'Their approach sensitized a switch somewhere and the nursery light flicked
on when they came within ten feet of it. Similarly, behind them, in the
halls, lights went on and off as they left them behind, with a soft automaticity.
"Well," said George Hadley.
"About a minute ago?"
The lions were coming. And again George Hadley as filled with admiration
for the mechanical genius who had conceived this room. A miracle of efficiency
selling for an absurdly low price. Every home should have one. Oh, occasionally
they frightened with their clinical accuracy, they startled you, gave
you a twinge, but most of the time what fun for everyone, not only your
own son and daughter, but for yourself when you felt like a quick jaunt
to a foreign land, a quick change of scenery. Well, here it was! And here
were the lions now, fifteen feet away, so real, so feverishly and startlingly
real that you could feel the prickling fur on your hand, and your mouth
was stuffed with the dusty upholstery smell of their heated pelts, and
the yellow of them was in your eyes like the yellow of an exquisite French
pastry, the yellows of lions and summer grass, and the sound of the matted
lion lungs exhaling on the silent noontide, and the smell of meat from
the panting, dripping mouths. The lions stood looking at George and Lydia
Hadley with terrible green-yellow eyes
"Watch out!" screamed Lydia.
The lions came running at them.
Lydia bolted and ran. Instinctively, George sprang after her. Outside,
in the hall, with the door slammed, he was laughing and she was crying,
and they both stood appalled at the other's reaction.
"Lydia! Oh, my poor sweet Lydia!"
"They almost got us!"
"Walls, Lydia, remember; crystal walls, that's all they are. Oh, they
look real, I must admit-Africa in your parlor-but it's all dimensional,
superreactionary, supersensitive color film and mental tape film behind
glass screens. It's all odorphonics and sonics, Lydia. Here's my handkerchief."
"I'm afraid." She came to him and put her body against him and cried steadily.
"Did you see? Did you feel? It's too real."
"You've got to tell Wendy and Peter not to read any more on Africa."
"Of course-of course." He patted her.