"I don't think there's anything else to see here" Meddler interrupts. "Why don't we look around more of the grounds?"
"All right," says Alexander. "I'd like to bring the dogs by and see if they can pick anything up, but we can do that later.'
He leads the way back around to the front of the house to where the rose garden stands.
“We’re using water from the lake to maintain the garden” says Meddler. The roses themselves do seem to be in better condition than the rest of the grounds, but the earth is still hard and dry. Bees and butterflies go about their business collecting pollen.
There are various statues in the garden, but all are in bad repair.
“The statues are all the work of Nicholas Forby” says Meddler. “He was interested in the Classics, so all you see are interpretations of those figures. I believe there was some kind of weakness in his casting technique, so all the statues have a tendency to crack due to cold.”
Looking around, the companions can see that this is true. Hydra is missing half of her heads, and Demeter’s arms have fallen off. Cupid and Psyche are depicted as kissing, but exposure has malformed their faces so that they appear to be devouring each other, a most unsettling sight. Medusa’s face has disappeared, which gives a sense of being perpetually watched by her.
In the centre of the garden is a life-size bronze cast of a naked man. As a result of decades of exposure, it is covered in verdigris, but it is in much better repair than the other statues. The figure is lying on his back with closed eyes and spread-eagled arms.
The base is surrounded by well-kept roses, but the title of the statue is revealed in bold, flowing letters;
‘ICARUS, After the Sea Left Him’
Beneath this comes further script;
‘Did I request thee, Maker from my clay
To mould me man?
Did I solicit thee From darkness to promote me?’
She wondered how this might relate to Forby. What was it he had become involved in?
I thought Hydra's heads were supposed to grow back when they were cut off, thinks Alexander. While he has heard of Daedalus and Icarus and knows that Icarus died from trying to fly too close to the run, which melted the wax on the wings that Daedalus invented, he is unfamiliar with the details described here. He does know that he will be more careful than Icarus should he ever invent a flying machine.
"I recognise the quote," says Alexander, "but it has nought to do with Icarus. It's from Milton's Paradise Lost. It's Adam's lament to God after his fall."
"Come now, a gentlemen such as yourself surely can't be dismayed at a mere quotation" he tells Harry. "What is your line of work, by the way?"
"Aye, I've read Frankenstein too as a lad," says Alexander. "It was one of the things that inspired my interest in science. Not that I'd ever try to reanimate the dead," he adds quickly. "I merely wish to invent things that make life better. If I ever bring new life into the world, it shall be the way God intended."
”What is the significance of the quotation?” she asked.
Meddler shrugs disinterestedly. He doesn’t seem to be concerned about Harry’s comments.
Stifling a yawn, he says. “As far as I know, Forby only sculpted.”
He looks at his watch, the significance of the gesture obvious.
“Shall we move on?” he asks.
Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest