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- Cumner & South Sea Folk, v1 - 11/11 -

The years went by.

In the cool of a summer evening a long procession of people passed through the avenues of blossoming peach and cherry trees in Mandakan, singing a high chant or song. It was sacred, yet it was not solemn; peaceful, yet not sombre; rather gentle, aspiring, and clear. The people were not of the city alone, but they had been gathered from all parts of the land--many thousands, who were now come on a pilgrimage to Mandakan.

At the head of the procession was a tall, lithe figure, whose face shone, and whose look was at once that of authority and love. Three years' labour had given him these followers and many others. His dreams were coming true.

"Fighting, fighting, naught but fighting for honour and glory and homes and kine, but naught for love, and naught that there may be peace."--This was no longer true; for the sword of the young Dakoon was ever lifted for love and for peace.

The great procession stopped near a little house by the Aqueduct of the Failing Fountain, and spread round it, and the leader stepped forward to the door of the little house and entered. A silence fell upon the crowd, for they were to look upon the face of a dying girl, who chose to dwell in her little home rather than in a palace.

She was carried forth on a litter, and set down, and the long procession passed by her as she lay. She smiled at all an ineffable smile of peace, and her eyes had in them the light of a good day drawing to its close. Only once did she speak, and that was when all had passed, and a fine troop of horsemen came riding up.

This was the Dakoon of Mandakan and his retinue. When he dismounted and came to her, and bent over her, he said something in a low tone for her ear alone, and she smiled at him, and whispered the one word "Peace!"

Then the Dakoon, who once was known only as Cumner's Son, turned and embraced the prophet Sandoni, as he was now called, though once he had been called Tang-a-Dahit the hillsman.

"What message shall I bear thy father?" asked the Dakoon, after they had talked a while.

Sandoni told him, and then the Dakoon said:

"Thy father and mine, who are gone to settle a wild tribe of the hills in a peaceful city, send thee a message." And he held up his arm, where a bracelet shone.

The Prophet read thereon the Sacred Countersign of the hillsmen.


Ate some coffee-beans and drank some cold water His courtesy was not on the same expansive level as his vanity


Cumner & South Sea Folk, v1 - 11/11

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