“He say you do a great deed for Tibet,” Sukhang translated.
The Karmapa spoke rapidly in Tibetan.
“He say you are wise and brave. He say he trust you. He agree you take book to Samye Monastery. He arrange it.”
Sigourney exhaled, releasing the tension from her body like steam from a pressure cooker. Even the glare of the head monk couldn’t affect the burst of happiness she felt. She bowed her head and smiled. His smiled broadened in return, and he spoke again to Sukhang.
“We stay here tonight,” Sukhang said. “Tomorrow we join caravan. I go with you, be your guide.”
Sigourney took another deep breath. There was more she wanted to say, but not in front of the angry monk. “Sukhang, please ask the Karmapa if I may have a private audience with him, with you acting as my interpreter.”
Sukhang was so startled by her request, he couldn’t speak. She realized she might be committing a serious breech of protocol, but she didn’t care. She didn’t trust this other monk, and she had to make her feelings known to the Karmapa. She wanted to be sure her quest wouldn’t be compromised by spies or hidden agendas. At last, Sukhang spoke, and the Karmapa nodded his head knowingly. He talked quietly to the head monk, who immediately stalked from the room.
Please forgive my impertinence,” she said once they were alone. “I do not know who to trust, other than you. I believe it is best if no one else knows I am here. The manuscript is warning me of danger. I hope you will understand my fears.”
“I share them,” he said in English after Sukhang had translated. He continued in Tibetan. “The monk you met is very trustworthy but concerned about the dangers the book may bring to my people if the Chinese find it. Only the most trusted monks will help. Tomorrow, you will leave with the caravan camped outside. I will ask them to change their route. They will take you over the mountains to the Samye Monastery, not through the Yarlung Valley. That will confuse any spies. I will say many prayers for you. Once you return the book, your name will be written in our history forever.”
With that, the Karmapa rose and strode imperiously from the room while Sukhang prostrated himself once more. Sigourney was amazed that a boy of fourteen could be so mature. His training the past seven years had been very effective.
Sigourney's Quest - Excerpt
Page 11 of 12