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VIII

THE ISLAND PALACE

ONCE upon a time there was a town called Atpat. In it there lived a Brahman. He had a disciple who used every day to go to the village pond and bathe and worship the god Shiva. On the way he had to walk through the sandy island in the dry bed of the river. And, as he went home across the island, he used to hear a voice cry, "Shall I come? Shall I come? Shall I come?"; but when he looked round he could see no one. The Brahman's disciple at last got so frightened that he withered up until he became as dry and as thin as a bone. At last the Brahman said, "You have no wish to eat or drink; yet you are so thin. What is the reason?" The boy replied, "I neither wish to eat, nor want to eat, nor crave to eat. But I am frightened

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