chapter  2
42 Pages


BASKING in the quiet warmth of the April afternoon, the whole village drowsed. Across

the water which separated Haji Rikkan's solitary hut from the rest of the crowded community, only one sound floated lazily-the hum of a majrasha which showed that somewhere a woman was busy husking rice. Only on our own small island was there stir and bustle, for preparations were on foot for a long journey, the longest I had yet taken with the old pedlar.