2. The dream
He had dreamed this night that he had to leave beyond the palisades of the monastery. Over there, after the range of mountains, then to the valley which continued in the West hills, there was a breathing which was dying out and he had to prevent this murder.
The servant monk did not understand the tidying of the Master, long before the sun appears behind the torn crests. The noises of the night were still in the ears.
He had been awaked by the movement of the old man and he had come, coming out of his moisted covers. He had fears that the Old Master be ill. Yesterday, he had gardened for a long time, bent towards the ground, wrapped in an icy wind which came from snows above.
- Master, you do not feel well?
- Go back to your warm bed… It is not yet the hour, says the old man while folding his cape of meditation in the cloth-bag.
They had spoken gently, concerned about silence. The winter was tough this year and the ices gave their cold on the head of men.
The monk withdrew himself by moving back, the hands united in front of his face and he bent before disappearing. Nimbly, he put on the sheepskin jacket and left the pavilion. HIRO had to be warned urgently! The Master was preparing to leave them!
He ran through the two icy courtyards, the heart pounding…. Was the old man preparing for his death! He had put his cape in the bag!… Snows of the winter were going to take him, him also, like the others which have come before him to teach the Laws of the Life.
The old man did not hasten.
He knew the anguish of the young monk. He knew that informed, HIRO will be there, in front of the wood doors that he will open himself, pushing of all his forces, the two hands flat on the heavy double door. The monks in the courtyard of honor will not come to help him. The master-cook has to open the doors to the Master who was leaving and the Master will give him the keys.
Then, they will bend one in front of the other, the foreheads to be touched.
HIRO will look at the old man moving away, and the Master will feel the gentle eyes caressing his back until this back disappeared at the curve of the way.
The Master knows that HIRO will fold the knees and will strike the forehead by three times on the ice of the ground when he will understand that The One who has taught them so much about the movement of the World was going to take the path which ascends in the ices of the crests.
- Do not take cold, Master, says HIRO.
- Take care of you and of this place of Silence, my friend, says the Master.
He held out the keys, the one of the monastery, the one of the library and the one of the Secret Room. HIRO opened the hands and received them.
Their eyes said their alliance. It was difficult for the master-cook to mask his sorrow under the smile which stretched his large lips.
He progressed at a good pace in the snow frozen by the violent winds of the last month of winter. In a couple of hours, he will have to pay attention to his feet because he will be in the glacis of the crest. In his bag, he has put the iron cramps and he will lean on his stick.
“It is necessary to pass the spines with the sun. The descent will be long on the other hillside.”
He does not think about it. He knows. The Kamis of the mountain will tell him the way on the flat part with the fatal holes plunging into the belly of the earth. They will carry his feet where the firm Nature helps the Man who Walks.
He has not brought food. The villagers will give to him because everywhere one knows Who He Is. He needs to be light to go quickly, to carry the remains of his Life to another one who will die assassinated.
That, he knows it because this night he dreamed it, him who does not see the moving colors of the spirit anymore since such a long time!
He knows the situation is serious. He must mark his trace in the snow with the suffering of his legs. Not very far, one day of movement of his own legs, there is a Life which goes away and this life, he knows that he must save it and that his own life must count for nothing. No matter!
The frozen wind ceased at dawn and he knows with this sign that the Kamis are there, with him, because this wind has not ceased since two moons. It has stiffened all what it has touched. He could have never passed the crests against it and he would have died on the flat part.
The snow is hard and the crampons hardly scratch it. He progresses quickly.
The breath goes in his belly, where it must be and does not leave him. A fine sweat beads its drops on the temples and to the wings of the nose and those also go where they must, at the angle of the thin lips, where the tongue can collect them and give to the body the salt it needs.
All is well thus and he knows it.
This day is a day of death, his own death and the one of another and it is very well thus. HIRO knew it. He saw it in his eyes when he bent himself. Had him also had this dream?
The sun passed the crests with him and the flat part did not engulf it.
The other slope is the one of the men and it testifies of the softness of the earth because for men, there should be no roughness. They get discouraged so quickly!
A white smoke behind the woods shows the way which must be his. Wood-cutters surely. He will thus find there a carriage on sledge and a vigorous horse. The men will take him along in the valley, because those ones, like the others, know Who He Is.
They saw him leaving the wood, coming towards them who were warming themselves around the fire of branches. They looked at him, without a word or a gesture; the eyes wide open on their astonishment, because up there, there was nothing but death, the wind and barn owls.
He came slowly towards them because he knew them to be superstitious.
- May Kindness of all Kamis be with you, he says to them, while bending.
They were five of them, short-legged men wrapped in their furs, the feet fitted with boots of skin glistening by dint of grease. They rubbed their hard hands against their flanks, witnesses of a long habit to warm them. They have fixed him, without understanding, except that this one was coming out of hell and that was maybe not good sign.
He knew what they were thinking. Then, he bent once again while putting the hand at his sheep hat. His other hand opened the coat and they could see the large raw pure gold medal which hung, held by a chain passed around the neck.
They did not say anything but the mouths were opened and the air passed between their teeth with the noise of the forge. They knew then Who He Is and their knees bent in the snow.
- I would need your good will, my children, he says to them by not raising the tone because the kami of the snow would not have allowed it.
He showed the horse with the long hairs and the sled. That was surely careful wood-cutters, rather rare thing here, because the horse had a cover on the kidneys.
- Of course, Master. What do you want of us? … Say and we obey, pronounced with great difficulty the oldest. He started to lose his teeth and blackish saliva ran between the stumps.
The others will not dare to speak. It was up to the oldest, the wisest, to carry the word of the men to The One of whom we were talking about in half-voice, in the evening, around the fire. The voice was made timid and fearful then, because about Him, one did not speak. One bent the forehead on the ground.
- Carry me in your valley and beyond these hills, over there where the night is at the latest, he says to them.
The three youngest people rushed towards the horse they harnessed. Their fast gestures revealed the long habits.
Then they removed the wood already put in the carriage and with great reinforcement of twig-broom sweep, they cleaned the platform on which they installed skins.
The two oldest remained beside the old Master, as it should be.
They did not say anything and observed the young people in their gestures. Later, they will say to them that they worked like disordered people and that they were ashamed of them. That will be said in the village, and they will become Those who did not know how to make the Master smile and shame will be on them, and that, they know it. But they also know that They will be those which have approached Him and saw Him. For that, they will be forever researched because to them the chance will have clung to the hair.
- The carriage is ready, says the oldest, bent in front of the old man who smiled to the young people, because HIM also, he knows this tradition in the valleys of mountains and he will pass his hand in their hair when they will stop near the hot spring halfway of the small valley.
So it is with the World.
This World which is killing a man that He must save. For that one, if he arrives in time, he will then have to give his Life.
In the fibers of the heart he feels the life of the Other fleeing away. He has little time in front of him. This night, all must be consumed, gained or lost.
- Tell me, young man, I believe that this horse must like to trot quickly?
The young man did not dare to look up, but blushed that we could say one single word to him. It was him which looked after the horse and the Master guessed it since it is to him that he spoke.
He clicked the end of the tongue behind the upper teeth and the horse turned the ears. The young man repeated this clicking three times, on a fast rhythm and the muscles under the skin lengthened with the stride.
The old Master smiled, sitting cross-legged on the sheepskins. He let his body be balanced at the rhythm of the bumps on the way. The shod hoof of the small horse hit hard the cold ground.
Only the two youngest people were gone down with him. He had insisted that the two older remain at their work and he says to them that he will know how to take care of their sons.
They accepted the will of the Master and especially on the honor which will henceforth be carried by their sons.
The Master smiled because he progressed quickly and he felt the distance with death to be shortened.
Behind the western hills, it will be necessary to let the movement of the body guide the steps. He will have to be pull by the death which enters a body and the life which leaves it. He will have to treat with them.
If he arrives on time!
At the village, the women will want to retain him. The sounds of the horns have resounded in the mountain five times since a couple of hours. His Arrival is announced and the fires must be activated in the kitchens to cook the cake and the rice.
He will have to bless the new born babies and the future married couple. Then he will break the cake and they will eat in silence, the burning tea in the iron cup nestled between their hands in conch.
Then, he will leave and they will have harnessed a fresh horse to the sledge. They will not raise any question. They will go to the limit of their territory, in crest of the western hills. The horse will stop by itself because it knows that further, it is another field which is not its and that between the men, hate makes the animals fall under the blows.
He asked them:
- Over there, who is the man that one must kill?
The old men made a circle around him, the iron cup between their hands because the burning tea heated them. They shook the head and looked at each other lengthily then they said that there was no man touched by the death in the valley.
- Maybe on the other side…. Maybe! Them are so full of wickedness, said one, the one who spoke for the others, because he was the one who learned how to read and to write at school.
The women around bent the head, several times, the mouth half-opened and a raucous sound came out of it. This sound pushed back the death far from the village. The one about which the Master spoke did not have things to do here, at their home and they said it thus to him.
He knew it was time to leave. He rose and blessed them, touching their forehead with the hand.
Another young man approached him and invited him with a movement of the arm to approach the enclosure. He was mute because he did not dare to open the mouth in front of the one about which one spoke so much in the evening, the face shining in front of the flames.
A hairy horse pawed the ground, already harnessed and the beast wanted to leave. The young man offered his arm to the old man who rested on it. They had placed a light wood stool to facilitate his rise in the carriage.
They came to see him leaving and they remained a long time on the edge of the way, well after the beast and its carriage had disappeared but they remained engraved in their memory and when they turned over to their houses, they believed that The One about which one spoke so much was still there.
The sun started to keep its heat in its circle which did not heat much the earth anymore. A thin veil came in front of him and the old man prayed. He put all his breathing in his belly, transforming it into the one of the earth, because the earth had to say to the sun that it must not give him up today. The night will lead to the withdrawal of life from the body of the one who dies and then he will arrive too late.
He has asked this question five times to those which cut the wood at the bottom of the valley:
- Where is the one that one must kill?
They looked at him without understanding by opening wide their eyes. The mouths opened on the blackish stumps but the words did not come. The sounds which went out of the open throats were those of the cow which breathes and it is well thus. He thanked them while he was smiling and they folded the knees because they knew Who He Was. He touched the foreheads with the hand.
Thus the one who would die was further than this valley and he asked that one pushes the horse towards the crests.
Behind, there was the world of the men who kill those who are different of them because it is their only way to continue to procreate.
It is therefore there that he will find the one to be killed. He felt this body, already dying, so near to him that he believed that extending the hand will make him touch the skin and that this hand was going to carry warmth to the one who was passing away.
The young man observed him while leading his horse to high speed. He did not understand the movement of the arm which extended towards the horizon, and he frowned. The old man smiles at him because it is so with the men who are the fruit of the earth.
- I cannot pass the crests, says the coach driver, lowering the head as a sign of excuse..... The men over there are not our friends!
The high peaks approached and the old man showed him the beginning of the fault under the cliff. He will pass by there and the young man rolled the eyes:
- But, it is the most dangerous way, Master!
- But the shortest, is not it?
- Yes, Master.
- So, it is good that it is from there that I enter these territories which are not yours.
- May it be so, says the young man while pushing his horse towards the beginning of the scree.
Thousand more steps, only, and the snow will not be there anymore for the sledge. They came down a lot and the animal perspires, not accustomed to this softer temperature.
The stones show their sharp edges which will wound the feet. The snow that last will cover the traps of the holes and the young man did not dare to say his concern to the old man whom he took in his arms to put him down on the ground.
The old man let him do while smiling and for a moment, when the two hearts were touching, he threw his energy in the one who carried him and that one opened his breathing at the beauty of the world. He did not know where the warmth irradiating his body came from; he also did not know why the tears came suddenly behind his eyelids and his throat had the taste of salt. He put down the old man with the precaution of the one who touches a fragile object and his kidneys were happy of the effort that he had just produced and he felt that death should be nothing else than that, no longer feel this work and the movement of warmth in the body.
The young man stayed there, beside the horse which did not move, looking at the thin silhouette which seemed to slip between the rocks. The noise of the stick striking the ground still remained in his ears when the night came to land on the earth and says to him to curve the shoulders before entering it.
- Where is the man whom one must kill?
The old woman raised the shoulders and turned the back to him. Then he went towards the stall of vegetables and he asked the question at the man.
- You ramble on old man! Here, there is nobody who must die and go your way. You smell the death of which you speak.
The man made the ritual gestures which drive out the demons and the old man moved back because one started to look at him curiously and that was not good because the men should not be disturbed in their peace of the heart.
He did not want that there, one knows Who He Is.
The stalls will return in the coarse wooden cases and they will count the money. The night is now in the muddy street and the old man strides over the gutter which constitutes the median line of it and that is also fair that the men live with their excrements.
He has descended by the fault of the rocks of crests and he knew that he shall not revealed himself in this valley. Also, he has followed the hollow lanes towards the large village, slipping behind the slopes when the noise of the men came towards him.
He has waited nearby the first houses, near the fountain. The sun disappeared and only the needles of the crest rocks were gilding. Here, it is the night which settles and people hurry. He awaited a group of noisy merchants who came back from the big city, pushing their carriages filled with the products which will be on the market tomorrow. He took their trace, just behind and he entered thus in the village.
He reviewed the three inns, without saying anything and nobody paid attention to him. He listened to the rumors of the market street. He prick up the ear to the stories of the salesmen at the stall. He approached the women who were speaking on their doorstep, watching the children playing near the stream of rubbish.
He heard nothing about the one that one has to kill. Thus, he started to question and he was curiously looked at.
Now he guessed that he has to leave because the noises around him became heavy with the hate of the men who do not want curiosity at their home and it is well thus because it is their only chance to remain alive.
He slipped into the inn of the middle of the street and went through the noisy corridors of it. It was four days of fair and a lot of people had come. The winter left and the strength of the spring ascended in the bodies which wanted to move and shout the change of the earth. He slipped away by the door beside the kitchens and nobody took guard at this old man who went along the shade of the hovels, and the exit of the village opened in front of him with the night.
The cold bit the skin of the men. He smiles gently of this stretching of the lips which went towards the ears and he greeted those which returned of the fields, rushing to find some fire close to them. They thought of a little insane old man, mumbling in the shade of his escaped thought and he knew it by their astonished looks. A woman ceased walking and lengthily looked at him coming towards her and going towards the cold of the night. She was standing curved under the faggot of branches but her eyes went to join those of the one who turned the back at the lanterns of the gathering of the men.
- Do you know that the Village is behind you, my poor old man, she said when he was about to touch her?
- I know it Good Mother, he answered, stopping his walk.
He leaned on his stick and she took her time to observe him. The frank eyes of the woman searched the wrinkles of the old man and he saw she started to have concern for him. Thus, he made a step ahead and held out the hand. She did nothing, only to close the eyelids on the lights of the men.
She knew the hand on her forehead before the flesh meets hers because the warmth was there before, well before and she understood her stop and the expectation of this man who walked towards her turning the back on the city. The hand touched her forehead and she closed her heart at the agitation. The veil that was recovering her slipped away, discovering the eyes of the soul which are darkened with the first thought of the World and she knew all that in one instant and she had the certainty that she was not insane, certain mornings, when she saw this tablecloth of words and concern coming towards her and covering her. These mornings, when waking up, the beauty was in her heart and she gently breathed with the movement of the World which she knew generous. Then this tablecloth came and recovered her and the concern extended in Time.
- HUM ..... H… U… mmmmmmmmm.....
Nothing else went out of the half-opened mouth. However, she knew how to say a lot to the one who turned the back on the lights and her heart overflowed of tenderness for him. The hand took off the veil of the thought of men.
She heard the old man setting off again with small counted steps. The stick struck the hard ground. He had left with her the beauty of the world and she did not want to open the eyes any more. It lasted one moment and others hustled her and told her to stand aside because she was groaning in the middle of the way.
She felt her feet slipping into the ditch and the ice-cold water wet her skin-boots.
Over there, her three children awaited the wood evening-fire and it is well. Things must be this way and this knowledge undo the envelope of the heart. Its liquid spreads in the body and she smiled. Then, she could raise the eyelids on the cold.
She looked at the way that entered the night without a lantern and she did not see anything. The cubit was penetrated in the black.
The old man walked in the night. His feet did not need the light of the men. They knew the stones and the holes. These feet had been born from the earth and the earth and them, had to regain confidence in friendship.
He did not let his breathing stay in his belly because it was necessary that the Energy runs freely and tells him where was The One who was dying. He had little time. Everything will be consumed before the middle of the night because the yang of the man will leave with the one of the Heaven which will let the Earth come in its belly. At this time, the Earth eats the earth and all that is born from it because it is its food and that is well thus.
The man must be found before this hour because he will no longer have enough of heaven in his belly to resist the call of the earth.
“Maybe he has too much heaven in his heart! ….
By all the Gods! … He will die then because he will call the night! “mumbled the old man to the night.
That came to him without premise, to him who does not think any more since such a long time. Then he knew that the Destiny was leading him and that the man was very close for feeling so much His weakness… By the Kamis!, it is the Heaven that will kill him!
So, he prayed, because it is the only recourse of the Wise Man. He says to the Heaven to support the heart of The One who Waited and that him, he will teach him how to make this force slip into the body so that this body can walk on the earth and love the men.
- Let still a little Time to him!
He mumbled and walked the eyes closed because only the strength which was diminishing and which he felt so near. It was necessary to find him in the moments to come because the night now flattened the world and the yin will require its food. It is the time when many men will die.
He heard footsteps coming towards him but he did not open the eyes. It was a man returning home.
- Where are you going like this, my old man! … You know that it is the death which lurks further?
The old man did not slow down the pace and did not raise the eyelids. Death was everywhere and this one did not know that more than the others. Death was especially with them and they did not know how to die. Just a matter of time. But “that” he would have told it to him in other moments and may be even more. But now, death was him and his family and friends. He could not tell him. Nor in order to find the Life which was leaving so close to him, somewhere in the shadow areas of the night in forest, he had to close his eyes and his ears and go as if pulled by a thread from the Invisible telling him where to put his feet on the ground which cracked again its ice in the ruts of the path.
The other could have seen the back leg lengthily pushing forward the thin body, then the front one receiving the weight and then pulling. He could have seen, but to see, one must already recognize and he did not know anything else but the mechanics of his days. Then, he raised his shoulders and faced the lights of the village again which gave their curious yellow clarity in the night above the summits of pines.
The skin boots became slippery on the ice that was reforming and the old man did not think of it because to think of it would be to surely fall in the night. He stretched the eyes under the lowered eyelids and caressed them with the soft cloth of his spirit. Them, must SEE this night and behind the walls of the eyelids hiding the night of the men, they must find their way to go to this clarity which was diminishing and to prevent it from disappearing.
“Where is The One who the Men must kill?”
Thus he progressed and his steps left the path smashed by the ruts and he entered the high forest by the path which followed the stream under its ice. The force came from there and the eyes widened towards the ears. Then the old man put his hands under his bonnet of fur and started to massage the auricle which he had broad and strong. It was time now to awake these senses and the laughing eyes said it to him at his heart because they knew each other and they knew they were linked for a long time. The three of them will guide him and he knew it by the smiles which descended from the eyes and stretched the thin lips above of the top of the goatee of rare and long hairs.
The one who was going to die was very close. Now, the heart was going to guide and behind his lowered eyelids, he looked for the blue-tinged light.
It was there, in the middle and he laughs in his belly. The Forces of the Place were with him! Behind his head, the blue light started above the nape of the neck. He felt the hot ball which started to spread out in fan-shaped over the pile of the neck. He pulled up the collar of his heavy fur-lined coat and laced the cords under his chin.
This jade cushion must be protected. It was necessary that his head can lean on the night behind him. Then, thus protected, it was going to be able to project all its life towards the other life which was somewhere in front of it. This one which was like it. Because they recognized each other since this night when they awoke the old man and told him to leave because one of them was to be saved from the death of the Men because the death of this one was not reparable.
The old man is there, protecting his nape of the neck from the cold yin of the night. It is good.
He pushes in the cracking snow up to the knees and he knows that he will suffer a lot this night. It is good. It is thus that it must be.
In front of him there is a man to save. A Life will go out of a body of man and this Life must not go out of this body. Here is what he knows and it is sufficient for him, the Master, to be there in the white of the snow and the blue-tinged dark of the night under the pines of the mountain.
And he knows that it is now his Life that he must give in exchange of this blessing to save that one. It is good.
He keeps the eyelids lowered on his cheeks and the smile of the eyes now goes down in his heart. The blue-tinged light is between his eyebrows and strongly presses on the bones. It is time to let it go and when he smiles his ears are ringing. Then he raises high the knee and marks one more print in the snow in front of him. The path now goes up hard and the wind has just risen in the heads of black pines.
The night makes its way without moon and it is the blue-tinged light between his eyebrows that guides the old man. The force which is in his head tightens strongly against the bones and he knows that today he must not let it escape, nor swallow it. It must remain between the two eyes, hurting him, but this pain is the one that will lead him where the Man Who Must Die is. The boots and pants under his heavy tunic are soaked with molten snow. The cold does not take his bones. This pain in his head looks after that and he knows it. He is not hungry either and it is good thus because this night will be the one where he will know he can now live in peace while waiting for the death.
So he progresses, raising high the knees in the snow. He pushes less now that the freezing cold came back. The top layer mixed with the needles of the pines offers a firmer support to him and he pays attention to his foot so that it comes to rest gently on the thin hard layer and does not break it. It is his attention on his feet which captures his spirit and he blows in his belly, because this spirit must remain thus, calmly in his feet. Thus, the Other Spirit, the one which enters this blue-tinged force between his eyebrows can maintain the smile on his lips, the buzz in his broad ears and the abundant saliva in his mouth which he must swallow in three fast and strong times almost every five minutes. He counts the time like this since the pain is taken away of him tonight. This night will not be his. This night his life will have to slip into the body of another and then he will be able at last to smile freely and say “Thank you”. This night will be the one when his death will finally become a friend. He knows that. Death is here and it guides him with this blue-tinged light in the forehead, between his eyebrows and the nape of the neck which rests gently, in the heat, on it jade cushion. So, he raises high the knees and puts his attention on the flat part of his feet. Now, he cannot do anything else and he knows it. He came this far and it was his work to come there, drawn by this dream and this force. This is how it had to be.
This is how it should be and he knows it. So he suddenly opens the mouth and he bursts in the white ball which forces the bones of his cranium. And suddenly, his cranium is not here anymore, nor the remainder either. There is the White Universe Behind the Things which takes possession of the surface of the life. Now he knows who comes first, of the Vision, of the Heat or of the Love. It has been more than forty years that he lives with this force that comes to take possession of him and reassures him in his action among the Men Who Kill.
But this time, it is not identical to the other times.
He falls on his knees and his legs also burst under the pressure of the Luminous Force. He feels himself falling but that does not have any importance because All is Right and arrives at its Hour. He knows that he is rolling on the slope and his body slips between the trees and the coppices. But that does not have any importance. This Light lives in him and he does not even know anymore that it is it which leads him because it has become his soul and his body. He cannot do anything, now. The action of his spirit can no longer be done because what occurs there, is above of his means of catches. Besides, nobody speaks anymore and he does not know how much time passes nor where he goes. He knows him rolling and slipping on the slope and the shock of a tree on his back.
He does not draw away from the head of the rock he sees coming towards him.
Then it is the dark night of his spirit and he does not know anything anymore. He has never ceased to blow in his belly a sound, the smile at the lips and his ears ring of OMMMmmmmmm…mmmm. He has nothing else at his disposal in his body and his spirit of Man to say that he is ready and that he is not afraid.
Time does not have a catch on him because The spirit is out of time. This time again, like the other times, He does not know long passed under the influence of the Light of the Source of Life. He comes back, like each time of a voyage which replaces him at a place of the Earth and he does not know why There, except that it is there that he recognizes his body that was given to him as Man and that it is there that he must act. His body is not painful. However he remembers the blows of the trees and the rocks. He perceives that but what raises his spirit from the snow, is this huge Love which suffocates his heart and his brain. The cold of the snow can nothing against him. Nor the one of the wind in the summits which reaches the ground while whirling to the ears. This warmth is the one which saves and this one has carried him there, against this rock which curves to create a flat part. He does not need to turn around to know that the Man is there, lying down on his stomach on the frozen ground and that his breath dies out of the Life of the Men. He believes to perceive a moaning. The death that wins him over,makes him suffer! So the old man smiles because this suffering is not the one of the body. Death by cold is the softest that can be; it is the soul which groans. It does not accept death and finds it unfair. The tears come to the eyes of the one who is wrinkled and freeze immediately in the hairs of his white goatee. These are tears of happiness because he knows now that nothing was useless. The one who was to die, cries at the entry of the cold in his heart! So he will be able to save him.
Thus he will be able to save him and he knows it in the happiness which inflates his heart. This happiness, he did not hope for it anymore. He had waited for it since to long time and had believed that his destiny wanted him to go away like others, without transmitting his Knowledge of the Force of Life.
But the moaning was there, very close and he crawled under the overflow of the rock. He slipped close to the body and twist himself to remove his heavy pelisse. He spread it on the frost of the ground and looked for a catch on the body which was cooling down. He needed his fine hearing to still perceive a semblance of breathing. The man was at the extreme limit of the Breath. It was necessary to act quickly.
He clutched him by clothing, which seemed to him a fur jacket of and pulled towards him. The body came with difficulty. The top remained stuck under the rutted rock and the head was not visible. It seemed that the man had wanted to go as far as possible under the flat part, enter in the frozen ground and to die there. The old man pulled gently. He had taken off his gloves for better mix his knotty fingers with the rough fabric. He brought his elbows towards him, pushing the breathing in the belly and in his effort, he prayed without realizing it. The sound OMMMMmmmmm…. slipped of his half-opened lips. The sweat started to bead at the temples and he gently pulled this inert body that was approaching now.
He pulled him towards himself in the same slow gestures and he felt his heart being overturn with happiness when the body rolled on the left side and came, stiff and straight, to center just in the middle of the pelisse which the old man had spread out.
Then, he lengthened the legs of the man and brought back his hands on his cold belly. He pulled his fur bonnet warmed by his sweat. He rolled up the collar of his shirts, then, gently, as to not disturbing the death and the life which were linked so narrowly in this stiff body, he lay down on him and started to breathe for two.
This night is the one he has to give his life and it is well thus.