in perfect unity; the clouds of fragrant smoke that arose from them ascending to the ceiling, half eclipsing the idol.
     The two halls having been emptied of worshippers, their lights flickered off. The dancers, advancing in regular rows, keeping the different colors segregated, now spun about and, with a breathless whooshing, ran together to form a sea studded with gems of pure color. The candelabras, with their thousands of candles glowing, warding off the darkness, reflected the rainbows that lurked hidden in the headdresses of the women: the solitary diamonds. Opalescent flashings caused the papyrus-columns to waver, as it were, in the fluctuating light. Streaks of iridescent light dappled the cloud of incense above. The dancers pirouetted faster and faster, whirling and twirling in the candlelight. Banks at a time, the tapers flickered, sputtered, died, and left the unlit tips smoking in the growing darkness. The raiment of the dancers developed a cold, fluorescent glowing that haunted the chamber. After the candles had been completely extinguished by the unseen force, the immense sun disk behind the boy jumped into light.
     With the illumination coming from a position nearer the floor, lengthy shadows danced here and there in rhythm with the revelers. The idol became only a smoky form, looming over the heads of everyone present.
     The brass had been steadily building up volume for the climax, and they were now at a fever pitch. One vied with another to make the louder noise. They were not discordant, however; they played in perfect precision that would shame any symphony orchestra of this day and age.
     The dancers grew more frenzied in their motions. Twisting and contorting themselves into masses of color, they leapt over the shadowy floor. The odor of incense became overbearing in the atmosphere. The sandalwood used somewhere in the construction perfumed the air almost to intolerance. Music soared upward, the air grew cloudier; the colors ran riot over the columns and the floor. The clouds grew denser and the diamonds flashed in the semi-darkness with a brilliance unrivaled in the jewelry centers.
     The next few seconds were nothing but a confused blur in the mind of one Tim Johnson. The dancers grew so frenzied as each one sought a new position that would show their love for their idol more fully. They were singing now, a strange, whining song the likes of which he had never heard before. The clouds grew darker, the colors brighter, the dancers more contorted, the singing louder, the smell thicker and more and more oppressive. Whirling and twirling colors and costumes and music and singing and incense upward, upward, louder, cadencing to a close!
     There was a moment at the very last when Tim encountered a feeling that he had never felt before. A feeling of release and of surcease from all worries and strife. For a fleeting instant he felt himself lost in this alien land. For a fleeting instant---but not quite. The music grew almost unbearable in its beauty. A single clash of cymbals foretold greater things to come---later. With a magnificent flourish, all was silent.
     The fourth movement of the composition had been executed.
     Mrs. Johnson was beginning to doubt that the doctor was coming. "What if he couldn't get the nurse from the hospital, what if something came up and he couldn't get away?" Those and a thousand other thoughts crowded into her brain as she paced the bare floor. Again she placed her hand on the boy's face; the feel of his shallow breath was the only visible sign of life to the mother. She heard the record swelling to a finish, with trumpets blaring, she thought, insanely. Just as the music rose to a fever pitch, she could no longer feel the short breaths on her hand---for a second she thought he was dead, and she wailed, loudly, at the mere thought.
     At the instant she wailed, the door behind her swung open and the welcome form of the doctor came into the dim room. The record played only the silence between movements. "How is he?" he asked breathlessly, as he dropped his overcoat on a wooden chair near the door. "So, that's the record," he exclaimed as another movement suddenly burst into his ears.
     "Yes, that's it," she said, "only don't stop it, Tim wouldn't like that." He paid no more attention, other than motioning her out of the room. As she closed the door behind her, she saw him shaking his head sadly, then bending over the form under the covers.
     Again she heard that light, tinkling, ghostly laugh she had heard before.
     The fifth movement began.
     Tim remembered from his previous hearing of the record that this was the final and most glorious movement. He could foretell the rising of the last strains to infinity. He knew, but in only one particular, what was to come.
     This was the movement in which the percussion section of that fabulous orchestra came to the fore. The deep, grave tones of the bass drum mingled with the rolling and rattling of the snare drum, the beating of the kettledrum, and the occasional jangling of the cymbals. He recalled that the beginning of this movement was rather quiet, but it gradually built up to a soul-stirring finale that left him breathless.
     At the termination of the preceding movement he had been bewildered by the flashes of color---even momentarily blinded. He had thrown himself on the ground to relieve his aching eyes: the splendor had been too much for him. Now he lay where he had fallen, scarcely breathing. He raised his head abruptly and, eyes still closed tightly, sniffed the pungent air. Immediately visions of frankincense, or lilies, or balm assailed his olfactory system. It was a single substance that he had never had the pleasure of inhaling before; or it was a combination of all the aromatic stuffs that he had scented in the past. It was extremely evasive, this smell. He thought he could sense it coming from this direction but, as it was dark when he did open his eyes, he could not follow it up. He would turn his head and, at some specific angle, it would grow stronger, more fragrant. That impression of added strength would last only a fleeing second, die away, and be replaced by another remote odor.
     Turning his thoughts from the redolences that continued growing more and more powerful, he tried to pierce the gloom that was settling thickly about him. His eyes could make no distinction; however, he could tell he was in the open, as a light breeze was curling the thick hair surrounding his ears. Then, from a great distance, as it seemed, came the sound of singing. The voices were definitely not male, and though they had a human quality about them, he could not really say that they were human at all. Of such tones the sirens' songs must have been composed. It was almost angelic in its sweetness---and although he had never heard an angel sing, of course, he imagined that angels must do so in tones as dulcet as those. From that same far, far distance he could hear the playing of an organ, with the same fine-toned mellowness which characterized the seraphic voices of the others. He vaguely remembered an organ stop with the quality "dulciana" inscribed on it. He recalled the same soft, sweet, stringlike quality that now pervaded in the dark. He could hear, over a long period of time, the unseen choir and organist coming nearer, louder.
     The darkness so pressed in upon his vision, the breeze that had also been gathering strength was so indicative of huge, open spaces, the melody of the organ and chorus so haunted him, the mysterious, nameless odor so frightened him for an unknown reason, the ascending tempo of the percussion added so to the general effect, and the combination of the remainder of the orchestra to the symphonics so utterly terrified him that he felt he must cry out for relief from the ever-growing nervousness. Chills descended the back of his neck and coursed down his back when he attempted to do so; his mouth was filled with some wispy, indefinite, sweetish stuff. This was the last bit of horror that he could endure. Everything put together might have been very trivial, certainly not unbearable. But the boy was only twelve years of age, and extremely imaginative. He peopled the darkness with horrendous monsters and hideous apparitions that, even though they were able to sing beautifully, would tear into him if they could see him. The final blow, that of being unable to obtain the release, by screaming loudly, as he wanted to, into the darkness, of the welling tension in his heart, was too much for the poor lad; he fainted dead away.
     As he lay on the ground the percussion instruments began to gain in volume, intensity, and number. Chimes floated over the recumbent figure, beautiful, quavering tones that delighted the hearer, if there was any with him to hear it. Unseen dancers clicked castanets in time with the rolling rhythm. Harmonized bells rang, one after another, lending their tiny part to the exquisite whole. Mellow marimbas joined the chorus, lending a deep undertone to it all. The slightly harsher xylophone sounded metallically on the dark nightscape, yet unseen. Frequent passages that were incomplete without stronger backings were augmented by the wise usage of cymbals, triangles and an occasional mellifluous Chinese gong.
     He opened his eyes after a few seconds and was infinitely relieved to find bright sunlight diffused over all. He found himself midway up a towering mountain. When he looked down to see what he was sitting on, he found that he had no body; underneath him was a profound defile, falling away crag on lofty crag to the valley below. Right in front of him was a majestic waterfall of the palest wine color. On the level of his eyes the fall struck a buttress of the cliff, spraying a thin, wet mist over the mountain. This vapor billowed toward him, and engulfed him in its moist curtains.
     It had a marked solidity to it, like the pink, fluffy cotton candy he seldom tasted, but enjoyed. It coagulated in his nostrils, forcing him to breathe through his mouth. On opening his mouth it was filled with the not unpleasant substance---not sticky or slimy or even unduly wet, it tasted like nothing ever before: strange, even alien tasting, alien in some intangible, unnamable manner that he could not exactly put his finger on. It had a faint, fruity taste to it, but there was a definite tinge of pastry about it. Not that it was insubstantial or soft---remarkably it was solid, like hard bread, but combining the good qualities of tender meat or nutmeats. It was utterly strange, even in consistency. Utterly unworldly.
     The purplish cloud cleared, but he was not resting on anything---he continued his queer position in the air, bodiless. He saw again the exotic dancers that he had seen in the temple, with their unmistakable garb and extraneous, almond-shaped eyes and black, thin eyebrows that arched in the spirit of the dance and aquiline, quivering nostrils with the single, faultless, iridescent, unforgettable diamonds scintillating on their bronzed, shining foreheads.
     They gyrated on nothingness, singing the same sweet melody that he had heard off in the distance in the darkness. The organ music was clearer, nearer, though still unseen. A tremendous sun glared in the sky, casting brilliant white light over all. The diamonds, when they reflected the sun at a particular angle, shot flashes of rainbow-light over the bowl-shaped theater, as it seemed to be, that they were in. The singing grew louder, humming in his ears; the ambrosial aroma about him intensified; the taste in his mouth grew stronger, more flavorful; the colored raiment of the dancers intermingled and flashed among themselves, whirling and twirling dizzily before his eyes. He felt free again, he flew in the air, turning somersault after somersault in the clear, sparkling air.
     The gentle organ strains grew louder. Behind it all, the orchestra was gathering its strength for a glorious finale. Time and time and time again the resonant tones of the gongs and tam-tams rang out. The chimes sounded loudly; a melodious glockenspiel vibrated joyously; castanets clicked madly; triangles pealed; bells clapped; cymbals clashed; drums rolled and rattled; xylophones clattered and the piano banged harmoniously. The strings joined in---lending fullness and warmth; woodwinds were blown, aiding the effect; the brass blared, adding to the cadencing melody.
     He twirled, wheeled, rotated and skipped on a light fantastic toe. The music mounted, exulting, upward. The colors coruscated before his dazzled eyes: white, sapphire, apricot, amethyst evolved in chorus with bronze, emerald, silver, ruby and blazing gold.
     A watery mist settled over everything, making it ghostly and glistening. The gowns became unrelated to matter. The forms inside them disappeared and they became motes, flakes dancing in the air, filling it with color. The music aspired to high and more excellent tenor and sound. It crashed triumphantly on the ear. It was superb. The cymbals clashed often now, the final passage was almost upon them. Whirling, swirling, twirling upward and onward, the colors became frenzied, whisking and frisking hither and thither. His heart was full; he suddenly felt a reckless wild abandon, and a powerful yearning for he knew not what came over him. His heart came near to bursting with the uncontrollable laughter that welled up within it. He sang insanely.
     The music grew even louder, louder still, thundering on the song-filled atmosphere. He danced wildly, freely. This, this was Ecstasy!
     The colors flashed fast and faster. The music tripped over itself in a wild pandemonium to get out, onto the vibrating air. Far, far in the immense distance, he saw a vague indefinite cloud, aura, rise up, spread over the far horizon. He, at first, did not see; tears streamed from his eyes from the intensity of his insupportable emotion. The music flared, burst forth in the last ultimate. The colors dashed themselves to tatters, which flew up before him like a blizzard. The singing grew to be one, loud never-ending cadence, holding itself for eternity. The organ grew louder than ever imagined. The orchestra outdid itself, out-Heroded Herod in that last brilliant surge.
     The vague cloud faded, came back, cleared, came back to opacity. It dominated the whole quadrant before him. That did not interrupt the flowings of song, color, and symphony. This soared upward, and he cried with the fierce happiness---Ecstasy, Ecstasy, ECSTASY. He leapt!
     The cloud cleared and he shivered with anticipation.
     The cloud parted---he was supremely happy!
     It had been accomplished.
     The doctor closed the door behind him and announced sadly, "He is gone."