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Thursday, 9 July

The day was largely occupied, as several of its predecessors have been, in writing and getting off numerous and lengthy letters. When it is not raining just now it is apt to be warm, so we do not leave the house much in the early part and middle of the day. In the afternoon, however, we decided to go out to the Island of the Three Pools of the Moon's Reflection, partly to get the boat ride and partly to enable me to get some sketches of the little stone pagodas in the lake out there. We landed at the island's back-door, and stepped out to the lotus pond through a short avenue of bamboos. There we were confronted by a rare and lovely sight. The water was black as a forest pool, as polished jet, or well-rubbed lacquer. Motionless out of this polished glassy surface lifted the velvety soft green leaves of the lotus sparkling with drops of mercurial water, and the buds and full-blown flowers inimitably pink with the happy blush the Buddha's favor brings. We crossed the stone flagged Bridge of Nine Windings, past the Tr[[striked through]] a [[/striked through]] iangular Pavilion, the temple now used for the sale of photographs), a pleasant monolith of rough fantastic stone embraced by flowering trumpetcreeper vines, and came to the Swastika Pavilion. This is a summer house of galleries laid in the form of the ancient symbol. The galleries are lined with seats, though they are not very wide. The whole occupies a square perhaps fifty feet on a side at the edge of pond. The island is little more than pond with a tree-lined edge around it, and is not much more than a couple hundred yards across in either direction.

Crossing another set of bridges over another [[x-ed through text]] arm of the lotus pond we came to the pavilion at the edge of the lake. In front of us were the three small stone pagodas marking the spots where the Poet Su placed similar monuments many years ago to suppress the unruly spirits lurking in the three deep pools there. We spent an hour or so sketching and observing, then realized with a start that we were going to be late for supper. We hurried back to our boat, but not so fast as to miss the beauty of the very artificial island with its ponds, bridges, rocks, bamboos and pavilions. The wind was against us, so I soon took a hand with an extra oar and we got home not too late to enjoy our meal. 
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