to read, and Vance could not identify which Caste dialect they were written in.
Two of the statues were easily recognisable. Dukhat and the obligatory statue of Valen were in pride of place at the centre of the square. The others Vance could not name. Several Minbari generals with whom he was familiar were not honoured here. Many of the statues seemed to be representative of Religious and even Worker Caste members. Vance marvelled at a race that saw fit to revere its labourers and priests as highly as its war heroes.
In each of the four corners of the square sat small gardens, meticulously cared for without a bud or blade of grass askew. In one of the gardens, an ancient Minbari kneeled, busying himself with pruning a strange phosphorescent plant. Vance moved closer, fascinated by the man's fluid motion and expert ability with his gardening tools. The longer he watched, the more the old man gave him the impression of a sculptor at work. Before Vance's eyes the plant, which looked beautiful before, began to change shape, metamorphosing into another, even more beautiful creation.
The old Minbari stopped and leaned back, running his fingers down his rickety spine to iron out the rheumatic pain. Then he slowly laid down his pruning tool and turned to smile at Vance. As the man turned, Vance suddenly felt self conscious, as though he had interrupted some kind of intimate act. Still, the old man merely smiled. Vance took a step back, nervously returning the smile and fully intending to leave the man in peace. As Vance backed away, the old man beckoned him closer. Vance stopped, surprised by the gesture. Slowly the old man reached down and picked up his gardening implement, holding it out to Vance. He then motioned to the strange-coloured plant.
With a nervous nod,