And as I turned my boat in the direction of the sea a moaning came upon the waters. The sky became as brass. A roar, like the rending asunder of the firmament, caused my soul to expand with horror and joy. Yes, time was accomplished. The last Pope had uttered the truth. Eternity was nigh. But the Buddha would now prove to the multitudes awakened from their long sleep that He, not other gods, was the true, the only God. In a flare of light sounded the trumpets of destiny; eternity unrolled before me, and on the vast plain I saw the bones of the buried dead uniting, as men and women from time’s beginnings arose in an army, the number whereof is unthinkable. And oh! abomination of desolation, the White Horse, not Kalki the tenth incarnation of Vishnu, but the animal foretold in their Apocalypse, came through the lightnings, and in the whirlwinds of flame and thunder I saw the shining face of Him, the Son of Man! Where our Buddha? Alas! the last Pope spake truth. I, Moa the Bonze, tell you this ere it be too late to repent your sins and forswear your false gods. The Galilean is our master....
“Farceur! Do you know what I would do with that accursed fan? I’d destroy it, sell it, get rid of it somehow. Or else—” Effinghame scrutinized the doctor, whose eyes were closed—“or else I would return to the pious practices of my old religion.” No smile crossed the face of his friend as he firmly held the fighting fan, the iron and mystical fan of the Samurai.
THE WOMAN WHO LOVED CHOPIN
When Marco Davos left Ischl on the midday train, that picturesque, huddled Austrian watering-place was stuffy. He was surprised then most pleasantly by the coolness of Aussee, further down the line in the direction of Vienna. Ischl is not a bad place, but it lies, as the natives say, smothered in a kettle. He rode over from the station to the stadt park, where the band was playing. There he dismounted, for he was going further—Aussee is not very interesting, but it principally serves as a good starting-point for trips to many of the charming lakes with which Styria is dotted. After asking his way, Davos passed the swimming baths, and keeping on the left bank of a tiny stream, he presently found himself walking through an earthly paradise. Since his advent in Ischl, where he drank the waters and endeavoured to quiet his overtaxed nerves, he had made up his mind to visit Alt-Aussee; several Viennese friends had assured him that this hamlet, beneath a terrific precipice and on the borders of a fairy-like lake, would be well worth the while.