Chapter Forty One
For the next few days the three Americans did not see much of each other. They were given comfortable quarters where they were allowed to rest and get over their recent journey. They also had time to think. Perhaps the latter was the greatest blessing and the greatest disaster, depending on the individual. They did not need to venture far from the room, most of their needs being supplied within their four walls. Each had one of the Tibetans to serve him, bringing tea or food, as the case might be.
Thubten was with the yogi. Tenzin was with the marine. Rinjin was there to serve Mark.
"Or is he here to guard me?" Mark Miller thought.
The American had no complaints. His movements were not restricted,, to any great degree. But he felt he was being kept away from the other two.
"They are occupied," Rinjin would say, when pressed for their whereabouts. "Do not worry, concern yourself. You will see them soon enough."
And Mark accepted the words for what they said. He had no reason for suspicion.
Even though his explorations were not prevented, he did not look about the grounds very much. There were a great many closed rooms and he was not in a mood for exploring musty corners. He was genuinely tired and glad for the opportunity to rest. He slept a great deal.
At other times, he sat. He sat looking over the distant mountains. He sat staring at a Tibetan painting with a golden Buddha holding what seemed to be an agate vajra. He contemplated the scales of the dragon which decorated the rug on his low bed-platform. He watched the lumps of butter melt in his tea.
"Melting butter," he thought. The butter melted.
"Thunderstorms in the canyon," he thought. Thunder came from below.
"Getting tired," he thought. "Is it nearly sunset?"
And twilight came. And darkness came.
And sleep came.
In his dreams he felt "Enough of this! Time to get up! "
And in the pre-dawn greyness, he thought, "Soon be light. "
And dawn came. That was how night and day came and went, came and went.
On some high shelves were books. They were Tibetan style books of long rectangular loose leaves which were wrapped in a cloth bundle for protection and tied together with colored broad ribbons. Rinjin had encouraged him to peruse them.
"I can't read them," said Mark.
"Try," smiled his mentor.
And so Mark did. He was surprised at how many words he could pick out of the string of symbols running in their long dense continuums of syllables.
"Ah ... here is...AH... " He looked and vocalized, "here is 'HA' and 'HUM' ... "
"Yes, yes," encouraged Rinjin, sitting on the floor next to the teatable upon which Mark had placed the book.
"Here is VA and, and .... how is this said?"
"VAJRA," whispered Rinjin.
Mark glanced at him but the Tibetan's eyes were looking the other way.
"Citta., " said Rinjin just as quietly.
"0h!" said the American, "VAJRACITTA? Is that how it looks?"
"In words," said Rinjin, and with his fingers stiff and his palm upwards, he gestured towards the golden Buddha. "But," sucking in his breath, "in light, like this."
"Light? You mean in paint?" turning to look at the Tibetan painting.
"In thanka, like this," said Rinjin.
"Thanka?" asked Mark.
"Thanka, name of painting. Name for painting."
"This is the thanka of Vajracitta?" asked Mark.
"Yes," answered Rinjin, looking at the floor, almost hissing out the word.
"Very pretty," said Mark.
"Very Beau-ti- ful," enunciated Rinjin.
"Very beautiful! " echoed Mark. And it was. It was very beautiful.
Mark was puzzled by its beauty.
"I am getting tired," he said aloud.
"Should it be twilight?" asked Rinjin.
"Should it be twilight?" laughed Mark. Do you think it comes for my convenience?"
"Ah," said Rinjin, and nothing further.
"It would be nice, if it were twilight."
He looked at the rectangular window of light.
"It should be twilight," he said.
And it was twilight.
Mark felt a jolt as if he had touched a live electrical wire.
"What .... !"
"Twilight,-" smiled Rinjin.
Mark Miller then remembered something which had been gnawing at his mind. The pressing events, the yogi, the fire, had knocked it from his attention. He remembered looking up at the blue sky of Vajravati and seeing the flaws. The cracks. The huge ceiling of solid rock.
"We're underground! How can there be night and day?"
Chapter Forty Two
"A dream! that's what it is," said Mark Miller. "Only a dream."
The twilight developed into ebony blackness, with only the light before the Buddha-image keeping it from penetrating his bones. The little flame in the butter lamp flickered as if with uncertainty, as if there was a breeze. But Mark could feel none.
"But if it is a dream," he thought to himself, looking at the Buddha-image, staring at its eyes, half-open, half-closed, "when did I start dreaming? In Tagnath? At the waterfall? In the agate cave? Earlier? Was it earlier?"
His own eyes seemed to focus and unfocus, his lids grew heavy, half-open and half-closed.
"Before I came to Asia?"
The lamp flickered. His eyelids were heavy.
"Did I ever come to Asia? Did I ever come to ...
And he fell asleep at the name "Vajravati."
He slept in a seated position, legs casually crossed, body swaying forward and then swaying backwards, nodding before the painting.
And then he dreamed.
Chapter Forty Three
He dreamt that it was daylight. He dreamt that he went to the window and looked down upon the flat patio-area surrounding the building. He dreamt that he was responding to sounds and shouts outside and had leapt to the window full of apprehension and puzzlement.
"Come out Yogi! Come out you sniveling bastard! Come out !"
He dreamt he had heard this outside his window. It was perhaps what had awakened him. It was perhaps the cause of his daylight. The reason he saw daylight. The reason that he awoke. Reason, reason, in a dream.
Outside, he saw, while inside, he dreamt. Down below, he saw the marine standing in a wide-legged stance shouting up past him towards some unseen window.
"Yogi! Come out!"
The marine looked wild-eyed, even though his face was all wrapped in open smiles. From his expression one would think that he was inviting someone to come out to play. But his stance, the tightness of his fists, moving at his waist level, shaking as if loosening all thirteen little bones in each wrist, that spoke another message.
"What ?" puzzled Mark, staring down at the marine, who had his right arm disengaged from his Tibetan-style shirt, the empty sleeve flapping down beside him. Mark remembered the guerrillas wearing their clothes this way in Tagnath Valley. It freed their arms for archery games which they had played.
"Ancient weapons in play, when modern weapons are resting," Mark had thought then. He had participated in those arrow contests, but could never make the bows cooperate with his little knowledge of archery.
"The strings are too limp," he complained. "They will never fire an arrow very far."
They had merely laughed at him, he remembered, he dreamt, and fired the arrows in great salvos, one after another., at posts and targets of their choosing. There was a great deal of laughing, a great deal of drinking, but no one was hurt.
"Not like the archers in the tunnel!" shuddered Mark, remembering them and dreaming that he was crawling away into the agate vajra. The arrows were falling all about!
But it was the marine who was calling, "Come! I'm ready for you!"
Mark had to blink, to remember.
"Who is he calling? Who is he ready for?"
The yogi SVA YAM!
The yogi SVA YAM was suddenly there on the patio. He was stripped to the waist, barefooted and only wearing his loose white cotton pants. His exposed skin was smeared with ashes again. His forehead held the thick white horizontal lines. His lips held a tight smile and his eyes, all the malice in the world. He spoke.
"Yes, pseudo-soldier? What is it that you wish?"
Sergeant Fields' smile froze and transformed itself into a snarl, his teeth showing, his teeth preparing, as if for an animal's snapping at a jugular vein.
"Your hide!" he answered. "Your scalp!"
The yogi's laughter caught all of Mark's dreaming attention, but then the marine shouted, "I know your tricks!"
Mark swung his attention back to him at his end of the patio. The soldier was now armed! In an instant,, he was holding a long bow, and held by a strap, a quiver of arrows clung to his back! He had placed one of these feathered needles of death to the string and was pulling it back, back. The feathers almost touched his right cheekbone, but the yogi still laughed.
"No mortal weapons can harm me!" he said.
The marine smiled.
"What makes you think this is merely that?"
"What else?" laughed the yogi, standing very still, pushing out his chest towards the menacing bow. "Here, aim here! I will not move!"
The marine paused, squinting. Mark held his breath.
"This arrow," said Sergeant Fields, "was created by siddhi!"
"Siddhi?" gasped the yogi, visibly pale even under the smeared ashes. "What do you know of siddhi?"
"This!" said the marine, lightly letting the arrow fly.
The yogi had no time to move. The arrow was upon him and struck him., dead center in his chest. A terrible thud reached Mark's ears. It was doubly terrible, for it was so muffled. There was no scream, no cry. After it struck there was only silence. A terrible, long silence.
Both men still stood there, the soldier with his arms still in the air, the string against the bow, spent of its force; the yogi still upright, straight, with the arrow embedded in his chest, the feathered end quivering, glistening with its beautiful colors of red, yellow and speckled blue.
Mark watched horrified., wondering how long such a scene could remain frozen, unmoving, fixed in time. It was a long time.
It was twilight. It was dawn.
Chapter Forty Four
Mark dreamt that it was daylight. shouting.
He heard the marine
"Come out! Yogi! Come out! I've got the siddhi now!"
The yogi appeared, stripped to the waist, smeared with ashes, laughing.
"What do you know of siddhi?"
Mark dreamt that the archers in the cave were firing arrows, wounding the marine. However, everyone had crawled through the agate vajra safely. And there were no wounds. But the marine had taken one of the cave-archers' weapons with him.
"This," answered the marine, and the bow and quiver of arrows suddenly appeared. The yogi looked concerned, as an arrow was strung and pulled back into position.
"That," said the yogi, "will do you no good!"
Twang! The arrow flew and embedded itself in the chest of the yogi. He did not fall.
Twang! Another arrow flew!
Thud! It joined the first one. The yogi stood still, with no scowl and no smile.
Twilight came and darkness.
The two figures stood there silently in the dark. It was dark as if deep underground.
Chapter Forty Five
Mark dreamt that it was early dawn. He could barely see the marine, all wrapped in greyness. He could barely see the empty patio. "Yogi!" called the marine. "Yes?" answered the ashy shadow wearing white pants. "I want your skin! I want your skull, hair and all!" "You need magic, you need special powers to get it!"
Light came slowly.
"I have it! See?"
The marine strung a flaming arrow to an incandescent bow. It arched,, like a vertical eye, in the dim pre-dawn light. The flaming tip flew between them, travelling towards the yogi's chest and heart.
Mark waited for the thud.
None came. The arrow flew through the shape of the yogi.
Twang! Another eye of flame made a trajectory in the dim light.
Twang! And another.
They all went beyond the yogi. None of them had missed their mark. They all merely passed through it, leaving the shape of the yogi standing there, becoming clearer and clearer in the fast-blossoming daylight.
"But it cannot be daylight!" dreamt Mark, standing in his dream, looking at the ground beneath him.
When it was completely light, the yogi was gone. He did not dream where he had gone. The marine was standing there., alone. His right sleeve was dangling by his side. He held no bow., carried no quiver of arrows. He was shouting.
"Yogi! Come out!"
The marine looked wild-eyed, even though his face was all wrapped in open smiles.
"How long can this go on?" asked Mark of himself.
In answer, he said aloud, "I'm waking. I'm going to wake up! WAKE UP!" He awoke.
It was daylight.
He heard sounds and shouts outside his window. He leapt to the window full of apprehension and puzzlement. He looked down upon the flat patio-area surrounding the building.
"Come out Yogi! Come out you sniveling bastard! Come out! "
Outside, he saw the marine standing in a wide-legged stance shouting up towards some unseen window.
The marine looked wild-eyed, even though his face was all wrapped in open smiles.
Chapter Forty Six
"Again?" asked Mark of himself. "But this time, I am awake!"
He stared at the marine, puzzled. Sergeant Fields' arm was in the right sleeve of the Tibetan shirt.
"What .... ?" puzzled Mark, staring down at the marine, who was quickly disengaging that arm from the sleeve, causing it to fall, flapping down beside him.
The yogi. Yes. SVA YAM was suddenly there on the patio, stripped to the waist.
"Yes, pseudo-soldier?" he asked.
"Your skin! Your filthy hair!" the marine shouted.
"No harm to me," said the yogi.
The marine had the arrow strung in an instant. The feathers glistened in their colors, red, yellow, and speckled blue.
"Siddhi!" said the marine.
"Siddhi?" shuddered the yogi.
"This!" answered the marine, punctuating it with the "twang" of the bow, the flight of the eye of the arrow.
Thud! A terrible thud) doubly terrible for it was muffled. There was no scream. After it struck there was only silence.
Both men stood there, the arrow shaft quivering, embedded in the yogi's chest. Otherwise, there was no movement.
"How long," asked Mark, "can time remain frozen?"
It was a long time.
Chapter Forty Seven
It was the American yogi, self-identified as SVA YAM, who set time moving again. He reached to his chest with both hands, grasped the shaft of the arrow, and with all of his fingers pulled it out. There was no blood. There was no wound.
"Siddhi?" asked the yogi, seeming to crumble up the arrow as if it were made of paper, making a little ball.
The marine glowered and reached for another arrow.
Before Mark could even see him string it, it was in flight towards the yogi.
SVA YAM threw out his hand which held his crumbled arrow. it flew as a ball, as if in slow-motion, and unwrapped itself in flight. It was an arrow again! The two arrows met in mid-flight and vanished in a pinprick of intense light.
The marine was undaunted and was stringing another arrow. This time, he moved more self-consciously and methodically.
The yogi shook his head and grinned a thin-lipped smile.
"My turn!" he shouted. With two extended hands, he threw words at the soldier.
"MEE - CHEE - LAHPI
And a flight of arrows went glistening, in a golden arc through the space separating the two men.
Thud! Thud-thud-Thud! Thud!
They all struck the marine!
In the arms,, in the legs, in the torso!
Chapter Forty Eight
Mark shook his head in disbelief.
The marine continued to stand., smiling.
"Not bad, yogi!" he said, looking at the arrows, looking at the bits of colored feathers, red, yellow, and speckled blue.
Mark watched him roll his eyes into his head and thought that meant he was going to pass out. But the marine continued to stand, his eyes glowing strangely, staring as if focusing three feet in front of his face, seeing nothing, but still smiling.
The feathered ends of the arrows burst into flames, which ran quickly down the shafts. The flames ran into arms, legs, and the torso, consuming the arrows in a flicker. There were no wounds.
"Dammit!" thought Mark, watching from his vantage point. "How long will this go on? Where are the Tibetans?"
A voice behind him asked, "Do you need something, Mark?"
He turned to see that Rinjin had entered the room.
At the same time, he heard voices below. He turned to look down again. Tenzin was next to Sergeant Fields. Thubten was next to SVA YAM. There were no bows, no quiver and no arrows. They were all talking calmly as if nothing had happened a few moments before.
"Yes,, Mark?" asked Rinjin.
The American's voice quivered for a moment.
"Rinjin," Mark asked. "Did anything happen?"
"What do you mean?" Rinjin asked with an expressionless
"I mean.." emphasized Mark, frowning, "did anything happen? Really happen?"
Rinjin shrugged. "It seemed that a great deal happened. But it was only siddhi."
"Siddhi? Is siddhi the creation of illusion?"
"Not exactly," answered the Tibetan, his right hand reaching up to finger a mala about his neck. Siddhi is the creation of a reality."
"But why did the arrows .... everything vanish?" asked Mark.
"The siddhis cancelled each other out," said the Tibetan.
"The realities cancelled each other out?" persisted Mark.
"No," Rinjin grinned, "they are only illusions if they cannot be maintained."
"Maintained." Mark puzzled over the word, almost tasting its meaning. "'Maintained?' By whom? Oh! Of course!"
The Tibetan watched him carefully.
"The yogi," Mark said out loud.
"And the marine," thought Rinjin.
"And the marine," said Mark. He was startled. "The marine!? Sergeant Fields? He doesn't know. He doesn't know any of that yogi stuff!"
"Yogi stuff?" prompted Rinjin.
"Siddhi!" cried Mark, glancing down at the now-empty patio. Everyone was gone. All four men were gone.
Rinjin said nothing.
"Where could he have learned siddhi?" continued Mark. "He kept his nose close to the military attachés office. He buzzed the women of the diplomatic parties. He never ... How could he know it?"
Mark remained puzzled, staring at the floor.
"No. Michael Fields doesn't know any of that."
Rinjin watched him carefully.
"And if he did," Mark Miller mused to himself aloud., "how did he get as good as the yogi? No, I don't think ....
Mark was interrupted by a shout outside. He leapt to the window full of new apprehension.
"Hey!" It was the marine, his right arm encased in the sleeve of the Tibetan shirt. "Good morning! Time for some entertainment!"
Mark was puzzled and said as much.
"What the hell are you talking about?"
"This!" laughed the marine, pulling what looked like a handkerchief from his wide sleeve. He waved it over his head,, bowing and chuckling.
Mark frowned. What was the soldier doing?
"Hokus Pokus!" Sergeant Fields shouted, looking up, grinning.
The handkerchief was thrown into the air, fluttering. That blurred into whiteness, expanding into flapping motions. That blur zoomed upwards to Mark. It became a white pigeon which landed on his shoulder.
"How do you like that?" shouted the laughing marine.
Mark looked pop-eyed at the closeness of the pigeon, then back down at the soldier.
"Fine, except for one thing!"
"What's that?" called the other.
Mark wrinkled his nose.
"It's not toilet-trained!"
The marine continued to laugh.
Rinjin's voice came from close behind Mark's head.
"The pigeon is siddhi."
"But it's real," insisted Mark. "It's not vanishing!"
"The final proof," nodded the Tibetan. "That is what I mean. It is not an illusion!"
"The marine," Mark asked, hesitating, "made this bird?"
"No" answered the Tibetan. "The soldier maintains this bird. Otherwise
"Otherwise there would be no bird?" interrupted the American.
"Yes, now you understand."
He shook his head and the pigeon flew away.
Chapter Forty Nine
Mark Miller visited Michael Fields' room. It was on the other side of the building. He would never have found it by himself. Through the interior of the building, it was buried deep. From the outside, if one entered through the right door, it was simple to find. He had been invited and escorted by the soldier.
"Is this permitted?" asked Mark.
"What do you mean, permitted?" he was questioned.
"Well.." he answered., "I get the distinct impression that they wanted to keep us separated."
The sergeant shrugged, leading him along the patio.
"If that is the case, they had better make their move. I'm inviting you to tea."
Tenzin appeared at the doorway. Mark could read no special meaning in his expression. If he did not approve, it did not show.
The marine's room was essentially the same as Mark's except that instead of a Buddha, his painting contained a tiny vajra depicted within a series of circles, each of which was a different color, and these were outlined in broken-edged squares.
"Pretty, huh?" asked Michael Fields. "Something like the thing in the cave."
"Vajra," said Mark, slightly irritated that the soldier did not remember the name.
"Yes, Vajra! Yes," nodded the marine, indicating a pillow on the floor for Mark to sit upon. "What have you been doing?"
Mark did not understand the question.
"Sleeping a lot," he said.
The marine laughed.
"I would say so! If that's all you've been doing!"
This puzzled the American even further.
"A little studying. I was trying to read Tibetan."
"That's more like it! I couldn't imagine you sleeping all that time away!"
Mark refrained from asking any questions. He hesitated. All that came out was, "Huh?"
The marine did not seem to notice. He was full of words and wanted to share them with the other.
"I've been investigating," he explained. "At first it was difficult. But when I stumbled on how to ask the right questions, I got all the help I wanted from Tenzin. It got easier after that!"
"What are you talking about?" asked Mark, unconsciously lowering his voice when Tenzin came in with the copper teapot. Sergeant Fields noticed this and smiled.
"Don't worry. Tenzin's okay. It was from him that I found out what I wanted to know. He's okay."
Tenzin poured the tea, without saying a word and left the room.
"Oh yeah, you don't know. Sure, I'll explain," grinned the soldier full of enthusiasm about his information. "Take some tea."
Mark sipped slowly. The butter floated.
"You like this tea now?" he asked the soldier., who was gulping his down.
"Yeah. Sure. Why not? Get used to anything!"
Mark sipped slowly, hoping this would encourage the other man to get to the subject.
"It's great!" smiled the marine.
"Yes, wonderful! Simple, and lots of fun!"
Mark bit his lip, wondering how long it would take the other to get to the point.
"It didn't take me long to ... " he began again. But Mark interrupted him impatiently.
"What are you talking about? You're talking in circles!"
"Oh!" the soldier grinned. "Yeah. You're right."
He sipped his tea and wiped his mouth with the back of his hand.
Mark sat still and remained quiet.
"Well," said the soldier, "I was going crazy with boredom. I didn't know where you were and couldn't find my way around in this maze. I tried exercise, doing push-ups and stuff like that, for a few days, but it wasn't enough. I even tried reciting parts of rifle manuals that I know by heart, but that faded after a few days."
"After a few days ... ?" he began to interrupt, but the marine hushed him.
"Hold it! Let me tell it and then you can question me about details."
Mark silenced himself and paid the strictest attention.
"Finally," Michael Fields said, "I told Tenzin I needed some diversion. I had to do something."
Mark could not understand the reason for such agitation on Fields' part. However, he did not speak.
"Tenzin observed my push-ups," continued the marine, and asked if it was a form of yoga. That's what made me think of it."
"That's it! I thought. Yoga! I'll learn some yoga. And when I said to Tenzin, 'I will learn yoga,' just like that,, 'I will learn yoga,' he said he would help. I was happy for the help. At first, it was cross-legged stuff. But I put the bug in Tenzin's ear and said I wanted more. Not in those words, but something like it.
"Tenzin was helpful to the extent of my clarity. I mean, if I was clear about it. Declaring it. Not asking. I got it!
"It was slow at first. A few days of the physical aspects of yoga, happened, to begin with. Then I made it clear. I wanted to be able to do stuff like the yogi did. Tenzin didn't seem to understand. I had to be clearer. 'Hypnotism,' I told him. 'I will do hypnotism like SVA YAM did!' But he didn't seem to know the word. I got around it by mentioning the ball of fire, that illusion, which the yogi sent your way. That did it! Tenzin muttered some words about 'siddhi' and said that it was all mine. That I possessed it already."
Mark was truly listening intently now. He could hardly believe his ears. Had Tenzin taught the marine some special
"I found that funny," continued the marine, "and said, 'I have it already! Good!' And from that statement on, I did have it!"
"Tenzin taught you?" asked Mark.
"No,," the other's head shook. "I had it. That's all! Perhaps it came with the teals territory. I don't know. just can do it."
"Ah," hesitated Mark, looking at his empty teacup. "What is it that you call I it' ?"
"His word for it," said Michael Fields, "is 'siddhi'. I've got siddhi. I've been using it for days."
"Days?" thought Mark nervously. "Again? First it was a few days followed by a few more days and now it was more days!"
When Mark spoke, however, he asked something else.
"What is it you've been doing?" he asked.
"Illusions. Tricks," Fields grinned. "I've made the altar lamp stop and go at will. I've made rainbows in my room. I sent you that pigeon!"
"That bird was real!" protested Mark.
The marine grinned and shrugged.
"It's supposed to look real!"
Mark was getting confused and stumbled into the question that he had not been able to vocalize.
"How long have you been doing these siddhis, these tricks as you call them?" he asked.
The marine pursed his lips, tilted his head and looked at the ceiling as if reading the answer there.
"Three weeks, I suppose," he said matter-of-factly.
"What!" ejaculated Mark. "Three weeks! How can you say that? We've only been here a few days!"
The marine frowned and looked hard at Mark.
"We've been here over a month," he said. "I've only been doing this stuff for three weeks!"
"You're crazy," Mark started, but was interrupted by the other.
"Listen, Mark. If you've been zonked out on something, that's none of my business. But we've been here a long time. That's why...."
Mark felt flustered and angry. Why was the marine lying? He interjected words without thinking.
"And what about that exchange between you and the yogi? You and your arrows, attacking him? He with his ability not to feel them and... and... sending them back at you! What was that all about?"
"How do you know about that?" asked a pale Michael Fields.
"And-and ... why didn't those arrows in you, in your arms, legs and torso-why didn't they hurt you?"
"How do you know... " repeated the marine, who was clearly shaken.
"I saw it!" shouted Mark, leaping to his feet. "I saw it on the patio!"
The marine was on his feet just as quickly, his eyes wide, his jaw falling.
"How the devil!" he shouted, waving his hands. "How the devil can you see what happens in my dreams?"
"Dreams?" asked Mark, quietly.
"Dreams!" the marine continued loudly. "I've been dreaming that same dream for the last week! How do you know?"
Mark could not speak.
The marine waited for his reply impatiently.
Mark could say nothing. All he could do was to stare at the empty teacup in his hand.
"I saw it!" he thought to himself. "I saw it!"
"Well?" asked the marine, insisting upon an answer.
Mark looked up, puzzlement showing in his eyes.
"I ... I..." he began.
"Saw it?" finished the marine, relenting. The confusion in Mark Miller's eyes was genuine.
"Y-yes," he said, inhaling deeply before he continued, wondering if he should say any more. "But first, I dreamt it!"
The marine frowned.
"What do you mean? It was in a dream of yours?"
"No. I mean, yes! In a number of dreams! More than one! You and the yogi ....
The marine sat down on the rug-covered platform. He signaled Tenzin to pour some Tibetan tea.
"Sit down," he directed Mark, avoiding looking at his eyes. "This will take some unscrambling."
Mark sat silently. He did not touch the tea which the Tibetan had poured for him. The marine rubbed his chin and muttered to himself.
"Who is doing what around here?" he said, as if to the wooden table. "Am I practicing siddhi, or is the yogi up to some tricks? Naw. Not him. He tried that ball of fire on .... And it didn't work."
Then he looked sharply at Mark Miller.
"How did you stop that fire?" he suddenly asked, accusingly.
"What?" asked a flustered Mark.
"That fire the yogi sent to you? How did you stop it?"
"It just stopped, I guess."
"Like hell! You know some of these tricks! What are you up to? Did you cause my dreams?"
"How can I cause dreams? How can anyone cause dreams? Be sensible!" protested Mark.
The marine scowled.
"I don't know much about you! Maybe you can cause dreams the way I can make pigeons land on your shoulder! Maybe you're some yogi, too!!"
The marine was getting agitated and this troubled Mark Miller. He thought of leaving, but was afraid to turn his back on the other.
"What did SVA YAM say?" continued Sergeant Fields. He had to decide? Which one of us would live?" He squinted
at Mark with his blue eyes. They almost seemed to be those of the yogi. "Maybe you're as dangerous as that smeared nut! Maybe you will try to kill me, the way he tried to kill you, with siddhi!"
"Now., wait a minute," started Mark. But he did not get any further.
The marine stood again, looking down at the seated man, strange twitchings appearing in his facial muscles.
"You hold it!" he said waving a hand.
Suddenly, Mark could not move. His muscles would not respond to his mind. The agitated face of the soldier sneered.
"That's better,," he said. "Now let us see if you can stand a little fire from my hands!"
"Dammit!" thought Mark, perspiration coating his forehead, his lips becoming cold. "What is he doing?"
He was not long in wondering, for the marine put his out-thrust hands towards the other American. At the tips of the fingers appeared little sparks. They quivered and flickered, growing larger and hotter. They began to move away from the hands of the marine, crossing the gap that separated them.
"See if you can resist these flames!" laughed the soldier.
Mark could only stare at the approaching ball of heat.