PART 1,2 , 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 910,11,12
"There are many seeds," said Dorje Drelhu. "Seeds?" asked Dorje Chamba. "Yes, mothers and fathers..." squinted the other. "I ... I ... do not understand," answered the other. "Well, we'll start again," scowled Drelhu. "There are many seeds ..."
"Where are they?" asked Chamba.
"Everywhere," came the answer.
"Where are they?" asked Chamba.
"Everywhere," came the answer, "but some are easier to find than others, and...
"Some," said Dorje Drelhu, grinning, "are for different purposes! More worthwhile...perhaps?"
"How could these seeds have different purposes?",
"Chamba! You have a thick skull!"
"Yes," he almost whispered.
"Different seeds for animals..."
"Animals?" he asked, looking at the monkey-man.
Drelhu wrinkled his nose. "Seeds!" he emphasized. "Animal seed... from father animals ... You know?"
"0h ... yes."
"Different animal seeds produce different animals ... therefore it is logical..."
His eyebrows wrinkled his forehead.
"These seeds all have appropriate different purposes ... different energy ingredient...they..."
"Are all these seeds of sounds both father and mother?" Chamba asked.
Drelhu looked at him as if he were staring at an idiot child. "Are the cow and the bull the same?" he snorted.
"Oh," he said, feeling foolish.
"Now," continued Drelhu, "I cannot tell you anything more about their nature. That will do no good. Perhaps it would even make your journey more difficult..."
"How many-will I have to collect?"
Drelhu looked at him sadly. "That is up to you," he answered. "The more the better. They are tools..."
"...like weapons?" asked Dorje Chamba.
"Like weapons," answered Dorje Drelhu.
"However," the other scratched his ear, "if you wait too long-and try to collect too many."
"I won't have time to learn to use them?"
"Yes," the monkey-man looked at the wooden floor.
"But won't I need?"
The monkey-man looked up. "As many as you can collect."
"Too few" smiled Dorje Chamba.
"Are as bad as none" finished the grimacing broad mask.
"Hmmm. Delicate problem. "
"Are you ready?" asked the hairy man.
"Yes," smiled Dorje Chamba. "I have already eaten"
"The fire?" laughed Drelhu.
"The fire!" laughed Chamba.
It was one room. And it was cheap. It had one large double bed in it. Dee looked at him.
"Do you like it?"
He did not answer, looking at Melody, who avoided his eyes.
"Melody can sleep in the middle," she continued, glancing to the right and left. "And ... or ... we can take turns!"
She seemed to find that very funny.
"It'll work out..." said Melody quietly. "It'll work out...fine."
" ... Uh... I guess..." he started to say.
Dee faced them both and with right and left arms outstretched placed a hand on each of their shoulders, smiling. She said, "Yes! That's right! Yes-s-s-s!"
"'Patrick!" yelped Dee St. John.
"Surprise!" he said, hugging her when she leaped into his arms, giving her bottom a pat.
"Where..." she started.
He did not loosen his hold on her waist, nodding over his right shoulder.
"Upstairs! I've got a room upstairs..."
"With me..." grinned Joseph from the doorway.
"Right on," said Dee, turning to Melody. "Look who will sharing the shower in the hall with us!"
"Hel...lo...Mellow ... dee!" grinned Patrick, loosening his grip on Dee's waist. "Remember me?" He was about to take a step forward but did not when Melody merely nodded her head without answering.
"See all of you," Patrick said turning, "later!"
"Yes! That's right! Yes-s-s-s!"
It was worse than before. Now there was no privacy. At least earlier Dee had gone off across the street with Joseph. Now she shared the same bed.
"Stupid!" he thought. "It's stupid..."
When he voiced any of this to Melody, she did not seem to hear him. "It's convenient," she said, "and it's temporary."
And she would move in close to him and give him a very wet kiss. "We'll save some of our money this way. You know..."
He kissed her warmly in return.
"We've been going through our money too fast-this will... make..."
They embraced tightly.
'I ... it last ... longer."
She was right about the money. But he wasn't sure about the method of conservation. He was afraid to criticize her judgement.
"It'll be okay, Honey ... we can find time-in..."
"...the daytime?" he smiled.
Dee stepped into the room and theatrically wobbled her head. ....excuse me, lovebirds...Illl come back later."
He thought that was a good idea, but Melody spoke first.
"No, don't be silly, Dee. We're about to go out...too."
He clenched his jaw muscles.
They rode up and down the streets past stupas and lingams.
The young women plunged their bicycles ahead of him. He watched their muscles tense and loosen. ".... hell! ...." Brrring. BRRRING!
"Dee!" giggled Melody in the dark. He became alert, lying beside her. "Shhh! Stop it! Shhh! You'll wake him..."
"Melody..." came Dee's whisper. He felt mouse-like movements. He froze, not breathing.
"Shhh!" giggled Melody. "Go to sleep! Shhh!"
"But I..." said Dee.
A vibration like a rustle.
"Oh!" said Melody, a little louder, then softly, "P-please."
"I will," whispered Dee, "please..."
"Please stop," said Melody, "Now!"
His eyes were wide in the darkness, but could see nothing but purples moving in waves. He felt Melody's warr~mess next to him.
"But why?" whispered Dee. "He's asleep..."
"I ... I ... don't ... know..." said Melody, "that!"
He decided to make a noise, exhaled and rolled over in her direction.
"Hmmmm?" he said. "What? Hmmm?"
"See! He'll awaken! "
He threw his arm across Melody, as if in a dream. His teeth were tightly clasped.
"Oh," said Dee. "Okay..."
He could feel Melody's heart beating very fast beneath the outthrust arm.
"I'll ... talk... " said Dee, "another time..."
"Good night! " exhaled Melody.
"Yes-s-s, good night!"
He felt Melody grab his hand with hers, as if to push it away. But instead, she pulled it to her breast and pressed it there.
They both fell asleep that way.
"Why not?" Dee asked. "What's the difference?" "What does it matter?" "If it feels good, do it!" Melody nodded slowly.
"Nhy not?" Melody asked.
"What difference does it make?"
"It doesn't matter, one way or the other..."
"It feels good ... Let's do it!" He nodded slowly, looking at her green-grey eyes.
"Do we have to smoke hashish every time we make love?" he asked Melody. "We..." she said, inhaling, "don't smoke-every... "Yes we do!" he frowned. "Lately..." "Don't scold me, Honey," she pouted, "here..." And she handed him the smoking rolled paper. He put it to his lips and inhaled, reluctantly. "If it feels good..." she said, "why not?"
Patrick was with Joseph, entering the courtyard when he heard his name called.
Squinting up into the sunshine, he saw a nude Melody leaning out of her window.
"Wow!" said Joseph, touching his elbow.
"Patrick..." she said, her breasts swaying as she seemed to lean farther out. "I need...."
Patrick said nothing, watching her eyes which seemed to roll into her head.
"...some matches ... " she said.
Patrick gave a snort and made a leap for the doorway leading to the staircase. Joseph was slow in responding, but was soon running after him.
"Hey! Wait for me! I'm coming too!"
But Patrick had bounded up the stairs two at a time and was into melody's room before Joseph was halfway up the steps. He slammed the door and threw the bolt, his heart beating fast.
Turning, he looked at Melody, still at the window, but now looking at him in the room. Her eyelids fluttered, fluttered half open, half closed, her lips were smiling a silly smile.
Joseph reached the door and rattled the doorknob.
"Hey!" he shouted. "Patrick! Open up! Let me in!"
"No!" said Patrick to the door.
"C'mon, be a buddy! Let me in!"
Patrick turned to look at Melody who had stepped away from the window, slightly unsteadily. She continued to smile. Her body was shining from a thin layer of perspiration.
"No," said Patrick to the door. "You're out! And I'm in!"
Joseph fell to muttering behind the door.
"She called me..." Patrick said, as if to himself, "not
"Do you have..." asked Melody, stepping towards him, "something to light my..." she lifted her hand, "...smoke?"
"I've got," he said, "anything you need."
He looked at the bed.
"What about him?"
Melody's head turned and wobbled, smiling. She said, "He's out. He's gone somewhere. He's stoned ... out... completely....
"He, said Patrick, unbuckling his belt, "won't mind if I ..."
"What he doesn't know won't ... doesn't know won't..."
Patrick smiled and led her to the bed with the prone man sprawled on it. "Yeah, yeah. . . . "
"What difference does it make?" asked Melody, falling back on the blankets, "anyway?"
"Yeah," said Patrick, looking at the other man to see if he was at all aware of what was going on. "Yeah. Yeah!"
Melody interrupted the movements of his hands. He was surprised. She spoke in a pseudo-childlike voice.
"Can't we ... we ... have... an itsy bitsy... smoke ... first?"
Patrick sneered. It relaxed into a smile,
"Sure...Mellow ... Dee! Sure ... anything that you want!"
Joseph was still behind the locked door. "Hey man! What's going on?"
"Go away, Joseph! It's none of your," said Patrick, "business!"
"Whose," called Joseph, "business is it, then?"
"It is my," said Patrick, "business!"
Melody finished exhaling.
"No, Patrick," she said. "It is our business!"
"Yeah. . yeah! "
They spoke no more to the man behind the door. He kept listening and cursing himself for not moving up the stairs faster.
But Patrick had gone up the stairs. He had gone up them two at a time. Two. Two! TWO!
"Oh!" said Melody.
"Oh!" said Melody.
"Yeah," said Patrick. "Yeah! YEAH!"
Joseph fumed. He could hardly hear anything.
"Won" said Melody, "won wonderful!"
"Yeah," said Patrick. "Yeah! YEAH!"
Joseph got tired of waiting and left.
Melody was next to him making love. She had been, so recently, making love to him. He had looked at a.crack in the ceiling and forgotten what he was doing. Now she was making love again. He could feel the bed move. He could feel her warmth nearby. It was next to him. How could that be? If she were making love, she should be on top of him.
"Oh!" she squealed, "Won! Won ... wonderful!"
"That's what's happening..." he thought, staring at the crack in the ceiling. "She's making love..."
"Honey! Honey ... ho ... NEE!" she called.
He smiled, his eyes almost closing.
"Yes ... yes," he said. "Is it good for you?"
"Won ... wonderful!" she said.
"Good ... good!" he said, still confused, wondering how he could be here and there at the same time.
"Why not?" he thought. "Here and there! As long as Melody..."
"Wonderful!" she said.
"Wonder..." he said, looking at the crack in the ceiling and then falling upwards into the crack.
Patrick leaned on one elbow, looking at the blonde woman. She snuggled under his arm, fingers of her right hand playing with the hairs on his chest. She looked up at him suddenly and he was startled. He did not recognize her. Her mouth was redder and fuller. Little hairs stuck to her forehead with perspiration, her eyes glistened with their own light, wide open.
"Wide open," he thought.
"Well?" she asked, crawling halfway onto his torso, nibbling at his nipple. He looked at her eyes.
"Wait. Wait a while yet...
"Oh," she pouted.
He looked at the line made by the edge of her body. It was textured with little goose-bumps.
"Perhaps," he thought, "I should have let Joseph come in too!"
Melody frowned at Patrick and pulled herself away from him. "I'll go back to him..." she gestured at the man on the bed next to them, "...if you're not up to it!"
Patrick sneered. "Do as you please."
"I will!" she snapped.
"But I doubt if you can get anything out of him-he's too stoned!"
"He's not that far gone!" And she reached over to caress his stomach. "Anyway... I could raise a corpse!"
Patrick did not look at her face. He did not say anything either. He watched.
"Honey," Melody was saying as she rolled onto the other man. "Honey..." But he was lost in the ceiling somewhere.
She put her mouth on his lips but got no response. She put her mouth elsewhere and soon, bit by bit, the corpse began to move. He came to life. But his mind was still wandering on the ceiling.
Melody laughed and continued to stimulate the corpse.
"Okay!" she giggled. "Time to climb up on ... horse ... horse!"
Patrick smiled and shook his head. "She sure has changed since Srinagar!" he thought.
"Giddyap! Giddy-yap!" said Melody, at first looking at Patrick, but then soon concentrating on what she was doing. "Giddyyap ... horse ... !"
His thought came down from the ceiling and he thought that Melody was astride him, joined to him, saying, "Giddyyap! Horse ... see! Gid...DEE ... Yap! Gid ... DEE..."
"Yes, she is..." he thought, "making love to me..."
And he was aware now, or so he thought, that this time was next to himself watching the love-making.
"I take turns," he thought, "watching and doing, and then doing and watching..."
"Ha Ha hahahah!"
"Wow!" said Melody, riding her horse.
"Ha Ha hahahah!"
Patrick did not think that he needed Joseph now. He straddled the prone man and said to the bouncing woman, "Kiss this..."
Melody shook her head, giggling.
"I'm already-doing ... one ... thing..."
"One-or two!" snapped Patrick grabbing a fistful of hair. "What does it matter?"
Melody was about to say something, but then she could not.
"Smell it!" said Patrick. "Male and female!"
"See it?" he asked, keeping her from pulling away. The prone man thought amidst the quiverings, "Now I am doing and doing... I am not watching at all!" "Do it!" said Patrick. "Just do it!"
One. Two. Three! Cig. Nyi. Sum!
Chamba studied the diagrams which Sri Khatvanga had fashioned from the kite papers.
"Chamba!" a middle-aged man addressed him from the doorway. "Namaste!"
"Namastef" returned the young man, folding the diagrams together so they could not be seen by the other.
"Where is Guru-ji ... ah ... Great Sri Khatvanga?" said the other.
"What does it matter," said Chamba, "to you?"
"I need..." he said nervously, "a medicine..."
"I will get it for you," said Chamba, standing up.
"No, no..." said the other. "I want..."
Chamba scowled. "Sri Khatvanga has gone to the Himal,"
he said. "He will be in the mountains many weeks..."
"If you wish medicine..." the young man glared at him, "I will give you some..."
"But I want..." said the other, shifting from foot to foot, "Sri Khatvanga ... he knows ..."
"I know... " said Chamba, "also!"
Chamba sat down, ignoring the other. "You may go. I shall speak with you no longer." "It is just that..." said the man. "Go!" snapped Chamba. Soon the young man was alone. He stroked his wispy beard as he studied the diagrams.
"Chamba! Chamba!" cried the voice in the darkness outside the shop.
"Hmmm?" he asked. "What is it?"
It was the middleaged man again.
"Is ... Sri Khatvanga back?"
Angrily, Chamba shouted, "It is only two days since he left! He will be gone for weeks!"
"Oh Chamba ... please... I ... It
The shadow in the street shifted from foot to foot, its palms pressed together before it.
"... my daughter is ... ill ... ill ... Sri Khatvanga....
Chamba was silent, listening to the stammering man. Then he spoke.
"What is it?"
"I don't know!
Fever...nausea...! She may be ... dying!"
"I told you Sri Khatvanga is gone.
"I?" asked Chamba. "You rejected me! What do I know, after all, foolish man!" ... beg ... beg forgiveness ... please..."
Chamba was silent. The man was sobbing in the darkness.
"How old is your daughter?"
"What is her name?"
The sobbing shadow shivered.
"What will you give me?" asked Chamba softly.
"I have-have gold"
"How much?" he asked the darkness.
"Ten pieces !"
"Not enough," said Chamba. "Go away!"
"Oh please," said the man. "I am sorry if I offended...but do not punish my innocent........."
"Go away! It is not the first insult! It is the second."
"Ten pieces of gold! It insults your daughter!"
"But it is all"
"Go away! Find some more or stay away!"
The man wailed and fled into the darkness.
Chamba slept soundly until dawn. There came a knocking and calling.
In his sleepiness he smiled at the addition of the honorific syllable. "Yes, who is it?"
"I...It is I!'
"And do you have more than ten pieces?"
" ... Ah ... ah! I-some friends ... I ... yes!"
A long pause as the light began to make visible the wood and brick buildings, the overhanging third story porches.
"Fifteen! It is all that..."
"Fifteen?" Chamba, the man now able to see his asked hardening features. "Too bad, that is regrettable..."
"But that is all that I..."
"Not enough... !"
"Aiy!" the man cried. "I cannot let my daughter die!"
Chamba squinted at him. "Do you wish her to live ... for her own sake ... or do you wish her to live for your sake?"
"I-I...do not understand..."
"Many of you fathers," said Chamba with disgust, "just use your children as slaves...
"Not... so! I ... "
"I will allow her to live..." started Chamba, when the other interrupted, "Thank you, Chamba-ji! Great sage ... Chamba-ji ... Thank you... "
"Only," continued Chamba, "if you will give her to me..."
"To serve me..." said Chamba.
The man frowned. "But then I..."
Chamba sneered. "She will be alive..." he said.
"But..." the man said.
"With me..." said Chamba.
"No, I cannot do that! She will be in the house of..."
"... a magician?" laughed Chamba.
"No, I cannot ... Something else...
Chamba tilted his head and shrugged. "Then,something else ......"
The man smiled, but it faded quickly when Chamba contin ued to speak. "The something else will be death!"
"That is your choice. Give her up or she shall die ..."
"Well?" asked Chamba.
The man nodded slowly. "Yes. I agree. Yes."
Chamba packed a leather sack with about half a dozen small containers, picked up a long tubular drum wrapped in a red cloth, and said, "Let us go quickly! Before conditions change for the worse!"
"Yes, Chamba-ji," said the man, hopping along with him down the street.
"Bring the gold?" Chamba asked.
"Yes, yes," said the man, lifting the bag in his left hand.
"Good," laughed the young magician. "Good! "
Chamba danced and played the drum.
He played the drum and danced.
He played the drum.
In various dishes, in different parts of the room, he burned his secret ingredients that had come in the sack. The little girl lay in the center of the room on a low bed, oblivious to it all. Relatives peered in the windows and doorways. Chamba danced and played the drum. He played the drum and danced. He played the drum. He played the drum. Night came. He danced. He drummed. The ingredients smoked and burned. The eyes of the observers reddened and wept. Chamba danced. He played the drum.
The fair-skinned girl perspired and perspired. He touched her forehead with his right index finger. He danced and drummed. He traced patterns on her forehead with his finger. He danced.
Meba did not seem to object to leaving home to go live with him. "Please be obedient," instructed her father.
"Goodbye, Meba," said her mother, without expression, holding an infant to her breast. Her younger brothers merely stared at Chamba.
"Goodbye," said Chamba.
The young girl followed him out the doorway, carrying a little bundle of her clothes. Chamba turned to see if she was coming.
She was looking at him with shining brown eyes, a great smile of white teeth upon her face.
"Good," he thought.
Then, "Come along, Meba."
"Yes, Guru Chamba-ji!" she said in a voice like a melody.
She did.not see his smile.
"It seems that now I am also a guru... 1"
Chamba's rooms behind the shop slowly became very pleasant. Meba's presence alone would have done that. She was a lovely child, radiant and cheerful. She worked hard and did things he did not anticipate, cleaning and washing. He had cleaner clothes than he could ever remember having before. And she knew how to cook many things for which there were no names in his vocabulary.
He did not scowl as often as he had before. The people that came for medicines only paid a reasonable amount. They were happy. He was happy.
Meba moved about singing little wordless songs to herself. He listened to them carefully, shaking his head in contentment.
Every morning as he awoke, he focussed on the flowers that she had already picked for him. He had no idea where she found them in the streets of Khatmandu.
It was five months before Sri Khatvanga returned. Chamba began to think that he was never coming back,that he had died. That was not difficult to do in the mountains, even for a man like Sri Khatvanga. There was nothing he could do about it, so he tried to keep his mind off the subject. He knew that he could not even ring the bell and prepare the special ingredients, for there was no body to work with.
"Chamba," the little boy asked him on the street, "will you fix my kite?"
He smiled. "Yes, of course. It is just this string...' And he untangled it.
Down the street from the direction of the river came Meba with a bundle of clothes. He smiled and she waved from the distance.
"Chamba!" came a chilling voice from behind him. He turned, and there standing tall before him was Sri Khatvanga, dark and frowning, flecks of white in his dark beard, with hardly any light in his eyes. Chamba was about to greet him warmly.
"Maha-Guru-ji!" he started, when the other pointed past him.
"Who," asked the black guru, "is that girl?"
"Meba..." he started. "Meba is..."And his eye was caught by the approach of the huge blackdog down the street behind Sri Khatvanga. It approached theblack magician and sat down at his feet, looking at Chamba.It snarled and bared its fangs, fluid dripping from its jaws.
"What is.." stammered Chamba, "that?"
Sri Khatvanga looked down at the animal, smiling. "Doesn't it look like a dog?"
"Yes," answered Chamba. "It looks like a dog ... but...
"The results of my work in the mountains..." laughed Sri Khatvanga.
"Chamba! Chamba-ji!" called Meba, running up. Chamba did not like the look in his guru's eyes. The dog's eyes became yellow.
"I am not pleased," said the magician, "with your softness!"
"But Guru-ji!" said Chamba.
"Do not interrupt!
"I am gone for a few months and when I return...you...you... have become friendly with everyone! You hardly charge them anything... !"
"They are poor ... and the ingredients are inexpensive..."
The other roared, "That's what I mean! who cares if they are poor? Who but we know the cost of the ingredients? You act like a simple healer...
"Nothing of the sort! Nothing of the sort! We both are beyond that!"
Chamba said nothing.
"They are getting too friendly ... too familiar! There is hardly... any..."
"Fear?" suggested Chamba.
"Yes!" cracked Sri Khatvanga. "I left you with a great stock of fear ... a warehouse of it-the entire city was full of fear! You've squandered it for civility! For friendly greetings! Pah! Foolishness!" "But..." "Be still! I am not finished!" "Yes, Guru-ji...
"Fear is a necessary ingredient! It is the matrix from which all the powers..."
"Some say love ... "
The magician hunched up his shoulders and uttered a strange sentence. "Love! Third rate source! Hum..'.Phat... Hum!"
The dog leaped from the shadows in the center and when the magician stormed out into the street, went with him.
"Meba," spoke Chamba quietly, "Do not enter any room that only Sri Khatvanga is within"
"Yes, Chamba-ji,11 answered the brown eyes, nodding.
"...and stay far away from the dog!"
"Yes, Chamba-ji," said the brown eyes, nodding.
"They are dangerous to you"
"And to you?" she asked, her smooth face not showing any understanding of the depth of the danger.
"To everyone. To the weather of the world."
"She was a foolish payment to take," said the black guru.
"You liked the gold coins," reminded Chamba.
"Not enough," snapped Sri Khatvanga.
"That is what I thought," smiled Chamba. "That is why I also had the gift of the child..."
"Maybe," squinted Sri Khatvanga, "you were right...
"Thank you, Guru-ji. -
"...When she is a little older..." said the black magician, "she may turn into many gold coins for us ...
Chamba became silent and tried not to reveal his annoyance at his teacher's words. However, the silence spoke loudly enough to Sri Khatvanga, who laughed, misunderstanding.
"Ah Cha! Chamba! Perhaps you wish to use her yourself?"
"Guru-ji!" he started to protest, but quickly caught himself. He decided it would be safer to agree. "Yes... Guru-ji ... you have found me out!"
"Ah cha!" grinned the other evilly. "That will be quite allright ... ! You will enjoy yourself! And we ... we ... will ... yes ... also!"
"We?" thought Chamba, horrified.
But he did not speak.
"What does he mean?"
One day Chamba was gluing bits of paper together to make a diagram with a star at the center. He had almost finished when the animal came into the room from the central back patio. Chamba paused to look at it.
"Hello, you ugly beast," he smiled.
"Be careful," it said.
Chamba was startled in one way, but not surprised in another. He spoke quickly in return.
"Clever dog!" he pretended to laugh, shivering inside.
"Clever man!" answered the dog.
He could not see how it formed the words. There was a silence.
He was putting the glue stick back into the pot without looking, fearful of what would happen if he took his eyes off the black creature.
The dog jumped directly past him, hitting his arm. The star diagram was thrust against the jar, striking strongly.
"Look what you have done!" snapped Chamba.
The dog sniffed and panted with tongue hanging out. Like a normal dog it stood near the entrance to the shop.
"I cannot get it off!" said Chamba.
The dog looked at him and snarled in reply.
He glared at it.
It bared its fangs and growled loudly.
"Demon!" yelled Chamba.
The dog crouched, beginning to bark strangely-hoarse barks at him, in an angry frenzy. The dog's fur on the back of its neck went up. Chills ran down his spine. It was going to attack him!
"Chamba-ji!" he heard the melodious voice of Meba.
"Meba!" he thought horrified.
The dog seemed to have the same thought and turned, leaping out into the street towards the sound of the little girl.
"Stop!" he cried, leaping after it, grabbing the first thing which came to hand, which was the glue-pot.
He saw Meba a short distance away, in the same instant that he saw the black dog leap towards her. He sceamed and with all his might he flung the glue-pot at the head of the dog.
Glue-pot and the star diagram stuck to its side went flying, tumbling through the air. Time did not move. Only the dog, and after it, the flying bits of colored paper stuck to the pot.
Meba and Chamba remained frozen. Still. Quiet.
There was no time.
Meba and Chamba remained still.
Then the bits of color made contact. Suddenly the dog was gone! The glue-pot struck the ground and broke into a thousand pieces. Meba held up her hands to her face to protect herself from the flying fragments.
Chamba ran up and scooped her up into his arms, as if beyond reach of the dog. He looked around. He could not see it.
"It's gone, Chamba-ji! It just dis ... dis ... appeared!"
She started to sobm and Chamba patted her back.
"Don't worry. Don't worry ... We won't see him again!"
Then he looked up and saw Sri Khatvanga standing in the doorway smiling, and he knew that he had been mistaken.