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cue the woman waiting for him in such faith as was due his word and honor specially plighted to her. As the pillagers showed no disposition to interfe nike air max 1 red re with him, he closed his eyes and ears to th air max 1 eir brutalities, and sped forward.
The district in which the Princess dwelt was being overrun when he at last drew rein at her door. With a horrible dread, he alighted, and pushed in unceremoniously. The reception-room was empty. Was he too late? Or was she then in Sancta Sophia? He flew to the chapel, and blessed God and Christ and the Mother, all in a breath. She was before the altar in the midst of her attendants. Sergius stood at her side, and of the company they alone were perfectly self-possessed. A white veil lay fallen over her shoulders; save that, she was in unrelieved black. The pallor of her countenance, caused, doubtless, by weeks of care and unrest, detracted slightly from the marvel nike air max 1 premium ous beauty which was hers by nature; but it seemed sorrow and danger only increas ed the gentle dignity always observable in nike air max 1 grey her speech and manner.
“Princess Irene,” he said, hastening forward, and reverently saluting her hand, “if you are still of the mind to seek refuge in Sancta Sophia, I pray you, let us go thither.”
“We are ready,” she returned. “But tell me of the Emperor.”
The Count bent very low.
“Your kinsman is beyond insult and further humiliation. His soul is with God.”
Her eyes glistened with tears, and partly to conceal her emotion she turned to the picture above the altar, and said, in a low voice, and brokenly:
“O Holy Mother, have thou his soul in thy tender care, and be with me now, going to what fate I know not.”
The young women surrounded her, and on their knees filled the chapel with sobbing and suppressed wails. Striving for composure himself, the Count observed them, and was at on nike air max 1 leopard ce assailed by an embarrassment.
They were twenty and more. Each had a veil over her head; yet from the delicacy of their hands he could imagine their faces, while their rank was all too plainly certified by the elegance of their garmen nike air max 1 ts. As a temptation to the savages, their like was not within the walls. How was he to get them safely to the Church, and defend them there? He was used to military problems, and decision was a habit with him; still he was sorely tried–indeed, he was never so perplexed.
The Princess finished her invocation to the Holy Mother.
“Count Corti,” she said, “I now place myself and these, my sisters in misfortune, under thy knightly care. Only suffer me to send for one other.–Go, Sergius, and bring Lael.”
One other!
“Now God help me!” he cried, involuntarily; and it seemed he was heard.
“Princess, nike air max 1 black ” he returned, “the Turks have posses nike air max 1 ebay sion of the streets. On my way I passed them with prisoners whom they were driving, and they appeared to respect a right of property acquired. Perhaps they will be not less observant to me; wherefore bring other veils here–enough to bind these ladies two and two.”
As she seemed hesitant, he added: “Pardon me, but in the streets you must all go afoot, to appearances captives just taken.”
The veils were speedily produced, and the Prince cheap nike air max 1 ss bound her trembling companions in couples hand to hand; submitting finally to be herself tied to Lael. Then when Sergius was more substantially joined to the ancient Lysander, the household sallied forth.
A keener realization of the situation seized the gentler portion of the procession once they were in the street, and they there gave way to tears, so nike air max 1 sale bs, and loud appeals to the Saints and Angels of Mercy.
The Count rode in front; four of his Berbers moved on each side; Sheik Hadifah guarded the rear; and altogether a more disconsolate company of captives it were hard imagining. A rope passing from the first couple to the last was the only want required to perfect the resemblance to the actual slave droves at the moment on nearly every thoroughfare in Constantinople.
The weeping cortege passed bands of pillagers repeatedly.
Once what may be termed a string in fact was cheap air max 1 met going in the opposite direction; women and children, and men and women were lashed together, like animals, and their lamentations were piteous. If they fell or faltered, they were beaten. It seemed barbarity could go no further.
Once the Count was halted. A man of rank, with a following at his heels, congratulated him in Turkish:
“O friend, thou hast a goodly capture.”
The stranger came nearer.
“I will give you twenty gold pieces for this one,” pointing to the Princess Irene, who, fortunately, could not understand him–“and fifteen for this one.”
“Go thy way, and quickly,” said Corti, sternly.
“Dost thou threaten me?”
“By the Prophet, yes–with my sword, and the Padishah.”
“The Padishah! Oh, ho!” and the man turned pale. “God is great–I give him praise.”
At last the Count alighted before the main entrance of the Church. By friendly chance, also–probably because the site was far down toward the sea, in a district not cheap air max 1 yet reached by the hordesmen–the space in front of the vestibule was clear of all but incoming fugitives; and he had but to knock at the door, and give the name of the Princess Irene to gain admission.
In the vestibule the party were relieved of their bonds; after which they passed into the body of the building, where they embraced each other, and gave praise aloud for what they considered a final deliverance from death and danger; in their transports, they kissed the marbles of the floor again and again.
While this affecting scene was going on, Corti surveyed the interior. The freest pen cannot do more than give the view with a clearness to barely stimulate the reader’s imagination.
It was about eleven o’clock. The smoke of battle which had overlain the hills of the city was dissipated; so the sun, nearing high noon, poured its full of splendor across the vast nave in rays slanted from south to north, and a fine, almost impalpable dust hanging from the dome in the still air, each ray shone through it in vivid, half-prisma nike air max 1 tic relief against the shadowy parts of the structure. Such pillars in the galleries as stood in the paths of the sunbeams seemed effulgent, like emeralds and rubies. His eyes, however, refused everything except the

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