Part 5 out of 10
Walking backward, his head profoundly inclined, the captain quits
the saloon; his suite creep out on their knees.
Cousrouf stands haughtily erect, gazing proudly after them. When
they had gone out, he utters a cry, a command, and a side-door
opens, and two of his eunuchs, his confidants, enter the room.
"Make your report!" he exclaims, sternly, as he raises his hand
threateningly, and then lets it fall again to his side. "Tell me,
dogs; where is the runaway slave?"
They threw themselves on their knees before him, and crossed their
arms on their breasts.
"O lord and master, we do not know."
"You do not know, you dogs? Then you are determined to be
chastised?" cries the pacha. "You have no trace of her whatever?"
"No, O master; not as yet."
"Yet you are aware that I have only given you seven days' time? If
you do not restore her to me within that time, your heads fall! You
have not forgotten that?"
"No, master, we have not forgotten it."
"You are wise," said the pacha, quietly. "What about Mohammed Ali;
have you caused his movements to be closely watched?"
"Yes, master, we have done so."
"Then speak," commanded the pacha, falling back on his cushions with
closed eyes, slowly smoking his chibouque, and opening his lips from
time to time to allow a whiff of smoke to curl slowly upward. "Your
With ready tongues the eunuchs reported all the old woman and boy
"Continue," commanded the pacha, as they both ceased speaking,
"Master, we have nothing further to report."
"You are a couple of blockheads," observed their gracious master.
"Goods, table-ware, provisions--you know nothing else."
"No, lord and master, we know of nothing else."
"But the one thing, the most important, tell me: where did the
boulouk bashi pass the night?"
"Master, we believe he passed it in his house."
"You only believe it? This night you must know. But take notice of
this: Be careful not to injure himself or his property. His person
and his property shall not be touched this I have sworn. Yet know
this: If you do not tell me tomorrow morning where the boulouk bashi
has passed the night, you shall both receive the bastinado, and
after such a fashion that you will find walking anything but
pleasant, and yet I will have you driven through the city in search
of the information you are so slow in getting."
With a gesture of the hand he motioned to them to leave the room,
and they withdrew as they had entered, on their knees. After closing
the door behind them, they jumped hastily to their feet.
"The bastinado! Did you hear?" asked the one, "We must find out at
every cost where the boulouk bashi passes the night. But how can we?
We are neither to injure his property, nor to touch him or what
belongs to him. We are not allowed to open his door or break into
his house; what are we to do?"
"I have thought of something," said the other. "Come, I will tell
you. Let us get everything ready."
Dark clouds covered the heavens, shutting out the light of the moon
and stars, and night sank down over the earth earlier than usual.
The people had retired to rest, and the houses were dark. Suddenly a
bright light illumined the surrounding darkness, and cries for help
resounded through the air. The house that stood opposite Mohammed's
is enveloped in flames, and its occupants rush out yelling and
screaming for help.
The old woman and the boy ran over the way and knocked at the
window-shutters of the young boulouk bashi.
"Come out, come out, Mohammed Ali! Save yourself! Your house has
commenced to burn!"
All was still in the house, as though Mohammed knew the voice lied,
that there was no danger, and that he could sleep on quietly.
They knock at the shutters, they shake the door, but all remains
silent within; the light of the fire does not awake him, the cries
do not reach his ear. He is not there; he is assuredly not passing
the night in his house. It has certainly been set on fire in vain;
the poor people have sacrificed their property, and the spies have
failed to discover where Mohammed Ali has passed the night.
On the following morning howls and lamentations are heard in the
lower apartments of the harem; from time to time the sound of blows
can be distinguished, and then again howls and cries of pain.
No one dares inquire into the cause of these outcries, for in his
own apartments Cousrouf Pacha is master, and even the governor would
not venture to call him to account for his treatment of his own
Osman lay on his cushions in the little portion of his garden that
had alone been reserved for the use of himself and father, since
Cousrouf Pacha had been occupying the remainder with his harem. He
heard the howls and cries of pain that came from the harem, and
bowed his head in sadness.
"These poor wretches must suffer for it!" he murmured to himself.
But suddenly his countenance brightens, as he sees his friend
approaching in his glittering uniform, and he extends both hands to
"I am delighted to see you, Mohammed, after this long absence!"
"As I am you!" said the latter, his countenance radiant with smiles.
"Forgive me for not having come to see you all day yesterday. I was
so busy with my soldiers, and still more so with myself, Osman! I
have had much to learn to keep the soldiers from observing that I
was a mere beginner in the art of war."
"And that is all you have to say in excuse for your conduct?" said
Osman, looking searchingly into his friend's countenance.
"That is all," replied he, hastily, endeavoring to look his friend
full in the face. But be could not, and looked aside.
Osman notices this, and nods his head with a smile full of meaning.
"Pray seat yourself at my side Mohammed? Let me throw my arm around
your neck, and then listen to me, my friend. Offer no resistance,
for I must confess that your friend Osman has been employing spies
for some time past, and be knows more than Mohammed supposes, and
much more than Consrouf Pacha dreams of."
"What do you know?" asked Mohammed, trembling slightly. "I pray you
tell me, Osman!"
"Listen, Mohammed," said Osman, bending toward him, in a low voice.
"Lamentations have just resounded from the interior of the pacha's
harem. Two of his eunuchs have received the bastinado, and do you
know why? Because they could not inform him where Mohammed Ali
passed the last and the preceding night."
"For that reason?" asked Mohammed. "I was in my house. If Cousrouf
Pacha had himself asked me, I should have told him I was there!"
Osman gently shook his head. "No, Mohammed, you were not in your
house; and Cousrouf Pacha well knows you were not. Do you know why?
He lighted a lamp to look for you."
"A lamp?" asked Mohammed.
"Yes, a lamp! And do you know what this lamp consisted of? Of the
house that stood opposite yours. They set it on fire, and knocked at
your doors and window shutters to awaken you.--And, if you had been
there, you would have heard the outcries of the people, and would
assuredly have gone to their assistance. No, Mohammed, you were not
in your house last night!"
"I was above, on the summit of the rock," said Mohammed, hastily,
and in a somewhat embarrassed manner.
"No," said Osman, gently. "You forget, Mohammed, that you came down
in the evening with the four pigeons you had shot, and you also
forget that you went on down to Praousta as it grew dark."
"No," said Mohammed, hastily, "no, that I did not do!"
"Yes, you did, my friend," said Osman, quietly. "A cripple stood by
the way-side, whom you brushed against in passing by; he cursed you,
and followed you for a while, continually cursing, but you walked on
without heeding him."
Mohammed looked at him in dismay. "How do you know all this?"
"I told you before that I had spies who watched both you and the
pacha. I employ them because I love and wish to protect my
Mohammed!" He placed his lips close to his ear, and whispered: "To
protect you and the white dove that has sought safety in your bosom.
Be still! Do not deny me this favor! Consider that your happiness is
also that of your friend, and that he watches over you when you are
imprudent in the rashness of your overflowing bliss. Listen,
Mohammed! You went down to the sea-shore, to the secret place among
the cliffs, known only to you and me! Do you not remember the time
when, filled with anxiety on your account, we were seeking you in
that vicinity, and Mr. Lion saw you creep out of a crevice in the
rocks? You afterward pointed out to me the place to which it led,
"For Heaven's sake, mention to no one that there is a cave there,
and that you know the way to it!" said Mohammed, anxiously.
"Did I not tell you that I was watching over you?" said his friend,
gently. "No one shall hear of it, only be careful yourself that no
one sees you enter it. You are surrounded by spies. Cousrouf Pacha
is called away, and the ship lies in the harbor awaiting him. And do
you know what he told the captain who asked him if he would sail to-
day? He replied 'It is uncertain, it depends on circumstances not
entirely within my control.' Do you know what that means? He will
not sail until he has discovered and punished Masa, the runaway
slave, as he calls her. Do you know the nature of the punishment
administered to runaway female slaves, and to women who have been
guilty of infidelity to their masters?"
Mohammed shuddered. "By Allah, Osman, you do not mean to say that
the pacha would carry out here, with us, where the cruel laws of the
harem are unknown, the punishment administered to runaway female
slaves among the Turks?"
Osman nodded in assent. "You must know, Mohammed, that the
commander, now fully restored to the favor of the imperial majesty,
in Stamboul, has the right, wherever he may be, to punish his
slaves, that is, his property, as he pleases. To save her father,
Masa made herself his property. We, my father and I, were witnesses,
when she received the money, and when he said to her: 'Here is the
money you asked me for! I give it gladly, but you know what I give
it for, and you have agreed to the bargain!'"
"O unhappy woman!" groaned Mohammed.
"Be still, my Mohammed!" said Osman, in warning tones. "Be on your
guard! You are beset with spies, for these eunuchs are battling for
their lives. If they have not restored Masa alive to their master in
a week, their heads fall; he has sworn this, and they know he will
keep his word. They are cunning, and have sharp eyes. Mohammed, if
you can avoid it, do not go down into the grotto to-day. Everything
pends on deceiving the spies and putting them on a false track.
Therefore, pass the night in your own house."
"Impossible! quite impossible!" said Mohammed, his eyes kindling at
the thought of his love. "It cannot be, even if it should cost my
heart's blood! I cannot remain in my house."
"Then remain with me. Do so for her sake. I tell you your white dove
is in danger! I am better informed than the rest, for I have in my
service a spy, a good angel, whose eyes rest neither by day nor
night, and whose ears hear everything that concerns Mohammed Ali."
"And who is this angel? " asked Mohammed.
"You know her well," said Osman. "It is Marina, my dear cousin. She
often goes into the pacha's harem, and has formed the acquaintance
of two of the young women, who tell her a great many things in their
thoughtlessness. Nothing escapes Marina's ear, for I will confess,
my friend, that she loves the young boulouk bashi, and is ready to
separate herself from her jealous husband on his account. But I
candidly told her that he did not love her, and that she must bury
her wishes. She wept long, Mohammed, but when she had dried her
eyes, she said she loved him so dearly that she would do all that
lay in her power to secure his happiness, and that she would watch
over him as his friend."
"She is a noble woman," said Mohammed. "Bear my greeting to her, but
I pray you tell her nothing more concerning me."
"You may rest assured," said Osman. "We do not confide our dearest
secrets to women, for we are not always certain of their silence.
She knows nothing, except that the pacha is your enemy, and that the
latter has told these women that he is seeking an opportunity to
destroy you. You have often offended him with your hasty words and
threatening manner, and Cousrouf Pacha is not the man to pardon any
offence. Marina is well aware of this, and therefore observes and
listens to everything."
"Does Cousrouf Pacha know that there is any connection between me
"Yes, he is a close observer, and, on the morning of the flight, he
read in your countenance, as I also did, that there was no happier
man in Cavalla than Mohammed Ali. But yesterday his countenance was
gloomy, to-day it is radiant. Cousrouf Pacha did not fail to divine
the cause of this sudden transformation. Therefore be on your guard,
my friend, and wait until it is dark and all are asleep before you
go to your cave."
"I will do so; I will be careful, Osman--I swear it. Accept my
warmest thanks for your care and watchfulness. Allah will some day
enable me to prove my gratitude, and will also permit you to be a
witness of your friend's happiness. And now, farewell, and to-
morrow, if it be Allah's will, I shall return to you in joyousness
"May Allah grant it!" said Osman. "Allah be with you, and the
prophet illumine your heart! One thing more, my Mohammed: Lovers, it
is said, are forgetful; the warning voice easily escapes, their
hearing, and with open eyes they dream blissful dreams which make
them oblivious of reality. It may therefore be well to arouse them
sometimes, and I will try to awaken my dear dreamer. If you hear the
report of a pistol in the night, consider that it is Osman warning
you to be on your guard. But if two other shots soon after follow
the first, this signal shall announce that danger threatens, and
that I am calling you. In that case, come to me at once, no matter
what time of night it may be. I shall await you. Now you may go, my
friend, and Allah be with you!"
THE TRIPLE OATH.
"We must assure his safety," murmured Osman, as he looked after his
friend, who was hastily leaving the garden. "His life must at least
be sacred, and I will go at once with my father to Cousrouf Pacha.
It is a sacrifice, for I hate this proud, overbearing man. He seems
to consider himself as conferring a favor when he condescends to
accept our hospitality. I hate him! Yet I will humiliate myself for
my friend's sake, and play the humble and devoted servant. I shall
find strength to do so, for it is for Mohammed and his white dove.
Yes, I will go with my father to the pacha's apartments."
A quarter of an hour later Tschorbadji Hassan, with a startled and
sorrowful expression of countenance entered the room where Cousrouf
Pacha lay reclining on his soft cushions, dreamily smoking his
"Is it, then, really true? The whole house is filled with dismay and
regret. Is it true that you intend leaving us tomorrow?"
"Perhaps," replied the pacha, composedly, rising slowly from his
cushions to quiet the governor, with haughty condescension.
"So soon? Then it is indeed true? We had heard so, but we could not
and would not believe it. We love you so dearly that we shall
unwillingly see you depart. Even my son, my poor sick Osman, who
cannot walk up a stairway because of his weakness, has requested
that he may be permitted to come in person to take leave of you, and
to beg that you will remember and be gracious to him in the future
also. Will your excellency permit his servants to bring him in?"
Cousrouf Pacha made no reply, but arose, walked hastily to the door,
opened it himself, and stepped out to Osman, who lay on the couch,
beside which stood the slaves who had brought him up.
"Osman, I thank you for this proof of your friendly consideration.--
Take hold now, ye dogs, and bear your master into the room!"
He walked beside the couch while the slaves bore it into the room,
and deposited it, at his command, beside his own cushions.
"Now come, too, tschorbadji, and seat yourself at our side, and let
us smoke the chibouque together for the last time."
"The pipe of peace, Cousrouf Pacha, as the savages do when seated
together for the last time in their wigwam," said Osman, smiling.
The pacha cast a searching glance at him.
"Tschorbadji, you have a very learned son. I know nothing of such
things, have never heard of them. Who smoke the pipe of peace?"
"The savages in America, when they become reconciled to their
enemies, and receive them in their wigwam."
"But that has no application to us. In the first place, we are not
savages, but very respectable and considerable people; and secondly,
I trust I am not receiving enemies here, with whom it is necessary
to smoke the pipe of peace."
"Certainly not, but very faithful friends and devoted servants, who
have come to bid you a last farewell."
"You are right, tschorbadji, a last farewell, I trust," said the
pacha, laughing. "For (and forgive me for saying so) it is horribly
dull here in your city of Cavalla. Your revolutionary fishermen and
the rest of the rabble here would make my life intolerable. I admire
you, tschorbadji, for having the courage to bear it--and
particularly you, my dear Osman. You should endeavor to obtain some
position in Stamboul. There you would recover your health; the rude
sea air here is assuredly injurious to your weak lungs."
"I wish he would do so," said the tscborbadji, with a sigh. "You are
certainly right, the keen sea air, and the rough storms that often
surge down from the mountains are injurious to my son, but it is
different in Stamboul, where one is protected from the surrounding
mountains. I wish he would go to Stamboul, and that you would assist
him in obtaining a suitable position there."
"Father," replied Osman, gently, "I will not separate myself from
you. Wherever you are there will I remain, for we two are
"Then a better place must be found for your father, Osman."
"If that could be, excellency, I should be happy indeed!" cried the
"I am under obligations to you, tschorbadji," observed the pacha,
bowing haughtily. "I am really greatly in your debt. With all my
servants I have been your guest for three years, and I vainly urged
you to accept payment. Indeed, I hardly dared speak of it to the
wealthy and distinguished tschorbadji, and it was not fitting to
attempt to remunerate him, But yet, I assure you, this weight of
gratitude rests heavily on me. I have accepted your hospitality
without recompense for these three long years. Now, however,
tschorbadji, now that Cousrouf Pacha is about to return to Stamboul,
he can at last repay this burden of gratitude and debt. You are my
friend, and I now beg you to tell me of something I can do for you.
Cousrouf Pacha now has power and influence which he will exert for
those he loves. Therefore I entreat you, tschorbadji, acquaint me
with your wishes."
"I have no other wishes than those of my son. They call me here an
affectionate father, and mention me as an example of passionate
paternal love, and they are right. My Osman is every thing to me; he
is my wife, child, sister, friend, comrade, my all. What Osman
wishes that is my wish also. Therefore, if it so pleases you,
transfer your gracious favor to my son, and grant his request, if he
has one to prefer."
"I swear by my beard, by Allah, and by the prophet, if Osman
expresses a wish, I will grant it certainly and surely. I repeat my
triple oath, and call Allah to witness it. What he requests I will
"You have heard this oath, father, and Allah has heard it, too,"
said Osman, solemnly rising from his couch and turning the gaze of
his large luminous eyes full on the pacha's countenance. "I have a
wish, a great, a cherished wish."
"And can I grant it?"
"You can if you will."
"Certainly I will, for I am now bound by the triple oath. It is
sacred to every Moslem, and sacred to me at all times. So speak,
Osman, and I will grant what you request."
Osman rose from his seat, and the pale, weak youth stood there with
so solemn an expression that the tschorbadji and the pacha
involuntarily arose from their cushions.
"Cousrouf Pacha, hear my wish: I require, wish, and expect of you,
that you hold sacred, that is, that you neither personally, nor
through any one else, insult or injure the person of my friend
Mohammed Ali, the only being I love beside my father."
The pacha regarded him with a long, gloomy, threatening look, and
made no reply. Osman read in his face the struggle that was raging
in his soul, and continued in gentle tones:
"Cousrouf Pacha, look at me. I am a frail reed, liable to be thrown
to the ground by every breath of wind. I am a poor blade of grass
upon the sea-shore, liable to be swept to destruction by each wave.
Oh, grant me this request, in order that, while the sun still shines
for me, I may enjoy the last hours of my existence in peace!"
"Yes, do so, mighty pacha," cried the tschorbadji, bursting into
tears, and falling upon his knees with folded hands. "Cousrouf
Pacha, see me here at your feet, and grant my son's request in order
that he may live. I know that he loves Mohammed Ali, that he loves
him even more than his father. He fears that his friend is in danger
"And why do you fear this, Osman?" asked the pacha, slowly and
"I fear it," replied Osman, softly, "because I well know that
Mohammed has often offended you. He is still so young and impetuous,
and the consciousness of his poverty and obscure descent burdens his
soul and irritates him, in the presence of your greatness and
"And yet he dares, in his littleness, to meet me with haughty words
and to look at me as though he were my equal! Should the boy not
step respectfully aside, and bow his head in humility, when he sees
me? You are right, Osman, I hate this proud, obstinate lad!"
"I have uttered my only wish," said Osman, gently. "You will grant
it, for I have your triple oath. I repeat my wish once more:
Cousrouf Pacba, protect and spare my friend Mohammed Ali; swear that
no harm shall be done him, either by you or by your servants. Let no
wicked hand seek his life, neither by poison, by weapons, nor by any
other means. Let him go his way in peace. By the triple oath which
you have sworn, I conjure you to grant this wish."
The pacha regarded him long and gloomily, and then bowed his head
"I swore the triple oath, and Cousrouf Pacha has never yet broken
his word. Your wish is accorded; the life of this lad shall be
sacred to me henceforth; no hair of his head shall be injured; his
life shall not be sought either by poison, by dagger, or by other
means; he may go his way in peace, but woe to him if we should meet
elsewhere than here, in Cavalla, where I honor my host and my oath!
Be assured now and fear nothing. Mohammed Ali's life is sacred to
me; I swear it!"
"I am content, and I thank you. You have made me happier than I have
been for a long time. I do not deny that Mohammed has sometimes
deserved to be reprimanded for his conduct, but, I also repeat, he,
is still so young, his heart so fiery, his soul so full of ardor and
nobility. He will yet learn to conform to the customs of the world."
"I sincerely hope he may," said the pacha, quietly. "As yet he has,
however, not learned it; he should come to Stamboul--there he would
be taught to bend his proud neck. Tell me, Osman, have I now paid
off the debt of gratitude that rested on my shoulders?"
"You have now transferred it to our shoulders," exclaimed the
tschorbadji, ardently. "See how happy my Osman looks; how his
countenance is wreathed in smiles! There is no trace of sorrow or
pain in his features now; joy is restoring him to health; and I owe
this to you, and shall continue to thank you for it, when you are no
longer here. We wish you all happiness! Our friend and benefactor,
the great general, Cousrouf Pacha, will in the future be called on
to perform great things, and the report of his glory and power will
reach us here on our peninsula."
"I hope it may," said the pacha, softly, as he proudly inclined his
head. "Yes, I hope it may. My glory will resound throughout the
world, and may, perhaps, be trumpeted forth by the virgin Fame, so
favorable to me, even here in this rocky nest. The imperial majesty
in Stamboul has elected me to great things, and Allah will permit me
to live to fulfil them."
"He will certainly do so," protested the governor.--"And now, my
son, with his excellency's permission, I will call the slaves, and
have you carried down again. I am afraid we are trespassing on
valuable time, as his excellency will have many things to attend
The pacha assented to this by his silence, and the governor hastened
to call the slaves, that they might bear his son down into the
The pacha pressed Osman's hand once more, assured him of his
friendship, and promised him solemnly that Mohammed need no longer
be fearful and anxious.
"And he is not," cried Osman, quickly; "he fears nothing."
"Be still, my son," exclaimed the governor, interrupting him
hastily; "his excellency only means that he will be considerate with
him, and that you will have nothing to fear on Mohammed's account.
And now, come, let us go."
He then bowed profoundly to the pacha, and walked out beside the
couch on which the slaves were carrying his son.
The pacha's countenance grew still darker when the door had closed
behind father and son.
"This Osman is shrewd," he murmured to himself. "He knows how to
divine one's thoughts.--Achmed and Ali, come in!"
The eunuchs glided in through the side-entrance, and remained
standing near the door, their heads profoundly inclined. He slowly
raised his hand, and beckoned to them to come nearer.
"What progress have you made in your search?"
The eunuchs threw themselves on the floor, profound humiliation
depicted on their faces.
"Mighty and gracious master! we have been tardy slaves, and humbly
acknowledge our fault; we will do all we can to redeem it, and we
hope soon to bring better news. Yes, we hope, gracious master, that
we shall soon be able to announce what our master desires to know."
"Then you have a trace?" said the pacha, his countenance lighting up
"Yes, master, as yet only a trace; but we hope soon to have
"Good, I will inquire no further. But of one thing I must remind
you: three days have already passed, within the next four days you
will have brought me the runaway slave or your heads fall."
"O gracious master, we hope to do so much sooner!"
"It is well," said the pacha, with a slight inclination of his
haughty head. "And now listen further: spread the report of my
departure tomorrow morning; say that Cousrouf Pacha will perhaps
depart this evening, with his harem and his servants, to return no
"It shall be as our gracious master commands," said the two eunuchs.
"You know Mohammed Ali, the new boulouk bashi?"
"Yes, excellency, we know him."
"Let no one dare do him a bodily injury. Look down humbly when you
pass him, and, if he insults you with word or look, step
nevertheless respectfully aside. Let none of you dare to touch him
to injure a hair of his head, or to seek his life with poison, the
dagger, or any other weapon. Let the life of Mohammed Ali, the new
boulouk bashi, be sacred to you all. Have you heard?"
"We have heard, mighty master."
With an impatient gesture he dismissed them, and he continued to
walk to and fro in his room long after they had gone out. His brow
is dark, evil thoughts fill his breast.
"I have sworn the triple oath, and I must keep it. I no longer
threaten him personally. Woe to him if my suspicion proves true, and
Masa has found an asylum and protection with him! I will keep my
word! No hair of Mohammed's head shall be injured, but I will punish
him through her; for truly, if he loves her, such punishment will be
harder than any thing I could do to him personally. The eunuchs say
they are on her track, and it must be so, or they would not dare to
say it. And these bloodhounds, being once on the track, are sure to
catch their prey!"
The eunuchs had faithfully obeyed their master's command, and hardly
had an hour elapsed when all Praousta knew that Cousrouf Pacha was
on the point of taking his departure from the peninsula, to return
They were also informed that a ship had come to convey him back to
Stamboul, where the grand-sultan was to recompense him for his long
exile with power, magnificence, and honors. The matter was much
discussed, and they whisperingly confessed to each other that they
would be well pleased to know that the proud man, who was the cause
of so much unhappiness, had taken his departure.
Was it not on his account that the double tax had been imposed on
the people? Had not the extra expenditure been incurred on his
account? True, the tschorbadji had attempted to deny this, but the
additional expense was nevertheless clearly owing to the pacha's
presence in Cavalla. Moreover, the sad story of the unhappy Masa,
who had chosen to die rather than become a slave, was now known.
Yes, she had taken her own life--of that, no one now entertained a
doubt. She had assuredly thrown herself from the cliffs into the
sea. Some boys, who were engaged at night in setting out nets, had
seen a white figure alone on the Ear of Bucephalus.
That white figure was certainly Masa. She had thrown herself into
the sea in order that she, the free daughter of the sheik, might not
be compelled to become a slave and enter the harem of the stranger.
They had sought for the body of the poor girl on the shore and among
the cliffs. The sea had, however, been stormy throughout the entire
day, and the surging waves must have borne her away into the depths,
where she had become a welcome prey to the greedy shark. Nowhere a
trace of her; she is surely dead.
The complaints and lamentations of the sheik are also silenced--he
reclines motionless on his cushions. Grief and anxiety have made him
helpless, and chained him to his couch. He suffers in silence, and
his friends hope that death will soon release him from his misery.
And this overbearing stranger, Cousrouf Pacha, is to blame for all
He gave himself the appearance of graciously making the fishermen a
present of the money to pay the double tax. But he had deceived
them. Oh, had they but known that Masa had sold herself for this
money, they never would have accepted it! They therefore hate this
haughty stranger, and are glad that he is about to leave their coast
The ship still lies quietly at anchor, her streamers flutter gayly
in the air, her sides are hung with bright-colored carpets, and
garlands of flowers are entwined with her rigging. The ship presents
a brilliant spectacle, and it may well be that the pacha is to
embark this very evening. But no! Night sinks down, and all remains
dark on board the ship, which casts a huge shadow across the waves.
No, Cousrouf Pacha will certainly not embark this evening. The night
is dark, and all is still in Praousta and on the sea-shore.
And who would care to be up and abroad at this late hour! Whoever
has a hut and a bed, remains at home and does not go out into the
night. No, no one is abroad.
But is not that the sound of footsteps that now breaks in upon the
stillness of the night?
A dark shadow is gliding along among the cliffs on the shore. Who
can say that it is a human being! No star sheds its light on his
path--the moon is obscured behind dark clouds. It is perhaps an
eagle that has been cast down by the storm, and is now wearily
winging its flight across the cliffs. Who can say that it is a man
that is gliding among the cliffs? No one sees him; no one can betray
him. The shadow now stands still for a moment, and for a single
moment the moon breaks forth from behind the dark clouds. It sees
the figure, it sees the man who stands there on a rock, his large,
luminous eyes gazing anxiously, suspiciously about him, as though he
The kindly moon has permitted him to take a look at the landscape
round about him, and to assure him there is no one in the vicinity
to betray him. All is at rest, he alone is awake and abroad. The
moon has done enough; it glides behind a dark cloud and conceals
The waves murmur at the feet of him who has been standing there
listening, and he now glides down from the cliff to the opening in
the rock. He creeps in at this opening, and on through the narrow
passage to the cave, until he can stand upright. He now utters a
cry, and his cry is answered in the distance. He stands still and
leans against the wall of the cave, overwhelmed either with anxiety
or happiness. It is with happiness, for he will find her: she has
THE PARADISE UNDER THE EARTH.
They rest heart to heart for a moment, and then Mohammed sinks down
on his knees, and kisses the hem of her dress and her little feet,
and she bows down to him and whispers in his ear words which he
hardly understands, and yet each of them resounds in his soul like
"O these little feet! They were not created to come in contact with
the earth, and to be wounded by thorns. You should tread on flowers
only, and flutter from rose to rose as the butterfly from flower to
flower. Alas, and yet your home is now a dark cave! Masa, it
tortures me to see you here, under the earth and in darkness."
"Is it then dark here?" asked she, in her sweet voice. "I thought we
had the light of the stars here! Yes, look there, I am right; look
there!" She raised her arm and pointed upward to the opening in the
roof of the cave through which the heavens looked down. "See,
Mohammed, there are the stars, there are the heavens. Let us seat
ourselves on this beautiful spot."
"You are right, Masa. There is starlight in this cave, although
clouds obscure the heavens. Yes, here in our paradise we are
elevated above all earthly care; here is our heaven, and you are the
revelation of Allah. O Masa, let me sink down before you in
adoration, kiss the hem of your garment, and entreat your
"My forgiveness?" said she, nestling her little head on his breast,
as they sat side by side on the cushions brought here by Mohammed's
care, and covered with Persian carpets. "My forgiveness, and for
"Because I thought ill of you, Masa; because, while I lay in anguish
up yonder on the rock the other day, I accused you in my senseless
anger, and cursed my love for you. I thought you were a woman like
all other women, and yet you are beautiful and fair and pure, like a
houri of paradise. I wished to tear you from my heart as we tear
weeds from a flower-garden, and my heart was to be henceforth
accessible only to ambition and glory; and now I know that all this
is vain and empty. Mohammed no longer has aspirations after glory
and renown; Mohammed no longer knows that wreaths of fame are twined
and that laurels bloom without in the world; Mohammed only knows
that this is paradise, and that heaven's fairest flower blooms here
at his side. I feel your breath, my flower, I inhale fragrance from
your lips, and see the starlight in your eyes, though none shines in
upon us from the dark world without. I am with you, and you with me.
Oh, let me rest at your side, and forget the world, and may it
forget us too!"
"I do not understand your words," murmured she. "You are wise and
learned, and I am only a poor girl, who has no words to express her
thoughts, and hardly thoughts for that which she feels. I do know,
however, that I am in paradise, and Allah forbid that my feet should
bear me out into the world again! Oh, I never wish to see it again,
Mohammed. And beautiful it would be, it seems to me, to slumber here
in sweet tranquillity, never to awake again."
"Oh, it were heavenly, my sweet dove," murmured he, pressing her to
his heart, "to fall into a sweet slumber here, and to journey hence,
heavenward, to awaken in paradise. I would we had nothing more to do
with the world; yet, swear to me, Masa, that when the world holds us
in its embrace again, you will love me eternally--say eternally!"
"What does eternally mean?" asked she, softly. "I do not know what
eternally means. All life is a single day. At sunrise this morning I
felt that I loved you, and now do you suppose that Masa is so
forgetful a child that she cannot preserve what she feels in her
heart for a single day until the sun sets in the evening?"
"Yes, Masa, you are right!" exclaimed Mohammed, in tones of
enthusiasm. "Life is as a single day. When the sun sets, night
comes, and we sink down and dream, and in our dream we are conscious
only of the love of the blissful day. Yes, life is but a day, and
may this day end blissfully for us as it began! It is dark around
us, and I cannot see you. But look, Allah is kind; he sends us his
light. The moon has broken forth from behind the clouds, and it
shines into our grotto and illumines your fair face. The moon and
the stars love you, Masa; yet they shall not tear you from me. No,
Masa must remain with me, that my life may not end in darkness and
misery, that I may be happy. O good moon, messenger of the prophet,
with your brilliancy you light up the countenance of my houri.
Journey on in your course, good moon, and tell the houris and the
angels above that one of their sisters has remained here in the
paradise grotto, and that this houri is mine; mine--in the name of
He pressed her to his heart and laid his head in her lap. Both were
Suddenly a loud report resounded through the stillness of the night.
Mohammed released himself from her arms, and sprang in terror to his
"That was the report of a pistol-shot. Alas! it awakens me from my
dreams. All bliss is at an end, the earth is again here, and calls
me from paradise."
"You will leave me, Mohammed!" cried she, rising from her cushion.
"Mohammed, you intend to leave me tonight?"
"O Masa, I must! Do not tremble, my white dove; all our troubles and
anxieties will soon be at an end. That report was the signal that
Cousrouf Pacha is preparing to depart."
"Is it then really true?" asked Masa, her countenance beaming with
delight. "The pacha takes his departure and restores me to freedom!"
"It is true," said Mohammed. "He was to have embarked yesterday
evening, and who knows but that when the sun rises the ship will
long since have sailed out of the harbor. Yet we must be cautious.
It might be only a pretence, to lull us into false security. It is
for this reason, Masa, that I dare not pass the night here. His
spies, who follow and observe me everywhere, might announce to him
that Mohammed Ali had again passed the night elsewhere than in his
house. Let us be cautious while misfortune with its black pinions
still hovers over us. Afterward the sun will shine for us. Consider
this, Masa, and I will conduct you out into life again as soon as he
shall have left the harbor. The whole earth shall then be our
paradise. Let us, therefore, wait and be patient."
She stood there thoughtfully; she, too, was awakened from her dream,
and life with its cares and anxieties had laid its hold on her.
"How is my father? " asked she, anxiously. "O Mohammed, I have
forgotten him and his sufferings since you have been with me. You
are silent. He is dead. Oh, grief for his daughter has killed my
good father! "
"No, Masa! he is not dead, but he is ill. I do not deny it, grief
has gnawed at his heart. Therefore, let us hope that our happiness
will restore him to health. And to-morrow he will behold our
happiness when I bring you to him, for you will be free, Masa. as
soon as the ship has sailed."
"I shall never be free," she cried out, aloud. "He has purchased me,
and I shall remain his property. O Mohammed, my soul shudders, for I
am forsworn before Allah. By Allah and the spirit of my mother have
I sworn that I would return and restore to him his property. I am
forsworn, and therefore, Mohammed, when you leave me, the ghins come
and flutter about me, pursuing me everywhere and whispering in my
ear: 'You are lost and damned, for you have forsworn yourself by the
spirit of your mother.' And then I fall on my knees and pray to the
welis to guard and protect me in my terror and anxiety. O Mohammed,
when you are here I am in paradise; but when you are away, I feel
myself in hell! Therefore, remain with me. Do not leave me here in
the dark night. See, the stars are all hidden, and the moon is
covered with clouds. Oh, I was wrong when I said there was no night.
When you are with me, the sun shines, though it be night without.
But when you are not with me, it is dark night, even though the sun
be shining without. Do not leave me alone, remain with your Masa, my
Mohammed; stay, stay, at least to-night."
Can he resist such sweet entreaty? Can he tear himself from the fair
arms that are entwined about him and draw him back, and rush out
into the night? Can he speak of prudence and worldly wisdom, while
she whispers such words to him in her sweet voice?
Let come what will in the world without, let all be over-whelmed in
ruin, love is here, paradise is open, and you, Masa, are its angel-
occupant. Let the world pass away; let the firm rocks be shattered;
let the sea swallow all and leave but a desert of water about us, I
am content, Masa, to embark with you in a little boat, you and I
alone, to ride over the waves and listen to the melodies which the
naiads sing to us from the deep, and to what the voice of the wind
proclaims. O my houri, alone with you in the boat, what care I for
the world, for magnificence and renown? Let others seek them, they
are welcome. And though Death with his gloomy visage stood at the
entrance of this grotto ready to destroy me, what care I? And though
your father die and men bury him, what care we? We live and we
He pressed her passionately to his heart. But now it was she who
drew him back to the world, to reality.
"No, Mohammed, my father must not die. Go to him, step to his
bedside and say to him: 'Pray and wait. When the gloomy stranger who
has purchased your Masa and made her his property shall have
embarked in his ship and sailed, your daughter will return to you in
love and happiness. Wait, father. Do not join my dear mother; wait
for your Masa.' Speak to him thus, and I know he will live to see
his Masa, again. No, I am not afraid. The ghins will not enter if
Masa kneels at the entrance and prays to the prophet who told men
that they were to love one another, and that love alone could secure
happiness. No, I am not afraid. And see, Mohammed, day is breaking;
the sun will soon shine in upon me, and then Masa will sing the song
taught her by Djumeila that speaks of love and stars. I am no longer
afraid, Mohammed, for I am your beloved, and the girl whom a hero
has chosen for his own; how could she lack courage?"
For the second time a loud report now resounded throughout the cave.
"I know what that means," said Mohammed, anxiously. "It is Osman
warning me to be on my guard. 'I will give you a signal when danger
threatens,' whispered he, in my ear, when we parted, 'that you may
know that your friend is watching over you in the night also.' Yes,
I must go. But listen, Masa: when I am gone, replace the stone I
showed you yesterday, before the opening; and then go back into the
cave to the point where the passage turns, where no one can see the
entrance to the second cave. Remain there, and await the return of
him you love."
"I will do so, Mohammed. When you have gone, I will push the stone
before the entrance, and go back into the second cave, where I will
fall on my knees and pray to Allah and his prophet until my beloved
At this moment a third report resounded through the cave.
"Danger threatens--Masa, I must away. We will soon be free; farewell
until then, farewell! Ah! how pale you have suddenly become! Let me
look at you once more, my Masa!"
He raises her in his arms and carries her to the opening, and the
moon is gracious and illumines her countenance, but it also makes it
"O Masa, my white dove, how pale you are! Yet your eyes are bright--
let me kiss them. And with this kiss I swear I will love you
eternally! And now kiss me, too, and let this kiss be the vow of
your eternal love for me!"
She kissed him passionately. "I love you, Mohammed, and you alone
will I love on earth!"
He looks at her tenderly, and shudders, for her countenance is still
"I can no longer look upon your dear face, I cannot!" he cries, in
tones of anguish. "I have a dread foreboding that I see you for the
last time. Farewell, Masa, farewell! Pray for me, and for yourself,
and for our love. Farewell, sweet being, my white dove, farewell!"
He folds her to his heart once more, and then away, away out into
the night. He still hears behind him the tones of the sweet voice
crying, "Farewell, farewell!"
Then all is still, and he rushes on through the darkness toward the
stairway in the rock.
The night was mild and warm; the sea rested in silent majesty like a
slumbering lion, and the wind seemed to hold its breath in order
that his repose might not be disturbed. To be in the open air on
such a night was good for the weak breast of an invalid, and Osman's
father was therefore not surprised when his son expressed a desire
to pass the night in the garden pavilion, in preference to remaining
in the close apartments of the palace. He would be protected from
wind and rain by the roof of the pavilion, and from all other
sources of danger the two slaves that had been his faithful and
devoted servants from his earliest youth would guard him. The two
servants carried his cushions down into the garden, and Osman now
lay there, wrapped in his silken coverlet; the two slaves were
crouched down at his side. They were still there when the
tschorbadji, before retiring for the night, came down to see his son
once more and bid him good-night; and there they remained until all
the lights were extinguished in the apartments of the tschorbadji as
well as in those of the pacha. Then, when all had become still, one
of them stooped down and addressed his master in low tones; after
they had carried on a short, whispered conversation the slave arose
and glided noiselessly away toward the garden-wall, which formed no
obstacle to his progress--as the faithful servant could climb like a
cat--and he was soon on the other side.
Osman remained on his couch, conversing in low tones with the other
servant. Both were attentively observing the pacha's harem, and it
surprised them to see that lights were being carried to and fro in
the lower apartments at so late an hour.
"Something extraordinary is surely taking place there," murmured
Osman, "and we must be on our guard, and listen to the slightest
Hours passed, and the same activity was still being displayed in the
harem; and from time to time the attentive servant perceived shadows
flitting up and down the avenue that led to the harem.
Footsteps are now heard approaching. It is the slave Nadeg, and he
comes swiftly to his master's couch, kneels down and speaks to him
for some time in low, earnest tones. Osman rises from his cushions.
"The time has come, we must warn him, we must help him! Be quick,
both of you!--Jabad, hasten to the summit of the rock. Here, take
the pistol and give the signal agreed upon, three shots fired at
short intervals.--But you, Nadeg, hasten down to the mouth of the
cave again, and when, aroused by my shots, my friend comes out, call
him, tell him I am awaiting him, and bring him to me at once. Oh, I
am anxious on his account: be quick, that you may get there in
The two walk stealthily and rapidly down the garden-path. Osman
listens to their retreating footsteps, and, as they die away in the
distance, he draws a breath of relief. They are good, zealous
servants, and will obey his instructions faithfully. He listens
again eagerly, and again looks over toward the harem, where be sees
the lights still flitting about and shadows passing the windows.
Osman's heart tells him that something unusual, something that bodes
no good to his friend, is going on there, and his love gives
strength to his poor, weak body. He rises from his cushions; his
limbs are stiff, and his breast pains him, but he is heedless of
this. Cautiously he descends the steps into the garden, and walks
noiselessly down the pathway. He knows that a high hedge separates
the garden of the harem from the rest of the park at the end of this
path. Hitherto all have respected this boundary, and no one has
dared to cross it; may the good spirits pardon the young man for
venturing to do so now! He is in the garden of the harem. It is
certainly dangerous to enter it, and, if the eunuchs should discover
him there, they would seize him. But, fortunately, he is the
tschorbadji's son, and that will protect him. He is on his father's
property. He walks onward, no longer painfully; he no longer feels
that his breast hurts him; he is only thinking of his friend; he can
perhaps discover something for him, perhaps something for him. He
now stands still and listens. In the distance he hears the reports
of the pistol.
"Ah, Mohammed is warned! He has been aroused from his sweet repose,
and will come to me."
But he must know what all this disturbance and running about means.
Osman has approached close to the harem, and stands at the iron gate
that opens into the court-yard. He stands there for a moment and
listens, and then crosses the court-yard and looks toward the door
in the wall that opens into the street. All is still in the house,
as in the yard; but now he hears a noise at the door that opens into
the vestibule of the building. It is opened, and two dark figures
appear, and descend the steps into the yard. They are carrying
something; it looks like a cot; it is a cot covered with white
sheets, but it is empty. They carry it across the yard, and out into
He hears them lock the door from the outside; hears the murmuring of
voices, and then all is again quiet. What was the cot intended for?
What could it all mean?
He listens, and looks around anxiously; but all is still. Perhaps
his care and anxiety have been groundless; perhaps these are only
things the servants are carrying to the ship to prepare for
Cousrouf's departure on the morrow.
He again listens awhile, and then returns through the garden to the
pavilion. Wearily he throws himself on his cushions, and lies there,
for a moment, with closed eyes.
Now he hears footsteps approaching. Who can it be? he asks in a low
voice, and the two servants emerge from the darkness, come to his
side, and whisper something in his ear. Osman draws a breath of
"Allah be praised, he is coming, he is saved!"
Yes, other footsteps are now rapidly approaching, and, in a moment,
Mohammed is at his friend's side.
"You called me, my friend, and here I am! What has happened?"
"I do not know, Mohammed. It seems to be nothing, and yet my heart
was filled with care and anxiety on your account, and I could not
resist the inclination to call you. Listen: Nadeg was among the
cliffs not far from the entrance of your cave, to which you came
late at night. He was standing guard there, but be was not alone,"
"He was not alone? What does that mean?" asked Mohammed, in dismay.
"Not alone; for in the vicinity, hidden in the shadow of a rock,
stood two dark figures, and he heard them whispering and telling
each other that you were there, and that they were now sure of their
prey. When Nadeg had heard this, he returned hastily to me, and told
me of it. I then sent both servants out, the one to stand guard near
the cave, the other to the summit of the rock to fire the pistol,
and give the warning signal. Nadeg found the two men still near the
cave, lying in wait like panthers, and he saw that they were
gradually creeping nearer and nearer to the cave. In the meanwhile,
I had gone into the harem-garden, where I saw two eunuchs carry a
cot out into the street. Now you know all, and now it seems to me
that all is well. I was anxious on your account, fearing these men,
who were lying in wait, might attack and kill you. This was why I
sent my servants out. But now I am happy, for you are safe, and with
me. I beg you to stay with me until to-morrow; stay here, that every
one may know where you have passed the night. Do not refuse me. This
is the last night of danger and anxiety. Cousrouf departs to-morrow,
and then you will be safe."
"No, Osman, no, it is impossible!" said Mohammed, who could not
himself account for the anxiety that made his heart throb so wildly.
"I thank you for your warning, and beg you to let me have your
pistol. Is it loaded?"
"Yes," said Nadeg. "I loaded it again after firing."
"Yes, give it to him!--If you will not remain, Mohammed, take the
weapon, and, if I hear a shot, I shall know you are attacked and in
danger; then I will wake my father, and beg him to send the soldiers
to your assistance. But stay with me yet awhile, my friend!"
"No, Osman, I can remain no longer. I must be off! My heart is
filled with a sense of impending evil, with gloomy forebodings."
"Then go, Mohammed, and may Allah bless and protect you! Oh, that
this fearful night were at an end!"
Mohammed hastens away down the garden path, and soon disappears in
"Stay with me, you good, faithful servants. Oh, how anxious I am,
how wildly my heart beats! Yet I do not fear for myself, but for my
dear friend Mohammed. Pray to Allah for grace and mercy! Yes, let us
all pray to Allah!"
Mohammed rushes on through the night, down the stone stairway. He
flies with the speed of an arrow from rock to rock. Now he is down
by the cave. He looks behind him once more. There is nothing to be
seen, nowhere a human figure. Nothing! Osman must have been
mistaken; no one observed him, no one was there! He creeps through
the fissure in the cliff, to the inner grotto to the place where the
passage becomes narrow, and where Masa was to have rolled the stone
before the opening. He feels for this stone to push it back. But
what does this mean? The stone is no longer there, the cave is open!
He recoils for a moment with terror. He then resolutely creeps on
through the opening. Masa must have forgotten it, that is all! He
calls her--no answer.
But he had told her to retire into the second grotto, and await him
there. There she will be, there she must be.
"Masa, where are you? Masa, my white dove, Masa!"
All is still; no answer comes, no voice replies in tender greeting
to his anxious and repeated call.
"Masa! where are you, Masa?"
The silence is profound. He utters a cry that resounds fearfully
through the cave. He gropes about in the darkness. Then he turns
again, and cries out loudly, but all is still as before. He goes
back to the passage, and into the first grotto, the one with the
large opening in the roof, to the place where the sky can be seen.
The clouds have disappeared, and the moon sheds its soft light into
"Masa, are you asleep?" he cries, as he kneels down beside the
But they are empty, and things are thrown about in disorder in the
grotto. The moonlight shines brightly in the cave, and shows that a
terrible struggle has taken place here. The carpets and cushions are
thrown together confusedly; fragments of broken cups and saucers
strew the ground, and every thing is overturned. At last he must
recognize the fact. Masa is gone, he has been robbed of his Masa.
He sinks down upon the earth and cries in loud, heartrending tones:
"Masa is gone; the slave-dealer has recovered his slave. Oh, horror,
Masa is gone!" He springs to his feet, and rushes toward the
entrance; then he stands still again, and cries in piercing tones
that make the rocks reverberate: "Masa, where are you?" No answer.
It was thus that her father had cried out a few days before: "Masa,
where are you?"
Punishment has overtaken the undutiful daughter, and him who had
"Masa, where are you?" For the second time, the agonized voice of
love resounded through the cave. Masa is gone.
Ah, where can she be? All is still. A struggle has taken place here.
Hired assassins, perhaps robbers, have broken into this paradise
here beneath the earth that he considered so secure. But nothing is
secure from man; cruel men have broken into his sanctuary and
desecrated his paradise.
He no longer groans and laments. He raises his clinched fists, and
swears by Allah that be will be revenged on the robbers and
murderers of his Masa. Suddenly he is seized from behind, two arms
encircle him like iron rings, and bind his arms to his side. Another
hand seizes the pistol be carries in his girdle, and draws his sword
from his scabbard. Mohammed opens his lips to cry out, but a hand is
laid on them, and he is incapable of uttering a single tone.
"It would be vain to cry out, Mohammed Ali, young boulouk bashi. No
one can hear you but we, and we are indifferent to your cries.--Be
quick, Aga, put the gag in his mouth and bind the cloth over it. Let
us finish our work! Day is breaking, and it must be done quickly!
Our master's orders here to do it quickly."
Mohammed is securely bound and motionless. He is now a mere package
borne along by the eunuchs, but a package that thinks, feels, and
suffers. His eyes are wide open, and up at his enemies with a
fearful expression. He knows he cannot pierce them through with his
eyes, for they are not daggers, and his hands are bound. But he
swears that he will have vengeance on his enemies, either above,
before Allah's throne, or here on earth already, if he is permitted
to live. He has no fear for himself, for his own life. For that he
cares not. He cares only for Masa, he thinks only of her, and his
roving glance seeks her anxiously.
He is being borne to the sea-shore. Do they intend to cast into the
waves? Let it be so. Death is sweet, divine, when one has lost all
on earth. And he feels that all, that his Masa, is lost.
If she is lost to him, what further need of the stars in heaven, of
the moonlight, of the bright sunshine? Then all is darkness and
desolation. Will they kill him? Will they cast him into the sea?
The waves will murmuringly receive him, and consign him to their
depths. There he will rest tranquilly. They have now reached the
beach, and the eunuchs lay him down on the sand; not carelessly as a
package is thrown down, but cautiously and gently.
"Remember, Aga," murmured one to the other, "that we have orders not
to injure a hair of his head, or to cause him slightest pain. We
will lay him down here, here he can rest easily, and can raise his
head and see. The eyes of the young boulouk bashi, accustomed as
they are to the dark, will easily be able to detect who it is that
approaches from over there." And the eunuch raised his hand and
pointed toward the path that led to Cavalla.
Yes, his eyes are accustomed to the dark, and he does see figures
advancing from that direction. Not one or two, but a crowd of
figures are approaching, and in their midst he sees something white,
that is being borne along by others.
For a moment his heart stands still with horror, and then beats
again with redoubled violence.
The procession comes nearer and nearer. Now he hears a low, wailing
voice. It is she, he recognizes Masa's voice. And alas! he can utter
no tone, he cannot rise and fly to her assistance. His mouth is
gagged, his hands and feet are securely bound. There he lies
perfectly helpless; he can do nothing but swear vengeance to
himself. Oh, he cannot utter a single word to tell that he is there,
and that he shares her grief and anguish.
They have now come close to him. Mohammed sees them deposit a cot on
the ground. He sees a white veiled figure lying motionless on this
cot. He also sees and recognizes the haughty man who now comes to
the side of the cot. It is Cousrouf Pacha, his hated and now dreaded
enemy. Alas! he is now in his power. The young lion lies bound at
the panther's feet; he is helpless and must submit to all.
Cousrouf commands the eunuchs, who had stood still awaiting his
orders, to retire after first placing the cot a little nearer to the
They noiselessly do as directed, and then retire. Now they are
alone--Cousrouf Pacha and the two bound, helpless creatures.
A few rosy little clouds have appeared in the east, it is growing
lighter, and the dark mantle of night is being lifted. The sea is
beginning to swell with the breath of morning, and to caress the
beach, and murmur at the feet of the fettered man. He looks neither
at the sea beneath, nor at the heavens above. He gazes up with
flaming eyes at him who stands composedly by his side, looking down
upon him contemptuously.
"Mohammed, you have a friend who loves you well, and this friend was
too shrewd for me. I had sworn with the triple oath that I would
grant the request he should ask of me. He asked for your life and
A low groan escaped the breast of the bound man. Though be could not
denounce his enemy in words, he could nevertheless give expression
to the curse that burned in his heart in the proud, fierce glance of
his eye. But he must bear his enemy's scornful words and smiles in
"I gave my word that you should suffer no bodily injury, and I will
keep it. But you shall see how Cousrouf Pacha punishes where no oath
binds him, and how he avenges himself on those who dare to defy him
and his authority. Yes, you shall see, and shall carry with you
throughout life the remembrance of what you have seen. Thus Cousrouf
avenges himself on you. Now look and hear. Incline your head a
little, and look down at that cot on which the white figure lies.
Oh, why is the sun so cruel as to begin to shed its light around
them, and illumine this figure, that the poor bound man may see it
It is she, it is Masa! So near and yet so far, so widely, eternally
separated from him. No longer can they grasp hands or exchange vows
of undying love. A grave lies between, a fearful, impassable
barrier. That they both know. For they know the law--the law of the
land that permits the master to punish the slave he has purchased.
Yes, to punish her according to the law if he finds her unfaithful.
She is tied up in a sack and cast into the sea, that no mound may
designate the spot where a poor traitoress has found her place of
burial; that she may disappear from the world untalked of and
Cousrouf stands haughtily erect beside the cot on which the figure
"Masa, daughter of the Sheik of Praousta, confess that you are
rightfully and according to the law my slave. I paid you the
purchase-money, and you accepted it. I was gracious, and granted
your request that you might pass the day with your father. I was a
fool, and trusted to human faith. Because you swore by the spirit of
your mother and by Allah, and all you held sacred, that you would
return to me in the evening. as it beseemed a purchased slave, to my
harem, where the eunuchs awaited you. I granted you this delay out
of kindness. You mocked at my mercy and scorned my kindness. You
broke your oath. And you fled from your master with this boy in
He paused and looked down at the white figure, as if expecting an
answer, although he knew that Masa, too, had been gagged in order
that no cry for help might escape her pale lips. They are both
bound. The same fate has overtaken both, and they must bear it in
silence. Their fearful anguish can find no utterance.
"Masa, I repeat what I said before. Repent and attempt to repair the
wrong you have done; show your master that you will belong to him in
love; show this, as he requires it of you. Go with me voluntarily to
the sheik, your father, tomorrow, and say to him: 'Cousrouf Pacha
has purchased me, and I will follow him out into the world, of my
own free will and love.' Say this to the boy, too, who lies there;
tell him that henceforth you will be your master's faithful slave,
and will serve him in love and joyousness. Do this, Masa, and I will
pardon you for the sake of your youth and beauty, and because my
heart prompts me to do so. Raise your hand three times in token of
your assent, and, I repeat, I will forgive you. Yet your repentance
must be public. I demand this in justice to myself, and on account
of that proud boy, that he may receive his punishment through you.
Now, answer! Give the sign!"
He pauses and waits. Nothing breaks in upon the stillness but the
murmuring of the waves upon the shore.
The two unhappy creatures cannot pour out their anguish in each
other's ears, or exchange their vows of undying love. And yet for a
moment they are blessed, for their hearts understand each other, and
their souls are filled for an instant with ineffable love and
happiness and anguish.
Mohammed knows that Masa refuses what the haughty man requires of
her. Mohammed knows that Masa prefers death to life at the side of
another man, and he feels some consolation in his heart at the
thought that she is there, and that her death is but the
manifestation of the immortality of her love.
He is the witness of her death and of her fidelity, and this soothes
his anguish. Ah! it is sweet to die under the glance of love,
heavenly and blissful to sink into the grave with gaze fixed on the
countenance of the beloved one, heart communing with heart, though
lips can find no utterance. It is a grand and elevating sight to him
who loves to behold so faithful and heroic a death. After long years
have elapsed, Mohammed will still think of this hour when Masa stood
firm and immovable in her vows, nobly and disdainfully rejecting
Blessed be the love that is strong even unto death! Blessed be death
when such a spirit hovers over and consecrates it.
A long pause. And Cousrouf Pacha speaks again in harder and more
imperious tones than before:
"Raise your hand, Masa, and give the sign I require."
Masa remains motionless. Death awaits her; she knows this, and is
glad. Oh, that her face were not veiled! Mohammed might then read
her love in her eyes--in these stars fallen from heaven, as he had
called them a few short hours before.
"Masa, give the sign; this is your last opportunity."
She does not move.
"Then I curse you, and you die! You have pronounced judgment on
yourself!--Here, ye slaves!"
They flutter to his side like the ravens of the night, greedily
seeking their prey.
"Take hold of her and tie her up in the sack."
Mohammed's hands and feet are bound, and he cannot rise, but he can
lift his head and gaze at the dread deed that is being done, and he
does so. Yes, he sees his white dove disappear in the sack in the
black grave that is closed over her.
"Thus are unfaithful slaves punished; and thus the law allows and
commands. Tie the mouth of the sack securely. Is it done? Is the
They murmur that all is in readiness.
"Good! Row her out on the water. Yet not too far, in order that this
boy may see what takes place."
He must bear it, and look on while the black ravens drag his white
dove down to the shore, and cast the living burden into the boat.
They row with rapid strokes from the shore, but not far out, for
they know the sea is deep at this place, and that it greedily
swallows all that is confided to it. To the rope with which the
mouth of the sack is tied up they have secured two heavy iron balls,
that it may sink rapidly into the deep. They stop.
"Take in the oars! Now lift the sack; cast it into the sea!"
The waves receive their prey, and the water foams and eddies for a
moment over the place where it went down. All is still again. The
boat is turned and rowed back to the shore.
Cousrouf Pacha has stood there, composedly gazing at this fearful,
horrible burial. Now he steps to the side of the poor, bound man,
and takes leave of him in cruel, mocking words.
Does he hear them? His widely-opened eyes stare out fixedly upon the
waters. He is motionless, no quivering muscle indicates that he has
understood the pacha's words of triumph and mockery. Cousrouf turns
and beckons to the slaves.
"Leave him lying there! He will be found in the morning, for he will
be looked for. Nothing has been done to him, and I have kept my
word. Now let us go; the ship is ready to sail, is it not?"
"Yes, gracious master, all is in readiness," replied the eunuchs.
He turns and walks off toward Cavalla. An hour later, Cousrouf Pacha
leaves the governor's house, and leaves it to return no more.
His harem had been conveyed to the ship before the morning dawned;
and all his treasure and baggage had been packed, and taken on board
the day before. All is in readiness to weigh the anchor and sail as
soon as the pacha shall have come on board.
Cousrouf Pacha walks proudly down toward the harbor, at his side the
governor, who insists on accompanying his honored guest to the
shore. The servants in gold-embroidered liveries, and the slaves,
follow his excellency.
And, gayly smiling, Cousrouf chats with the governor all the way
down to the shore, grasps his hand in parting, and thanks him for
his hospitality. He then enters the boat covered with costly carpets
that is to convey him to the ship.
The tschorbadji stands on the shore gazing after him, vainly
endeavoring to display a sorrowful, countenance, and repress all
evidence of gladness that fills his heart at the thought that, after
long years, the haughty pacha, who entered his house as master, has
at last departed. Ah, it will be delightful to be able to walk in
the park and garden, with his Osman, without the fear of meeting his
Hastily the tschorbadji returns to Cavalla, to his son who is still
reclining in the garden house, and relates that Cousrouf has
departed, and that he has sent his dear Osman the kindest greetings,
and the best wishes for his welfare.
Osman listens with an air of indifference and anxiety, and his
father regards him with dismay.
"Osman, what is the matter, what is it that grieves you?"
"Father, I must say it. Something fearful has taken place this
"What can have happened, Osman? Tranquillize yourself! You are
trembling! What has occurred?"
"Father; I do not know as yet; I have been listening for the shot
Mohammed was to fire. I have not yet heard it, and yet I feel that
some misfortune has happened to him, and that something dreadful has
"But what can have happened to Mohammed?"
"I cannot speak of it now, and I am a poor, unhappy being whose feet
are too weak to bear him. I pray you go down to Praousta yourself.
Oh, go to the cliffs, father, go to the caves and openings in the
rock! Take the servants with you! I conjure you, father, do not
delay a moment!"
He could speak no further, and the tschorbadji saw, with dismay,
that his son's face was deathly pale.
"Be courageous, my Osman! It shall be as you say. I will call the
servants. See, I am already going!"
He hastily left the palace with his servants. All is still quiet in
Praousta--the walk among the cliffs, and down to the shore. Then
"What is that on the beach? O Allah, the merciful! Is that not a
dead body? Is it not Mohammed? Bound and gagged! He does not move!
Quick, cut the ropes, take the gag out of his mouth!"
This is speedily done, but still Mohammed does not move.
"Is he dead? There are no wounds to be seen on his person! No, not
dead, he is only insensible. Bring water, wet his temples, cool his
Allah be praised! He moves, he lives! Yes, he lives, and he bounds
suddenly to his feet, and he gazes around with the expression not of
a man, but of a tiger. He then utters a cry so fearful, so terrible
a cry, that the tschorbadji's heart is filled with anxiety and
With outstretched arms, Mohammed walks down to the verge of the sea.
The servants rush after him, and endeavor to hold him back. He
clinches his fists and strikes them, but they grasp him firmly, and
at last succeed in overcoming him.
"Mohammed, compose yourself and be strong!" said the tschorbadji,
clasping his arms about him. "Friend of my son, take pity on me, and
remember that Osman dies if you die."
He shakes his head, but cannot speak. He looks at the sea, the
terrible sea! His eyes stare in horror at the place where Masa sank,
then close, and he falls to the ground insensible. The servants now
raise him in their arms, and carry him to the governor's house.
His countenance deathly pale, Osman stands at the gate awaiting
them. He sees the sad procession approaching. He knows they are
bringing his friend, and, hastening forward to meet them, he
receives the motionless body, hot, glowing tears pouring from his
Awakened by the dew of his friend's falling tears, Mohammed opens
his eyes and looks up. His lips part, and murmur softly, "Dead, Masa
is dead!"--nothing more!
The whole history of his anguish lies in the words, "Dead, Masa is
ALL THINGS PASS AWAY.
Ten years had passed since the painful event that had consigned the
daughter of the sheik, the Flower of Praousta, to so early a grave,
and caused him who had loved her a long and severe illness.
Ten years! To the happy, when he looks back at them, they are but a
few days of sunshine, the contemplation of which delights him, and
the memory of which softens his heart. To the unhappy they are as a
cold, desolate eternity of torment, and he looks back with
reluctance at them, and the misery he has endured, measuring the
days of anguish that are still to come.
Ten years! In Cavalla they had changed nothing. They had only left
their handwriting on the faces of those who had been living ten
years before, and had witnessed those painful events. The faces of
men had changed, but the sea then, as at that time, shone in the
beauty and freshness of eternal youth, and still surged in majesty
along its rock-bound coast, and over the deep, the unknown grave of
the beautiful Masa, the forgotten one.
Yes, the forgotten one!
All things pass away; grief as well as joy is forgotten. The years
roll on over both, like the waves of the deep over the bodies
consigned to its keeping.
All things pass away! Man has only to learn and to wait in patience.
No matter how pain may rend his soul, if he only knows how to wait
in patience, the balm of time will gradually heal his wounds and
soothe his soul. All things pass away!
To be sure there are hopeless and weak natures who refuse to wait
for this soothing balm of time; natures which destroy themselves in
fiery torture, or in their cowardly weakness are destroyed by the
dark genius of despair.
The poor sheik had not been able to bear the loss of his only child,
his Masa. He had died of grief. He had called for his Masa with his
No one now speaks of her. The young girls of that time have now
become mothers, and sometimes tell their little ones of the Flower
of Praousta and her death, as of a fairy tale of the olden time.
It has become a fairy-tale, and has been written in verses which the
fisher-boys sing when they go out upon the waves. They have almost
forgotten that only ten years have passed since Masa's death; and
when they gaze at the pale, earnest face of Mohammed Ali as he
passes through the streets of Cavalla in his business occupations,
they scarcely remember that he it is who was the cause of her death.
Does he remember it himself?
All things pass away, grief and joy alike. He has suffered much
since those days, but he has suffered in silence; few know that he
loved Masa, and these few have considerately refrained from touching
the wound that had once bled in his heart, lest it might not yet be
When found on the sea-shore that morning by the father of his friend
Osman, Mohammed Ali was taken up to the governor's house, where he
was tenderly cared for.
For many days he remained entirely unconscious of all that was going
on around him. He lay there coffined in his grief, as in living
death. They cooled his feverish brow, and poured strengthening
cordials between his lips. The magi cians and sorcerers, as well as
the physicians of Cavalla and the neighboring cities, were summoned
to his assistance by the tschorbadji and his son. But neither
amulets nor talismans, neither medicines nor herbs, could heal the
wounds which did not bleed, or cool the burning pain of his soul.
He lay there motionless, his eyes gazing fixedly at vacancy, and yet
they constantly saw the one fearful yet blissful picture, the Flower
of Praousta, the white dove, as she lay there in the early dawn, her
large eyes fixed on him tenderly ; and saw, too, the fearful, the
never-to-be-forgotten event. As the dark body sank beneath the
waves, a shudder would course through his whole being, and a
scarcely-audible cry escape his lips. The ear of his listening
friend Osman would catch the word that escaped him, and this word
was "Revenge! revenge!"
With time all things pass away. There is a limit to the profoundest
pain, to the profoundest torpor. One day Mohammed raised his hand
and in a low voice called for water.
Consciousness had returned. He now felt the torment that glowed in
his soul. When a man has become conscious of his suffering, there is
a possibility of relief.
The water at least cooled his lips; and the tender, affectionate
words of his friend, and the tears of sympathy that fell upon his
countenance, at last cooled the fire that burned in his soul.
Happy is be who can impart his grief to others, whom Fate does not
compel to confine it within his own bosom, and let it gnaw at his
vitals. Happy is he who can pour out the burden of his sorrow and
suffering in the ear of a friend! That grief of which one can speak
is not mortal.
But there is another kind of grief and suffering more bitter than
that--it is deep, like the grave. Black like the night is the grief
that can find no utterance, that is chained to the heart by a sense
Are such the grief and suffering that burden the breast of the pale
man who stands there on the shore gazing out at the sea? Are such
the grief and suffering that sometimes break in upon the solitude
and stillness of the night in low sobs from the lips of the man who,
but ten years ago, was so full of the courage, energy, and
joyousness of youth?
Osman had not nursed his friend alone. A woman had stood at his
side; the beautiful Ada, of whom Osman some times whispered to his
friend that she loved him.
Upon hearing of his grief and illness, Ada, conscious of her love
only, and casting aside all the fetters that bound her, had left her
husband's house and came to the palace of her uncle, with whom she
was a great favorite. With glowing words she told him that she would
never return to the house of her husband, who had long tormented her
with his fierce jealousy, because he well knew that his wife did not
love him, but loved the friend of his relative, young Mohammed Ali.
In the strength and ardor of her love, she had not cared to deny
that this was so, and firmly declared that she would be his alone;
and therefore had she come up to the palace to nurse and wait on him
she loved, in his illness and distress.
The tschorbadji did not oppose her wishes, and the poor, delicate
youth Osman was well pleased to have Ada's assistance in nursing his
She had been at his bedside constantly, and listened eagerly to the
words that fell from his lips in the delirium of his fever. Ada
would lie on her knees beside him, absorbed in those mysterious
outpourings of the human heart; listening to his descriptions of the
object of his great love, of his Masa, of her fate, and hear his
oaths of vengeance.
After the days of fever, and of the outpourings of anguish, came the
days of exhaustion and of returning consciousness. The struggle
between life and death lasted long, but life was at last victorious.
Mohammed now felt his weakness, and he lay, as in the beginning of
his illness, for many a day, motionless, on his bed, with widely-
opened eyes, staring around him.
But he now saw, and was conscious of what he saw.
He saw his friend Osman, who followed his every movement with tender
glances, and whose countenance shone with delight when Mohammed
smiled on him, and told him with a look that he recognized him, and
knew of his love. He saw, too, the veiled woman, who flitted about
him, reading his every wish in his face, and fulfilling it before he
expressed it. It touched his heart to perceive that there was still
a woman who cared for him, and was anxious on his account. He had
believed himself alone in the wide world, and there were now beside
him two beings that shared his sorrow, and whose hearts beat warmly
for him. This was written in their countenances; this their busy,
anxious movements betrayed.
When he was sufficiently recovered to be spoken to, Osman told him
of Ada's love, of her grief on his account, of her joy in being
permitted to nurse him, and of her having separated herself from the
past, forsaking all else to serve him and him alone.
He made no reply, but closed his eyes, and a low groan escaped his
Poor Ada! The story of her love reminds him of his own, and for a
moment the old wound bleeds afresh.
Could he be ungrateful? Could he now abandon her who had forsaken
every thing for him when he was in distress, and needed her care?
Could he do this now, when strength had returned to him, now that he
was able to walk in the garden, supported on his friend Osman's arm?
Could he forsake her who walked beside him, her eyes sparkling with
delight at his recovery?
And when the tschorbadji came, now that Mohammed was strong enough
to occupy himself with his future business matters, and spoke to him
seriously, and, with Ada's consent, formally proposed his marriage
with his niece, in order that her reputation might not suffer, and
that she might regain the position she had lost before the world on
his account, could he cowardly decline, and excuse himself with his
own grief? Would it become him to say, "Let the woman who has loved
me live in disgrace!" Could he do this?
No, he felt that it would be cruel in him to act thus; and how could
he be cruel, he who had suffered so much from the inhumanity of
He accepted the tscborbadji's proposal. He went to Ada, who awaited
him, her heart throbbing anxiously, and asked her if she would be
his wife, follow him to his house, and walk with him through life in
sorrow and in joy.
He asked this question in a sad, low voice, and Ada knew what lay
buried in the depths of his heart; but she, nevertheless, accepted
his offer, and consoled herself with the thought: "All things pass
away, and time heals all wounds."
She became his wife, and brought with her a rich dowry.
He had, however, made no inquiries after this; did not care for it;
and did not rejoice when, on the morning after the wedding, the
tschorbadji took his arm and conducted him to one of the largest and
best houses in the main street of Cavalla. He showed him the store
and parlors, and led him up the stone stairway into the apartments
of the harem, that were richly furnished and adorned.
Nor did he smile when, on descending the stairway, Ada met him, and
begged him, in her gentle voice, to accept the house and all it
contained as his property, as a love-offering from her.
He thanked her with many kind and tender words, yet Ada felt that
the wound still burned in his soul, and the sad tone of his voice
did not escape her. The house was handsome, and so was the store.
The advice of the merchant Lion had been taken by Ada, and the
tschorbadji and he kindly assisted in arranging every thing for the
young merchant in a suitable and appropriate manner. Mohammed was
not to deal, like his friend Lion, in all kinds of household
articles. Lion knew the young man better; he knew that such a
business would not suit him, and that his lips would not conform to
the necessity of using complacent words and flattery, in order to
dispose of his wares. The merchant had, therefore, advised Ada and
the tschorbadji to arrange to have the young man embark in a
The tobacco of Macedonia is celebrated far and wide, and vessels
come there from all quarters of the globe to export this article and
distribute it throughout the world. They had, therefore, made
Mohammed proprietor of a large tobacco warehouse, and he had now
been engaged in this business some ten years, and had become a
wealthy merchant. The people called him a happy man, too, and
perhaps be was, for Mohammed seemed to have true domestic happiness
in his wife and children; he conducted no second wife into his
harem. Ada was his only wife, and the sole mistress of his house.
Yes, he was certainly happy in his family; three sons had been born
to him, and he often went out upon the sea with them, and taught
them, in their boats, to command the waves; he also taught them to
handle the gun, and other manly accomplishments. But he never took
the boys to that part of the shore where the entrance to the cave
lay; and the foot of man has never entered it again! The fissure in
the rocks has disappeared, covered with stones.
No one saw Mohammed go to this spot on the evening be fore his
marriage with Ada. No one saw him, as with the strength of a giant
he rolled huge stones to the opening, and piled them up before the
grotto. Nor did any one see him, before he had done this, enter the
grotto with bowed head and folded arms, as though approaching the
holy mosque. Nor did the ear of man hear the groans and lamentations
that escaped his breast as he lay thereon; the spot upon which the
light of the moon and stars of heaven shone down through the opening
above. There he lay, one entire night, and a whole world of
suffering lay on his soul throughout that night. He wished, during
those fearful hours, to rend from his heart the remembrance of all
the anguish and all the bliss associated with that place in the
past. Did he succeed? Who knows, who can tell?
All things pass away, and time heals all wounds.
Mohammed is a wealthy merchant, the husband of a charming, lovely
woman, and the father of three strong, handsome boys, who look out
boldly and defiantly into the world with their dark eyes, the
picture of their father in earlier days.
How would Sitta Khadra rejoice could she see these boys!
Would she also rejoice if she could see her son gravely and silently
attending to his duties, speaking with the men who come to see him,
of tobacco, of good harvests, of future prospects, and of the
success already achieved in his business?
Of other matters Mohammed never speaks, not even to his friend Lion,
who often comes to see him. When Mohammed needs advice at times in
his affairs, he seeks it of him; he listens smilingly when Lion
tells him of what is going on in the world; and, without letting
Mohammed perceive it, attentively observes him, endeavoring to read,
in his grave, tranquil countenance, whether new feelings are
awakening in his soul, whether the young merchant has really buried
the former ambition of the youth.
But he detects nothing in that tranquil face; ambition sleeps, the
love of glory is dead within him. This is Lion's opinion, and the
opinion of all. But it is not the opinion of Osman, who understands
him best. He has sometimes seen Mohammed's face lighten when the
conversation was of the struggles going on in Egypt, or when the
Turkish fleet was spoken of that had gone over to chastise the
rebellious Mameluke beys! He had seen a deathly pallor overspread
Mohammed's face when on a recent occasion a merchant, who came from
Stamboul, reported that the grand-vizier had sent a great pacha to
Egypt, one who had been banished, the now so mighty Cousrouf Pacha,
the favorite of the grand-admiral. Yes, Osman had observed his
change of countenance at the mention of this name, and that he
secretly clinched his fists and grasped the hilt of his dagger; and
he alone knew that, though Mohammed's wrath found no utterance, it
still lived within him.
Mohammed had suddenly turned away on this occasion, on some
suddenly-conceived pretext, and had not been seen again that day.
He had gone alone to the summit of the rock, and Osman alone knew
that the dark speck which he saw on the crest of Bucephalus was the
figure of his friend who had sought this solitude for the purpose,
perhaps, of easing his heart of its anguish and to enjoy the holy
festival of remembrance, up there alone with God and Nature!
THE BIM BASHI.
Mohammed's countenance was graver and paler than usual when he came
down from Bucephalus. But it seemed that his heart had there
received milder and softer impressions. He spoke to his wife in more
gentle and cordial tones; and instead of repairing, as was his
custom, to a coffee-house, where merchants assembled and exchanged
their views and opinions, smoked the chibouque together, and
discussed the news received from foreign countries, he remained at
home in the family circle. At his request, Osman had come to pass
the evening with them, for Mohammed well knew that this was the
young man's only happiness. These ten years did not benefit Osman's
health; he was still the withered stalk that bows its head, but is
not torn down by the wind, but only swayed to and fro by it at its
Yes, Osman was weak, and firm and constant in one thing only, in his
love for his friend.
With him this feeling took the place of all else; Mohammed was to
Osman what the latter was to his father--his only joy in life! And
for these two Osman sustained himself, bore his ill health and
suffering, and let the sunlight shine upon, and the storms of life
sweep over him.
Osman understood why Mohammed was so kind and genial to-day. He knew
that the day had its significance, and that the wound bled within
secretly and incessantly. In silence Mohammed is praying for
forgiveness, for having on this day permitted his thoughts to wander
back to the past, for having sunk down in sadness upon the spot on
the brow of the rock that had once witnessed his happiness; and he
desires to be mild and gentle to his family this evening. His wife
Ada is thankful and very happy. Mohammed so rarely laughs and jests
with her, so rarely plays with the boys! To be sure he has never
grieved her, has always been kind and gentle, and has never opposed
her wishes. But yet she knows she has no share in his inmost heart.
He talks with her of the daily affairs of life, he allows her to
participate in all such matters, but he never speaks to her of his
heart's inmost thoughts, and whether he suffers and longs to leave
these desolate cliffs, or whether he is discontented with the
monotonous, matter-of-fact life he is leading--she knows not!
Mohammed has never complained to her, neither has he to his friend.
But the latter has read his friend's heart, and understands it
better than Mohammed himself. And a day was soon to come which
A message came from Stamboul. A large ship arrived at Cavalla, and
her sailors related that a number of ships still larger and
handsomer had arrived in the Bay of Sta. Marmara. The ship put out a
boat, which came to the shore and landed a richly-attired officer
who went up to Cavalla. He repaired to the palace and delivered a
letter, secured with magnificent seals, to the tschorbadji. The
letter was from Cousrouf Pacha to his host of former years. He had
not been heard from since that time, and the tschorbadji had
supposed himself long since forgotten. He was familiar with the ways
of the great, whose lips are ever ready to utter promises, which are
forgotten, the next hour. Ten years have elapsed, and but rarely
have Cousrouf Pacha, his new grandeur, and the great things the
future had in store for him, been heard of in Cavalla. And now a
letter announces that Cousrouf Pacha still remembers, and gladly
remembers, former days.
"The Sublime Porte has determined," so read the pacha's letter to
the governor, "the Sublime Porte has determined to oppose the French
occupation of Egypt with energy. The rich land of Egypt belongs to
the Sublime Porte, and without any color of right France takes
possession of it as its own property."
Yes, the republic of France had done this, had landed at Alexandria
with large armies, and had inundated almost the whole of Egypt with
its soldiers. But the Mameluke Beys, who have so long considered
themselves the masters of the country, had taken the field and
fought the invaders. In Stamboul, also, they had long been preparing
for war, and now that all preparations were made, and an army ready
to take the field against the French, each province, yes, each
village of the empire, was to furnish its quota of soldiers in
addition. Messengers had been sent out to every city and village in
the empire to call on the young men in the name of the grand-sultan
to flock to the flag to defend Egypt.
Cavalla was also to furnish its quota, and the pacha's instructions
were, that the governor should with all speed uniform three hundred
young men, and send them to him.
Cousrouf Pacha had, however, also written, "That the governor may
see in what glad remembrance I hold the past, and that I am
grateful, I request that his son Osman be placed at their head as
captain, and come with them. And," continued the pacha, "as his
lieutenant, young Mohammed Ali, if still living, may be serviceable.
However, I suppose that his own violence and passion have consumed
this young man, as he persistently labored at his own destruction.
If this, how ever, is not the case, and his extraordinary strength
of constitution has preserved him, the youth must have become a
strong man, and we need such men for our army."
The governor informed Mohammed and his son of what the pacha had
written. He requested Mohammed to assist him in recruiting and
equipping the men, and Mohammed willingly gave his assistance. He
repaired to Praousta and the neighboring places and assisted in the
work. He soothed the displeasure of the men called on to take the
field, spoke of the heroic deeds they could perform, and of the
beautiful land to which they were to go, so distant from the quiet,
And in a few days the three hundred men were ready to embark. But
how was it with regard to the captain and his lieutenant? Osman had
reserved his decision for the last day, and Mohammed seemed to have
entirely forgotten that he was selected as the captain's lieutenant.
He had not spoken of it during these days; Cousrouf's mention of him
seemed to have made no impression on him, and his attention appeared
to have been directed wholly to the equipment of the soldiers. Now
that all was in readiness, Osman sent his friend word to come to
him, as he wished to converse with him on a matter of grave
importance. Mohammed willingly acceded to this request and repaired
at once to the garden-house, where, since the days of his childhood,
a couch had at all times stood in readiness for the governor's poor,
sickly son, and seated himself at his side, as he was in the habit
"You wished to see me about something, Osman. What is it?"
"What is it?" said Osman, with his softest smile, laying his hand on