THE SUN WAS very clear in the sky, and there was a cool breeze from the sea. It was still fairly early in the morning; there were but few people in the streets and the heavy traffic had not yet begun. Fortunately, it wasn't going to be too hot a day; but there was dust everywhere, fine and penetrating, for there had been no rain during the long, hot summer. In the small, well-kept park, dust lay heavily on the trees; but under the trees, and among the bushes, there was a stream of cool, fresh water, brought down from a lake in the distant mountains. On a bench by the stream it was pleasant and peaceful, and there was plenty of shade. Later in the day, the park would be crowded with children and their nurses and with people who worked in offices. The sound of running water among the bushes was friendly and welcoming, and many birds fluttered on the edge of the stream, bathing and chirping happily. Big peacocks wandered in and out of the bushes, stately and unafraid. In deep pools of clear water there were large goldfish and the children came every day to watch and feed them, and to take delight in the many white geese which swam about in a shallow pool.

Leaving the little park, we drove along a noisy, dusty road to the foot of a rocky hill, and walked up a steep path to an entrance which opened into the sacred precincts of an ancient temple. To the west could be seen an expanse of the blue sea, famous for its historic naval battle, and to the east were the low-lying hills, barren and harsh in the autumnal air, but full of silent and happy memories. To the north towered the higher mountains, overlooking the hills and the hot valley. The ancient temple on the rocky hill stood in ruins, destroyed by the brutal violence of man. Its broken marble columns, washed by the rains of many centuries, seemed almost transparent - light fading, and stately. The temple was still a perfect thing, to be touched and silently gazed upon. A small yellow flower, bright in the morning light, grew in a crevice at the foot of a splendid column. To sit in the shadow of one of those columns, looking at the silent hills and the distant sea, was to experience something beyond the calculations of the mind.


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