“Behold!” cried Sabul Ahmid, with an upward sweep of his bare, brown arm, “behold the Sacred Temple of the people of Astrea!”
I stood up in the boat, my portfolio under my arm. High on the mountain’s side, crowning a thick mass of laurel undergrowth, and flanked by a grove of deep, cool, byana trees, was the building to which my servant was pointing. The material whereof it was fashioned I could not at that distance determine. Only in the broad, tropical sunlight it flashed forth, a glorious and spotless white, as flawless and perfect as the purest marble or alabaster. Little minarets rose from the flat roof; and flowering shrubs, planted along the mountain terrace above, drooped about it, a brilliant scintilla of purple colouring. My fingers began to crave for my pencil. I turned to my guide with beaming face.