The Mysterious Buddhist Robe
Leaping lightly to the ground whilst the backs of his foes were still turned towards him, he was able with the double-edged sword which he held in each of his hands to despatch three more of his enemies. The last remaining foe was so utterly cowed when he beheld his comrades lying dead upon the road that he took to flight, and soon all that was to be seen of him was a black speck slowly vanishing on the distant horizon.
Thus ended the great battle in which Monkey secured such a signal victory over the wild demons of the frozen North, and Sam-Chaong drew near to gaze upon the mangled bodies of the fierce spirits who but a moment ago were fighting so desperately for their very lives.
Now, Sam-Chaong was a man who naturally had the tenderest heart for every living thing; and so, as he looked, a cloud of sadness spread over his countenance and he sighed as he thought of the destruction of life which he had just witnessed. It was true that the demons had come with the one settled purpose of killing him, and there was no reason therefore why he should regret their death. But life to him was always precious, no matter in what form it might be enshrined. Life was the special gift of Heaven, and could not be wilfully destroyed without committing a crime against the gods.
So absorbed did Sam-Chaong become in this thought, and so sombre were the feelings filling his heart, that he entirely forgot to thank the hero by his side who had risked his life for him, and but for whose prowess he would have fallen a victim to the deadly hatred of these enemies of mankind. Feelings of resentment began to spring up in the mind of Monkey as he saw that Sam-Chaong seemed to feel more pity for the dead demons than gratitude for the heroic efforts which had saved him from a cruel death.
"Are you dissatisfied with the services I have rendered to you to-day?" he asked him abruptly.
"My heart is deeply moved by what you have done for me," replied Sam-Chaong. "My only regret is that you could not have delivered me without causing the death of these poor wretched demons, and thus depriving them of the gift of life, a thing as dear to them as it is to you or me.