SECOND QUENTIN STORY
Prior to sailing for Bombay, Baba was staying at a hotel in Marseilles. He was accompanied by a small group of Eastern and Western disciples. Someone I do not remember who had given Baba an enormous birdcage. There were no birds in this contraption. Therefore, during the wait for the ship, Baba would send disciples out to buy and bring to the hotel small cages of budgerigars, which were then transferred to the big bird cage. Since in London Quentin had owned quite a large collection of these birds, he was given the job of transferring the birds from the small cages into the large one.
Now Quentin, even though an American by birth, had while living in England acquired the habit of having a cup of tea during the afternoon and he traveled with a small spirit stove so that this ceremony should not be missed.
He had on one occasion just got everything well on the way. The water was on the point of boiling when someone arrived, triumphantly carrying another cage of the small birds.
Baba happily signalled to Quentin to do his job, but was met by, "Oh, wait a minute, Baba, the water is just coming to the boil."
Baba immediately gave a sign to someone else to see to the transfer.
It was a disaster. The disciple who received the order did his best but he was not used to birds and they escaped from his inexperienced hands and fluttered away.
Again Quentin was overcome by his mistake, but from this time on, little by little, he drew away from Baba, and after some months, not long before World War II, he broke away from Baba altogether. During the war he had no communication with Him at all.
There is, however, a brighter ending to this story. After the war, which I had spent in India with Baba, I returned to England for a short time and there Quentin got in touch with me. We spent a wonderful afternoon in Kew Gardens, talking lovingly of Baba, and he told me that his love for Baba had returned and was much stronger than before the break. A short time after my arrival in America, I heard that Quentin had died. His death had been caused by war-time malnutrition.
THE DANCE OF LOVE, pp. 46-47
1980 © Sheriar Press, Inc.