then he measured me, after which he said, "It seems to me that if you took off your robe you could just possibly scrape through this opening and force open the door on the other side, then you could see if the monk was in need of attention."

"Ow! Master!" I exclaimed in complete fright. "What happens if I go through and can't get out?"

My Guide thought for a moment, and then answered, "First you shall be lifted up so that you are supported. Then you can, with a stone, batter in the inner door. When you have battered it in we will slide you in and you can hold a lamp in your outstretched hands. It should be bright enough to permit you to see if the man is in need of help"

My Guide went into the other room and took three butter lamps, prying the wicks out of two of them, and putting the three together twisted into one lamp which he very carefully packed with butter. In the meantime one of the monks had gone out into the open, and he now returned carrying quite a substantial rock. He handed it to me and I hefted it for weight and balance. "Master, why cannot the monk answer a question?" I asked.

"Because he is under oath, under a vow not to speak for a certain time," was the response.

I reluctantly shed my robe, shivering in the cold mountain air. Chakpori was cold enough, but here it was colder still, the chill was biting. I kept on my sandals because the floor was like a block of ice.

In the meantime a monk had taken the stone and had given a good bonk against the inner door, which sprang out of its frame with a loud crash, but the others, although they tried hard, were not able to see into the inner cell. Their heads were too big, their shoulders were too wide. So my Guide held me horizontally and I extended my hands as if I was going to dive, and one of the monks lit the three wicks now fixed in the butter lamp putting it

Was this article helpful?

0 0

Post a comment