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The Uncrowned King eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 29 pages of information about The Uncrowned King.

[Illustration:  (see king003.png)]

In reverent awe the Pilgrim stood before the sacred object of his
Pilgrimage.

At last, with earnest step, the worshiper approached the holy edifice.  But when he would have passed through the high arched door, his way was barred by one whose garments were white even as the whiteness of the Temple, whose eyes were clear even as the skies, and whose face shone even as the shining Beautiful Sea.

The Pilgrim, hesitating, spoke:  “You are?”

The other answered in a voice that was even as the soft wind that stirred the leaves of the forest:  “I am Thyself.”

Then the Pilgrim—­“And your office?”

“I am the appointed Keeper of the Temple of Truth; save by my permission none may enter here.”

Cried the Pilgrim eagerly:  “But I?  I may enter?  Surely I have fulfilled The Law!  Surely I have paid The Price!”

“What law have you fulfilled?  What price have you paid?” gently asked he in the garments of white.

Proudly now the other answered:  “I have accomplished alone the long journey through the Desert of Facts.  Alone I have endured the days under the sky of brass; alone I have borne the awful solitude of the nights.  I was not drawn aside by the lovely scenes that tempted me.  I was not turned back by the dreadful Shapes that threatened me.  And so I have attained the Outer-Edge-Of-Things.”

“You have indeed fulfilled The Law,” said he of the shining face.  “And The Price?”

The Pilgrim answered sadly:  “I left behind all things dearest to the heart of man—­Wealth of Traditions inherited from the Long Ago, Holy Prejudices painfully gathered through the ages of the past, Sacred Opinions, Customs, Favors and Honors of the World that is, in the times that are.”

“You have indeed paid The Price,” said the soft voice of the other, “but still, still there is one thing more.”

“And the one thing more?” asked the Pilgrim, “I knew not that there could be one thing more.”

The Keeper of the Temple was silent for a little, then said very gently:  “Is there nothing, O Hadji, that you would ask Thyself?”

Then all at once the Pilgrim understood.  Said he slowly:  “There is still one thing more.  Tell me, tell me—­Why?  Why The Law of the Pilgrimage?  Why the journey so long?  Why the way so hard?  Why is the Temple of Truth here on the Outer-Edge-Of-Things?”

And Thyself answered clearly:  “He who lives always within Things can never worship in Truth.  Eyes blinded by the fog of Things cannot see Truth.  Ears deafened by the din of Things cannot hear Truth.  Brains bewildered by the whirl of Things cannot think Truth.  Hearts deadened by the weight of Things cannot feel Truth.  Throats choked by the dust of Things cannot speak Truth.  Therefore, O Hadji, is the Temple of Truth here on the Outer-Edge-Of-Things; therefore is The Law of the Pilgrimage.”

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