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and half audible kisses crossing to and fro,
interlacing, as it were, in an exquisite roof,
beneath which he lingered for a while with
ineffable delight that soon turned to despair.

One day, the young man wandered forth
into the country, and strolled on the banks of
the Nile, until its waters grew dark and became
dotted with the reflections of stars. Then, he
thought of returning homeward; but the
city gates were closed when he reached them,
and the guards refused to admit him. He was
not at all disturbed by the idea of passing a
night in the open air; but, being tired, wished
to find a place where he could lie down and
rest undisturbed. Chance directed him to a
ruined tomb near the back of the Cassar
under the walls of the house of Gamadel.
He entered, and lying down, slept. Towards
midnight he was awakened by the sound of
voices. He listened at first without moving,
thinking he was in the neighbourhood of

"Show thy face, O Suliman Ebn Suliman,"
said a voice from some high position in a
jeering tone. " If it be not now black, thou
art not to be admitted."

"It is black as blackness," was the reply.
"Great is the power that can effect this

Cathalla looked cautiously through a break
in the ruined tomb, and beheld by the light
of the moon, which shone brilliantly, a tall
negro standing at the foot of the wall, looking
up. He was dressed in the garments of a
distinguished person, and seemed to wait
impatiently to seize the first round of a rope-
ladder that was being let down from above.
Presently he began to ascend, and soon
disappeared through a small window near the
summit of the lofty wall.

"This is a strange occurrence." thought
Cathalla, trying to account for it by reasoning,
but in vain.

Next day, just as the Damascus caravan
was about to start, great search was made
after a wealthy merchant named Suliman
Ebn Suliman, a Turk. A crier perambulated
the streets, announcing that his friends were
distressed at his disappearance; but Cathalla
was again wandering forth; and even if he
had heard the inquiry, having impiously
learned to disbelieve in magical transformations,
would never have thought of connecting
the white merchant, whose face he well knew,
with the black man he had seen entering in a
mysterious manner the house of Gamadel.

By this time, however, the Cassar was in a
state of terrible excitement. No one can tell
how the report got abroad, or on what it was
founded. It seemed to be one of those
revelations, which Providence sometimes
mysteriously puts into the mouths of common
people, who shout the truths they do not
understand through the streets and fields.
Certain it is, however, that from the barber
to the porter, every one began to say that the
strangers who entered the house of Gamadel
nearly every day never came forth again.
Some people personating them, wearing their
garments or mysteriously assuming their
shape, did pass through the gate frequently
whilst the bawab was in his heavy sleep, and
never returned. But Dando maintained, with
great appearance of truth, that the real
personages would be less careful to conceal their
faces, and was perhaps the first to cry out
that the house of Gamadel was a house of
slaughteran idea readily accepted, for the
popular mind willingly infers that a man who
disappears is dead.

If the people of the Cassar had been quite
persuaded of what seemed to be likely under
this suppositionthat the strangers whose
fate interested them were murdered for the
purpose of robberythey would probably
have been less disquieted. Being all poor,
they could have nothing to fear for
themselves. But their imaginations were fertile.
Gamadel, the strong-armed, as they now
thought they remembered the ferocious-
looking young man, might be a terrible
magician who had need of human blood for
his incantations. Their turn might come next.
At any rate, this supposed neighbourhood of
crime disquieted them, even while they had
reason to think that they themselves were safe.

At length even this consolation was taken
from them. A half-witted youth one morning
went chuckling about the Cassar, intimating
that he could say strange things if he chose,
that he had passed the night outside the
gates, and had seenhe would not say what.
They pestered him to speak, but with a
cunning stupidity he refused. ''Let him
alone," said Dando. " This evening, if we
turn our backs on him, he will tell all of his
own accord." The half-witted lad went forth;
but was found about midday in a field of
sugar-canes, killed by a single stroke of a

When this fact became known, the people
of the Cassar assembled tumultuously; and
although there seemed no positive reason to
say that death had been dealt by any of the
people of the house of Gamadel, no one
doubted that such was the case. The
murdered lad had boasted of having noticed some
suspicious circumstance, and had died without
saying what it was. Who could be interested
in slaying him, save some servant of the
house ? Less conclusive reasoning has often
urged a crowd to the most terrible excesses.
An old womanthe mother of the victim
pointing with her lean fingers to the corpse,
which lay on some straw in a corner of the
court, croaked for vengeance. The men of the
Cassar were not usually brave, but they were
goaded on by despair. One after the other,
they might all fall beneath the assassin's
knife, if they dared to reveal any frightful
secret that might come to them without their
will. Some old guns, several rusty swords,
and many spears, began to make their
appearance. The butcher wielded a prodigious