The Minotaur's Brother (Synopsis)

Clark Ashton Smith

Millicent Page has married the scientist, Geoffrey Gorbel, noted for his research in biology. She is puzzled, on their wedding night, by the mixture of seeming coldness and apprehensiveness in her husband's manner. Instead of wooing her ardently, he sits looking with furtive glances at the chamber door, and listening with a strained attentiveness. She undresses and goes to bed; but still he does not join her, nor does he offer any coherent explanation of his strangeness. At last there is a sound of ponderous footsteps mounting the stairs as if from the laboratory basement, and then a peremptory knock on the door. Geoffrey does not answer the knock nor the inquiries of his wife, but draws a revolver from his pocket and commands the unknown intruder to go away. There is a loud, harsh laugh, and then the door is smashed in by the assault of some tremendous bulk. A monstrous being with the head and torso of a man on the legs and body of a black bull enters the chamber. The head bears a resemblance to that of Geoffrey. "Why have you not brought her to me?" the intruder roars. "You married her for me." Geoffrey fires many times, wounding the monster, who charges and tramples him down, crushing him with its hoofs. The dying creature tells Millicent that it is Geoffrey's older brother Gideon, also a scientist, who, losing his legs in an accident, had directed the grafting of his upper body on that of a bull, for the sake of experimentation. Dominating Geoffrey, he had made the latter choose and marry a woman for him. After this revelation, the monster dies. Millicent examines Geoffrey's trampled body, finds that the legs are those of a great ape. She goes mad, screaming and laughing hysterically.

^xxx^ xxx was added by Smith.
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