Tuesday, September 27, 2005

We Are All a Bent Race

'So,' said Hyoi, 'we are hnakrapunti. This is what I have wanted all my life.'

At that moment Ransom was deafened by a loud sound--a perfectly familiar sound which was the last thing he expected to hear. It was a terrestrial, human and civilized sound; it was even European. It was the crack of an English rifle; and Hyoi, at his feet, was struggling to rise and gasping. There was blood on the white weed where he struggled. Ransom dropped on his knees beside him. The huge body of the hross was too heavy for him to turn round. Whin helped him.

'Hyoi, can you hear me?' said Ransom with his face close to the round seal-like head. 'Hyoi, it is through me that this has happened. It is the other hmana who have hit you, the bent two that brought me to Malacandra. They can throw death at a distance with a thing they have made. I should have told you. We are all a bent race. We have come here to bring evil on Malacandra. We are only half hnau--Hyoi...' His speech died away into the inarticulate. He did not know the words for 'forgive,' or 'shame,' or 'fault,' hardly the word for 'sorry.' He could only stare into Hyoi's distorted face in speechless guilt. But the hross seemed to understand. It was trying to say something, and Ransom laid his ear close to the working mouth. Hyoi's dulling eyes were fixed on his own, but the expression of the hross was not even now perfectly intelligible to him.[...]

Hyoi with his last breath had called him hnakra-slayer; that was forgiveness generous enough and with that he must be content.
~C.S. Lewis, Out of the Silent Planet, (1938)

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