Saint of Mt. Koya
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10

"By this time I was thoroughly exhausted and not at all certain whether or not I would be able to make it to the top. Suddenly, in front of me, I heard the sound of a horse neighing. Thinking it might be a teamster on the road, it occurred to me that I had not seen another person since I had parted with that peasant early in the morning. It felt as though years had passed since I had enjoyed the company of others. I reasoned that if there was a horse in the area, there must be a village nearby. This thought revived my spirits, and once again I set out briskly.

"From there it was no great effort to make my way to a single, lone hut perched high in those lonely and desolate mountains. As it was summer none of the doors or windows were closed and there was no fence surrounding the house. I saw a man sitting on the sagging and dilapidated veranda, but could not make out what sort of person he was.

" 'Excuse me, I wonder if you can help me,' I asked in a tone of supplication knowing that there was no one else to ask. 'Excuse me, please,' I repeated, but still there was no reply. The man's head had lolled over so that one ear rested on his shoulder, and he had a blank, imbecile look on his face. He just sat there staring at me with his puffy eyes as I stood in the doorway. He seemed too lethargic even to move his eyes.


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Intangible