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An Essence of the Dusk, 5th Edition eBook

F. W. Bain
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 56 pages of information about An Essence of the Dusk, 5th Edition.

And then, he set his left arm free, and laid beside him a little knife.  And they mounted their camels, and taking his, they flew away from him over the sand, like the shadow of a cloud driven by the western wind.

So when they were gone, Aja took the knife, and cut his bonds.  And he stood up, and watched them going, till they became specks on the edge of the desert, and vanished out of his sight.

II.

Then he looked round to the eight quarters of the world, and he looked up into the sky.  And he said to himself:  There is my ancestor, alone above, and I am alone, below.  And he put his two hands to his breast, and flung them out into the air.  And he exclaimed:  Bho! ye guardians of the world[4], ye are my witnesses.  Thus do I fling away the past, and now the whole wide world is mine, and ye are my protectors.  And I have escaped death by a miracle, and the craft of that old villain of a prime minister, whom I will one day punish as he deserves.  And now it is as though I knew, for the very first time in all my life, what it was to be alive.  Ha!  I live and breathe, and there before me is food and water.  And now we will see, which is the stronger:  Death in the form of this lonely desert, or the life that laughs at his menace as it dances in my veins.  And little I care for the loss of my kingdom, now that my father is dead and gone.  I throw it away like a blade of grass, and so far from lamenting, I feel rather as if I had been born again.  Ha! it is good to be alive, even in this waste of sand.  And he shouted aloud, and called out to the sun above him:  Come, old Grandfather, thou and I will travel together across the sand.  And yet, no.  Thou art too rapid and too fierce to be a safe companion, even for one of thy own race.  So thou shalt go before me, as is due to thee, and I will follow after.

[4] The Lokapalas, or regents of the world, often thus appealed to, are eight:  Kubera, Isha, Indra, Agni, Yama, Niruti, Waruna, and Wayu:  and they ride on a horse, a bull, an elephant, a ram, a buffalo, a man, a “crocodile,” and a stag.

And then, he lay down on the sand, covering his head with his upper garment, and slept and waited all day long, till the sun was going down.  And then he rose, and eat and drank a very little, and taking with him his skin and corn, he walked on after the sun, which sank to his rest in the western mountain.  But Aja followed him all night long, with the moon for his only companion.  And as he went, he saw the bones of men and camels, lying along the sand, and grinning at him as it were with white and silent laughter, as though to say:  Anticipate thy fate:  for but a little further on, and thou shalt be what we are now.  But he went on with nimble feet, like one that hurries through the den of a sleeping hungry lion, till the sun rose at last behind him.  And then again he lay down, and rested all day long, and started again at night.  And so he proceeded for many days, till all his water and corn was gone.  And as he threw away the skin, he set his teeth, and said:  No matter.  I will reach the end of this hideous sand, which like the dress of Draupadi[5], seems to roll itself out as I go across it, though I should have to go walking on long after I am dead.

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