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of the prevalence of an extraordinary excitement. It seemed the entire population had been brought from their houses by the strange thunder, and the appalling flight of meteoric bodies over their roofs. Men and women were running about asking each other what had happened. At the corners he was appealed to:
“Oh, for Christ’s sake, stop, and tell us if the world is coming to an end!” Arid in pity lie answered: “Do not be so afraid, good people. It is the Turks. They are trying to scare us by making a great noise. Go back into your houses.”
“But the bullets which passed over us. What of them?”
“Where did they strike?”
“On further. God he nike air max 1 premium lp the sufferers!”
One cry he heard so often it made an impression upon him:
“The Panagia! Tell His Majesty, as he is a Christian, to bring the Blessed Madonna from the Chapel.”
With each leap of his horse he was now nearing the alighting places of the missiles, and na cheap nike air max 1 turally the multiplying signs of terror he observed, together with a growing assurance that the abode of the Princess was in the range of danger, quickened his alarm for her. The white faces of the women he met and passed without a word reminded him the more that she was subject to the same peril, and in thought of her he forgot to sympathize with them.
In Byzantium one might be near a given point yet far away; so did the streets run up and down, and here and there, their eccentricities in width and direction proving how much more accident and whim had to nike air max 1 black do with them originally than art or science. Knowing this, the Count was not sparing of nike air max 1 sale his horse, and as his blood heated so did his fancy. If the fair Princess were unhurt, it was scarcely possible she had escaped the universal terror. He imagined her the object of tearful attention from her attendants. Or perhaps they had run away, and left her in keeping of the tender Madonna of Blacherne.
At last he reached a quarter where the throng of people compelled him to slacken his gait, then halt and dismount. It was but a few doors from the Princess’. O cheap air max 1 ne house–a frame, two stories–appeared the object of interest.
“What has happened?” he asked, addressing a tall man, who stood trembling and praying to a crucifix in his hand.
“God protect us, Sir Knight! See how clear the sky is, but a great stone–some say it was a mete nike air max 1 grey or–struck this house. There is the hole it made. Others say it was a bullet from the Turks.–Save us, O Son of Mary!” and he fell to kissing the crucifix.
“Was anybody hurt?” the Count asked, shaking the devotee.
“Yes–two women and a child were killed.–Save us, O Son of God! Thou hast the power from the Father.”
The Count picked his way toward the house till he could get no further, so was it blocked by a mass of women on their knees, crying, praying, and in agony of fright. There, sure enough, was a front beaten in, exposing the wrecked interior. But who was the young woman at the door calmly directing some men bringing out the body of one apparently Air Max 1 dead? Her back was to him, but the sunlight was tangled in her uncovered hair, making gold of it. Her figure was tall and slender, and there was a marvellous grace in h nike air max 1 leopard er action. Who was she? The Count’s heart was prophetic. He gave the bridle rein to a man near by, and holding his sword up, pushed through the kneeling mass. He might have been more considerate in going; but he was in haste, and never paused until at the woman’s side. “God’s mercy, Princess Irene!” he cried, “what dost thou here? Are there not men to take this charge upon them?”
And in his joy at finding her safe, he fell upon his knees, and, without waiting for her to offer the favor, took one of her hands, and carried it to his lips.
“Nay, Count Corti, is it not for me to ask what thou dost here?”
Her face was solemn, and he could hardly determine if the eyes she turned to him were not chiding; yet they were full of humid violet light, and she permitted him to keep the hand while he replied:
“The Turk is for the time having his own way. We cannot get to him.. nike air max 1 red .. I came in haste to–to see what his guns have done–or–why should I not say it? Princess, I galloped here fearing thou wert in need of protection and help. I remembered that I was thy accepted knight.”
She understood him perfectly, and, withdrawing her hand, returned: “Rise, Count Corti, thou art in the way of these bearing the dead.”
He stood aside, and the men passed him with their burden–a woman drenched cheap air max 1 in blood.
“Is this the last one?” she asked them.
“We could find no other.”
“Poor creature! … Yet God’s will be done! … Bear her to my house, and lay her with the others.” Then to the Count she said: “Come with me.”
The Princess set out after the men. Immediately the women about raised a loud lamentation; such as were nearest her cried out: “Blessings on you!” and they kissed the hem of her gown, and followed her moaning and weeping. The body was borne into the house, and to the chapel, and all who wished went in. Before the altar, two others were lying lifeless on improvised biers, an elderly woman and a half-grown girl. The Lady in picture above the altar looked down on them, as did the Holy Child in her arms; and there was much comfort to the spectators in the look. Then, when the third victim was decently laid ou nike air max 1 ebay t, Sergius began the service for the dead. The Count stood by the Princess, her attendants in group a little removed from them.
In the midst of the holy ministration, a sound like distant rolling thunder penetrated the chapel. Every one present knew what it was by this time–knew at least it was not thunder–and they cried out, and clasped each other–from their knees many fell grovelling on the floor. Sergius’ voice never wavered. Corti would have extended his arms to give the Princess support; but she did not so much as change color; her hands holding a silver triptych remained firm. The deadly bullets were in the air and might alight on the house; yet her mind was too steadfast, her soul too high, her faith too exalted for alarm; and if the Count had been prone to love her for her graces of person, now he was prompted nike air max 1 to adore her for her courage.
Outside near by, there was a crash as of a flying solid smiting another dwelling, and, without perceptible interval, an outcry so shrill and unintermitted it required no explanation.
The Princess was the first to speak.
“Proceed, Sergius,” she said; nor might one familiar with her voice have perceived any alteration in it from the ordinary; then to the Count again: “Let us go out; there may be others needing my care.”
At the door Corti said: “Stay, O Princess–a word, I pray.”
She had only to look at his face to discover he was the subject of a fierce conflict of spirit.
“Have pity on me, I conjure you. Honor and duty call me to the gate; the Emperor may be calling me; but how can I go, leaving you in the midst of such peril and horrors?”
“What would you have me do?”
“Fly to a place of safety air max 1 leopard print .”
“I will find a place; if not within these walls, then”–
He stopped, and his eyes, bright with passion, fell before hers; for the idea he was about giving his tongue would be a

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