Old Hok died in his little room next to the pagoda. The day after the cremation, at dawn, Kamal was sent to gather up the monk’s few things. In the early morning, the village was quiet, except at the hour when the monks walked in procession to the river to bathe. An oxcart stood near the pagoda, shadowy in the dim light, and on both sides of the dirt road the houses perched on their stilts like fat birds on long skinny legs. In the rainy season, the road filled with puddles and mud. In the dry season, it exhaled great clouds of red dust.