Page:Occult Japan - Lovell.djvu/101

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85
MIRACLES.

the performance of the miracle itself. A long line of booth - mats had suddenly sprouted mushroom-like out of the ground beyond the oratory and was now attempting to beguile the crowd by every species of toy and gimcrack, visibly connected or unconnected with the occasion. There were paper masks and clay foxes and baby bows and arrows and papier-maché swords. The last caught our fancy, as being suited for presentation to some of the urchins who were standing interestedly about, and who instantly put them to proper use by making us the objects of pantomimic attack as soon as ever our backs were turned.

Through this running fire we made our way safely to the head priest's house, from which, loaded with charms consecrated by the miracle, we were bundled into our jinrikisha and trundled regretfully toward home.

And now to explain the miracle:—

Doubtless credulity is the mother of miracles, but doubtless, also, with the far eastern family of them a pachydermatous sole step-fathers the process. For most of them are questions of cuticle. Of the three great Shintō rites: the Ordeal by Boiling Water;