The new life presented very many novelties to my mother and myself, coming into the midst of urban environments from the mountains, as we had so recently done.
After learning more about its conveniences, I very readily harmonized myself with the new requirements. My attire I altered to suit the city styles, while my bearing being reserved, I was enabled to appear at case, an appearance supported in continually increasing degree by the fact that I steadily gained in self command.
The indoor life of a student, when I had enrolled myself for attendance at the Xioquithlon, proved so enervating to one accustomed to unhampered freedom, that I found myself obliged to follow some scheme which would afford me needed exercise.
After some thought, together with fortuitous information which I gained, I went to the District Superintendent of the Department of Soils and Tillage, and requested that official to show me some piece of land which I might cultivate, not necessarily for profit, but for exercise, telling him that I was a student.
The Superintendent, with official indifference, laid before me a platted map of the lands adjacent to Caiphul.
In speaking of distances I have consulted the probable convenience of my readers, and used feet, yards, miles, and so on, as nominal quantities. I refer to this now, remembering that our system of measurements was founded on a principle similar to the modem Gallic or metric system. But its unit was not the ten-millionth part of the terrestrial quadrant. Instead, it originated from the great Rai of the Maxin Laws. As previously remarked, this monarch had introduced all conceivable reforms, and among others was this of replacing with a uniform system of measurements the clumsier, though not wholly unscientific, method previously in use. The circumference of the earth at the equator, as determined by astronomers, had served
as a basis, just as the modern metric system of a fraction of the quadrature of the earth's north and south polar division does to-day. But this standard was not regarded with unfailing confidence; it was feared some error had crept into the original calculation, and while if it had the rod of gold used as a register would have served all purposes, being unchangeable, still such is the human wish to be as perfect as possible, that, as I have said, the fear of an error annihilated confidence. Every man who chose to do so set up a private standard, based on any scheme which suited himself, a condition of things which led to deplorable fraud throughout the empire.
The Rai of the Maxin instituted a system so admirable that it was immediately accepted as absolute authority, more especially as no man doubted that it came from Incal.
The Rai had a vessel constructed of material which underwent the smallest known contraction or expansion under the influence of cold or heat. This vessel was interiorly a perfect hollow cube, of the exact size of the Maxin-Stone. A massive tube was also made of the same substance, some four inches in interior diameter. Into the cubic vessel was poured precisely enough distilled water, of a temperature of 398 Fahr., to fill it, and leave no bubble of air within the hollow. This water was then drawn off through a faucet into the tubular vessel, the same low temperature being carefully maintained. The exact height of the water was then graven on a rod of the same metal of which the vessels were made. The next step was to heat the water to 211.95° Fahr., both this and the other process being performed at the sea level on a uniform summer day. Under the heat, the water expanded in an appreciable degree, and the almost boiling point was marked as in the other instance, and the difference on the rod between the two graven lines was made the unit of lineal measurement, from which all other measures were derived, that of weight being the weight of the hollow cube full of water at 398 Fahr. I use the Fahrenheit thermometrical scale because to thee our Poseid scale would be
Pardon this digression, since it reveals another of the phases of life in that long-past age.
To return to the Superintendent's office. This person, having laid before me a map of unrented areas--it will be remembered that there was no owner of land except the government--turned to other business, leaving me to study the plat at pleasure. Running my eye over the printed descriptions, I found that a tract of about five acres, on a part of which was an old orchard of various kinds of fruit trees, was to be had at a distance of some eight "vens", (nearly the same number of miles) from the city, but farther up the peninsula. Its former tenant had leased it for a period of fifty years, but by reason of his death the property was left vacant, and was consequently again for disposition.
The fact that students were often hard pressed for means on which to live was taken into account by the government, which in all of its dealings with this class allowed better terms than were accorded to any other social division.
The property under consideration attracted me from its description, viz., "An area of approximately eight ven-nines (five acres) with a dwelling of four rooms, spring water piped over the house; one ven-nine devoted to garden flowers, and six to fruit trees fifteen years of age. Terms (with all conveniences) to students-one half of the fruit crop, and all perfume flowers grown, delivered to the Agent of Soils and Tillage Department. To other persons than students, four tekas per month (ten dollars and twenty-three cents). Not leased for less than one year.
I concluded to lease the place, for I learned that "all conveniences" meant vailx transportation, telephotic (naim) service, and a caloriveyant instrument, which latter would save fuel, energy to be converted into heat for cooking and other purposes being transmitted by the "Navaza," a range of material forces denominated in these thy modem days "earth-currents," but also including those of the higher ether, a range which ye shall yet find and utilize as did Atl, for are ye not Poseid returned? I have said it. Ye lived then; ye live now.
Ye used all these forces then; ye shall ere long use them all again.
Having decided to take the property shown me, I so stated to the official, whereupon he furnished me with a blank contract, helping me to fill it out properly. As a glimpse into that long-fled epoch, I give a copy of this leasehold:
"I, ............................. year., of age, of the ........... sex, and by occupation a ........., do covenant with the Department of Soils to lease block ............ in district ............ described as follows: ....................... And I do agree to take ..................... this for ........... years, the same being smiled upon by the Most High Incal."
I took the place for a term of eight years, expecting to he a resident of Caiphul during at least that period of time as a student of the Xioquithlon.
It seemed no small thing that I could have conveyance by vailx from my leasehold to the Xioquithlon, and thus enjoy a daily trip through the air. Vailx, like the modern cab, might be sent (or by telephone, and respond for service in a short time after the call.
It was customary with all newcomers in the city to make a visit to the Agacoe palace and gardens m early as might be convenient after their arrival. Two hours in each week the Rai (emperor) sat in the reception hall, and during these two hours visitors thronged the corridors and passed in double ranks before the throne. After this ceremony, all who chore were free to wander unrestricted through the gardens, visit the menagerie, where every known species of animal was kept, or to go through the grand museum or the royal library. With many it was a pleasurable custom frequently to spend the day at Agacoe, on which occasions lunches were brought and a quiet picnic held under the great trees beside fountain, lake or cataract.
I must now return to that time when my mother and myself were wholly unfamiliar with city usages, in order that the reader may accompany us through scenes of novelty. Let us begin with the visit to Agacoe.
An acquaintance, at that moment gained, guided us to the palace, taking us with himself in a car into which he ushered us. At this time these cars were a novelty to me, and consequently their manipulation became a subject upon which to inform myself.
Our friend took a small coin from his purse and dropped it into an aperture in a glass-fronted box at one end of the car, The coin could not miss falling in such a way as to rest in the bottom of a glass cylinder, a very little greater in diameter than the money itself. Two metal points which projected into the lower end of the cylinder, but did not approach each other nearer than a quarter of an inch, were in the bottom of the tube. When the coin fell upon these a little bell rang, and our friend then raised a lever in the carriage, which lever had a lock-bar over it until the bell rang. This bar had, With the closing of the circuit by the coin, automatically slipped back, at the same time ringing a bell as above noted, thus releasing the lever. When the latter was raised the car moved suddenly but easily out of the station. It swung from its over head rail, only the peripheries of its large suspensory wheels being visible, for together with their axles they were mostly hidden by a long metal case which extended from one wheel to the other, and within which, a low, humming whirr could be beard, a sound produced by the mechanism of the motory apparatus. The plan of making the passenger do duty as engineer and conductor also was a good one, seeing that the processes required so little knowledge or trouble. As we left the car at the main entrance depot below Agacoe terrace, our friend replaced the lever, the bell rang again, the coin dropped from sight into a strong box underneath, and the vehicle was ready for other passengers. At the grand entrance, a gate which was a marvel of architectural beauty, our friend bade us adieu, entered a car which hung from another track, and was soon disappearing at lightning speed to some yet more distant destination. Glancing at the directory. which hung above that particular line, I saw that it bore the legend in Poseid characters, "Aagak mnoiinc sus," that is "City Front and Grand Canal," to
make a free translation. Wishing to inform myself concerning our friendly guide, I asked some one who had interestedly watched the arrival of our little party, who the gentleman was. The reply given was:
"A, great preacher, who foretells the destruction of this continent, and bids all men so to live that they will not fear to meet One who, he says, is the Son of Incal, who shall come upon the earth in days yet very far off. He says that this Son of God shall be the Savior of mankind, but that many shall not know Him until He shall have been put to death. Twelve shall know Him, but one of them will deny Him in the hour of His last peril. Indeed, it is a subject of very exceeding interest, albeit one I do not very well understand; yet as Rai Gwauxln, In-be good to him! showeth this preacher all favor, and saith of him, 'He speaketh verities,' therefore is he attentively received by every one."
Reader, even in that far past age of the world truth was dawning, and this, in the morning of the cycle, was a first ray of the bright sun of Christianity, the orb which even yet is not arisen in the fullness of its glory. I had that morning ridden in the same car with the first prophet who announced the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, exhorting all of his hearers so to live that their souls might be turned as virgin soil to the rising Sun of Truth, and thereby be made ready to receive the Master when, after the death of their then possessed corporeal bodies, they had returned to earth from Devachan as reincarnated souls. Sowing the seed by the wayside! It fell on me when at a somewhat later period I heard the prophet speak in impassioned eloquence to the specially assembled Xioquithli (students). I know it fell on fallow soil, when I compare my life now with the lives past; yet, for long, the seed lay dormant, and while it did so the bitter experiences of sin and error arose and swept my life outward on a wave of scorching fire, which required another incarnation to heal the scars it left.
As we stood beneath the portal at the grand entrance to Agacoe, we, unsophisticated mountaineers! could not know, when a uniformed guide accosted us, that the emperor, on his
throne half a mile distant, was in that same moment perfectly aware of our personal appearance and also of the very words we used and our tones.
To me the soldier said:
"And thou, whence comest, and what is thy name?"
"I am called Zailm Numinos, and come from Querdno Aru."
"This visit--is it thy first, or hast thou previously been here?"
"Not ere this; neither I, nor my parent here by my side."
"So! I will provide thee a conductor. Thou wilt find him at yonder gateway. One more question, an' it please thee; thy mission in Caiphul?"
"I am come to study xioq in the Inithlon; my mother doth purpose to keep our house."
"'Tis well. Thou mayest go."
This colloquy occurred at the great portal giving entrance to the terrace above. The sentry sat behind a richly wrought gate. of bronze metal and gold, very slight, but all sufficient to bar unwelcomed progress. At his back was a large mirror in the heavy arch of the portal. This reflector was suspended by two burnished copper rods in such a manner as to prevent it from touching the side of the niche at any point. Could I have looked behind it, I would have seen an arrangement of metallic cords much resembling those of a piano, together with much other mechanism which at the time would have meant nothing to my untutored mind. How was I to suspect that this brightly polished metal sheet in which, as in a calm lake, the whole interior of the archway was reflected, was an ingenious automatic messenger? That some one of the myriad wires behind it was vibrant to every possible inflection of the voice, or to any sound whatever, and that when I spoke every briefest sound I uttered was sped along the natural earth-currents which sprang from nature's Night-Side responsive to the control of man, and heard by the Rai on his throne. No more did I dream that, simultaneously with this telltale, our imaged reflection was likewise conveyed to the same august presence. But such were the facts.
A few steps brought us to an inner gate made of fenestrated iron plates which, upon the pressing of a button at the side, arose between standards to give beneath. At this point we found the guide whom the guard had provided. I deemed his silence in indication of gruffness, not knowing that he had received orders, ere we came unto him, which directed him to conduct us to the royal presence, and needed from us no repetition of our wishes. His quiet remark, "I understand," when I began to tell him what we desired, prevented more words on my part, for I felt a sense of injured pride at his reserve, so different from the freedom of my mountain associates; and there were so many of these haughty city people! I determined to give this man a lesson, and considered how I might best let him know that I thought his manner overbearingly out of place for one in his station. That he already possessed all necessary information concerning us I did not imagine, since, if the distance from his post to the other gate was not great, it was obviously too far for our low-spoken tones to have been heard. The unsuspected mirror had done its work here also, although we knew it not.
"Come," said this haughty fellow, "I will conduct thyself and mother."
"Mother!" I thought. "How does the fellow know that, one so fair and so young looking is my mother? She might be my sister, or even my wife, for might he knows to the contrary." The supposed presumption of the man nettled me, for I was proud not only of my mother's youthful appearance, but also of my own fondly fancied mature looks; I had not infrequently been told that I looked seven or eight years older than I really was. Bad the foolishness of such a pride in my personal appearance been fairly presented to me, instead of feeling an ill-defined resentment at a seeming presumption, I would have laughed at its absurdity, and put it aside as unworthy of one having such high-aimed ambition. As it was, it merely resulted in stiffness of demeanor as a retaliation for the imagined over-bearance, and, mostly to my own detriment, caused somewhat of an obliviousness to sights and surroundings I had better
have noted at the time. Though I did not laugh then, by reason of the obtuse view caused by my ignorance, I have laughed, since, as I looked back over the record of the past. So many thousand years as have since elapsed may make it seem laughter at long range, but, "'Tis better late than never," fitly applies here!
We seated ourselves as directed, in a car of lighter build than those used on the public avenues, and also of a different shape. It was not until we were fairly in motion that I realized how absolutely different was its construction and propulsive method. Well used as I wished to appear to all these novel things, I gave a telltale start when the conductor touched a lever and the vehicle rose into the air like a soap-bubble, steadied itself, and then darted up the incline to the edge of the level ground surrounding the palace. Here we left the cigar-shaped vehicle and entered a car which ran upon rails. When we were again in motion, we made a half circuit of the building, and then shot across the plateau directly into the dark, yawning mouth of one of the great stone serpents. Instead of ascending at the same angle as did the body of the reptile, our car glided along on a horizontal plane. As we entered, a sudden illumination lit up the gloom where an instant previous all had been darkness. From this pleasant surprise my attention was attracted to the brilliancy of the walls about us, which seemed to flame with red, blue, green, yellow and all other tinted flashes of fire, so that I can find no simile more fitting than comparison to the sunlit dews on the myriad webs of morning lawn-spiders. I forgot my own haughtiness, and asked concerning the cause of this dazzling effect, and was answered that the mansions had finished the walls with a mortar in which colored grains of glass had been incorporated.
In the midst of our admiration our horizontal progress ceased, and I saw that we were at the bottom of a sort of well, around the sides of which the track coiled in upward spirals until it seemed to cease just beneath a ceiling vaguely visible from the light cast upward by ourselves as we swiftly circled the incline. As we came directly beneath the ceiling a sweet
toned bell rang twice, and immediately afterward the entire ceiling slid noiselessly aside, allowing our carriage to pass through. Behind us the well again closed automatically and we found ourselves in a splendid apartment, of which the size was not apparent, owing to the many swinging screens of carmine silk, the royal color, as well as to the foliage plants, which made miniature sylvan vistas. The flowers and song-birds, the fountains and perfumed air, with the cool shade after its heat outside, for we had not been long enough in the elevator-well to become cool, all made what seemed here a paradise. The ceiling of this great room was visible only here and there, being in most places hidden by petulant vines. Through all this harmony of vision, trembling in the air. over, under, around about were sounding entrancing musical cadences, to which, as to an inspiration, the birds replied in rivaling chorus. In and out, amongst this edenic scene of color, sound and scent, past choice statues and fairy, graceful fountains, our car glided with a noiseless speed which front its even motion aided the illusion that we remained still, and all the vision of delight shifted about us as about a center. And this was a marriage of art and of science; from their union sprang the fair dream, a triumph of human skill and knowledge!
In every direction cars were coming, going, or at rest, containing people dressed as for a gala day, the various distinguishing colors of their turbans denoting their social rank. Poseid, like other countries then and since, had its social castes, as the governmental, the literati and ecclesiastics, the artisans, a limited military, which served it as a police and sanitary corps, and so on through the usual familiar list. The apparel of all classes was fashioned in the same general style, until it came to the headdress--all of the people wore turbans--which article of raiment differed in color according to caste. Thus, the turban of the Sovereign was of pure carmine-hued silk; of the councilors, a wine red, and of lesser officials, a pale pink. The turbans of the soldiery were deep orange for the ranks, and lemon chrome for the officers. Pure white marked the priesthood, and gray the scientific, the literary
and artistic classes. Blue distinguished the artisans, mechanics and laborers, while, green denoted all who, for any reason, either immaturity or educational lack, did not enjoy the right of suffrage. Notwithstanding that these caste indices were strictly adhered to, they resulted in good, rather than otherwise, for caste conceits did not find place among those who wore any color but green, since dignity of labor was a feeling of such vigor that there was no envy of one class by another. As for those who perforce wore the green, those who did so because of not. having come to their years of majority would grow out of the color, while those who lacked sufficient education to entitle them to another hue, felt the stigma attaching to their grade to be a reason for extra efforts to attain a more honorable station in life.
While I hid been studying the various topics presented for thought, our ear was deftly made to avoid collision with that of a lady who came swiftly onwards, apparently heedless of her course. while she was putting in place a loose end of her gray turban, showing as she did so the flashing rays from it ruby, a gem that only royalty might wear. Our car wheeled into an augmenting procession of carriages and presently carried its into it second apartment. But, the royal maiden of the gray turban and ruby--my thoughts were still with her! How radiant was her beauty! 'Twas my first sight of the Princess Anzimee--but I must not anticipate!
Th, apartment into which we were now come was smaller than the one we had just left, but yet of no mean extent. Everything here was of brilliant, flashing carmine, except an elevation in the center of the room. This was of circular black marble steps, or small terraces, the top, which was twelve feet across, being surmounted by a dais of some dark wood, upholstered in black velvet.
It should here be remarked that black was a representative hue and included the symbolism of all colors, thus denoting, as used on the throne, that he who sat there belonged to every class; and this was the fact, since Rai Gwauxln was not only sovereign and chief of the army, one of the high priests, a
literate, scientist, artist and musician, but was also well acquainted with the duties of artisans and machinists.
In front of the silver railing which surrounded the throne our carriage stopped out to one side of the moving line, obedient to a gesture of the emperor. The guide bade us alight and, opening a little gate directed us to ascend the steps of the dais to the feet of the Rai. My heart beat fast as I obeyed, and though pale with causeless trepidation, I had myself well enough under control to offer the support of my arm to my mother, and I think I never walked more proudly erect in my life. At the top of the steps we knelt and waited the command to rise again, nor had we long to wait.
As we arose Rai Gwauxln said quietly:
"Zailm, thou art young for a student so ambitious as I know thee to be."
"If it please thee to have me so, I am happy," I made reply.
"Hast thou learned what the primary schools for the young have to teach? For this must be ere thou couldst gain admission to the Inithlon."
"I have done even so, Rai."
"May it please thee, Zailm, to confide to me what studies thou dost chiefly prefer?"
"Zo Rai, I count it an high honor to speak. Of my own fancy I have not chosen any studies. Yet, I do not doubt that Incal hath Himself ordered my preference, indicating geology above all else. Also He hath given me a natural disposition, which, if I consult, points that I study languages and literature. I am not yet decided, but think well of these branches of xioq. But geology He directed through a wild experience."
"Thou dost interest me, lad. Yet this is an hour of state duties, and I must not neglect my people who come before me to pay respects to their monarch. Take, therefore, this pass, and at the fourth hour come again to the portal at which thou didst enter into Agacoe. I bid thee welcome."
I took the present and on my way down the steps of the
marble terrace saw that It bore the inscription, "Rai's presence. Permit bearer."
We had with us a packet of dates and pastries and were therefore under no necessity of leaving the gardens for luncheon. Our guide took us again in charge, and after learning that we desired to remain within the grounds about the palace, threaded our conveyance through the mazes of the building once more, letting us out of the carriage beside one of the pillars of the peristyle. From the point where we alighted, and where we parted from the guide, I looked about to ascertain the direction of the grand entrance, and seeing that it was in the east, I escorted my mother to a seat under the side of a giant deodar, or, as they were called in after centuries, "Cedars of Lebanon." On a bough over head sat a mockingbird, or, as we call them, a "nossuri," signifying "songster of the moonlight," in reference to the habit of these lovely, gray-coated birds to fill all the still, moonlit air of night with their wondrous melody. Not that they do not sing by day; indeed, the bird was even then singing, but the naming these "nossuri," from "nosses" (the moon) and "surada" (I sing), was a distinctive Poseid ornithological term.
At the appointed hour we went to the place designated and, presenting the passport, were shown into a conveyance, and after again ascending the eminence the guide ushered us, into a small apartment of most luxurious appointments. By a table almost hidden by books sat the Rai, listening to a well-modulated voice which was relating the latest news of the day, but the owner of which was not visible. The Rai turned as the usher announced us, dismissed the servitor, and bade us a fair eventide. Then he turned to a case shaped something like that pleasing instrument, the modern music box, and turned a key in it with a soft snap. On the instant the voice of the unseen speaker ceased in the middle of a word, and I knew as we complied with our sovereign's request to be seated that I had for the first time heard one of the vocal news-records of which I had so frequently read.
During the ensuing hour I related the story of my life, its hopes, sorrows, triumphs and ambitions, in answer to the questions of the genial yet not seemingly old man to whom any living person might pay homage and suffer no loss of dignity, because his regal courtesy showed how very manly a king or how kingly a man might be.
I told how each new fact had but added to my appetite for yet greater knowledge. Then I recounted the experiences of my trip to the summit of Rhok, a recital interrupted as I made mention of the name of the mountain. "Rhok!" exclaimed the imperial listener, "dost thou mean to tell me that thou didst ascend that awful height, in the night, alone, a mountain which all our maps assert to be inaccessible except to vailx? Perchance, Zo Rai, that the only route was known to but a few of us mountaineers; I have read that it was thought inaccessible; but--" I hesitated, whereat the Rai said, quickly:
"Yea, speak-! 'Twas to judge. of thee that I have listened to thy recital, for well do I know all thou hast told me. I could have told it ere thou didst, and can tell all the rest thou wilt say; I have desired to hear thee to judge of thee; thy story I have known ever since I saw thee first. I am a Son of the Solitude," he added. I was silent, for the thought abashed me--that he already knew all. Seeing this, he said: "Go on, my son. Tell me all; I wish it from thy lips, for I am interested in thee for thyself."
Thereupon I resumed the interrupted narration, and described my rendition of homage to Incal, and the petition for His aid; His quick granting of my prayer; then of the eruption of the volcano and the peril in which it had placed me. At this the Rai remarked: "Then thou wert eye-witness to that outburst of the terrene forces? I have been told that it wrought great local changes, and that there is now a lake of extensive size where before none was, at the foot of Rhok; it is nine vens across."
I was still unsophisticated enough not only to be curious as to whether the Rai had seen the eruption, for I did not understand
the significance of his being a Son of the Solitude, and as to his knowing about all my adventures, though I did not doubt that to be a fact, I took it to be due to, a keen judgment of possibilities that, this knowledge was his, but as an addition to my unsophistication I asked the Rai if he had seen these things.
"Artless youth!" said the Monarch, smiling, "I do not often find so frank a person! Thou art indeed a son of the mountains! But thou wilt not long remain thus, I fear me, in this thy present environment! I will answer thy question even as thou askest. Know, then, that no large convulsion of nature can occur that is not immediately automatically recorded, both as to its approximate extent, and its location, and a photic exhibition of every portion of the affected locality shown forth afresh from instant to instant. All I had in this case to do to see this depiction was to go into the proper office, which is in this building, and there the whole scene was before me quite as vividly as it could have been to thee, for I was able to see the outburst, and also to hear it, by means of the naim. Truly, what I saw lacked one element which doubtless made it a little more vivid to thee than to me, that of bodily peril; but as to me this element was nil--thou wilt some day know why--therefore the scene lacked for me no element that mere presence could have added."
I marvelled greatly to learn of such instrumentalities concerning which Rai Gwauxln had informed me, and pondered with delight the prospect that I also might some day personally know and have access to them. The Rai resumed:
"Thou saidst that thou didst find treasure of native gold in two separate places. Didst thou ever seek to recover that which thou didst obtain before the eruption occurred? No? It matters little. Zailm, it is said that ignorance of the law is not valid excuse for its infraction."
The demeanor of the Rai had become one of great gravity, and I felt a foreboding not at all agreeable.
"Still, I Pan convinced that thou didst know nothing of the
involved violation of the statutes when thou didst fail to report the finding of the. treasure. I shall not, therefore, punish thee. "But, here the emperor paused, lost in thought, while I, not till then aware that I had done anything wrong in the view of the law, paled so visibly with apprehension that Gwauxln smiled a little, and said:
"But they who now work this mine, and they who receive the gold-dust and ore shall not so escape. With them it is conscious crime, made worse in that they not only ignore the statute but do also defraud thee. Of thee I will require only so much expiation as may be in demanding their names of thee."
This command I perforce obeyed, yet thought with regret of the wives and children of the culprits. Innocent these; must they suffer likewise with the real transgressors? The Rai seemed to know my thought; or if he did not, he at least spoke in accord, asking:
"Have then, these men wives, families?"
"Yes, it is true!" I replied, so earnestly that once again the monarch smiled and, encouraged, I begged him to be lenient for the sake of the innocent.
"Knowest thou aught of our punitive system, Zailm?"
"Very little, Zo Rai; I have heard that no malefactor ever comes from the hand of justice without being better, but I imagine the treatment to he very severe."
"As to severity, no. And as to the other, if men are made better who have erred, so they will not be apt to again err, would not that redound to the advantage of the families of the criminals? Behold I will have these men brought before the proper tribunal, and thou shalt see the process of reformation. Methinks thou wilt thereafter desire to learn anatomy and the science of reformatory punishment, as an addition to thine other studies in Xio. Furthermore, I assure thee that thou shalt in no case suffer confiscation of that mine, but shalt possess it; and if thou wilt give it to the national treasury, while thou art a student thou shalt in no wise feel a lack of money. Afterward, when the years of study have passed over
thy head, if thou art successful as a student, lo! then will I make thee superintendent of that mine. And if thou dost so use as to prove thyself faithful over its few things, I will make thee master over many things. I have spoken."
Rai Gwauxln touched a service-button, whereupon an attendant entered, to the guidance of whom he entrusted myself and mother, bidding us: "Incal's peace be with you both."
So ended an audience which influenced the course of the years and bent life's great twig, making me feel a proud consciousness of being a repository of the trust of a revered friend, a consciousness which has ever proven most patent in this world of trials and temptations.