The white man, leaning
with both arms over the roof of the little house in the stern of the boat,
said to the steersman--
"We will pass the night in Arsat's clearing. It is late."
The Malay only grunted, and went on looking fixedly at
the river. The white man rested his chin on his crossed arms and gazed
at the wake of the boat. At the end of the straight avenue of forests cut
by the intense glitter of the river, the sun appeared unclouded and dazzling,
poised low over the water that shone smoothly like a band of metal. The
forests, sombre and dull, stood motionless and silent on each side of the
broad stream. At the foot of big, towering trees, trunkless nipa palms
rose from the mud of the bank, in bunches of leaves enormous and heavy,
that hung unstirring over the brown swirl of eddies. In the stillness of
the air every tree, every leaf, every bough, every tendril of creeper and
every petal of minute blossoms seemed to have been bewitched into an immobility
perfect and final. Nothing moved on the river but the eight paddles that
rose flashing regularly, dipped together with a single splash; while the
steersman swept right and left with a periodic and sudden flourish of his
blade describing a glinting semicircle above his head. The churned-up water
frothed alongside with a confused murmur. And the white man's canoe, advancing
upstream in the short-lived disturbance of its own making, seemed to enter
the portals of a land from which the very memory of motion had forever
The white man, turning his back upon the setting sun, looked
along the empty and broad expanse of the sea-reach. For the last three
miles of its course the wandering, hesitating river, as if enticed irresistibly
by the freedom of an open horizon, flows straight into the sea, flows straight
to the east--to the east that harbours both light and darkness. Astern
of the boat the repeated call of some bird, a cry discordant and feeble,
skipped along over the smooth water and lost itself, before it could reach
the other shore, in the breathless silence of the world.
The steersman dug his paddle into the stream, and held
hard with stiffened arms, his body thrown forward. The water gurgled aloud;
and suddenly the long straight reach seemed to pivot on its centre, the
forests swung in a semicircle, and the slanting beams of sunset touched
the broadside of the canoe with a fiery glow, throwing the slender and
distorted shadows of its crew upon the streaked glitter of the river. The
white man turned to look ahead. The course of the boat had been altered
at right-angles to the stream, and the carved dragon-head of its prow was
pointing now at a gap in the fringing bushes of the bank. It glided through,
brushing the overhanging twigs, and disappeared from the river like some
slim and amphibious creature leaving the water for its lair in the forests.
The narrow creek was like a ditch: tortuous, fabulously
deep; filled with gloom under the thin strip of pure and shining blue of
the heaven. Immense trees soared up, invisible behind the festooned draperies
of creepers. Here and there, near the glistening blackness of the water,
a twisted root of some tall tree showed amongst the tracery of small ferns,
black and dull, writhing and motionless, like an arrested snake. The short
words of the paddlers reverberated loudly between the thick and sombre
walls of vegetation. Darkness oozed out from between the trees, through
the tangled maze of the creepers, from behind the great fantastic and unstirring
leaves; the darkness, mysterious and invincible; the darkness scented and
poisonous of impenetrable forests.
The men poled in the shoaling water. The creek broadened,
opening out into a wide sweep of a stagnant lagoon. The forests receded
from the marshy bank, leaving a level strip of bright green, reedy grass
to frame the reflected blueness of the sky. A fleecy pink cloud drifted
high above, trailing the delicate colouring of its image under the floating
leaves and the silvery blossoms of the lotus. A little house, perched on
high piles, appeared black in the distance. Near it, two tall nibong palms,
that seemed to have come out of the forests in the background, leaned slightly
over the ragged roof, with a suggestion of sad tenderness and care in the
droop of their leafy and soaring heads.
The steersman, pointing with his paddle, said, "Arsat is
there. I see his canoe fast between the piles."
The polers ran along the sides of the boat glancing over
their shoulders at the end of the day's journey. They would have preferred
to spend the night somewhere else than on this lagoon of weird aspect and
ghostly reputation. Moreover, they disliked Arsat, first as a stranger,
and also because he who repairs a ruined house, and dwells in it, proclaims
that he is not afraid to live amongst the spirits that haunt the places
abandoned by mankind. Such a man can disturb the course of fate by glances
or words; while his familiar ghosts are not easy to propitiate by casual
wayfarers upon whom they long to wreak the malice of their human master.
White men care not for such things, being unbelievers and in league with
the Father of Evil, who leads them unharmed through the invisible dangers
of this world. To the warnings of the righteous they oppose an offensive
pretence of disbelief. What is there to be done?
So they thought, throwing their weight on the end of their
long poles. The big canoe glided on swiftly, noiselessly, and smoothly,
towards Arsat's clearing, till, in a great rattling of poles thrown down,
and the loud murmurs of "Allah be praised!" it came with a gentle knock
against the crooked piles below the house.
The boatmen with uplifted faces shouted discordantly, "Arsat!
O Arsat!" Nobody came. The white man began to climb the rude ladder giving
access to the bamboo platform before the house. The juragan of the boat
said sulkily, "We will cook in the sampan, and sleep on the water."
"Pass my blankets and the basket," said the white man,
He knelt on the edge of the platform to receive the bundle.
Then the boat shoved off, and the white man, standing up, confronted Arsat,
who had come out through the low door of his hut. He was a man young, powerful,
with broad chest and muscular arms. He had nothing on but his sarong. His
head was bare. His big, soft eyes stared eagerly at the white man, but
his voice and demeanour were composed as he asked, without any words of
"Have you medicine, Tuan?"
"No," said the visitor in a startled tone. "No. Why? Is
there sickness in the house?"
"Enter and see," replied Arsat, in the same calm manner,
and turning short round, passed again through the small doorway. The white
man, dropping his bundles, followed.
In the dim light of the dwelling he made out on a couch
of bamboos a woman stretched on her back under a broad sheet of red cotton
cloth. She lay still, as if dead; but her big eyes, wide open, glittered
in the gloom, staring upwards at the slender rafters, motionless and unseeing.
She was in a high fever, and evidently unconscious. Her cheeks were sunk
slightly, her lips were partly open, and on the young face there was the
ominous and fixed expression--the absorbed, contemplating expression of
the unconscious who are going to die. The two men stood looking down at
her in silence.
"Has she been long ill?" asked the traveller.
"I have not slept for five nights," answered the Malay,
in a deliberate tone. "At first she heard voices calling her from the water
and struggled against me who held her. But since the sun of to-day rose
she hears nothing--she hears not me. She sees nothing. She sees not me--me!"
He remained silent for a minute, then asked softly--
"Tuan, will she die?"
"I fear so," said the white man, sorrowfully. He had known
Arsat years ago, in a far country in times of trouble and danger, when
no friendship is to be despised. And since his Malay friend had come unexpectedly
to dwell in the hut on the lagoon with a strange woman, he had slept many
times there, in his journeys up and down the river. He liked the man who
knew how to keep faith in council and how to fight without fear by the
side of his white friend. He liked him--not so much perhaps as a man likes
his favourite dog--but still he liked him well enough to help and ask no
questions, to think sometimes vaguely and hazily in the midst of his own
pursuits, about the lonely man and the long-haired woman with audacious
face and triumphant eyes, who lived together hidden by the forests--alone
The white man came out of the hut in time to see the enormous
conflagration of sunset put out by the swift and stealthy shadows that,
rising like a black and impalpable vapour above the tree-tops, spread over
the heaven, extinguishing the crimson glow of floating clouds and the red
brilliance of departing daylight. In a few moments all the stars came out
above the intense blackness of the earth and the great lagoon gleaming
suddenly with reflected lights resembled an oval patch of night sky flung
down into the hopeless and abysmal night of the wilderness. The white man
had some supper out of the basket, then collecting a few sticks that lay
about the platform, made up a small fire, not for warmth, but for the sake
of the smoke, which would keep off the mosquitos. He wrapped himself in
the blankets and sat with his back against the reed wall of the house,
Arsat came through the doorway with noiseless steps and
squatted down by the fire. The white man moved his outstretched legs a
"She breathes," said Arsat in a low voice, anticipating
the expected question. "She breathes and burns as if with a great fire.
She speaks not; she hears not--and burns!"
He paused for a moment, then asked in a quiet, incurious
"Tuan . . . will she die?"
The white man moved his shoulders uneasily and muttered
in a hesitating manner--
"If such is her fate."
"No, Tuan," said Arsat, calmly. "If such is my fate. I
hear, I see, I wait. I remember . . . Tuan, do you remember the old days?
Do you remember my brother?"
"Yes," said the white man. The Malay rose suddenly and
went in. The other, sitting still outside, could hear the voice in the
hut. Arsat said: "Hear me! Speak!" His words were succeeded by a complete
silence. "O Diamelen!" he cried, suddenly. After that cry there was a deep
sigh. Arsat came out and sank down again in his old place.
They sat in silence before the fire. There was no sound
within the house, there was no sound near them; but far away on the lagoon
they could hear the voices of the boatmen ringing fitful and distinct on
the calm water. The fire in the bows of the sampan shone faintly in the
distance with a hazy red glow. Then it died out. The voices ceased. The
land and the water slept invisible, unstirring and mute. It was as though
there had been nothing left in the world but the glitter of stars streaming,
ceaseless and vain, through the black stillness of the night.
The white man gazed straight before him into the darkness
with wide-open eyes. The fear and fascination, the inspiration and the
wonder of death--of death near, unavoidable, and unseen, soothed the unrest
of his race and stirred the most indistinct, the most intimate of his thoughts.
The ever-ready suspicion of evil, the gnawing suspicion that lurks in our
hearts, flowed out into the stillness round him--into the stillness profound
and dumb, and made it appear untrustworthy and infamous, like the placid
and impenetrable mask of an unjustifiable violence. In that fleeting and
powerful disturbance of his being the earth enfolded in the starlight peace
became a shadowy country of inhuman strife, a battle-field of phantoms
terrible and charming, august or ignoble, struggling ardently for the possession
of our helpless hearts. An unquiet and mysterious country of inextinguishable
desires and fears.
A plaintive murmur rose in the night; a murmur saddening
and startling, as if the great solitudes of surrounding woods had tried
to whisper into his ear the wisdom of their immense and lofty indifference.
Sounds hesitating and vague floated in the air round him, shaped themselves
slowly into words; and at last flowed on gently in a murmuring stream of
soft and monotonous sentences. He stirred like a man waking up and changed
his position slightly. Arsat, motionless and shadowy, sitting with bowed
head under the stars, was speaking in a low and dreamy tone--
". . . for where can we lay down the heaviness of our trouble
but in a friend's heart? A man must speak of war and of love. You, Tuan,
know what war is, and you have seen me in time of danger seek death as
other men seek life! A writing may be lost; a lie may be written; but what
the eye has seen is truth and remains in the mind!"
"I remember," said the white man, quietly. Arsat went on
with mournful composure--
"Therefore I shall speak to you of love. Speak in the night.
Speak before both night and love are gone--and the eye of day looks upon
my sorrow and my shame; upon my blackened face; upon my burnt-up heart."
A sigh, short and faint, marked an almost imperceptible
pause, and then his words flowed on, without a stir, without a gesture.
"After the time of trouble and war was over and you went
away from my country in the pursuit of your desires, which we, men of the
islands, cannot understand, I and my brother became again, as we had been
before, the sword-bearers of the Ruler. You know we were men of family,
belonging to a ruling race, and more fit than any to carry on our right
shoulder the emblem of power. And in the time of prosperity Si Dendring
showed us favour, as we, in time of sorrow, had showed to him the faithfulness
of our courage. It was a time of peace. A time of deer-hunts and cock-fights;
of idle talks and foolish squabbles between men whose bellies are full
and weapons are rusty. But the sower watched the young rice-shoots grow
up without fear, and the traders came and went, departed lean and returned
fat into the river of peace. They brought news, too. Brought lies and truth
mixed together, so that no man knew when to rejoice and when to be sorry.
We heard from them about you also. They had seen you here and had seen
you there. And I was glad to hear, for I remembered the stirring times,
and I always remembered you, Tuan, till the time came when my eyes could
see nothing in the past, because they had looked upon the one who is dying
there--in the house."
He stopped to exclaim in an intense whisper, "O Mara bahia!
O Calamity!" then went on speaking a little louder:
"There's no worse enemy and no better friend than a brother,
Tuan, for one brother knows another, and in perfect knowledge is strength
for good or evil. I loved my brother. I went to him and told him that I
could see nothing but one face, hear nothing but one voice. He told me:
'Open your heart so that she can see what is in it--and wait. Patience
is wisdom. Inchi Midah may die or our Ruler may throw off his fear of a
woman!' . . . I waited! . . . You remember the lady with the veiled face,
Tuan, and the fear of our Ruler before her cunning and temper. And if she
wanted her servant, what could I do? But I fed the hunger of my heart on
short glances and stealthy words. I loitered on the path to the bath-houses
in the daytime, and when the sun had fallen behind the forest I crept along
the jasmine hedges of the women's courtyard. Unseeing, we spoke to one
another through the scent of flowers, through the veil of leaves, through
the blades of long grass that stood still before our lips; so great was
our prudence, so faint was the murmur of our great longing. The time passed
swiftly . . . and there were whispers amongst women--and our enemies watched--my
brother was gloomy, and I began to think of killing and of a fierce death.
. . . We are of a people who take what they want--like you whites. There
is a time when a man should forget loyalty and respect. Might and authority
are given to rulers, but to all men is given love and strength and courage.
My brother said, 'You shall take her from their midst. We are two who are
like one.' And I answered, 'Let it be soon, for I find no warmth in sunlight
that does not shine upon her.' Our time came when the Ruler and all the
great people went to the mouth of the river to fish by torchlight. There
were hundreds of boats, and on the white sand, between the water and the
forests, dwellings of leaves were built for the households of the Rajahs.
The smoke of cooking-fires was like a blue mist of the evening, and many
voices rang in it joyfully. While they were making the boats ready to beat
up the fish, my brother came to me and said, 'To-night!' I looked to my
weapons, and when the time came our canoe took its place in the circle
of boats carrying the torches. The lights blazed on the water, but behind
the boats there was darkness. When the shouting began and the excitement
made them like mad we dropped out. The water swallowed our fire, and we
floated back to the shore that was dark with only here and there the glimmer
of embers. We could hear the talk of slave-girls amongst the sheds. Then
we found a place deserted and silent. We waited there. She came. She came
running along the shore, rapid and leaving no trace, like a leaf driven
by the wind into the sea. My brother said gloomily, 'Go and take her; carry
her into our boat.' I lifted her in my arms. She panted. Her heart was
beating against my breast. I said, 'I take you from those people. You came
to the cry of my heart, but my arms take you into my boat against the will
of the great!' 'It is right,' said my brother. 'We are men who take what
we want and can hold it against many. We should have taken her in daylight.'
I said, 'Let us be off'; for since she was in my boat I began to think
of our Ruler's many men. 'Yes. Let us be off,' said my brother. 'We are
cast out and this boat is our country now--and the sea is our refuge.'
He lingered with his foot on the shore, and I entreated him to hasten,
for I remembered the strokes of her heart against my breast and thought
that two men cannot withstand a hundred. We left, paddling downstream close
to the bank; and as we passed by the creek where they were fishing, the
great shouting had ceased, but the murmur of voices was loud like the humming
of insects flying at noonday. The boats floated, clustered together, in
the red light of torches, under a black roof of smoke; and men talked of
their sport. Men that boasted, and praised, and jeered--men that would
have been our friends in the morning, but on that night were already our
enemies. We paddled swiftly past. We had no more friends in the country
of our birth. She sat in the middle of the canoe with covered face; silent
as she is now; unseeing as she is now--and I had no regret at what I was
leaving because I could hear her breathing close to me--as I can hear her
He paused, listened with his ear turned to the doorway,
then shook his head and went on:
"My brother wanted to shout the cry of challenge--one cry
only--to let the people know we were freeborn robbers who trusted our arms
and the great sea. And again I begged him in the name of our love to be
silent. Could I not hear her breathing close to me? I knew the pursuit
would come quick enough. My brother loved me. He dipped his paddle without
a splash. He only said, 'There is half a man in you now--the other half
is in that woman. I can wait. When you are a whole man again, you will
come back with me here to shout defiance. We are sons of the same mother.'
I made no answer. All my strength and all my spirit were in my hands that
held the paddle--for I longed to be with her in a safe place beyond the
reach of men's anger and of women's spite. My love was so great, that I
thought it could guide me to a country where death was unknown, if I could
only escape from Inchi Midah's fury and from our Ruler's sword. We paddled
with haste, breathing through our teeth. The blades bit deep into the smooth
water. We passed out of the river; we flew in clear channels amongst the
shallows. We skirted the black coast; we skirted the sand beaches where
the sea speaks in whispers to the land; and the gleam of white sand flashed
back past our boat, so swiftly she ran upon the water. We spoke not. Only
once I said, 'Sleep, Diamelen, for soon you may want all your strength.'
I heard the sweetness of her voice, but I never turned my head. The sun
rose and still we went on. Water fell from my face like rain from a cloud.
We flew in the light and heat. I never looked back, but I knew that my
brother's eyes, behind me, were looking steadily ahead, for the boat went
as straight as a bushman's dart, when it leaves the end of the sumpitan.
There was no better paddler, no better steersman than my brother. Many
times, together, we had won races in that canoe. But we never had put out
our strength as we did then--then, when for the last time we paddled together!
There was no braver or stronger man in our country than my brother. I could
not spare the strength to turn my head and look at him, but every moment
I heard the hiss of his breath getting louder behind me. Still he did not
speak. The sun was high. The heat clung to my back like a flame of fire.
My ribs were ready to burst, but I could no longer get enough air into
my chest. And then I felt I must cry out with my last breath, 'Let us rest!'
. . . 'Good!' he answered; and his voice was firm. He was strong. He was
brave. He knew not fear and no fatigue . . . My brother!"
A murmur powerful and gentle, a murmur vast and faint;
the murmur of trembling leaves, of stirring boughs, ran through the tangled
depths of the forests, ran over the starry smoothness of the lagoon, and
the water between the piles lapped the slimy timber once with a sudden
splash. A breath of warm air touched the two men's faces and passed on
with a mournful sound--a breath loud and short like an uneasy sigh of the
Arsat went on in an even, low voice.
"We ran our canoe on the white beach of a little bay close
to a long tongue of land that seemed to bar our road; a long wooded cape
going far into the sea. My brother knew that place. Beyond the cape a river
has its entrance, and through the jungle of that land there is a narrow
path. We made a fire and cooked rice. Then we lay down to sleep on the
soft sand in the shade of our canoe, while she watched. No sooner had I
closed my eyes than I heard her cry of alarm. We leaped up. The sun was
halfway down the sky already, and coming in sight in the opening of the
bay we saw a prau manned by many paddlers. We knew it at once; it was one
of our Rajah's praus. They were watching the shore, and saw us. They beat
the gong, and turned the head of the prau into the bay. I felt my heart
become weak within my breast. Diamelen sat on the sand and covered her
face. There was no escape by sea. My brother laughed. He had the gun you
had given him, Tuan, before you went away, but there was only a handful
of powder. He spoke to me quickly: 'Run with her along the path. I shall
keep them back, for they have no firearms, and landing in the face of a
man with a gun is certain death for some. Run with her. On the other side
of that wood there is a fisherman's house--and a canoe. When I have fired
all the shots I will follow. I am a great runner, and before they can come
up we shall be gone. I will hold out as long as I can, for she is but a
woman--that can neither run nor fight, but she has your heart in her weak
hands.' He dropped behind the canoe. The prau was coming. She and I ran,
and as we rushed along the path I heard shots. My brother fired--once--twice--and
the booming of the gong ceased. There was silence behind us. That neck
of land is narrow. Before I heard my brother fire the third shot I saw
the shelving shore, and I saw the water again; the mouth of a broad river.
We crossed a grassy glade. We ran down to the water. I saw a low hut above
the black mud, and a small canoe hauled up. I heard another shot behind
me. I thought, 'That is his last charge.' We rushed down to the canoe;
a man came running from the hut, but I leaped on him, and we rolled together
in the mud. Then I got up, and he lay still at my feet. I don't know whether
I had killed him or not. I and Diamelen pushed the canoe afloat. I heard
yells behind me, and I saw my brother run across the glade. Many men were
bounding after him, I took her in my arms and threw her into the boat,
then leaped in myself. When I looked back I saw that my brother had fallen.
He fell and was up again, but the men were closing round him. He shouted,
'I am coming!' The men were close to him. I looked. Many men. Then I looked
at her. Tuan, I pushed the canoe! I pushed it into deep water. She was
kneeling forward looking at me, and I said, 'Take your paddle,' while I
struck the water with mine. Tuan, I heard him cry. I heard him cry my name
twice; and I heard voices shouting, 'Kill! Strike!' I never turned back.
I heard him calling my name again with a great shriek, as when life is
going out together with the voice--and I never turned my head. My own name!
. . . My brother! Three times he called--but I was not afraid of life.
Was she not there in that canoe? And could I not with her find a country
where death is forgotten--where death is unknown!"
The white man sat up. Arsat rose and stood, an indistinct
and silent figure above the dying embers of the fire. Over the lagoon a
mist drifting and low had crept, erasing slowly the glittering images of
the stars. And now a great expanse of white vapour covered the land: it
flowed cold and gray in the darkness, eddied in noiseless whirls round
the tree-trunks and about the platform of the house, which seemed to float
upon a restless and impalpable illusion of a sea. Only far away the tops
of the trees stood outlined on the twinkle of heaven, like a sombre and
forbidding shore--a coast deceptive, pitiless and black.
Arsat's voice vibrated loudly in the profound peace.
"I had her there! I had her! To get her I would have faced
all mankind. But I had her--and--"
His words went out ringing into the empty distances. He
paused, and seemed to listen to them dying away very far--beyond help and
beyond recall. Then he said quietly--
"Tuan, I loved my brother."
A breath of wind made him shiver. High above his head,
high above the silent sea of mist the drooping leaves of the palms rattled
together with a mournful and expiring sound. The white man stretched his
legs. His chin rested on his chest, and he murmured sadly without lifting
"We all love our brothers."
Arsat burst out with an intense whispering violence--
"What did I care who died? I wanted peace in my own heart."
He seemed to hear a stir in the house--listened--then stepped
in noiselessly. The white man stood up. A breeze was coming in fitful puffs.
The stars shone paler as if they had retreated into the frozen depths of
immense space. After a chill gust of wind there were a few seconds of perfect
calm and absolute silence. Then from behind the black and wavy line of
the forests a column of golden light shot up into the heavens and spread
over the semicircle of the eastern horizon. The sun had risen. The mist
lifted, broke into drifting patches, vanished into thin flying wreaths;
and the unveiled lagoon lay, polished and black, in the heavy shadows at
the foot of the wall of trees. A white eagle rose over it with a slanting
and ponderous flight, reached the clear sunshine and appeared dazzlingly
brilliant for a moment, then soaring higher, became a dark and motionless
speck before it vanished into the blue as if it had left the earth forever.
The white man, standing gazing upwards before the doorway, heard in the
hut a confused and broken murmur of distracted words ending with a loud
groan. Suddenly Arsat stumbled out with outstretched hands, shivered, and
stood still for some time with fixed eyes. Then he said--
"She burns no more."
Before his face the sun showed its edge above the tree-tops
rising steadily. The breeze freshened; a great brilliance burst upon the
lagoon, sparkled on the rippling water. The forests came out of the clear
shadows of the morning, became distinct, as if they had rushed nearer--to
stop short in a great stir of leaves, of nodding boughs, of swaying branches.
In the merciless sunshine the whisper of unconscious life grew louder,
speaking in an incomprehensible voice round the dumb darkness of that human
sorrow. Arsat's eyes wandered slowly, then stared at the rising sun.
"I can see nothing," he said half aloud to himself.
"There is nothing," said the white man, moving to the edge
of the platform and waving his hand to his boat. A shout came faintly over
the lagoon and the sampan began to glide towards the abode of the friend
"If you want to come with me, I will wait all the morning,"
said the white man, looking away upon the water.
"No, Tuan," said Arsat, softly. "I shall not eat or sleep
in this house, but I must first see my road. Now I can see nothing--see
nothing! There is no light and no peace in the world; but there is death--death
for many. We are sons of the same mother--and I left him in the midst of
enemies; but I am going back now."
He drew a long breath and went on in a dreamy tone:
"In a little while I shall see clear enough to strike--to
strike. But she has died, and . . . now . . . darkness."
He flung his arms wide open, let them fall along his body,
then stood still with unmoved face and stony eyes, staring at the sun.
The white man got down into his canoe. The polers ran smartly along the
sides of the boat, looking over their shoulders at the beginning of a weary
journey. High in the stern, his head muffled up in white rags, the juragan
sat moody, letting his paddle trail in the water. The white man, leaning
with both arms over the grass roof of the little cabin, looked back at
the shining ripple of the boat's wake. Before the sampan passed out of
the lagoon into the creek he lifted his eyes. Arsat had not moved. He stood
lonely in the searching sunshine; and he looked beyond the great light
of a cloudless day into the darkness of a world of illusions.