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The Yellow Site

The Mask

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Story in The King In Yellow by Robert W. Chambers. The story is introduced by a quote from Act 1, Scene 2 of the play, involving an unmasking.

The story features sculptor Boris Yvain, who has devised a means of transforming objects into marble, his lover Genevieve, and his friends Alec (the narrator) and Jack Scott. Boris sculpted the statue(s) of The Fates mentioned in the story The Repairer of Reputations. His other works include a statue of Cupid. Boris may have discovered his mysterious liquid through studying The King In Yellow, which Alec discovers in his studio. Genevieve, Alec and Boris are all very close friends, but at one point Alec and Boris both sought her affection, and Genevieve chose Boris. Alec is currently staying at Boris' home in France, where he is painting Genevieve's boudoir. Genevieve is also described as being prone to sudden mood swings. One day, Alec awakes from a nap to find her playing the spinet in the dark, weeping. Soon after, she develops a mysterious and severe fever, becoming delirious and suicidal. Alec then also becomes mysteriously ill and when Jack asks the doctor why his face is so pale, it reminds Alec of the Pallid Mask. Alec then succumbs to a severe fever and becomes delirious for several days. Meanwhile, Genevieve has been sleeping under the influence of drugs, being out of her mind, and throws herself into the pool of marble transforming solution during the night. Distraught, Boris commits suicide by shooting himself, although this is hushed up as a heart attack. Alec later sees the ghost of his friend during his own delirium. Alec learns of their deaths after his fever breaks and he regains consciousness. Boris willed his marble 'statues', including Genevieve, to Alec and the story ends as the effects of the liquid begin to wear off, culminating in the restoration of Genevieve...

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