The Land of the Changing Sun HTML version

Chapter 12
The sunlight was fading into gray when the princess turned to leave Thorndyke. Night
was drawing near.
"Have they assigned you a chamber yet?" she paused to ask.
"Then they have overlooked it; I shall remind the king."
Her beautiful, lithe form was clearly outlined against the red glow of the massive
swinging lamp as she moved gracefully away, and Thorndyke's heart bounded with
admiration and hope as he thought of her growing regard for him. He resumed his seat
among the flowers, listening, as if in a delightful dream, to the seductive music from
bands in different parts of the palace and the never-ceasing sound in the air which seemed
to him to be the concentrated echo of all the sounds in the strange country rebounding
from the vast cavern roof.
It grew darker. The gray outside had changed to purple. In the palace the brilliant electric
lights in prismatic globes refused to allow the day to die. He was thinking of returning to
the throne-room when a page in silken attire approached from the direction of the king's
"To your chambers, master," he announced, bowing respectfully.
Thorndyke arose and followed him to an elevator near by. They ascended to the highest
balcony of the great rotunda. Here they alighted and turned to the right, the page leading
the way, a key in his hand. Presently the page stopped at a door and unlocked it and
preceded the Englishman into the room. As they entered an electric light in a chandelier
flashed up automatically.
It was a sumptuous apartment, and adjoining it were several connecting rooms all
elegantly furnished. The page crossed the room and opened a door to a little stairway.
"It leads to the roof," he said. "The princess told me to call your attention to it, that you
might go out and view the starlight."
When the page had retired, Thorndyke, feeling lonely, ascended the stairs to the roof. It
was perfectly flat save for the great dome which stood in the centre and the numerous
pinnacles and cupolas on every hand, and was very spacious. The Englishman's
loneliness increased, for no matter in what direction he looked, there was not a living soul
in sight. Far in front of him he saw a stone parapet. He went to this and looked down on
the city. The electric lights were vari-colored, and arranged so that when seen from a