About the Book
He was dead. The spirit of the Beloved One had gone on alone into the hall of death. His body was left to them for seven days yet so that they might give it a fitting farewell. Now it was time for it too to be sent after. The priests washed his old frail bluish body with water that had been drawn at sunrise. They arrayed him in his ceremonial vestments: the dyed woollen kirtle, the great gray cloak of wolfskin, the seelskin slippers. Across his breast they laid his whalebone bow, with seven arrows of larch. In his right hand they put the long oaken spear. The old mouth began to smile in its scant silken beard, perhaps because everything was being done well and according to the first writings. Now it was time. All was ready.