- “Pavonazzetto,” Replevin said, “also known as Phrygian marble, once believed to take its coloring from the blood of the Phrygian youth Atys, the one you see right there, in fact—driven mad through the jealousy of the demigod Agdistis, he is shown in the act of castrating himself, thus to be presently conflated with Osiris, not to mention Orpheus and Dionysus, and become a cult figure among the ancient Phrygians.”
- Next time Kit looked back, of course there was no Foley now, if that’s what the apparition had been. The fourth dimension, no doubt. Despite Yashmeen’s helpful citation of the Pythagorean akousmaton that goes, “When away from home, never look back, because the Furies are in pursuit” (Iamblichus 14)
- [Bilocation] had begun to filter into ancient Greece around the seventh century B.C., and become a feature of Orphic, and presently Pythagorean, religions
- “Also to look into some rumors recently of a neo-Pythagorean cult who regard the Lydian with particular horror. Not surprisingly, they tend to favor the so-called Phrygian mode, quite common through the region.” He addressed the keyboard again. “E to E on the white keys. Notice the difference. It happens to coincide with a lyre tuning that some attribute to Pythagoras, and may be traceable all the way back to Orpheus himself, who was a native of Thrace, after all, and was eventually worshipped there as a god.”
- “In view,” added Yashmeen, “of the similarity, if not identity, between Pythagorean and Orphic teachings.”
- ...as if Orpheus might once have sung it to Eurydice in Hell, calling downward through intoxicant fumes, across helically thundering watercourses, echoing among limestone fantastically sculptured over unnumbered generations by Time personified as a demiurge and servant of Death...
- Later the Professor seemed to have Orpheus on the brain. “He couldn’t quite bring himself to believe in her desire to come back with him to live in the upper world again. He had to turn around and look, just to make sure she was coming.”
- “Typical male insecurity,” Yashmeen sniffed.
- “Typical female lust for wealth wins out in the end, is the way I always read that one,” commented Gruntling.
- “Oh he’s the Lord of Death, for goodness’ sake, there’s no money over there.”
- The riders left them at a crossroads near Shipka. “Sok szerencsét, Latewood,” nodded Vámos. By the protocol of these things, particularly perhaps in Thrace, one did not turn and look back.
- To their particular faith, over the centuries, had become attached older, more nocturnal elements, going back, it was claimed, to the Thracian demigod Orpheus, and his dismemberment not far from here, on the banks of the Hebrus River, nowadays known as the Maritza.
- “At some point Orpheus, never comfortable in any kind of history that could not be sung, changed identities, or slowly blended with another demigod, Zalmoxis, who some in Thrace believed was the only true God. According to Herodotus, who heard it from Greeks living around the Black Sea, Zalmoxis had once been a slave of Pythagoras himself, who upon receiving his freedom went on to pile up a good-size fortune, returned here to Thrace, and became a great teacher of Pythagorean doctrine.”
- In the Orphic story of the world’s beginning, Night preceded the creation of the Universe, she was the daughter of Chaos, the Greeks called her Νύξ, and the old Thracians worshipped her as a deity. For a postulant in this order, Night is one’s betrothed, one’s beloved, one seeks to become not a bride at all really, but a kind of sacrifice, an offering, to Night.”
- As if seized by something ancient, Yashmeen cried, “Please—don’t look back.”
- “I wasn’t planning to.”
- “I’m serious. You mustn’t. I beg you, Cyprian.”
- “Or he’ll take you below, you mean. Down to America.”
- “O.K., Estrella.” Their embrace might not have been so close or desperate, but no kiss he could remember had ever been quite this honest, nor this weighted with sorrow.
- “There’s trains heading south all the time,” she said, “we’ll be fine.”
- “Soon as I can—”
- “Never mind that, Frank. Jesse, you want to carry this here?” And they were gone, and he wasn’t even sure what it cost them not to look back.