Ts'ui Pen did not think of time as absolute and uniform. He believed in an infinite series of times, in a dizzily growing ever spreading network of diverging, converging and parallel times. This web of time — the strands of which approach one another, bifurcate, intersect, or ignore each other through centuries — embraces every possibility. We do not exist in most of them. In some you exist and not I, while in others I do and you do not, and in yet others both of us exist. In this one, in which chance has favored me, you have come to my gate. In another you, crossing the garden have found me dead. In yet another, I say these very same words, but am an error, a phantom.