Stránka:tales 1921.djvu/21

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It is long ago since first I heard her whisper, and though I hear better now than then, I have no happier memory than that earliest message.

“Ho Wayseeker”, she called, “I have watched your struggle to find the pathway, and I know that you will love the things that belong to it. Therefore, I will show you the trail, and this is what it will lead you to: a thousand pleasant friendships that will offer honey in little thorny cups, the twelve secrets of the underbrush, the health of sunlight, suppleness of body, the unafraidness of the night, the delight of deep water, the goodness of rain, the story of the trail, the knowledge of the swamp, the aloofness of knowing, — yea, more, a crown and a little kingdom measured to your power and all your own.

“But there is a condition attached. When you have found a trail you are thereby ordained a guide. When you have won a kingdom you must give it to the world or lose it. For those who have got power must with it bear responsibility; evade the one, the other fades away.”

This is the pledge I am trying to keep; I want to be your Guide. I am offering you my little kingdom.