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eld. “Do you think you’ll survive, Mr. Overshaw?” “Not only that,” said Martin, “but I hope for

ile lips, her

a new lease of life.” “We start,” said Lucilla, “with a drive through the town, during which I shall point out the Kasr-el-Nil Barracks, the Bank of Egypt and the Opera House. Then we shall enter on the shopping expedition in the Mousky, where I shall prevent Mrs. Dangerfie

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ld from being robbed while bargaining for Persian lacq. I’m ready, Laura, if you are.” She led the

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way out. Martin exchanging words of commonplace with Mrs. Dangerfield, followed in an ecstasy. Did ever woman, o

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utside Botticelli’s Primavera, walk with such lissomeness? A chasseur turned the four-flanged doors and they emerged into the cle

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ar morning sunshine. The old bearded Arab carriage porter called an hotel arabeah from the stand. But while the driver, correc

t in metal-buttoned livery coat and tarbush, was dashing up with his pair, Martin caught sight of Fortinbras walking towards them. “There he is,” said Martin. “Who?” “Fortinbras.” “Nonsense,” said Lucilla. “That’s an English Cabinet Minister, or an Ameri

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can millionaire, or the keeper of a gambling saloon.” But when he came nearer, she admitted it was Fortinbras. She waved her hand in recognition. Nothing could have been more charming than her greet

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ing; nothing more urbane than his acknowledgment, or his bow, on introduction to Mrs. Dangerfield. He had come, said he, to lay his respectful homage at her feet; also to see how his young frien

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d was faring in a strange land. Lucilla asked him where he was staying. “When last I saw you,” he answered, “I said something about the perch of the old vulture.” She eyed him, smiling: “You look more like the wanton lapwing.” “In that case I need even a smaller perch, the merest twig.” “But ‘Merest Twig, Cairo,’ isn’t an address,” cried Lucilla. “How am I to get hold of you when I want you?” Fortinbras regarded her with humorous benevolence. The question was characteristic. He knew her to be generous, warm-hearted and impatient of trivial conventi

on: therefore he had not hesitated to go to her in his anxious hour; but he also knew how those long delicate fingers had an irresistible habit of drawing unwary humans into her harmless web. He had not come to Cairo just to walk into Lucilla’s parlour. He wanted to buzz about Egypt in philosophic and economical independence. “That, my dear Lucilla,” said he, “is one more enigma to be put to the credit of the Land of Riddles.” Ibrahim stood impassively holding open the door of the arabeah. A couple of dragomen in resplendent robes and turbans, seeing a new and

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rward. “You’re the most exasperating person I ever met,” exclaimed Lucilla. “But while I have you, I’m going to

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keep you. Come to lunch at one-fifteen. If you don’t I’ll never speak to you again.” “I’ll come to lunch at one-

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fifteen, with very great pleasure,” said Fortinbras. The ladies entered the carriage. Martin said hastily: “You ga

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ve me the slip last night.” “I did,” said Fortinbras. He drew the young man a pace aside, and whispered: “You thi

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nk those are doves harnessed to the chariot. They’re not. They’re horses.” Martin broke away with a laugh, and spr

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ang to the back seat of the carriage. It drove off. The dragoman came up to the lonely Fortinbras. Did he want a guide

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? The Citadel, the Pyramids, Sakkara? Fortinbras turned to the impassive Ibrahim and in his grand manner and with impressive gesture said: “Will you tell them they are too beautiful. They would eclipse the splendour of all the monuments I am here to visit.” He walked away and Ibrahim, translating roughly to the dragomen, conveyed uncomplimentary references to the virtue

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of their grandmothers. Meanwhile Martin, in beatitude, sat on the little seat, facing his goddess. She was an integral part of the exotic setting of Cairo. It was less real life than an Arabian Night’s tale. She was interfused with all the sunshine and colour and wonder. Only the camels padding along in single file, their bodies half hidden beneat

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h packs of coarse grass, seemed alien to her. They held up their heads, as the carriage passed them, with a damnably supercilious air. One of them seemed to catch his eye and express contempt unfathomable. He shook a fist at him. “I hate those brutes,” said he. “Good gracious! Why?” aske

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d Lucilla. “They’re so picturesque! A camel is the one thing I really can draw properly.” “Well, I dislike them intensely,” said he. “They’re inhuman.” He could not translate his unformulated thought into conventional words. But he knew that at the summons of the high gods all the world of animate beings would fall down and worship her: every breathing thing but t

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he camel. He hated the camel. CHAPTER XIX LUCILLA kept her word. She was not a woman of half measures. Just as she had set out, impelled by altruistic fancy, to carry provincial little Félise through part of a Riviera season, and had thoroughly accomplished her object, so now she devoted h


erself whole-heartedly to the guidance of Martin through the Land of Egypt. In doing so she was conscious of helping the world along. Hitherto it was impeded in its progress by a mild, scholarly gentleman wasting his potentialities in handing soup to commercial travelle

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elf she avowed her entire disinterestedness. She had often thought of adopting and training a child; but that would take a prodigiously long time, and the child might complicate her future life. On the other hand, with grown men and women, things went more quickly. You could see the grass grow. The swifter process appealed to her temperament. First she incorporated him, without chance of escape, in her own l

ittle coterie, the Dangerfields, and the Watney-Holcombes, father, mother and daughter, Americans who lived in Paris. They received him guaranteed by Lucilla as an Englishman without guile, with democratic American frankness. Of Mr. Dangerfield, a grim-featured banker, possessing a dry, subrident humour, Martin was somewhat afraid. But with the Watney-Holcombes, cheery, pleasure-loving folk, he was soon at his ease. “The only thing

you mustn’t do,” said Lucilla, “is to fall in love with Maisie”—Maisie was a slip of a girl of nineteen, whom he regarded as an amusing and precocious child—“There is already a young man floating about in the smoke of St. Louis.” It was an opportunity to make romantic repudiation, to proclaim the faith by which he lived. But he had not yet the courage. He laughed, and decl

ared that the smoky young man might sleep peacefully of nights. The damsel herself took him as a new toy and played with him harmlessly and, subtly inspired by Lucilla, commanded her father, a chubby, innocent man, with a face like a red, gold-spectacled apple, to bring Martin from remote meal solitude and establish him permanently at their table. Thus, Martin being an accepted member of a joyous company, could go here, there and ever

ywhere with any one of them without furnishing cause for gossip. Lucilla had a deft way of not putting herself in the wrong with a censorious though charming world. Under the nominal auspices of the Dangerfields and the Watney-Holcombes, Martin mingled with the best of Cairo society. He attended race-meetings, golf-club teas, hotel balls and merry little suppers. He went to a reception at the Agency and shook

hands with the great English ruler of Egypt. He was swept away in automobiles to Helouan and Heliopolis, to the Mena House to see the Pyramids and the Sphinx both by daylight and by moonlight. A young soldier discovering a bond in knowledge of love of France invited him to Mess on a guest night. Lucilla, ever watchful and tactful, saw that he went in full dress, white tie and white waistcoat, and not in dinner jacket. She pervaded hi

s atmosphere, teaching him, training him, opening up new vistas for his mind and soul. Every encomium passed on him she accepted as a tribute to herself. It was infinitely more interesting than training a dog or a horse. Martin, blissfully unaware of experiment, or even of guidance, lived in a dream of delight. His goddess seemed ever ready to hand. Together they visited mosques a

nd spent enchanted hours in the Bazaar. She knew her way about the labyrinth, could even speak a few words of Arabic. Supreme fair product of the West she stood divinely pure amid the swarthy vividness of the unalterable East. She was a flawless jewel in the barbaric setting of those narrow streets, filled with guttural noise, outlandish bustle of camels and donkeys and white-clad men, smells of hoary spiciness, colour from the tatter

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ed child’s purple and scarlet to the yellow of the cinnamon pounded at doorways in the three-foot mortars; those streets winding in short joints, each given up to its particular industry—copper beaters, brass-workers, leather-sellers, workers in cedar and mother-of-pearl, sellers of cakes and kabobs, all plying their trades in the frontless caves that served as shops; streets so

narrow and sunless that one could see but a slit of blue above the latticed fronts of the crazy houses. He loved to see her deal with the supple Orientals. In bargaining she did not haggle; with smiling majesty she paid into the long slender palm a third, or a half or two-thirds of the price demanded, according to her infallible sense of values, and walked away serene possessor of

the merchandise. Lucilla, having a facile memory, had not boasted in vain that she could play dragoman. He found from the books that her arch?ological information was correct; he drank in her wisdom. For his benefit she ordained a general expedition to Sakkara. One golden day the party took train to Badrashen, whence, on donkeys, they plunged into the desert. Riding in front with

him, she was his for most of that golden day; she discoursed on the colossal statue, stretched by the wayside, of Rameses II, on the step pyramid, on the beauties of the little tombs of Thi and Ptah-hetep, whose sculptures and paintings of the Vth Dynasty were alive, proceeding direct from the soul of the artist and thus crying shame on the conventional imitations of a thousand or

two years later with which most of the great monuments of Egypt are adorned. And all she said was Holy Writ. And at Mariette’s House where they lunched—the bungalow pitched in the middle of the baking desert and overlooking the crumbling brown masses of tombs—he glanced around at their picnicking companions and marvelled at her grace in eating a hard-boiled egg. It was a noisy,

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excited party and it was “Lucilla this,” and “Lucilla that,” all the time, for there was hot argument. “I don’t take any stock in bulls, so I’m not going to see the Serapeum,” declared Miss Watney-Holcombe. “But Lucilla says you’ve got to,” exclaimed Martin. Then he realised that unconsciously he had used her Christian name. He flushed and under cover of the talk turned to her with an apology. He met laughing eyes

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