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fearful lest what he saw might vanish. The gesture was at once an impulse and an expression. There was a time–tradition says it was the year in which he provoked the curse–when he had wife and child. To one of them, possibly both, the eyes then looking into his might have belonged. The likeness unmanned him. The hand he stretched forth fell lightly upon the head of the intruder.
“What are you?” he said.
The vagueness of the expression will serve excellently as a definition of his condition; at the same time it plunged the child addressed into doubt. Presently she answered:
“I am a little girl.”
Accepting the simplicity of the reply as evidence of innocency too extreme for fear, he took the visitor in his arms, and sat her on his k nike air max 90 sale nee.
“I did not mean to ask what you are, but who?” he said.
“Uel is my father.”
“Uel? Well, he is my friend, and I am his; therefore you and I should be friends. What is your name?”
“He calls me Gul Bahar.”
“Oh! That is Turkish, and means Rose of Spring. How came you by it?”
“My mother was from Iconium.”
“Yes–where the Sultans used to nike air max 90 live.”
“And she could speak Turkish.”
“I see! Gul Bahar is an endearment, not a real name.”
“My real name is Lael.”
The Prince paled from cheek to brow; his lips trembled; the arm encircling her shook; and looking into his eyes, she saw tears dim them. After a long breath, he said, with inexpressible tenderness, and as if speaking to one standing just behind her–“Lael!” Then, the tears full formed, he laid his forehead on her shoulder so his white hair blent freely with her chestnut loc nike air max 95 ks; and sitting passively, but wondering, she heard him sob and sob again and again, like another child. Soon, from pure sympathy, unknowing why, she too began sobbing. Several minutes passed thus; then, raising his face, and observing her responsive sorrow, he felt the need of explanation.
“Forgive me,” he said, kissing her, “and do not w cheap nike air max onder at me. I am old–very old–older than thy father, and there have been so many things to distress me which other men know nothing of, and never can. I had once”–
He stopped, repeated the long breath, and gazed as at a far object.
“I too had once a little girl.”
Pausing, he dropped his eyes to hers.
“How old are you?”
“Next spring I shall be fourteen,” she answered.
“And she was just your age, and so like you–so small, and with such hair and eyes and face; and she was named Lael. air max 90 I wanted to call her Rimah, for she seemed a song to me; but her mother said, as she was a gift from the Lord, she wanted in the fulness of days to give her back to him, and that the wish might become a covenant, she insisted on calling her Lael, which, in Hebrew–thy father’s tongue and mine–means To God.”
The child, listening with all her nike air max 1 soul, was now not in the least afraid of him; without waiting, she made the application.
“You loved her, I know,” she said
“How much–Oh, how much!”
“Where is she now?”
“At Jerusalem there was a gate called the Golden Gate. It looked to the east. The sun, rising over the top of Mount Olivet, struck the plates of gold and Corinthian brass more precious than gold, so it seemed one rosy flame. The dust at its rocky sill, and the ground about it are holy. There, deep down, my Lael lies nike air max classic . A stone that tasked many oxen to move it covers her; yet, in the last day, she will be among the first to rise–Of such excellence is it to be buried before that Golden Gate.”
“Oh! she is dead!” the child exclaimed.
“She is dead;” and seeing her much affected, he hastened to say, “I shed many tears thinking of her. Ah, how gentle and truthful she was! And how beautiful! I cannot forget her. I would not if I could; but you who look so like her will take her place in my heart now, and love me as she did; and I will love you even as I loved her. I will take you into my life, believing she has come again. In the morning I will ask first, Where is my Lael? At noon, I will demand if the day has been kind to her; and the night shall not be half set in except I know it has brought her the sweetness of sleep. Will you be my La cheap air max 90 el?”
The question perplexed the child, and she was silent.
Again he asked, “Will you be my Lael?”
The earnestness with which he put the question was that of a hunger less for love than an object to love. The latter is not often accounted a passion, yet it creates necessities which are peremptory as those of any passion. One of the incidents of the curse he was suff cheap nike air max ering was that he knew the certainty of the coming of a day when he must be a mourner for whomsoever he should take into his heart, and in this way expiate whatever happiness the indulgence might bring him. Nevertheless the craving endured, at times a positive hunger. In other words, his was still a human nature. The simplicity and beauty of the girl were enough to win him of themselves; but when she reminded him of the other asleep under a great rock before nike air max sale the gate of the Holy City, when the name of the lost one was brought to him so unexpectedly, it seemed there had been a resurrection, making it possible for him to go about once more as he was accustomed to in his first household. A third time he asked, “You will be my Lael?”
“Can I have two fathers?” she returned.
“Oh, yes!” he answered quickly. “One in fact, the other by adoption; and they can both love you the same.”
Immediately her face became a picture of childish trust.
“Then I will be your Lael too.”
He clasped her close to his breast, and kissed her, crying:
“My L airmax 90 ael has come back to me! God of my fathers, I thank thee!”
She respected his emotion, but at length, with her hand upon his shoulder, said:
“You and my father are friends, and thinking he came here, I came too.”
“Is he at home?”
“I think so.”
“Then we will go to him. You cannot be my Lael without his consent.”
Presently, hand in hand, they descended the stairs, crossed the street, and were in the shopkeeper’s p nike air max resence.
The room was plainly but comfortably furnished as became the proprietor’s fortune and occupation. Closer acquaintance, it is to be said, had dissipated the latent dread, which, as has been seen, marked Uel’s first thought of intimacy between the stranger and the child. Seeing him old, and rich, and given to study, not to say careless of ordinary things, the father was beginning to entertain the idea that it might in some way be of advantage to the child could she become an object of interest to him. Wherefore, as they entered now, he received them with a smile.
Traces of the emotion he had undergone were in the Prince’s face, and when he spoke his voice was tremulous.
“Son of Jahdai,” he said, standing, “I had once a wife and child. They perished-how and when, I cannot trust myself to tell. I have been faithful cheap nike air max trainers to their memory. From the day I lost them, I have gone up and down the world hunting for 8

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