From the Private Journal of Charles Darwin

Downe House: Downe, Kent

August 23, 1870

 

 

           

            Most of the commotion has died down, although I heard the report of Jasper’s fowling piece a few moments ago followed by a mordant howl. It sounded as if it were coming from the wood that borders our property. Emma and the girls are safely secured upstairs and Emma has the pistol. She pleaded with me to stay. I have never seen her so frightened. Perhaps it is unwise of me to return to the study, the scene of this evening’s troubling encounter, but I feel compelled to write down the details while they are still fresh in my mind . . . .

No one knows who brought word of Ch'an to Macao, but the monastery was there before the Portuguese arrived in the 16th century. The monks who study there, most of Chinese ancestry, speak of the Thirty Three masters in reverential tones. In an unbroken line, from the school's founding to the present, the teachings of Bodhidharma have been passed from Master to Master. Some monks, who have taken on the rigors of Ch'an discipline as their life's work, live and die within the confines of the monastery, rarely venturing into the turmoil of the city. Others come to taste of the ancient learning or seek temporary refuge. They stay awhile and move on. The monk who could not resist women was of the former group, outwardly correct but living, in fact, two lives. His story is recounted whenever the current Master seeks an illustration of the ambiguities of desire. Though this young monk's name has been pointedly forgotten, let us call him Han....

"Darwin's Guest" is now published by allthesins (UK) 

 

Who is this mysterious guest?

 

Find out here:

 

 

 

"The Distant One" is now published by Eclectica Magazine.

 

If you wish to know why Han is so bedevilled you may find out here: