Saint of Mt. Koya
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"The medicine peddler, too, had stopped here for a moment in uncertainty, but then he resolutely turned away and set off at a brisk pace to the right following the narrower path that led up the hill. Even as I watched, he disappeared behind the huge cypress only to reappear a few moments later on the slope above looking down on me.

" 'Hey you, priest,' he called, 'This is the road to Matsumoto.' With that he set off again along the path he had chosen. A moment later he leaned over a large boulder and called again to me, 'Be careful or you might find yourself bewitched by a tree spirit. I know it's broad daylight now, but you can't be too careful.' With these sarcastic words he disappeared among the shadows of the boulders and was completely lost from sight in the tall grass beyond.

"A moment later when I glanced up at the slope above, I caught a glimpse of his umbrella, but it soon disappeared among the thick brush and trees of the mountainside.

" 'Ho there!' came a cheerful voice and I looked around to see a peasant approaching, hopping across the stones in the river. He wore a rush mat around his waist and in one hand carried a shoulder pole with nothing attached to it."

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