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The modern tourist may yet see its kind drawn up at every landing he passes.
Proper handling, inclusive of running out and hauling in the seine, demanded a skilful crew of at least five men; and as whole lives were devoted to rowing, the proficiency finally attained in it can be fancied. It was on cheap nike air max 1 ly natural, therefore, that the thirty communities should each insist upon having the crew of greatest excellence–the crew which could outrow any other five on the Bosphorus; and as every Byzantine Greek was a passionate gambler, the wagers were without end. Vauntings of the sort, like the Black Sea birds of unresting wings, went up and down the famous waterway.
At long intervals occasions presented for the proof of these men of pride; after which, for a period there was an admitted champion crew, and a consequent hush of the babble and brawl.
In determining to conclude the fete with a boat-race open to all Greek comers from the capital to the Cyanian rocks, the Princess Irene did more than secure a desirable climax; unconsciously, perhaps, she hit upon the measure most certain to bring peace to the thirty villages.
She i air max 1 mposed but two conditions on the competitors–they should be fishermen and Greeks.
The interval between the announcement of the race and the day set for it had been filled with boasting, from which one would have supposed the bay of Therapia at the hour of starting would be too contracted to hold the adversaries. When the hour came there were six crews present actually prepared to contest for the prize–a tall ebony crucifix, with a gilded image, to be displayed of holidays on the winning prow. The shrinkage told the usual tale of courage oozed out. There was of course no end of explanation.
About three o’clock, the six boats, each with a crew of five men, were held in front of the Princess’ stand, representative of as many towns. Their prows were decorated with banderoles large enough to be easily distinguished at a dista nike air max 1 grey nce–one yellow, chosen for Yenimahale; one blue, for Buyukdere; one white, for Therapia; one red, for Stenia; one green, for Balta-Liman; and one half white and half scarlet, for Bebek. The crews were in their seats–fellows with knotted arms bare to the shoulder; white shirts under jackets the color of the flags, trousers in width like petticoats. The feet were uncovered that, while the pull was in delivery, they might the better clinch the cleats across the bottom of the boat.
The fresh black paint with which the vessels had been smeared from end to end on the outside was stoned smoothly down until it glistened lik nike air max 1 red e varnish. Inside there was not a superfluity to be seen of the weight of a feather.
The contestants knew every point of advantage, and, not less clearly, they were there to win or be beaten doing their best. nike air max 1 premium They were cool and quiet; much more so, indeed, than the respective clansmen and clanswomen.
From these near objects of interest, the Princess directed a glance over the sprea nike air max 1 ebay ding field of dimpled water to a galley moored under a wooded point across on the Asiatic shore. The point is now crowned with the graceful but neglected Kiosk of the Viceroy of Egypt. That galley was the thither terminus of the race course, and the winners turning it, and coming back to the place of starting, must row in all about three miles.
A little to the right of the Princess’ stand stood a pole of height to be seen by the multitude as well as the rival oarsmen, and a rope for hoisting a white flag to the top connected it with the chair on the dais. At the appearance of the flag the boats were to start; while it was flying, the race was on.
An nike air max 1 d now the competitors are in position by lot from right to left. On bay and shore the shouting is sunk to a murmur. A moment more–but in that critical period an int nike air max 1 leopard erruption occurred.
A yell from a number of voices in sharpest unison drew attention to the point of land jutting into the water on the north side not inaptly called the toe of Therapia, and a boat, turning the point, bore down with speed toward the sail-covered stand. There were four rowers in it; yet its glossy sides and air of trimness were significant of a seventh competitor for some reason behind time. The black flag at the prow and the black uniform of the oarsmen confirmed the idea. The hand of the Princess was on the signal rope; but she paused.
As the boat-hook of the newcomers fell on the edge of the landing, one of them dropped upon his knees, cryin nike air max 1 black g: “Grace, O Princess! Grace, and a little time!”
The four were swarthy men, and, unlike cheap air max 1 the Greeks they were seeking to oppose, their swart was a peculiarity of birth, a racial sign. Recognizing them, the spectators near by shouted: “Gypsies! Gypsies!” and the jeer passed from mouth to mouth far as the bridge over the creek at the corner of the bay; yet it was not ill-natured. That these unbelievers of unknown origin, separatists like the Jews, could offer serious opposition to the chosen of the towns was ridiculous. Since they excited no apprehension, their welcome was general.
“Why the need of grace? Who are you?” the Princess replied, gravely.
“We are from the valley by Buyukdere,” the man returned.
“Are you fishermen?”
“Judged by our catches the year t nike air max 1 sale hrough, and the prices we get in the market, O Princess, it is no Nike air max 1 t boasting to say our betters cannot be found, though you search both shores between Fanar and the Isles of the Princes.”
This was too much for the bystanders. The presence they were in was not sufficient to restrain an outburst of derision.
“But the conditions of the race shut you out. You are not Greeks,” the judge continued.
“Nay, Princess, that is according to the ground of judgment. If it please you to decide by birth and residence rather than ance cheap nike air max 1 stry, then are we to be preferred over many of the nobles who go in and out of His Majesty’s gates unchallenged. Has not the sweet water that comes down from the hills seeking the sea through our meadow furnished drink for our fathers hundreds of years? And as it knew them, it knows us.”
“Well answered, I must admit. Now, my friend, do as wisely with what I ask next, and you shall have a place. Say you come out winners, what will you do with the prize? I have heard you are not Christians.”
The man raised his face the first time.
“Not Christians! Were the charge true, then, argument being for the hearing, I would say the matter of religion is not among the conditions. But I am a petitioner, not lawyer, and to my rude thinking it is better that I hold on as I began. Trust us, O Princess! There is a plane tree, wondrous old, and with seven twin trunks, standing before our tents, and in it there is a hollow which shelters securely as a house. Attend me now, I pray. If happily we win, we will convert the tree into a cathedral, and bu ild an altar in it, and set the prize above the altar in such style that all who love the handiworks of nature better 8

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