"Is this all?" asked the Lord God.
The angel at the book—it was one of countless volumes, like the British Museum Reading-room Catalogue, glanced at us and seemed to count us in the instant.
"That's all," he said, and added: "It was, O God, a very little planet."
The eyes of God surveyed us.
"Let us begin," said the Lord God.
The angel opened the book and read a name. It was a name full of A's, and the echoes of it came back out of the uttermost parts of space. I did not catch it clearly, because the little man beside me said, in a sharp jerk, "What's that?" It sounded like "Ahab" to me; but it could not have been the Ahab of Scripture.
Instantly a small black figure was lifted up to a puffy cloud at the very feet of God. It was a stiff little figure, dressed in rich outlandish robes and crowned, and it folded its arms and scowled.
"Well?" said God, looking down at him.
We were privileged to hear the reply, and indeed the acoustic properties of the place were marvellous.
"I plead guilty," said the little figure.
"Tell them what you have done," said the Lord God.
"I was a king," said the little figure, "a great king, and I was lustful and proud and cruel. I made wars, I devastated countries, I built palaces, and the mortar was the blood of men. Hear, O God, the witnesses against me, calling to you for vengeance. Hundreds