9. The Palace of Solitude

HAVING LEFT THE DEMONS to their horse racing, they sailed for a full week with no sign of land, and suffered greatly from lack of food and water.
Their hunger was great by the time they came upon a vast island, which rose high out of the waves. On the shore, right on the water’s edge, they found a large and splendid house.

The house had two doors; one turned inland, opening onto a wide plain, and the other faced the sea. The door that looked towards the sea was closed with a great flat stone, and in this stone was an opening through which the waves, as they beat tirelessly against the door every day, threw large numbers of salmon into the house.

The voyagers landed, and searched through the entire house without meeting any one. They saw in one large room a rich and beautifully ornamented couch that seemed to be intended for the head of the house, and in each of the other rooms was a bed for three members of the family. There were three cups of crystal on a table beside each bed, and food and drink.

Thankful, they ate and drank till they were satisfied, thanking God for having saved them from hunger and thirst, and then they rested in the comfort of the beds.

The occupants of the house did not appear, and they decided to set sail again.


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