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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 80 pages of information about Tales of Three Hemispheres.
had been one with that of Perdondaris.  I saw a merchant at a small back door selling new sapphires as I passed the palace, then I went on and came as twilight fell to those small cottages where the elfin mountains are in sight of the fields we know.  And I went to the old witch that I had seen before and she sat in her parlour with a red shawl round her shoulders still knitting the golden cloak, and faintly through one of her windows the elfin mountains shone and I saw again through another the fields we know.

“Tell me something,” I said, “of this strange land!”

“How much do you know?” she said.  “Do you know that dreams are illusion?”

“Of course I do,” I said.  “Every one knows that.”

“Oh no they don’t,” she said, “the mad don’t know it.”

“That is true,” I said.

“And do you know,” she said, “that Life is illusion?”

“Of course it is not,” I said.  “Life is real, Life is earnest——.”

At that the witch and her cat (who had not moved from her old place by the hearth) burst into laughter.  I stayed some time, for there was much that I wished to ask, but when I saw that the laughter would not stop I turned and went away.

THE AVENGER OF PERDONDARIS

I was rowing on the Thames not many days after my return from the Yann and drifting eastwards with the fall of the tide away from Westminster Bridge, near which I had hired my boat.  All kinds of things were on the water with me—­sticks drifting, and huge boats—­and I was watching, so absorbed the traffic of that great river that I did not notice I had come to the City until I looked up and saw that part of the Embankment that is nearest to Go-by Street.  And then I suddenly wondered what befell Singanee, for there was a stillness about his ivory palace when I passed it by, which made me think that he had not then returned.  And though I had seen him go forth with his terrific spear, and mighty elephant-hunter though he was, yet his was a fearful quest for I knew that it was none other than to avenge Perdondaris by slaying that monster with the single tusk who had overthrown it suddenly in a day.  So I tied up my boat as soon as I came to some steps, and landed and left the Embankment, and about the third street I came to I began to look for the opening of Go-by Street; it is very narrow, you hardly notice it at first, but there it was, and soon I was in the old man’s shop.  But a young man leaned over the counter.  He had no information to give me about the old man—­he was sufficient in himself.  As to the little old door in the back of the shop, “We know nothing about that, sir.”  So I had to talk to him and humour him.  He had for sale on the counter an instrument for picking up a lump of sugar in a new way.  He was pleased when I looked at it and he began to praise it.  I asked him what was the use of it, and he said that it was of no use but

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