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they immured, the duty must have been against robbers from the mainland on the east, and from pirates generally. Under the tower there was a climb difficult for most persons in daylight, and from the manoeuvring of the boat, the climb was obviously the object drawing the master. He at length found it, and stepped out on a shelving stone. The gurglet and mantle were passed to him, and soon he and his follower were feeling their way upward.
On the summit, the chief walked once around the tower, now the merest ruin, a tumbledown without form, in places overgrown with sickly vines. Rejoining his attendant, and staying a moment to thoroughly empty the gurglet of water, on his hands and knees he crawled into a passage much obstructed by debris. The negro waited outside.
The master made two trips; the first one, he took the gurglet in; the second, he took the mantle wrapping the sword. At the end, he rubbed his hands in self-congratulation.
“They are safe–the precious stones of Hiram, and the sword of Solomon! Three other stores have I like this one–in India, in Egypt, in Jerusalem–and there is the tomb by Sidon. Oh, I shall not come to want!” and he laughed well pleased.
The descent to the small boat was effected without accident.
Next morning toward sunrise the passengers disembarked at Port St. Peter on the south side of the Golden Horn. A little later the master was resting at home in Byzantium.
Within three days the mysterious person whom we, wanting his proper name and title, have termed the master, had sold his house and household effects. In the night of the seventh day, with his servants, singular in that all of them were deaf and dumb, he went aboard ship, and vanished down the Marmora, going no one but himself knew whither.
The visit to the tomb of the royal friend of Solomon had evidently been to provide for the journey; and that he took precious stones in preference to gold and silver signified a journey indefinite as to time and place.
Part 2 Chapter 1 A Messenger From Cipango
Just fifty-three years after the journey to the tomb of the Syrian king–more particularly on the fifteenth day of May, fourteen hundred and forty-eight–a man entered one of the stalls of a market in Constantinople–to-day the market would be called a bazaar–and presented a letter to the proprietor.
The Israelite thus honored delayed opening the linen envelope while he surveyed the messenger. The liberty, it must be remarked, was not a usual preliminary in the great city, the cosmopolitanism of which had been long established; that is to say, a face, a figure, or a mode, to gain a second look from one of its denizens, had then, as it has now, to be grossly outlandish. In this instance the owner of the stall indulged a positive stare. He had seen, he thought, representatives of all known nationalities, but never one like the present visitor–never one so pinkish in complexion, and so very bias-eyed–never one who wrapped and re-wrapped himself in a single shawl so entirely, making it answer all the other vestments habitual to men. The latter peculiarity was more conspicuous in consequence of a sack of brown silk hanging loosely from the shoulder, with leaves and flowers done in dazzling embroidery down the front and around the edges. And then the slippers were of silk not less rich with embroidery, while over the bare head a sunshade of bamboo and paper brilliantly painted was carried.
Too well bred to persist in the stare or attempt to satisfy his curiosity by a direct question, the proprietor opened the letter, and began reading it. His neighbors less considerate ran together, and formed a crowd around the stranger, who nevertheless bore the inspection composedly, apparently unconscious of anything to make him such a cynosure.
The paper which the removal of the envelope gave to the stall-keeper’s hand excited him the more. The delicacy of its texture, its softness to the touch, its semi-transparency, were unlike anything he had ever seen; it was not only foreign, but very foreign.
The lettering, however, was in Greek plainly done. He noticed first the date; then, his curiosity becoming uncontrollable, and the missive being of but one sheet, his eyes dropped to the place of signature. There was no name there–only a seal–an impression on a surface of yellow wax of the drooping figure of a man bound to a cross.
At sight of the seal his eyes opened wider. He drew a long breath to quiet a rising feeling, half astonishment, half awe. Retreating to a bench near by, he seated himself, and presently became unmindful of the messenger, of the crowd, of everything, indeed, except the letter and the matters of which it treated.
The demand of the reader for a sight of the paper which could produce such an effect upon a person who was not more than an ordinary dealer in an Eastern market may by this time have become imperious; wherefore it is at once submitted in free translation. Only the date is modernized.
“ISLAND IN THE OVER-SEA. FAR EAST. May 15, A.D. 1447.
“Uel, Son of Jahdai.
“Peace to thee and all thine!
“If thou hast kept faithfully the heirlooms of thy progenitors, somewhere in thy house there is now a duplication of the seal which thou wilt find hereto attached; only that one is done in gold. The reference is to prove to thee a matter I am pleased to assert, knowing it will at least put thee upon inquiry–I 8

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