And out of the universe of slime the attacker wallowed forward, slowly but continually, and in dense masses. Time and again the enemy, struck by the hail of our projectiles in the fore field, collapsed, and our lonely men in the shell-holes breathed again. Then the mass came on. Rifle and machine-gun were beslimed. The struggle was man to man, and only too often it was the mass that won.
It was not nearly as discreditable as the gigantic and repulsive swindles that traders and bankers had carried on during the dark years of the Civil War. The very traders and financiers who beslimed Gould for his "gold conspiracy" were those who had built their fortunes on blood-soaked army contracts.
Tetlow shuddered, yet was moved and thrilled, too, as he glanced from face to face those hideous hairy countenances, begrimed and beslimed, each countenance expressing in its own repulsive way the one emotion of gratified longing for food and drink. "Where did you get 'em?" inquired he. "From the benches in Madison Square," replied Norman. He laughed queerly.
And presently, as I lookt, now to this way and again to that, I saw that there was a monstrous slug-thing laid upward against the black side of the Gorge, as that it had stood up on end; and the one end of the monster went upward beyond the light from the fire-pit; but the other part did come down and trail into the Gorge, as a long hillock, very ugly and black and beslimed.
But I say to thee, would thou hadst died, would the walls of this house had fallen on thy head before that serpent had crept into thy bosom and beslimed it with the poison of iniquity."
And it went by the fire-hole, and onward into the dark of the lower way of the Gorge; and I had perceived somewhat of it, as it did go past the fire, and, surely, it was black and beslimed, and utter great in height and in length, and it went always without noise, so that I had not known it to be there, but that I saw it plain with mine eyes.
All made for the youth, who, tugged, clawed, fondled, bitten, beslimed, blinded, deafened, beset in every way by creatures of indescribable loathsomeness, grasped frantically as his sole weapon, the stylus; but it had become a writhing serpent. This was too much, sense forsook him on the spot. On recovering consciousness he found himself stretched on a pallet in the dungeons of the Inquisition.
A moment later I got a great whiff of it, and was near sickened with the abomination of it; but the memory of that foul thing which had come to the side of the boat in the dawn-gloom, before we discovered the island, roused me to a terror beyond that of the sickness of my stomach; for, suddenly, I knew what manner of thing it was that had beslimed my face and throat upon the previous night, and left its hideous stench lingering in my nostrils.