Page by Page Books
Read Books Online, for Free
Part II: The Explanations of Innocent Smith Gilbert K. Chesterton

Chapter III. The Round Road; or, the Desertion Charge

Page 7 of 13

Table Of Contents: Manalive

Previous Page

Next Page

Previous Chapter

Next Chapter

More Books

More by this Author

"I saw no more of him. But though his views were adverse to the best
advanced thought, he struck me as an interesting person: I should
like to find out if he has produced any literary works.--Yours, etc.,
    "Paul Nickolaiovitch."

There was something in this odd set of glimpses into foreign lives which kept the absurd tribunal quieter than it had hitherto been, and it was again without interruption that Inglewood opened another paper upon his pile. "The Court will be indulgent," he said, "if the next note lacks the special ceremonies of our letter-writing. It is ceremonious enough in its own way:--

"The Celestial Principles are permanent: Greeting.--I am Wong-Hi, and I tend the temple of all the ancestors of my family in the forest of Fu. The man that broke through the sky and came to me said that it must be very dull, but I showed him the wrongness of his thought. I am indeed in one place, for my uncle took me to this temple when I was a boy, and in this I shall doubtless die. But if a man remain in one place he shall see that the place changes. The pagoda of my temple stands up silently out of all the trees, like a yellow pagoda above many green pagodas. But the skies are sometimes blue like porcelain, and sometimes green like jade, and sometimes red like garnet. But the night is always ebony and always returns, said the Emperor Ho.

Tired of reading? Add this page to your Bookmarks or Favorites and finish it later.

"The sky-breaker came at evening very suddenly, for I had hardly seen any stirring in the tops of the green trees over which I look as over a sea, when I go to the top of the temple at morning. And yet when he came, it was as if an elephant had strayed from the armies of the great kings of India. For palms snapped, and bamboos broke, and there came forth in the sunshine before the temple one taller than the sons of men.

"Strips of red and white hung about him like ribbons of a carnival, and he carried a pole with a row of teeth on it like the teeth of a dragon. His face was white and discomposed, after the fashion of the foreigners, so that they look like dead men filled with devils; and he spoke our speech brokenly.

"He said to me, `This is only a temple; I am trying to find a house.' And then he told me with indelicate haste that the lamp outside his house was green, and that there was a red post at the corner of it.

"`I have not seen your house nor any houses,' I answered. `I dwell in this temple and serve the gods.'

"`Do you believe in the gods?' he asked with hunger in his eyes, like the hunger of dogs. And this seemed to me a strange question to ask, for what should a man do except what men have done?

Page 7 of 13 Previous Page   Next Page
Who's On Your Reading List?
Read Classic Books Online for Free at
Page by Page Books.TM
Gilbert K. Chesterton

Home | More Books | About Us | Copyright 2004