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35

 

At another moment, Baba joined in the general merriment when Fred Winterfeldt put on a striped tam plus Bili's feather hat. He came and stood beside Fred and Dr. Hayman and beckoned to those with cameras to snap this amusing scene.

 

At last it was time to leave. Our plane rose in the air as some of the remaining ones raced out on the airfield after it, as if it were Baba's divine kite itself! Again, we had perfect flying weather and the Beloved was in a happy mood in the midst of His lovers. We watched silently as Eruch brushed out Baba's shoulder-length grey hair and then re-braided His little pigtail. The very same thought was in five minds, but Baba, with a twinkle in His eye, motioned Eruch to give the stray hairs from the brush to Mrs. White across the aisle.

 

Later, He leaned back against the white pillow and closed His eyes. It was then that one could see the lines of suffering that reminded one of the Christ. Yet, a few moments later, He was smiling at us and gesturing "Are you happy?" Several times, He placed a blanket over His head for a few moments, perhaps for  "work."

 

I doubt if our pilot ever understood it, but we were unaccountably 50 minutes early, as we circled lazily over the Potomac and Mt. Vernon below. There was an unusual tail wind, also no mail calls; but that a crew of TV cameramen and reporters with police escort were awaiting our arrival might have had something to do with it! The Master just slipped out of their grasp. Indeed, the limousines hired for Him were not there either, and in regular cabs He was driven with some of the party, to the home of Ivy Duce.

 

The remainder of us, at Baba's suggestion, were to sightsee together for the next few hours—but, no movies! A special bus was chartered for us, and leisurely we did the standard "tour" of Washington highlights, only to find our driver, on learning we were a "spiritual group," more interested in giving us his views on religion than informing us of the sights. We had to prod him to get out of the Arlington cemetery with its endless vistas of trees and tombs. As we passed a row of freshly-dug graves, I could not help thinking, "these too missed meeting Him"—and was reminded of the three greatest blessings, according to Vedanta—"To have a human body, to have longing for God, and to have a Perfect Master."

 

We hurried our driver back to the airport and a TV set in a bar to catch the TV interview with Baba, to no avail. Not until much later

 

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