Page:Occult Japan - Lovell.djvu/94

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Whether economy or the remains of original sin prompted this pious fraud, I know not, but he thus deceived us more than once, as he turned round quarter-wise upon his holy pedestal. Once he hit a tree, quite by accident, and the crowd applauded. After he had thus revolved several times, he called again for the pole and carefully descended from his pinnacle. I examined his soles and found them not only uncut, but barely lined; an unhurt condition which he shortly proceeded to demonstrate practically upon the ladder.

The divine shooting was no sooner over than the purification rites for the climbing of the ladder began; the usual thread of prayer knotted with finger-twists being gone through with upon the mats in front. Then, that there might be no mistake in the minds of the populace as to the genuineness of the miracle, the Chief of God-Arts ascended the secular ladder, which still leaned against the platform, and producing sheets of paper from his sleeve, cut them elaborately into little bits upon each blade in succession, and let the pieces flutter to the ground. When he had finished the secular ladder was removed.