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A Dweller on Two Planets, by by Phylos the Thibetan (Frederick S. Oliver), [1894], at



On a bier in front of the Holy Seat, by the eastern face of the Maxin-Stone in the Incalithlon, lay all that was of the earth, earthy of Ernon of Suernis. In the triangle were gathered a few witnesses asked by Rai Gwauxln to be present, and

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over all shone the mysterious light which required no fuel, nor for its tall taper any human keeper. High above, hung the white stalactite ceiling, casting down from its many points the radiance of the lights which no one could see from below.

"Close his eyes, his work is done."

Beside the restful form stood Mainin, the Incaliz, his hand on the shoulder of the dead Rai. After the mighty organ had sounded a mournful requiem, Mainin made the funeral speech, saying:

"Once more has a most noble soul known earth. How hath it treated him who gave his life to the service of its children? Verily, Suerna, thou hast done a deed which shall clothe thee in sackcloth and ashes for aye! Ernon, my brother, Son of the Solitude, we bid thee adieu in great sorrow of soul; sorrow not for thee, for thou art at rest; but for us left behind. It shall be until many years ere we know thee again incarnate. As for this, thy poor clay, over it we will say final words, for it hath done its work and is committed to Navazzamin. Ernon, brother, peace be with thee evermore."

Again the mighty organ played in solemn sadness, and while attendants raised the bier upon the cube of the Maxin, the Incaliz raised his hands to heaven and said:

"Unto Incal this soul, unto earth this clay."

The body, bound with light bands to the bier, was raised with it to an erect posture, trembled a moment in that position, and fell forward into the Maxin. There was no flame, no smoke, not even ash left behind the instantaneous disappearance of body and bed.

The funeral was over. As we who abode in Caiphul turned to depart, we. saw that which no man then living had ever before beheld in the Incalithlon. Back of us, in the auditorium, stood groups of grey-habited men, cowled like monks of Rome. There seemed great numbers of them, collected in groups of seven or eight amongst the maze of stalagmite pillars which supported the roof. As we gazed, these men faded slowly from sight, until over four score of Caiphalians seemed indeed small in number in the vast hall where so recently had

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been hundreds of Incaleni, Sons of the Solitude in astral form, gathered at the funeral of their brother. Yea, verily, had the Sons come to witness the impressive ceremony where all that was mortal of their dead fellow was restored to the keeping of the elements of nature.

"But no man knows that sepulcher,
    And no man saw it e'er,
For the angels of God upturned the sod
    And laid the dead man there."


Next: Chapter XVIII: Le Grand Voyage