The Bronze Image


By Clark Ashton Smith

cover image of The Bronze Image

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It was a small bronze image of the God Ganesha, the elephant-headed, who is the [Hindu] deity of wisdom, and it stood on my writing desk. I had picked it up at an auction, it having formed part of a large collection which the owner, owing to financial embarrassment, had been compelled to sell. (The price was ridiculously low, there being no competitor, and I left thinking that I had made a bargain.) The image was of Benares workmanship, and Allah alone knew how old. Also it was just the size for a paper-weight, and quite appropriate. Holden dropped in about a week later. He is an old friend of mine—a grave, reticent sort of man. We had conversed for some time, when he suddenly caught sight of the image, and starting violently, cried out in amazement. "Where did you get the Ganesha, Lane?" he asked. I told him. "The last time I saw that image," he said, "was in Benares." "I was not aware of your previous acquaintance with my paperweight," said I. Looking at him, I saw that he was deeply absorbed in thought. "Well," he said finally, "I see that you are anxiously awaiting the story." He then proceeded to tell it as follows . . .
The Bronze Image