Finally, after aeons seemed to ripen and decay, I caught sight of him again; mandibles clutching a shapeless manuscript - it could be no-one else! I followed the figure, eldritch thunder played about my temples and icy rivulets of sweat trickled Amazonian. A Victorian etching galvanized into life by a proto-physicist. This time he travelled a long way, and as I kept pace with him, I could not help but notice the singularity of his gait, a glide, a skimming, as of many feet.
Over the shimmering cobbles, the skittering of those shoes, all those shoes, muted only by tufts of straw from the horse-market sent swirling by a kind breath of breeze, sea breeze.
Turning yet another corner in that twisting and glowing labyrinthine towne, I saw my companion emerge suddenly upon the sea-front. Keeping him in sight, I quickly stooped to pick up some papers he had dropped without seeming to notice. The parchment was thick and smelled faintly of Chinese flower gardens. I would relish checking them later - must keep an eye on that Caterpillar - he was becoming remote again.
And then a strange thing happened, which I can only attribute to the extraordinary influence of that carapaced cornucopia. I saw him running, or gliding ahead, onto the rocks of the seashore, with great agility, and again I paused to retrieve some papers of his that were about to blow into a rockpool. The wind blew back a shred of his chuckling laughter - was he playing some kind of game?? I looked down again and was very struck by the beauty of the scene. The moonlight was casting a meriel glow on the softly rippling surface of the miniature ocean and giving silvery light to the fronds of seaweed and little shells within. The iridescent spiral shimmer of the periwinkle's shell. Red Strawberry Anemones and little Gorgons, so many tiny creatures at play within, bubbles trailing upwards from darting fishes and the tenacious settlements and hamlets of barnacles and limpets. All this drew me in, this little world with its beauty and its mysterious story..... I was becoming possessed.. A cloud passed over the moon. A long darkness ensued. My sesquipedelian friend vanished. Strangely, unbelievably, I was not to set eyes on him for an entire year.
When I eventually managed to extricate myself from that transyek shore of croggans and brennigenns, of glothach smugairles and slithering morsarfs, I did what I could with the few scraps of papyrus and crumbling shards of earthenware tablet in my possession, as well as the papers I'd gathered from the glittering sands of the moonlit cove the previous year. I had finished putting these in order and was starting to consider the case closed, when quite suddenly, a year later, the mist-shrouded one reappeared... Indistinct, yet there, a cool and laconic presence, as if sceptically questioning his own existence and finding the whole process an inexhaustible joke. Think he said he intended to antenna more jewels of vision my way from his multi-faceted eyes. The city was unfurled on a tapestry of spider-web. Roads and rails travelled. Dream-voyages embarked and awash aloft. Cycles of times traversed.
Well again he's departed, sailed for a land beyond my reach; only the channel is clearer now. The signal strongly established. He seemed to be happy with how the transmissions are going. And for my part, I was happy to assimilate his message and pass it on, in cuniform staccato archives, broadside all abroad. Dub Acetates will be pressed up and distributed by this and associated channels of Universal Rapport. So, as the Chryselephantine Bouzoukis play mad grasshopper songs, and Psyche shines singing like the rising sun over Eleusis, the fragrant pastel flower-petals are scattered tumbling to the wind, each inscribed with a tiny poem. And if you look right up close, you'll see riding along on one of those fragrant petals in the breeze, a little blue caterpillar.