It was about the first hour of the first day in the fifth month which had passed since. I began attendance at the Xioquithlon, and as it was the week of Bazix, it was consequently the thirtieth week of the year, and near its close, there being but three weeks left in B. C. 11,160.
With the Poseidi, the. day, as the reader has seen, commenced at meridian, making twelve o'clock till one, the first hour. From this hour in the last day of each week until the end of the twenty-fourth hour in the following, or first day in the next week, all business was suspended, and the time devoted to religious worship, such observances being enforced by the most rigid of all laws, custom. To-day, A. D. 1886, there are those who argue that if a man is engaged all the week at sedentary labor, on Sunday he is obtaining natural recreation by going zealously into athletic sports, or upon a fatiguing excursion. But I submit, that as the body is the externality of the soul, therefore, as the soul is, so will be the body also. Ergo: if the soul is of God, then to return to the Father as often as possible is to he re-created, or rested, or refreshed. Perhaps not indoors.; no, rather amidst His works, but ever with unartificial, natural thoughts of Him uppermost. Hence, I am today not less in favor of Sabbath observance, whether it be the seventh day or any other of the seven days of the week, as now constituted, or the eleventh and first, as in Atla. Still, I shall
not argue my preferences, and will only make a restatement of the well-known physiological law that a periodic day of rest is necessary to health, happiness and spirituality. In Atla any person was free to employ the morning hours even of the eleventh day in any manner most agreeable, whether at work or playful relaxation. With the first hour, however, an enormous and very sweet-toned bell pealed forth with an intense, reverberant boom, two strokes, paused a moment, then rang four tunes more. Thereupon all occupations ceased, and religious worship commenced. On the following day the great bell struck again, and throughout the length and breadth of a great continent other bells pealed synchronously. It was even so in the populous colonies of Umaur and Incalia, the difference in time being calculated, and one man in the great temple of Incal in Caiphul attended to this sweetly solemn duty. Then the season of worship was over, and the rest of the Inclut (first day) was devoted to recreations of every sort. This is not to be construed that the worship was of a gloomy nature, or severe; not so, nor was it continued through the night, any further than that every light allowed during that interval was rendered carmine red by blending the atomic speed of the odic force, so that it was the element of light and that of strontium combined, this being done at the odic depots.
About the third hour after the Sun-day had ceased, a peculiar event occurred in my Poseid existence. As I walked leisurely homeward, not yet having summoned a vailx, but proceeding under the dreamy calmness of the influence produced by the music of a choice concert given to the public in the Agacoe gardens, I met a stately old man, also on foot. I had often met him on former occasions and, by his wine-colored turban, knew him for a prince. Upon meeting him now, the current of my thought was altered, and I determined not to go home at once, but to remain in the city for a time, perhaps all night. Just as I came to this determination., the older man smiled, but without stopping went on his way. I then noticed that much as he resembled the prince I had in mind, he was not that person, and it must have been an illusion, for the turban of this man
was pure white, not tinted. And somehow I felt that he had wished to speak to me, but for some reason had not. If I should happen there later in the day, I might meet him again and learn what he had to say.
Pondering these thoughts I went into a cafe in one of the grotto-tunnels, where an avenue pierced a hill, and after ordering a luncheon, waited for it to be served. During the dispatch of the refection, a xioqene, or student with whom I had become friendly, strolled in, bent on the same errand. The repast over, we proceeded to the moat, where we took a water-sailer held for hire by a poor man who made his living from the rental of these craft to those who liked this seldom-indulged pleasure; the common mode of conveyance was by vailx. The breeze being fresh, we sailed out into the ocean through the exit-flow of the Nomis river, the great river which made a complete circuit of the city, traversing the moat and then emptying into the ocean. On account of this extended trip I was unable to be again on the avenue until after nightfall. When I neared the spot where my meeting had occurred with the white-turbaned stranger, this time in a car, which I checked from running overfast, I saw his commanding figure standing in full view in the bright light of the tropic moon. It was quite a part of my expectations thus to see him, and this time I inclined my head in courteous recognition. As I did so the stranger said:
"Stop! I would speak with thee, lad, with thee alone."
Almost mechanically I nearly stopped the car, in obedience to his gesture to descend, and setting its lever so that the vehicle would move at about the pace of a slow walk, I let it go, knowing that if no one took advantage of the paid carriage, it soon would reach some station, and there be stopped automatically. When I stood before the priest, as I judged him to be, he said:
"Thy name, I understand, is Zailm Numinos?"
"truly it is."
"I have seen thee ofttimes, and am informed concerning thee. Thou hast a laudable, will to excel and to attain high
honors among men. Thou art yet a boy, but in a fair way to succeed as a man, as success is commonly counted. A boy thou, conscientious at present, regarded with favor by thy sovereign. Thou shalt succeed, and shalt come into places of high honor and profit, and continue well thought of by all thy fellowmen. Yet thou shalt not live the full term allotted to man on earth. In thy shorter period shall come to thee a knowledge of love. Thou shalt experience the purest affection man is capable of feeling for woman. Yet, notwithstanding this, thy love shall not be a love crowned in this life period. And thou shalt love again, wherefore thou shalt weep because of it. Thou shalt work some good in the world but, alas, much evil also. And because of an overshadowing destiny, unto thee shall come much sorrow. By thee unto another shall deep misery of anguish come, and unto the uttermost shalt thou pay therefor, nor come out thence until thou hast done so. Yet, behold not in this life shall much be required of thee. When thou thinkest least to do sin, then shall thy foot stumble, and thou shalt commit a sin which shall be unto thee a pursuing fate, inexorable. Even now, in the days of thine innocence, thou art treading upon the steps of thy destiny. Alas! that it is so. Once thou earnest near to the realization of thy death, and death is but the least portion which shall overtake thee; but thou didst awake and flee out of the caverns of the burning mountain unto safety. Yet at last thou shalt pass into Navazzamin, the world of departed souls, and lo! I say unto thee thou shalt perish in a cavern. Me, even me, shalt thou behold as the last living being upon whom thy Poseid eyes shall ever rest. But I shall not seem then as now, and thou wilt not know me for the one who shall smite the evildoer who will then have enticed thee to thy doom. I have said. May peace be with thee."
Much I marveled at first to hear these words, thinking that perhaps the speaker was one escaped from the Nossinithlon (literally the "Home for Moonstruck" or crazy persons), and this despite the introductory circumstances under which we had met. But as he continued speaking I knew that this was an erroneous judgment. Finally, amazed, I gazed on the
ground, knowing not what to think and filled with an indefinable fearsomeness. As he ceased utterance, and bade me peace, I raised my eyes to look him in the face, to find to my bewilderment that not a soul was in sight, but that I stood alone in the great plaza surrounding a fountain whose jet seemed like molten silver in the moonlight. Dumbfounded, I looked about on every side. Had I been dreaming? Certainly not. Were the words of the mysterious stranger true, or false? Time will satisfy thy curiosity, my reader, as it did mine.