Page:A Wayfarer in China.djvu/250

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194
A WAYFARER IN CHINA

Summit," a group of low timbered buildings, quite without architectural pretensions. Entering the open doorway I faced a large shrine before which worshippers were bending undisturbed by our noisy entrance. Stairs on either hand of the shrine led to a large grassy court surrounded on all four sides by one-story buildings, connected by a broad corridor or verandah, and back of this, steep steps led to a temple perched on the very edge of the great cliff.

A young priest came to meet me and very courteously showed me the guest-rooms, allowing me to choose two in the most retired corner, one for myself and another for the interpreter and cook, while the coolies found comfortable quarters near by. View there was none, for my room, though adorned with real glazed windows, looked out on a steep bank, but at least it had an outside door through which I might come and go at will. The furniture was of the usual sort, only in better condition than ordinarily; heavy beds, chairs, tables, but everything was surprisingly clean and sweet-smelling.

Here in this Buddhist monastery on the lofty summit of China's most sacred mountain I spent three peaceful days, happy in having a part in the simple life about me. Chin Tien is one of the largest and most prosperous of Omei's monasteries, and it is also one of the best conducted. Everything was orderly and quiet. Discipline seemed well maintained, and