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20. Two or three artisans hurry as best they can down the dark lane Awkwardly carrying one large stone testicle each. Oh, of course, the theory that the Buddha was essentially sexless Has its fanatics! What great spiritual movement does not?

21. He has been sitting there in his garden for an hour or two, Meditating on the latest vexatious political instabilities, When a shower of small jade balls scatter onto the lawn from the deep sk y. What? Can the Immortals themselves be falling out in awkward sympathy?

22. After a few months, it at last occurred to him to investigate The hollow base of the large statue of the Buddha he had lately bought. He reached right in – and pulled out an ancient pair of something very like drawers. An hour or two later, he returned – and reverentially put them back where he had got them.

23. Pottering about in his garden on a pleasant summer’s day, He unearths what looks like a very valuable ancient necklace. Something about it talks to him in living terms of dead love. But he knew he had no idea what to reply.

24. The old scholar stands astonished at a corner of his garden wall. Since last he was there, years ago, the mosses and lichens Have combined to imitate the most excitingly obscene character of them all! How, he wonders, can he keep this knowledge hidden from his wife?


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