’Thy mind is set on things unworthy. But she has skill. I am refreshed all over. When we reach the lower hills I shall be yet stronger. The hakim spoke truly to me this morn when he said a breath from the snows blows away twenty years from the life of a man. We will go up into the Hills — the high hills — up to the sound of snow-waters and the sound of the trees — for a little while. The hakim said that at any time we may return to the Plains, for we do no more than skirt the pleasant places. The hakim is full of learning; but he is in no way proud. I spoke to him — when thou wast talking to the Sahiba — of a certain dizziness that lays hold upon the back of my neck in the night, and he said it rose from excessive heat — to be cured by cool air. Upon consideration, I marvelled that I had not thought of such a simple remedy.’
‘Didst thou tell him of thy Search?’ said Kim, a little jealously. He preferred to sway the lama by his own speech — not through the wiles of Hurree Babu.
’Assuredly. I told him of my dream, and of the manner by which I had acquired merit by causing thee to be taught wisdom.’
‘Thou didst not say I was a Sahib?’
’What need? I have told thee many times we be but two souls seeking escape. He said — and he is just herein — that the River of Healing will break forth even as I dreamed — at my feet, if need be. Having found the Way, seest thou, that shall free me from the Wheel, need I trouble to find a way about the mere fields of earth — which are illusion? That were senseless. I have my dreams, night upon night repeated; I have Jataka; and I have thee, Friend of all the World. It was written in thy horoscope that a Red Bull on a green field — I have not forgotten — should bring thee to honour. Who but I saw that prophecy accomplished? Indeed, I was the instrument. Thou shalt find me my River, being in return the instrument. The Search is sure!’
He set his ivory-yellow face, serene and untroubled, towards the beckoning Hills; his shadow shouldering far before him in the dust.
Who hath desired the Sea — the immense and contemptuous surges? The shudder, the stumble, the swerve ere the star-stabbing bowsprit merges — The orderly clouds of the Trades and the ridged roaring sapphire thereunder — Unheralded cliff-lurking flaws and the head-sails’ low-volleying thunder? His Sea in no wonder the same — his Sea and the same in each wonder - His Sea that his being fulfils? So and no otherwise — so and no otherwise hill-men desire their hills!
The Sea and the Hills.
‘Who goes to the hills goes to his mother.’