Epilogue 11

Much later after Mrs.D. had finally left I curled up on the
settee with my two cats and felt so content I felt she could
almost purr like them. With the warmth from the fire and the
warmth in my stomach from the food I quickly became sleepy
and curling down further closed my eyes.

The voice seemed to come from the ether. I followed the
voice, it was Nick. Then I saw him, he was in the tentlike
structure in front of a fire. He looked up and saw me.. This time his
face looked less haggard and his eyes brighter. He held out his
hands to me and I took them. I couldn’t feel them of course
but I knew they were there.
‘Emilia, you came.’ he said in his mountain dialect. For some
reason I was surprised when he spoke, for I had not turned
my brain onto the dialect, he looked like the old Nick but he did
not speak English. The old Nick had a degree in English. I could
only hope and pray that whatever damage had been done was
‘Nick in order to help you I must ask some questions’, I said.
Nick nodded his head, he was willing to answer any questions I
had a mind to put to him, provided he could remember what the answers were.
Slowly but surely I asked the questions which Reggie had on
his list and I had memorized., and bit by bit we started to put the
pieces together. Any answers he didn’t know, he promised he
would ask his fellow tribesmen for the answers and he would tell
her next time she came. He did not even seem to think it a little odd
that I suddenly appeared and disappeared from nowhere to
nowhere. He just accepted it. Of course with his Buddhist
teachings also, he could accept things that most Westerners would
not be able to accept at all, at any cost.
Slowly but surely I began to fill in the blanks in Nick’s
memory, which was pretty much all blank. I told him about
them, how we had loved each other. How we had worked
together and had gone to cover the uprising for the magazine.
Magazine had meant nothing to him and I had had to go into
great detail about what we did respectively for the magazine. He
couldn’t remember he took photographs, he couldn’t even visualize
a camera, he had no idea what one was. I couldn’t even compare
it with something he would have seen in Tibet, because there was
just nothing to compare it with.
Slowly I explained things to him and occasionally his eyes lit up
as if in some far memory a light had been switched on.
Patiently, tolerantly I went on and on. Then I gave him a list to
memorize of questions he must ask the tribesmen, or better still
perhaps any monks or Lamas he came across. Even though the
monks and Lamas were great travellers also, they did stay in one
place longer than the tribesmen. He needed to know the name of
this place. Any other name it was known by. Where it was near to,
any lake, any named mountain, anything they could tell him to
pinpoint where it was exactly that he was, and he must stay there,
even if the tribe was going on the move he must remain behind so
he could be found. I knew as we talked that I was starting to
fade, as he was and suddenly without the chance to even say
Goodbye, I was back on the settee and wide awake, the cats still
snuggling up to my warm body.
After this visit though there was no upset, no crying, this time I
felt as if we had achieved something, that sometime soon he
would be found and his long journey back would begin

Epilogue 11


Co Durham, United Kingdom

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