Beside a roaring, dashing mountain torrent, failing in myriad cascades of foam white as drifted snow, interspersed with pools of quiet water, deep, trout-filled, blue, reflecting flowery banks and towering pine-crested ridges, "ribs of the planet," we pause. The day is hot, but the waters of this branch of McCloud river axe cold -as the pristine snows of Shasta from which they flow to our feet and thence away.
We recline on the brink of a deep blue crystal pool, idly casting pebbles into and shivering the image of a tall basalt cliff reflected from the mirror-calm surface.
What secrets perchance are about us? We do not know as we lie there, our bodies resting, our souls filled with peace, nor do we know until many years are passed out through the back door of time that that tall basalt cliff conceals a doorway. We do not suspect this, nor that a long tunnel stretches away, far into the interior of majestic Shasta. Wholly unthought is it that there lie at the tunnel's far end vast apartments, the home of a mystic brotherhood, whose occult arts hollowed that tunnel and mysterious dwelling: "Sach" the name is. Are you incredulous as to these things? Go there, or suffer yourself to be taken as I was, once! See, as I saw, not with the vision of flesh, the walls, polished as by jewelers, though excavated as by giants; floors carpeted with long, fleecy gray fabric that looked like fur, but was a mineral product; ledges intersected by the builders, and in their wonderful polish exhibiting veinings of gold, of silver, of green copper ores, and maculations of precious stones. Verily, a mystic temple, made afar from the madding crowd, a refuge whereof those who, "Seeing, see not," can truly say:
"And no man knows . . .
"And no man saw it e'er."
Once I was there, friend, casting pebbles in the stream's deep pools; yet it was then hid, for only a few are privileged. And departing, the spot was forgotten, and to-day, unable as any one who reads this, I cannot tell its place. Curiosity will never unlock that secret. Does it truly exist? Seek and ye shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you. Shasta is a true guardian and silently towers, giving no sign of that within his breast. But there is a key. The one who first conquers self, Shasta will not deny.
This is the last scene. You have viewed the proud peak both near and far; by day, by night; in the smoke, and in the clear mountain air; seen its interior, and from its apex gazed upon it and the globe stretched away 'neath your feet. 'Tis a sight of God's handiwork, sublime, awful, never to be forgotten; and as thy soul hath rated itself with admiration thereof, in that measure be now filled with His Peace.