There I was up in the mountains, dear reader, when I saw a cave I’d never noticed before.

I went in. It smelled of ancient times and long-dead fires. In the back shadows was a passageway. It seemed to lead deep into the mountain. I could see a glow at the far end. But even more wonderful, I heard a sound coming from this passage. It was the most beautiful, most splendid sound.

How can I describe this sound, dear reader? On and on it called. Every pore in my body listened, every beat of my heart sang along with it.

And what could produce such a wondrous noise? I had to see for myself! I began to walk down that long, rocky passage. But a man appeared from the shadows. He was dressed in a dark, hooded robe.

“I am sorry. You cannot go further,” he said.

“But I must! I must see the origin of that sound!”

“No. You are not allowed to know such things. I am sorry. That knowledge is secret. It is only for those who belong to the Brotherhood of Splendour.”

“Then I must join this Brotherhood of Splendour,” I said. “How do I join?”

So he told me. It was long and complicated.

“First you must visit the ruined walls of Great Zimbabwe. You must place your ear on the granite and listen to the clicking of its thousands of stones. After that you must travel to the mountain forests of Rwanda and listen to the silverback gorilla beat his mighty chest.

“Next you must spend a night deep in the Sahara desert. You must listen to the sound of the sand winds moaning over the dark dunes. And lastly you must travel to the libraries of Timbuktu. You must hold an ancient book in your hand and listen to the sound as you turn an ancient page filled with ancient wisdom. Only then, you will be ready. Only then will you truly belong to the Brotherhood of Splendour.”

It took me seven months, dear reader! Seven months and all my savings. But at last I returned to the cave with my quests complete.

I stepped into the glowing passage. The sound that rose from deep inside the mountain was even more beautiful than I remembered.

Once again, the robed man met me. He smiled so that his face glowed too.

“Aah, yes. I can see it in your eyes. You have completed your quests. You are now part of the Brotherhood of Splendour. Follow me. Come and see for yourself.”

I followed him deeper and deeper into the mountain. The sound was all around me now, loud and strong. It echoed off the rocks and vibrated in the unpolluted air. It pulsed through my arteries, it swirled around my brain.

At last, at last I saw, face to face, what it was that created this glorious noise. I stood spellbound, shaking my head in amazement. It was… it was…


Oh, but I am so sorry, dear reader. I cannot tell you this secret. You are not allowed to know such things. You do not yet belong to the Brotherhood of Splendour. First you must visit the ruined walls of Great Zimbabwe…

The End