Saint of Mt. Koya
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" 'What would happen if I fell in the river and drowned?' she asked. 'It embarrasses me to think what the villagers downstream would say when they fished my nude body from the river.'

" 'Lovely as a peach blossom is what I should think they would say.' I blurted this out without thinking, and before I knew it, our gaze met and locked. Her smile was so radiant, she looked younger by seven or eight years, but she quickly dropped her gaze to the ground in maidenly modesty. I also looked away, but in my mind I could still see the woman's beautiful figure under the transforming moonlight, wreathed from behind by the swirling mist and outlined by the black jumble of stones on the far shore. Just then from out of a cave somewhere there came large, dim, flitting shadows of several enormous, bird-like bats. They darted and dived about us.

"The woman swiftly turned and cried out to them, 'Here, you! Go away. Can't you see that I have a guest with me now?'

" 'Is something wrong?' I asked, regaining my composure after I had gotten my clothing back on.

" 'No,' said the woman curtly, turning her back on me.


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Intangible