Somewhat to my surprise there were a good number of members in the hall when I awoke, and having no directives from the committee on how to proceed I organized them into teams to search for Brother Clifton.
exceeding or surpassing usual limits especially in excellence
It was not the words, for they were all the same old slave-borne words; it was as though he'd changed the emotion beneath the words while yet the old longing, resigned, transcendent emotion still sounded above, now deepened by that something for which the theory of Brotherhood had given me no name.
My eyes adjusted quickly; the world took on a dark-green intensity, the lights of cars glowed like stars, faces were a mysterious blur; the garish signs of movie houses muted down to a soft sinister glowing.
Finally I tossed the glasses across the bed and dropped into a fitful nap during which I relived the events of the last few days; except that instead ot Clifton being lost it was myself, and I awoke stale, sweaty and aware of perfume.
I had always pretended not to understand, for not only had my first such experience taught me to avoid such situations, but at the Chthonian she was usually slightly tipsy and wistful—just the type of misunderstood married woman whom, even if I had been interested, I would have avoided like the plague.
Now it was late and as I came into the room with another round of drinks she had let down her hair and was beckoning to me with a gold hairpin in her teeth, saying, "Come to mamma, beautiful," from where she sat on the bed.
There was a pristine incorruptibility about her face now that upset me all the more, for she was neither kidding nor trying to insult me; and I could not tell if it were horror speaking to me out of innocence, or innocence emerging unscathed from the obscene scheme of the evening.
a severe interrogation (often violating the rights or privacy of individuals)
That is the real soul-sickness, the spear in the side, the drag by the neck through the mob-angry town, the Grand Inquisition, the embrace of the Maiden, the rip in the belly with the guts spilling out, the trip to the chamber with the deadly gas that ends in the oven so hygienically clean—only it's worse because you continue stupidly to live.