He was the last man and only he make the music to bring life again...
Brother Hammond pointed to the far horizon. "The City's in that direction, but I can't say how far, my boy. I've forgotten. But a long way. You'll take some cheese and pemmican biscuit, but you'll have to forage along the trail. It'll be dangerous- strange beasts and who knows what kind of men?" A hawk dropped through the clouds and fell like a black stone past the high promontory on which Jonathan Scott stood.
Brother Scott said, "I've prayed all day, since you told me I was chosen to carry the Song, that the Divine Ultimate Reality behind appearances would guide me in safety."
"You were chosen, my boy, because you play the Song with greater passion than any of us." Brother Hammond's harsh brown robe flattened in the high wind against his bent, bony frame. He took the ritual cylinder from the cloth bag suspended from his neck. He turned a dial to refresh his mind with the Temple Voice. He was old, and sometimes he forgot the older words. "You hear the words, Jonathan, my boy? Even the Voices of the Temple are fading, growing old." The words were scratchy and distant.
Brother Hammond blinked and whispered. "It was so long ago when we Elders were sent from the Temple with the Song. Four hundred years-. Longevity is a hard burden, my boy. Maybe you should be grateful you don't have to carry it."
Jonathan's shoulder-length blond hair glittered as he threw his head back to the sun. His eyes were bright with the ecstasy of anticipation. He would carry the Song!
The cylinder spoke in a kind of fading whisper:
"The Word is the Song!" The two on the height repeated it, chanting softly:
"The Word is the Song."
"The Song is the Word"
"The Song is the Word."
"The Song is the Key to salvation, for all hope and realization . . ."
Jonathan's eyes were glassy and hot, and his throat felt dry.
"Sanctus . . . Sanctus . . . Spokesman of the Divine, Revealer of the Reality behind Appearances ... the Integrating Principle of the Universe . . ."
So they listened and repeated the old, old instructions from the Temple .. .
Jonathan said goodbye to the people who lived in the Valley of the Preservers of the Song. A hundred and thirty in all- men, women and children- the workers coming in from the fields to their stone huts, the women preparing the evening meal in open stone furnaces to be served on flat stone plates.