houses after a death has taken place, and to leave the corpse alone. Whenever this law has been broken, heretofore, some great misfortune has followed. Whenever it is obeyed, we find that the corpse and the offerings disappear during our absence. Perhaps you have seen the cause."
Then Musō told of the dim and awful Shape that had entered the death-chamber to devour the body and the offerings. No person seemed to be surprised by his narration; and the master of the house observed:—
"What you have told us, reverend Sir, agrees with what has been said about this matter from ancient time."
Musō then inquired:—
"Does not the priest on the hill sometimes perform the funeral-service for your dead?"
"What priest?" the young man asked.
"The priest who yesterday evening directed me to this village," answered Musō. "I called at his anjitsu on the hill yonder. He refused me lodging, but told me the way here."
The listeners looked at each other, as in astonishment; and, after a moment of silence, the master of the house said:—
"Reverend Sir, there is no priest and