Saint of Mt. Koya
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Presently we were shown to our sleeping quarters on the second floor. The ceiling was low, supported by huge, rounded beams that slanted down from the ridge pole. The ceiling was so low at the side of the room that we were in danger of bumping our heads there. The house was so stoutly built it would have withstood an avalanche sweeping down from the mountains that towered behind it.

Since our bedding had been specially fitted with a heater at the foot to keep us warm, I was happy to crawl under the covers. Our quilts were spread out at right angles to each other so that our feet would be warmed by the same heater, but the priest did not use his bed; instead, he lay down beside me, shunning the warmth and comfort of the heater.

I noticed that the priest did not even loosen his sash, much less remove his robe. Dressed as he was, he curled himself into a ball and, with the blankets around his waist he crouched down, sleeves covering his shoulders, with his head face down; just the opposite of the way ordinary people sleep.

Before long he stopped stirring and appeared to be falling asleep. As I had mentioned repeatedly on the train that I am one who is not able to sleep until late, I had hoped he would feel sorry for me and refrain from sleeping for a while in order to keep me company. So, like a child demanding a bedtime story, I asked him to tell me about some of the interesting experiences he had had in his wanderings throughout the land.

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