Saint of Mt. Koya
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"No sooner had I finished saying this than the woman remarked, 'Well now, the house is filthy, but come inside and make yourself at home. Shall I bring water to wash your feet?'

" 'Oh no,' I said. 'You needn't go to all that trouble, but I would like to borrow a wash cloth. It would be nice if you have a damp cloth. I had a terrible time of it on the road today and feel dirty and sticky all over. I would like to wipe my back if it is not too much trouble.'

" 'Yes, I can see that you are soaked with sweat. You must be very hot. Please wait a moment. The best part about stopping at an inn is that the first thing they do is invite you to have a bath. I am afraid I cannot serve you so much as a cup of tea, much less a bath, but there is a lovely stream at the foot of the hill behind the house, and if you don't mind bathing there, I am sure you will find it very refreshing.'

"Hearing these words I was ready to fly to the stream and bathe. 'Wonderful,' I said. 'That will be splendid.'

" 'Shall I show you the way, then? It's no trouble, I am going there in any case to wash the rice.' Clutching the bucket to her hip and leaving the veranda, she slipped on her sandals. Drawing an old pair of wooden clogs out from under the veranda, she clapped them together to knock the dirt off. Placing them before me, she said, 'Here. Why don't you wear these and leave your travelling sandals here.'

"I gave a deep bow of gratitude saying, 'Thank you, I am sorry to trouble you.'

" 'They say that when two people spend the night in the same lodging it is the result of the karma of a previous life, so please don't be so formal with me. Just make yourself at home here.'

"And so although I had at first been dubious about staying here, things seemed to have turned out very well indeed."

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