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   Chapter 2 THE AGREEMENT.

Mohammed Ali and His House By L. Muhlbach Characters: 36272

Updated: 2017-11-29 00:02


THE sun was already low in the heavens. The palm trees in the neighboring wood of Petresin threw long shadows across the yellow sand, and yet Sheik Arnhyn had not yet come, and Mohammed waited in vain for intelligence concerning his captor's purposes.

He had again been seated with Butheita on the mat, and had eaten with her as in the morning.

He had endeavored to chat gayly with the Queen of the Desert; but her quick eye had read in his countenance that a cloud rested on his soul, and the brightness faded from her eyes.

She turned to him when he had risen from the mat and was walking thoughtfully, to and fro in the narrow tent. "Tell me, O stranger, is your heart so very sad? Is there nothing Butheita can do for you. You are wearied; this space is too narrow for you. Your soul, whose wings are pinioned, would fly out into the world. The world without is very beautiful, I know."

"Do you know this world?" asked Mohammed, his lips smiling as he looked at her.

"Yes, I do," said she. "I have been with father to Tantah several times. While there I heard the scha-er tell their beautiful stories of Ey-Zahir. I listened with breathless attention. And then, too, I heard the female singers, the Gavasi. They sang beautiful songs, and the words and tones have often since resounded in my heart. Do you know, sarechsme, that often, when my father had gone out with his Bedouins to fight or to plunder, as was sometimes the case, then my only pleasure was to take down the zammarah bisoan, on which my mother played, and sing to its accompaniment the songs I had learned from the Gavasi. "Shall I sing them for you? Shall I?" But you must not laugh at me for repeating what the Gavasi sang in Tantah."

Without awaiting a reply, she took down the little bagpipe with its bag of goat-skin, and to its shrill accompaniment sang a quaint love-song with an admixture of the comic.

Her countenance had become grave, and a sweet fire burned in her eyes, while singing to the monotonous air in a shrill, vibrating voice, as was customary with the street-singers of the Egyptian towns. When she had finished her song, she turned the gaze of her dark eyes upon Mohammed with an inquiring expression. When she saw the smile on his countenance, and encountered the wondrous glance that seemed to penetrate to her very soul, she stated. "It pleases you," said she. "I read in your countenance that you are pleased. Then I will sing you another song."

She took up her instrument again, and sang, in loud, joyous tones, a song about a gazelle-like maiden who had run away with her lover's soul, concluding with,

"Throughout the long, long night his sighing ceases not, his sighing for the dear gazelle that stole away his soul. Have pity on your lover; come back to me, gazelle. "

"Gazelle, come back to me! " cried Mohammed, with outstretched arms.

"Gazelle, have pity on your lover."

She seemed not to have heard him, bowed down over her instrument, and played in such loud, shrill tones, that it almost deafened Mohammed, who well understood Butheita's motive in playing so.

He smiled at her in silence. Butheita laughed.

"You see my song has gladdened you, and your countentance smiles again. O joy! See, there in the distance! Yes, there come two figures. That is my father, that is Sheik Arnhyn. Some one accompanies him. Rejoice, sarechsme; you will be relieved of your ennui!"

He laid his band gently on her shoulder, and regarded her with a long, earnest look, that recalled the roses to her brown cheeks.

"I do not rejoice, Butheita, Queen of the Desert. I have erected a throne for you in my heart, and my heart spoke to you in the words of your song-'Throughout the long, long night my sighing ceases not, my sighing for the dear gazelle that stole away my heart.' Then speak, gazelle, shall I take you with me? Will you live with me in the great city? Speak to me, gazelle."

She gazed far out over the yellow sand toward the two specks, in which her keen eye recognized two human figures, but in which he saw only two black specks that gradually increased in size.

"Answer me, Butheita. Their coming does not gladden me, and the thought of leaving you makes me sad. If you fancy I have found it dull here, you are in error. My heart is only too much occupied. Butheita, sweetest of maidens, speak to me! Speak to me, gazelle!"

"See, sarechsme-father waves his hand!" cried she. "He already sees us standing here; his eye is as keen as an eagle's. He sees us! Come, let us step back for a moment, I have something to say to you. -To be sure I might have told you where we were," she continued, blushing, as she stepped behind the curtain. "I might as well have told you at the door, for father could not have heard it, although he could see us."

"Speak, Butheita, what did you wish to say? Speak!"

"I have forgotten, sarechsme. But I believe I wished to thank you for saying you had not found it dull here. It seems to me that only a moment has passed since I saw you yesterday, and yet it is an eternity. Yesterday lies far behind me, and today seems entirely different. The sun seems to be another, and I myself another, too. You see I am a very silly child."

"And why do you falter? Why do I see tears in your eyes, Butheita?"

"Because I'm a foolish child! A strange feeling comes over me," said she, sadly. "You will now go; the man who is coming with father will take you away from us, and I shall never see you again."

"Then give me, O Butheita, give me one of the roses that blossom on your lips."

"That blossom on my lips?" said she, surprised, as she passed her little brown hand across her mouth. "A rose on my lips ? What does that mean, stranger?"

He bowed down over her. She felt his warm breath on her brown cheek.

"Give me a rose! Let me pluck a kiss from your lips!"

Butheita's cheeks blushed crimson. She put out her rosy lips, but then suddenly drew back and defended herself vigorously.

"Did I not tell you of my promise to my father? No man shall ever kiss me except the one who shall lead me to his tent as his wife. It is well that father is coming. Farewell, sarechsme, if I should riot see you again! Farewell! and let me keep my vow!"

She gently pushes him back, and flies out of the tent to meet her father. Sheik Arnhyn recognizes and hails her with a shout of delight.

"Butheita, have you succeeded, have you guarded the stranger well?"

"I have taken good care of him; come, father, and see!" She takes her father's arm, and, without looking at the man who walks close behind him, draws the sheik quickly to the tent.

But Mohammed, with a proud and grave expression of countenance, advances to meet them. Butheita now hardly recognizes, in the haughty sarechsme, with his imperious bearing, the stranger, who is no longer a stranger to her heart.

"Speak, sheik! How dared you lead me away, a prisoner, from my army? Really, you were very presumptuous. Such conduct is calculated to excite my just anger and indignation."

The sheik made a profound obeisance.

"I trust you will forgive me, sarechsme; what I did was done at the command of my master. There he comes; he is called Osman Bey Bardissi. He comes crowned with victory, and will treat with you.- Come, Butheita, what they have to say to each other does not concern us, we have done our duty, and I have performed what I promised. The Mameluke bey has also kept his promise, and my men are already on the battlefield; I, too, must speedily return, my child, for we are to bring home costly spoils."

While walking with her to the tent, he tells her of the splendid caftans, the golden vessels, the jewelled daggers, and the costly arms, that he has already gathered from the field of battle.

In the mean while the two men have approached each other. Now they stand face to face, Osman Bey Bardissi, and the sarechsme, Mohammed Ali, and regard each other with a long, gloomy look. Both, it seems, wish to avoid being the first to speak a word of greeting.

Finally, Osman breaks the silence. "This, Mohammed Ali, is our third meeting. The first, you will recollect, was at Cavalla. Two boys, both ambitious, addressed each other in tones of mockery and derision. In the years that have since passed, I have often thought of the boy with the eagle eyes and the haughty, contemptuous smile. Our second meeting occurred a few months since, after the massacre at Aboukir. You were my enemy, and yet you acted as my friend. You saved Osman Bey Bardissi's life. Then I said to you: 'I will remember this, Mohammed Ali, and in me you have found a friend for all time.'"

"Such were your words, Osman Bey Bardissi," replied Mohammed, his voice tremulous with anger, "and now I have received a proof of your friendship! You have had me snared like a wild beast, and abducted from my camp and my soldiers, to become a laughing-stock for them and an object of derision for your people."

Bardissi shook his head quietly. "You are in error, Mohammed Ali; none of my men know what has occurred, nor do I believe that yours do. No one shall ever learn, I swear it by Allah, where the sarechsme, Mohammed Ali, has passed this night, or by whom he was abducted. No, no one shall ever learn it! You can rest assured, Sheik Arnhyn is not the man to babble like a woman when he should hold his peace, and Butheita is his obedient daughter. This matter shall be kept to ourselves. We meet to-day for the third time, and do you know why, Mohammed Ali? I caused you to be abducted because I promised you friendship. I did not wish to confront you as an enemy; against my wish a bullet might have chanced to strike you; and, I know not how it is, but I feel drawn to you, I feel a desire to be your friend. I wish to fight at your side, and not against you. We two, O Mohammed-we two, united-could make our land happy, great, and free, I feel assured. I read this in your countenance when we met on the ship. A voice seemed to whisper in my heart: 'He can assist you, he must be your friend!' Your eye glittered as I have seen but one other glitter; a proud consciousness of power was expressed in your features, such as I have seen in those of but one other man, and to this day I regret that he was our enemy, and that he has left us."

"And who was this man?"

"He was a French general. They called him Bonaparte, and he was a great man. It seems to me you resemble him, Mohammed Ali; like him you seem to stand gazing out upon the world, conscious of power and heroism, and resolved to bring it into subjection, as he was, but could not. For, observe, this was his mistake: he assumed a hostile attitude toward the Mamelukes, instead of seeking their friendship. And this I now hope of you, Mohammed Ali, that you will make friends of the Mamelukes, and not remain on the side of our treacherous enemies the Turks. It does not beseem you. Your soul is great, and your actions heroic! Why are you with the Turks? It does not beseem you."

"It does not beseem me!" cried Mohammed excitedly; "truly it does not beseem me-"

"Be still, my friend, I pray you!" said Bardissi, interrupt ing him. "Listen first to what I have to say. Do you know whence I come? Look at me! Do you see these dark spots on my clothing? 'Tis blood, Mohammed Ali, human blood. It splashed on me from many a wound! Go thither, Mohammed Ali; go to the plain of Damanhour. The bodies of the dead lie thick there-the bodies of dead Turks, Mohammed Ali!"

"And the bodies of many Mamelukes also, I should think," rejoined

Mohammed quickly.

Osman Bey shook his head slowly. "Not many! You are in error,

Mohammed Ali. We hurriedly counted them. Three thousand Turks lie

dead upon the battle-field of Daman hour; of our men, of the

Mamelukes, hardly sixty!"

"That is impossible!" cried Mohammed, in dismay.

"It seems impossible, yet it is the truth, Mohammed Ali," replied Bardissi, drawing himself up proudly. "I tell you, three thousand Turks and hardly sixty Mamelukes; and ours is the battle-field. Those of the Turks who were not shot down or sabred have fled to bear to Cairo the disastrous intelligence-that eight hundred Mamelukes have vanquished over three thousand Turks led by Youssouf Bey, the kiaya of the viceroy. The proud man is defeated, and may return to Cairo with the miserable remnants of his magnificence to announce his disgrace. I tell you, Mohammed, it was a wondrous battle! Youssouf Bey had drawn up his army on the plain of Damanhour, behind them their artillery. While we were forming in front of them, their artillery began to thunder; it was to carry death into our ranks, and it succeeded. Fearful was the first shock! I began to fear lest my men should flinch. I called to them in a loud voice, and with them bore down upon the enemy with the speed of the lightning, regardless of the thundering artillery. But its discharges were murderous, and I saw that it was impossible to advance farther in this direction. We then turned, and, before the Turks could take measures to prevent it, fell upon their unprotected left flank and bore down upon their ranks. The first rank, surprised and terrified by my sudden flank attack, gave way, and their infantry was thrown into disorder. The blows of our ataghans fell thick and fast. The enemy turned and fled in wild disorder, we following them. Mohammed Ali, the slaughter was dreadful! Eight hundred Mamelukes vanquished over three thousand Turks! Sheik Arnhyn's Bedouins, who are now on the field, can show you the rich spoils. Let them rob the dead; for me and mine, who scorn to do this, spoils enough still remain; we have captured all their artillery, and munitions of war in abundance. `It was a glorious day,' so say the Mameluke beys. `It was a disastrous day,' will the viceroy, throned in the proud citadel at Cairo, lament.

"Do you now understand, O sarechsme, why I caused you to be abducted from your camp by my friend Sheik Arnhyn? I did it partly on my own account, and partly out of friend ship for you. You look at me inquiringly; you do not understand! I will explain. Intelligence had been brought to me that, should Youssouf Bey be defeated, you were to march rapidly to his assistance. I saw the messenger sent by him to call you to his assistance; you would have come too late. You could only have shared defeat had you come up with your troops, exhausted by their march, and attacked the Mamelukes, flushed with victory. They would have defeated you, and therefore do I consider it an act of friendship to have prevented your coming at all. Yet, I would not conceal the truth. Truly, Osman Bey Bardissi loves the truth, and therefore I tell you I also did it on my own account, and on account of my Mamelukes. I well know what mettle your other generals are made of! From Youssouf Bey and Taher Pacha the Mameluke Beys have nothing to fear; I know them, and know that they are poor soldiers; but of you, Mohammed Ali, I have a different opinion. When I saw you on the ship, I said to myself: `This man will become a hero; woe to us when he confronts us in battle, but joy if we can win him to our side and make him our friend!' Therefore, I entreat you, be our friend, Mohammed Ali. Abandon the treacherous Turks, for treacherous they are! We saw this at Aboukir, and I think have aroused indignation in your gallant heart to see them massacre so many of our noblest beys through vile trickery and treachery. I can well understand that you cannot admit this while you are a sarechsme of the Turks; yet, be one of us, Mohammed Ali. Confess to yourself that the Turks are waging an unjust war, and that treachery is their favorite weapon. It is my firm conviction that we shall ultimately succeed in vanquishing and driving them from the country; but to do this we need strong men and heroic hearts. I cannot consent to their possession of such a man as yourself. Come to us, Mohammed Ali! You shall be our first and greatest! What Mourad Bey was for us, that shall Mohammed Ali be for the Mamelukes. We will bow to your wisdom in humility! We will obey all your commands! Be one of us, Mohammed Ali. Join us, and we will vanquish the Turks and reoccupy Cairo! You shall be enthroned in the citadel as our chieftain; you shall rule over Cairo and be our brother and comrade. Abandon the Turks! Now, Mohammed Ali, I have finished. Give me an answer!"

His eager gaze was fastened on Mohammed's proud, tranquil

countenance in breathless suspense. The latter making no reply,

Bardissi repeated, in tones of entreaty almost, "Answer me, Mohammed

Ali!"

"Do you really suppose I can answer you?" said Mohammed, gently. "Look at me; I wear the uniform of a Turkish general, and am in the grand-sultan's, and, more immediately, in Cousrouf Pacha, the viceroy's service. I am a soldier, who, wearing his uniform, must ever be mindful that he has sworn the oath of fidelity. Moreover, I am your prisoner. Do you suppose it would beseem the soldier to treat with his enemy against his commander-in-chief? Would it, do you think, become the prisoner to accept the proposals of him who for the moment is his master; would it not look as though the prisoner wished in this manner to purchase his freedom? And now answer me, Bardissi!"

"This is my answer," said Bardissi, bowing his head with a smile: "You are free, and no longer a prisoner. You were entrapped, and brought here, because I wished to speak with you. This I have done, and now you are free. And now your decision, if you please!"

"Osman Bey Bardissi is far too great a hero, and far too brave a soldier and honorable man, not to know what emotions agitate my soul. See, I wear a general's uniform, and my army corps is awaiting me! You cannot suppose that I will abandon them, or incite them to treason! As yet, I serve the viceroy alone," he continued in a lower voice, "and, as yet, I do not know that I can depend entirely on their fidelity."

"However, you do not say 'no' to my proposals?" said Bardissi.

"I say wait, Bardissi! He who wishes to attain fortune must not gra

sp at it with too quick a hand. He may catch hold of a corner of its mantle, but fortune itself might escape him. Only he who is calm and collected can depend on securing it, Bardissi. Therefore, I say, wait! Yet, this will I say, in addition," continued he, his countenance assuming a milder expression, "Give me your hand before we part. It is the hand of a brave man, and I am glad to press it in my own."

Bardissi joyously laid his broad, sinewy hand in Mohammed's, and grasped it firmly.

"I repeat it, Bardissi, wait. In eight days you shall have an answer from me. Perhaps it will, be communicated to you through common report-perhaps secretly. Therefore, name some one through whom I can communicate with you."

Bardissi made no answer, but glanced uneasily at Mohammed. The latter smiled.

"You are suspicious; you have already experienced too much treachery from your enemies not to fear Mohammed Ali might prove like the rest. I require no answer. In case of necessity, I will send you an answer through Mourad's widow, Sitta Nefysseh."

"Sbe is our mistress, and we all reverence and obey her as we should, the widow of our great chieftain."

"I know you all honor and love her!" said Mohammed, with a slight smile. "May I now depart?"

Bardissi inclined his head. "You are free! I shall ride on in advance, and deprive myself of the pleasure of accompanying you through the desert. We might be seen together, and suspicion excited against you. I ride in that direction. The dromedary will bear you back to your camp by a shorter route across the desert. She who brought you here will also accompany you back. She knows the way, and is discreet and cautious, like her father. My horse and servants await me behind that hill. And now let us part!"

"Let us part!" repeated Mohammed, extending his hand for a parting grasp.

"I will accompany you to the tent," said Bardissi," and give orders to have the dromedary saddled for you while you are strengthening yourself for the ride."

They walked to the tent side by side, and Bardissi called the sheik, and gave him his instructions.

Mohammed entered the tent. No one was there. He walked into the inner apartment, and so noiselessly that his step was not heard by her who stood behind the partition, by Butheita. She stood there, her head bowed down, and her gaze fixed on the spot where she had broken bread with Mohammed. Now, hearing her name murmured behind her, she started and turned around. He observed that her manner was sad, and that the smile had departed from her lips.

"You are sad, Butheita," whispered he, approaching her.

She cast down her eyes before his glance. "You are going away," said she. "Father is already saddling the dromedary, and you are about to leave us."

"I must go," said be, gently. "Duty calls me away, while love would gladly hold me back. But I am a man, and must listen to the voice of duty only. They say you are to accompany, and show me the way?"

She shook her head resolutely. "I beg you, say that you do not wish it, that you desire my father to accompany you."

"And why should I do so?" asked he, gazing searchingly into her countenance. "Do you hate me so that you are unwilling to pass an hour in my company? Did I conduct myself unbecomingly while we were together in the palanquin this morning? Why will you not accord me the happiness of riding across the desert with you again? Why do you hate me?"

She remained silent for a while, and then slowly shook her head. "No, it is not that; it is something quite different. It pains me to see you leave. This morning, I could ride with you across the desert; then I did not know you, and did not fear you."

"And now you are afraid of me?" said he, gazing in her eyes intently.

"No, not afraid of you, but afraid of myself," said she, in a low voice. "I am afraid I might love you; and that may not be," cried she, in a firmer tone. "You are a great and distinguished man, and would laugh at the poor Bedouin child if she should regard you otherwise than as a great sarechsme, who had condescended to honor her father's tent by accepting his daughter's hospitality. I had best not ride with you. And I have already told father so."

"And the reason, too, Butheita? " said he, smiling.

"No, sarechsme! I told father I was weary with my long ride. He loves me dearly, and, although he had intended returning with the bey to collect the spoils from the field, he is, nevertheless, ready to accompany you if you will permit him."

"I am to permit you to cause me pain, and deny myself a great happiness, Butheita. Yet, I understand you, and must say that I rejoice to see you act as you do. I rejoice in you, my star-eyed desert queen! Be assured, Mohammed Ali will never forget you. And now, tell me, will you not quite forget me either?"

"No, that I will not, sarechsme."

"Will you also be mindful of your promise to your father to allow him only to kiss you, who shall one day lead you to his home?"

"I shall ever be mindful of this promise."

"Then, Butheita, then will I kiss you," cried he, and with passionate violence he clasped her in his arms, and pressed a kiss on her lips. He then turned and left the tent.

Butheita sank down upon the mat, and with outstretched arms she knelt there, motionless, a statue of ecstasy, of blissful love.

Mohammed stepped out before the tent, and beckoned to the sheik to approach.

"I beg that you will accompany me, sheik; it will be too fatiguing for your daughter to take this ride the second time."

"Gladly, master; she has already told me so herself, and I am ready," said he, commanding the dromedary to kneel down. Mohammed sprang into the palanquin, and the sheik followed him.

"Farewell, Butheita," he cried. She did not answer; she did not wish to go out, as he might see her tears, and her father, too, might observe them. She therefore remained silent. She had drawn the curtain over the entrance to the inner apartment, and lay on the mat weeping; weeping and laughing at the same time, for joy and pain- ecstasy and pain were contending for victory in her heart. "He is gone, gone! and yet he is ever with me."

The dromedary flew over the desert still more swiftly than in the morning, his feet hardly touching the ground; clouds of sand were whirled aloft, and enveloped the animal and the riders as with a thick veil. No one saw them, and, had any one seen them, he could not have told who they were.

Arrived at the boundary line of the desert, where two horses awaited them, the sheik halted. Having dismounted with Mohammed, he addressed a few loud words to the dromedary; it turned, and flew homeward across the desert.

"It knows the way," said the sheik, smiling. "It will return alone to Butheita."

They mounted the horses, and rode on swiftly through meadows, and palm and sycamore groves.

The sheik now drew rein. "Do you see that black line standing out against the evening sky? That is your camp. If you desire it, I will accompany you farther. It rests with you to decide."

"I will ride on alone, sheik. Farewell, and accept this for your hospitality."

He held out to the sheik a purse filled with gold-pieces. The latter proudly rejected it.

"With one breath you say things that do not agree with each other.

You wish to pay me, and yet you say you have enjoyed my hospitality.

The guest does not pay, unless it be with love and friendship. If

you pay me in that way, I shall rejoice, and Butheita also, I know."

"O sheik, I thank you both for your hospitality, and will love you and hold you in good remembrance. Farewell, sheik!"

He pressed his knees to his horse's flanks and rode off in a rapid gallop. Evening had already sunk down when he approached the plain where his soldiers lay encamped. He dismounted, and left his horse to return alone. He then glided stealthily to the rear of his tent, and, raising the canvas, slipped in. No one was in this apartment where his couch lay, but in the first one he heard loud voices. His officers were speaking of him. They were making anxious inquiries and conjectures as to where the general might be, and were considering whether they should make further search for him or break up camp and return to Cairo. They were the voices of his bim bashis and boulouk bashis. Smiling, he listened for a time to their conversation. He then drew back the curtain and stepped into the outer apartment. A joyous shout greeted his entrance. They eagerly rushed forward, and anxiously inquired where he had been, the meaning of his absence, and if any evil had befallen him.

He gazed at them haughtily.

"Am I, the general, to be called to account by you, my officers?"

They instantly ceased speaking, and saluted him with profound obeisance.

"I know," continued he, in milder tones, "that sympathy for me prompted your inquiries, and will therefore tell you where I have been. I rode last night, entirely alone, to Damanhour, where I knew Youssouf Bey lay with his men. I wished to learn if we could reach them in time, and therefore rode with the wings of the wind. When I reached their camp, the battle had already begun. It was too late to march to Youssouf Bey's assistance. I therefore did what I could, drew my sword and fought in the ranks as a common soldier. The day was adverse; the Turkish army lies defeated on the plain of Damanhour! Now let us remain here and wait. If the victors, the Mameluke beys, feel disposed to try their fortune in another battle, by Allah they shall find us ready to receive them! But, if they do not show themselves by tomorrow, we will turn and march back to Cairo. Now go and announce to the soldiers what has taken place."

They bowed profoundly, and the deference and silence with which they now left the tent were in marked contrast with their previous noisy behavior. The general knew how to impress them with a sense of his superiority; they all recognized in him a great man, and felt his iron hand on their necks. All now grows still in the camp. The soldiers retire to rest, and Mohammed also sinks down on his mat to repose, and, if possible, to sleep after so much fatigue and excitement.

But sleep refused to come at his bidding. He arose and walked to and fro in his tent for a long time. At first he was merely the loving man, and beheld only Butheita's countenance; but the hero in him soon gained the upper hand. Mohammed profoundly considered Osman Bey's words, and how he must shape his future. His keen vision had observed and made him acquainted with the men who surrounded him, and with the relations to which he must now either conform or against which be must now rise in arms. He had been in a state of doubt and hesitation all along; his future was enveloped in a thick veil, and he was not aware what shape his destiny was to take; yet he had closely observed all. He bad seen that poor Egypt was a plaything of ambition, of rapacity, of intrigue-a prey for all. Nowhere in the midst of this reign of intrigue and passion had he seen law and justice prevail. He saw only a province trodden under foot, a bleeding land, that must perish in its citizens, unless a deliverer should come who knew how to bind up and heal its wounds. Could he be its deliverer? Was it his mission to raise up the downtrodden people from the dust, to erect for himself a throne upon the ground that smoked with the blood of so many victims? Was this his mission, and was there a way that would lead him up the steep ascent to the throne? All this he considered earnestly and profoundly throughout the entire night, and, when the rising sun had dispelled the clouds of the morning, it was clear, too, in his soul. He saw the way he must go to reach his goal.

"And this way I will go," said he to himself, in low tones. "I will consider nothing but my interest and my aim. I will avail myself of all means that are useful. Wise, shrewd, cautious, using every thing, and recoiling from nothing, let this be the motto of my immediate future: 'To overthrow the enemy by rebellion were unwise; he who usurps another's place is always a rebel, and deserving of punishment.' I must be called to the throne by the people themselves, then I shall be a legitimate ruler. To attain this be your task, Mohammed Ali. Equip yourself and collect your energies. Be the lion and the tiger, the serpent and the hero: in this way only can you accomplish your end."

Early on the following morning the videttes announced to the sarechsme that no trace of the enemy was anywhere to be seen.

"Then we shall return to Cairo," said the sarechsme to his bim bashis; "give orders to prepare to march."

The loud shouts of joy that resounded without announced to the sarechsme that the soldiers were well pleased to return home. "I am, too!" said he to himself, smiling. "I am well pleased that we are not compelled to confront the Mamelukes! Perhaps we shall soon be fighting side by side!"

In the meanwhile intelligence of the defeat of the Turkish army had reached Cairo. Many had heard it with intense satisfaction, many with sorrow, according to whether they were friends or enemies of the viceroy.

Yet, when Mohammed Ali's troops marched through the streets, they were greeted with shouts of joy. They returned, as the sarechsme had ordered, quietly to their barracks.

Mohammed Ali also repaired to his house to rest and to wait.

In the meanwhile the remnant of the defeated army had also returned to Cairo; and Youssouf Bey, who had succeeded in making his escape from the slaughter, repaired, at the very hour when Mohammed entered the city with his troops to the citadel, to the viceroy. With furious despair and tears of rage, he told the story of his terrible defeat, thinking by this display of anguish to wash his hands of the disgrace of having been vanquished with three thousand Turks by eight hundred Mamelukes! But, as though the number of his troops ought not to have been sufficient to insure victory over the small force of the Mamelukes, he sought to throw the blame on others.

"I was betrayed-betrayed! Mohammed Ali and Taher Pacha are to blame for this disaster. They should have come to my assistance, but they left me to shift for myself. That is infamous conduct! Here, before your throne, I accuse of treason, above all, Mohammed Ali, and also Taher Pacha! They knew I was in danger: had they come up, I should not have lost the battle; but they did not come, because they desired my downfall, in order that they might ascend to the height of your favor over my neck! They are both traitors. I entreat you to cause searching inquiries to be made, and to hold to a strict accountability those who so shamefully deserted me."

Cousrouf Pacha felt deeply touched by the anguish and despair of his favorite, and perhaps he also felt a foreboding rise in his heart that Mohammed Ali was still his enemy, and was seeking revenge for his long-since-destroyed happiness.

"You are right, Youssouf Bey. I promise you strict investigation shall be made, and woe to them if they fail to justify themselves!"

A messenger entered to announce to the viceroy that Mohammed Ali had returned to Cairo with his troops. The viceroy immediately dispatched a messenger to the sarechsme, ordering him to come up to the citadel at once, and without any delay whatever, to render account to the viceroy of his action.

Mohammed heard the command with perfect composure. "Tell the viceroy that I will come up to the citadel tomorrow, in the broad light of day, with my soldiers. My weary troops must rest tonight, and without them I do not desire to appear before your master. Therefore, tomorrow morning, rest assured that I shall come."

As he had said, in the broad light of day, and accompanied by his soldiers, the sarechsme repaired to the citadel. An ominous cry resounded from their lips as they stood before the gateway, and this cry was heard in the apartment of the viceroy.

"We demand our pay! We want bread, we want money!" This was the soldiers' cry. Now, surrounded by his bim bashis and boulouk bashis, the sarechsme entered the apartment of the viceroy, Cousrouf Pacha, who was awaiting him. In utter disregard of deference and usage, the general did not wait to be addressed by the viceroy. With a military greeting, he stepped forward and said, in a loud voice:

"As you hear, highness, your troops have come to demand of you that to which they have assuredly long been entitled-they have come to demand their pay!"

"I see," said Cousrouf, in low tones, casting a furtive glance of hatred at Mohammed-"I see that you are still the insolent boy of Cavalla!"

"I believe," replied Mohammed, also speaking in subdued tones-" I believe we are both what we then were; and I shall prove it to you!"

He stepped back. No one had heard the brief conversation that passed between them, but every one saw Cousrouf's cheek grow pale, and his eye sparkle with anger.

"I will send you an answer," said he, after a pause. "Return to your house, and order the soldiers to return to their barracks. My defterdar will bring you an answer."

He turned and left the apartment.

"Well, for this time we will be patient and wait," said Mohammed, addressing his officers.

His voice was threatening, and his officers understood that their general was prepared to resort to extreme measures, and they rejoiced over it, for the viceroy was always haughty and overbearing in his manner toward them, and they all hated him. They would all have been pleased to see their bold general revolt against him.

"We will wait," they whispered to each other-" we will wait! What our sarechsme does, we will do also!"

They returned, in obedience to his command, to their quarters and barracks.

The sarechsme, Mohammed Ali, a peculiar smile on his lips, also returned to his palace.

"The decisive hour approaches! Cousrouf Pacha shall be convinced that I, as he says, am still the same Mohammed Ali I was at Cavalla! Yes, still the same, and still determined to have revenge!

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