For a little the Pilgrim waited; then rising from his couch, again he went to the open window, and lo! in the evening sky he saw the City Sometime in the Land of Yettocome. All the wondrous castles and palaces were there, marvelous in their beauty, glorious in their splendor, dazzling in their colors of emerald, rose and purple, of ruby, crimson and gold. From spire and dome, cupola and turret, tower and battlement the lights flashed and gleamed, while the Pilgrim looked in wonder and in awe. And high above the city walls, that shone as burnished silver in the sun, rose the temple flaming like a ruby flame—the temple sacred to the god Itmightbe.
Slowly, slowly, the last of the twilight passed. Slowly, the graceful lines, the proud forms, the majestic piles of the city melted—melted, blurred and were lost even as are lost the form and loveliness of a snow flake on the sleeve. Slowly, slowly, the glorious colors faded as fade the flowers at the touch of frost. The lights went out. The darkness came. The city that is fairer than an angel’s dream was gone.
* * * * *
AND THE THIRD VOICE WAS THE VOICE OF THE NIGHT
[Illustration: And the Third Voice was The Voice of the Night (see king008.png)]
It was full night when the Pilgrim turned again to seek his couch.
Without the Temple it was very still—dark and still. Very still was it within The Quiet Room, and the darkness that came stealing through the open window was a thick and heavy darkness. The Pilgrim lay upon his couch staring with blank, unseeing eyes into a blackness wherein there was not even a spot of gray to show where the window was.
And after a little there came out of the heavy darkness the sad, sad Voice of the Night.
Said the Voice: “To thee, O Hadji, I come from the Limitless Realm of the Past that begins this moment and reaches back even beyond the day of all beginnings. I speak from the Deeps Above. I tell of the Great That Was. I also am a Voice of Life, and mine it is to tell you yet more of The Tale of The Uncrowned King.”
And this is the part of the Tale that was told by the Voice of the Night.
Now it happened, as things sometime so happen, that Really-Is lingered over long, saying good-bye to his friends in the City Sometime in the Land of Yettocome; and that when he had lingered long with his friends he stayed yet longer with the beautiful princess, Imagination.
So it was that, while the prince was promising many promises and receiving in turn promises as many, his brother, Seemsto-Be, mounted and was well started on his journey before the heir to the throne of Allthetime was in the saddle. With the last good-bye spoken to his royal friends, the last promise promised to the fair princess, and the last farewell waved to the charming people, Really-Is urged his horse fast