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he Princess with difficulty repressed her feelings.
“Bear with me a moment,” she said; “you cannot know the self-mastery I require to thus defend myself. Can I ever again be confident of my judgment? How doubts and fears will beset me when hereafter upon my own responsibility I choose a course, whatever the affair! Ah, God, whom I have sought to make my reliance, seems so far away! It will be for Him in the great nike air max 1 grey day to declare if my purpose in living here be not escape from guiltiness in thought, from wrong and temptation, from taint to character. For further security, I keep myself surrounded with good women, and from the beginning took the public into confidence, giving it privileges, and inviting it to a study of my daily nike air max 1 premium life. And this is the outcome! … I will proceed now. The plate on the gate is a safeguard”–
cheap nike air max 1 “Then Mahommed has visited you?”
The slightest discern cheap air max 1 ible pallor overspread her face.
“Does it surprise you so much? … This is the way it came about. You remember our stay at the White Castle, and doubtless you remember the knight in armor who received us at the landing–a gallant, fair-speaking, chivalrous person whom we supposed the Governor, and who p Air Max 1 revailed upon us to become his guests while the storm endured. You recollect him?”
“Yes. He impressed me greatly.”
“Well, let me now bring up an incident not in your knowledge. The eunuch in whose care I was placed for the time with Lael, daughter of the Prince of India, as my companion, to afford us agreeable diversion, obtained my consent to introduce an Arab story-teller of great repute among the tribes of the desert and other Eastern people. He gave us the name of the man–Sheik Aboo-Obeidah. The Sheik proved worthy his fame. So entertaining was he, in fact, I invited hi nike air max 1 red m here, and he came.”
“Did I understand you to say the entertainment took place in Lael’s presence?”
“She was my companion throughout.”
“Let us nike air max 1 black be thankful, little mother.”
“Ay, Sergius, and that I have witnesses down to the last incident. You may have heard how the Emperor and his court did me the high honor of a visit in state.”
“The visit was notorious.”
“Well, while the royal company were at table, Lysander appeared and announced Aboo-Obeidah, and, by permission of the Emperor, the story-teller was admitted, and remained during the repast. Now I come to the surprising event–Aboo-Obeidah was Mahommed!”
“Prince Mahommed–son of the terrible Amurath?” exclaimed Sergius. “How did you know him?”
“By the brass plate. When he went to his boat, he stopped and nailed the plate to the pillar. I went to look at it, and not understanding the inscription, sent to town for a Turk who enlightened me.”
“Then the hamari was not gasconadi nike air max 1 sale ng?”
“What did he say?”
“He confirmed your Turk.”
She gazed awhile at the overflowing of the fountain, giving a thought perhaps to the masquerader and his description of himself what time he was alone with her on the portico; presently she resumed:
“One word more now, and I dismiss the brass plate…. I cannot blind myself, dear friend, to the condition of my kinsman’s empire. It creeps in closer and closer to the walls of Constantinople. Presently there will be nothing of it left save the little the gates of the capital can keep. The peace we have is by the grace of an unbeliever too old for another great military nike air max 1 ebay enterprise; and when it breaks, then, O Sergius, yon safeguard may be for others besides myself–for many others–farmers, fishermen and townspeople caught in the storm. Say such anticipation followed you, Sergius–what would you do with the plate?”
“What would I do with it? O little mother, I too should take counsel of my fears.”
“You approve my keeping it where it is, then? Thank you…. What remains for explanatio n? Ah, yes–my heresy. That you shall dispose of yourself. Remain here a moment.”
She arose, and passing through a doorway heavily draped with cloth, left him to the entertainment of the fountain. Returning soon, she placed a roll of paper in his hand.
“There,” she said, “is the creed which your Hegumen makes such a sin. It may be heresy; yet, God helping me, and Christ and the Holy Mother lending their awful help nike air max 1 , I dare die for it. Take it, dear Sergius. You will find it simple–nine words in all–and take this cover for it.”
He wrapped the parcel in the white silken cover she gave him, making mental comparison, nevertheless, with the old Nicaean ordina cheap air max 1 nces.
“Only nine words–O little mother!”
“Nine,” she returned.
“They should be of gold.”
“I leave them to speak for themselves.”
“Shall I return the paper?”
“No, it is a copy…. But it is time you were going. Fortunately the night is pleasant and starlit; and if you are tired, the speeding of the boat will rest you. Let me have an opinion of the creed at your leisure.”
They bade each other good-night.
* * * * *
About eight o’clock next morning Sergius awoke. He had dropped on his cot undressed, an air max 1 leopard print d slept the sweet sleep of healthful youth; now, glancing about, he thought of the nike air max 1 leopard yesterday and the spacious garden, of the palace in the garden, of the Princess Irene, and of the 8

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