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Mort in Greece
Mort at the Gorge of Samaria, Crete, Greece

 

Excerpt from Striking Through the Masks
P.348.

We must have wandered off the trail several times, and the hike, which I later learned should have taken five or six hours, went on into sunset and then dusk. We passed a settlement of ruins across a deep river where several people were going about their business, not noticing us, and it was as though we were observing them in a film. I was to find out that this was all that was left of Samaria, the settlement from which the gorge took its name—sainted Maria, holy Mary—which was also the name of the ruins of the small church in its midst, and that it had been abandoned several years before when the gorge was designated a national park. Then who, I thought
when I found this out, were the people I saw there?

Nightfall rose around us without our being aware of time passing. Only as darkness enveloped us did we realize we had neither flashlight nor matches—nor did I have any idea how far we were from the end of the gorge. This realization sobered us, and only then did we recognize the efficacy of our walking sticks, whose slender legs, curving outward, thrust their toes forward, as if the sticks were tentatively touching their way several feet in front of us and guiding us away from declivities and sudden drops that would have thrown us twenty to fifty feet onto the rocks below. It seemed that the walking sticks had sprung into our hands hours before with this eventuality in mind, and it turned out that both of us had the same thought, for when we stopped to rest on a boulder, Karen, in a hushed voice, expressed this idea.


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