The rest followed him, and looked curiously at the immense carved door with the now familiar squid-dragon bas-relief.
It was, Johansen said, like a great barn-door; and they all felt that it was a door because of the ornate lintel, threshold, and jambs around it, though they could not decide whether it lay flat like a trap-door or slantwise like an outside cellar-door.
One could not be sure that the sea and the ground were horizontal, hence the relative position of everything else seemed phantasmally variable.
Briden pushed at the stone in several places without result.
Then Donovan felt over it delicately around the edge, pressing each point separately as he went.
He climbed interminably along the grotesque stone moulding – that is, one would call it climbing if the thing was not after all horizontal – and the men wondered how any door in the universe could be so vast.
Then, very softly and slowly, the acre-great lintel began to give inward at the top; and they saw that it was balauced.
Donovan slid or somehow propelled himself down or along the jamb and rejoined his fellows, and everyone watched the queer recession of the monstrously carven portal.
In this phantasy of prismatic distortion it moved anomalously in a diagonal way, so that all the rules of matter and perspective seemed upset.