For one brilliant moment he considered the possibility that he had gone completely mad. Sorrow filled him to a degree he had never experienced before. He wanted to bawl like a baby. Other thoughts entered him that were stronger and braver than his usual white man’s store of knowledge: It is The Luminah…I will be with you…You will know what to do…You will not be afraid…ever again…I am with you…Tell no one!
Then his own thoughts returned: Do it quick now. Or he’ll kill you. Must jump into Gold Lake suddenly because it’s so shockingly cold. No other way to go in–deep. He lunged for the edge but stopped again. Need lots of air. The Indian said he would swim into the mountain into a hole. He would find a place where he could breathe again. It sounded impossible but he had no choice.
He filled his lungs until they felt like balloons of air. Then he exhaled and inhaled again. Holding the stone high overhead he leaned out and felt the heavy rock pulling him forward, felt waves of fear. The forest voice whispered again: Go deep into the lake…It is The Luminah…I will be with you…You will know what to do…You will not be afraid again…ever…I am with you…Tell no one!
The forest voice pulled him forward.
Now! He swung the stone high and leaped into the air and tipped into a dive. Plunging full of hope, flying, falling, strange words trailing after him like streamers of smoke: You will find yourself in The Luminah.
At the last instant he prayed: Let me be born alive!
When he hit the water he heard a little girl scream like a steam whistle.