“Captain Lanyard is in the wheelhouse,” growled the filthy stoker of the Sameramis.
I climbed the ladder and was about to knock on the weathered, oak door when, through the blinds, came a low voice intoning: “It is thou, O river, who judges man’s judgment… O river of sanctuaries. ..O river of light…”
I opened the door and saw a tall man in long, black watch coat bent over a chart table reading, what appeared to be, clay tablets. Without turning he said: “What say ye, lad? Does the ocean refuse the river’s tribute?”
He fell silent and gazed upon an arid, level plain broken only by an occasional rocky mound overgrown with dry grass. The sun was setting in a blaze of golden fire. The scorched landscape seemed, as foretold in the Gathas of Zoroaster, suddenly transfigured by the celestial Light of Glory.