THE RAINBOW BOOK
" My sons, my end is near."
Each one replied with an endearing term—just one, for they were not men of many words. And they told him " it was only his fuss." That he was " only a hundred, and didn't look as if he were going to be cut off prematurely." " That he mustn't give in and should never say ' die.'
" I cannot argue the point," replied the old man. " Let me tell you my last wishes as briefly as I can, for my time is short."
They tried to dissuade him from talking so much, but it was of no avail, for he protested that it was their duty to listen to him, and he insisted upon having last wishes as he had read that others had had before him, and it would be for the sons to obey and unravel them as best they could.
Then the father, addressing the eldest, who was ambitious and already past middle age, spoke as follows :—
" My son, my first-born, find out the furthermost summit of the world, and when you have surmounted that, you can surmount anything."
To his second son, who was avaricious and also getting old and rather bald, he said :—
" Sit patiently, and wait, and when you can hear a voice that comes from no living throat, and can see its traces, you will want for nothing."