The Adventures of Kathlyn (Chapter 6, page 1 of 13)


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Chapter 6

In the blue of night the temple looked as though it had been sculptured
out of mist. Here and there the heavy dews, touched by the moon
lances, flung back flames of sapphire, cold and sharp. To Kathlyn the
temple was of marvelous beauty. She urged Rajah toward the crumbling
portico.

It was a temple in ruins, like many in Hind. Broken pillars,
exquisitely carved, lay about, and some of the tall windows of marble
lace were punctured, as if the fist of some angry god had beaten
through. Under the decayed portico stood an iron brazier. Near this
reposed a cracked stone sarcophagus: an unusual sight in this part of
the world. It was without its lid. But one god now brooded
hereabouts--Silence. Not a sound anywhere, not even from the near-by
trees. She saw a noiseless lizard slide jerkily across a patch of
moonshine and dissolve into the purple shadow beyond.

What was this temple? What gods had been worshiped here? And why was
it deserted? She had heard her father tell of the ruined city of
Chitor. Plague? . . . Kathlyn shuddered. Sometimes villages, to the
last soul in them, were brushed from existence and known no more to
man. And this might be one of them. Yet indications of a village were
nowhere to be seen. It was merely a temple, perhaps miles from the
nearest village, deserted save by prowling wild beasts, the winds, the
sunshine and the moonshine. She looked far and wide for any signs of
human habitation.

She commanded Rajah to kneel. So held by the enchanting picture was
Kathlyn that the elephant's renewed restlessness (and he had reason, as
will be seen) passed unobserved by her. He came to his knees, however,
and she got out of the howdah. Her legs trembled for a space, for her
nerves were in a pitiable condition. Suddenly Rajah's ears went
forward, he rose, and his trunk curled angrily. With a whuff he
wheeled and shuffled off toward the jungle out of which he had so
recently emerged.

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