The Tale-teller, shading his gentle eyes from the evening sun, paused a moment while he listened to the soft strains of the music as it floated out from the open Temple. The joyous crowd swept by unheeding, except for one or two who dropped out of the current and were left stranded among those who had gathered at his feet. Presently he came back from the realm of harmony whither he had drifted, and as the world-light once more stole over his face he told the tale of:
"THREE WHO SOUGHT OUT THE WAY."
Word had gone forth over all lands "that all who sought earnestly and in the true manner should find the way to the mysterious Temple of the Veiled Goddess."
Three kings of the land, moved by the power of the words, determined that they also would become students and reach the goal.
Intu, the Illustrious, making ready for the search, deemed nothing else could be more potent in his quest than the seal of his kingdom. Thereupon he bound on his forehead the Great Seal, a hawk.
Kour, the Magnificent, making ready for the way thought nothing could be more powerful in his searching than the seal of his kingdom. Making ready he bound upon his breast the Great Seal, a golden heart.
Kadmon, the Sorrowful — a king only by sufferance, for his kingdom consisted only of that which the others did not value — Kadmon deemed it wise also, inasmuch as they would all journey together, to take his seal; which was the two others in union; but furthermore, he blindfolded his eyes.
The Three passing onward encountered many strange and unfamiliar things, for the road was new, and no wayfarer could know more than one step onward, which was the one he was then taking. Upon each side, and frequently in front, barring the way, were curious objects, sometimes pleasant and agreeable, but more often quite the reverse. The foliage of the trees was new and strange, while the fruits were perplexing in their incongruity. At times the same fruits grew on different sorts of trees, while at others the same sort of trees bore entirely dissimilar fruits. The path which they were pursuing was quite the opposite of an ordinary one, for before them it was visible but one step, while it stretched far into the distance behind them. Intu, however, had already made all plain to himself by a process of reasoning entirely his own. It was, that these things being the direct opposite of all in his own country which he ruled, therefore they could only be caused by some one different from himself — a superior being, that being must be the Goddess — therefore they were upon the right path, at least he was.
Kour thought these things delightful, they were so strange, so new. In fact they were phenomenal and he loved phenomena. They gave him such queer sensations, and anything which did that or made him feel other than when in his own land — must be caused by the Goddess — oh yes, they were on the right path, at least he was. As for Kadmon he seeing none of these things, could only judge by that which he remembered of his own country. Each of the others told him of their existence in their own way. This was confusing. He determined, therefore, to walk onward as if he were in his own land, but to press steadily on. They were thus, in reality treading three separate paths, and in their several ways they passed many persons who had stopped to rest — to eat or sleep — or because the way was dark and difficult; some because they were too poor, others because they were ill, footsore or blind. Intu lost some time, for he stopped to argue with many on the peculiarities of the way and the logical reasonableness of it, but he had no time to pause for aught else.
Kour felt for the wayfarers, he was sorry for and loved them. If they would only feel as he did they could go on easily, but he had no time to stop to make them feel that way.
Both Intu and he had all such people in their own lands. There was no time to waste on natural things. It was the supernatural in a metaphysical or soul-stirring way they sought.
And Kadmon, the Sorrowful, paused. In his land these were to be found also. He too realized the reasonableness of the way. He too loved it and was exalted by it. He too felt for and loved the other wayfarers. He did more — he sorrowed for them. What mattered it if he did not find the temple immediately, he was young, the others growing old and blind, they were sorrowful and weary. So he stopped and gave his thoughts and help to the ill, cheering the weary, helping the poor, and blindfolded as he was, led the blind over the step he had just passed. So interested did he become in these labors he forgot he was himself seeking the Goddess.
It was but a little distance farther on that they caught up with Intu, which was not surprising as he had reached the end of his path. It had ended at a stone wall. As he could not scale the wall, he sat down to reason "why an ordinary stone wall should obstruct such an extraordinary path?" Being a very perplexing intellectual problem — there he remained. A little farther and Kour was passed. He had encountered a radiant maiden, partially veiled, who told him wonderous tales of strange happenings. Her manner was very mysterious, and he felt she was the Goddess. Taking her hand in his and leaning his head upon her bosom, he was so happy that he knew she was the Goddess and there he remained to dream.
And Kadmon, tarrying with the sorrowful and weary, felt the bandage slip from his eyes, as the light from the rising sun streaming in red and gold over the path fell upon and glorified the ragged wayfarers. In the brilliance over their heads he read the words: "This way lies the path to the Temple" while a soft voice breathed into his soul: "By the way of Intu alone, the path is not found. By that of Kour alone, it is not gained. Both wisely used in unison are guides while on the road. By something, which is greater than either, only, is the Temple reached. Work on!"
And the sorrowful, taking in his own, the hands of the weary and weak, passed on.
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