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than the artfulness of men may come and worship there reverently as in the holiest of houses, Sancta Sophia not excepted.”
“I will trust you. With such a promise overheard by so many of this concourse, to refuse you a part in the race were a shame to the Immaculate Mother. But how is it you are but four?”
“We were five, O Princess; nike air max sale now one is sick. It was at his bidding we come; he thought of the hundreds of oarsmen who would be here one at least could be induced to share our fortune.”
“You have leave to try the nike air max classic m.”
The man arose, and looked at the bystanders, but they turned away.
“A hundred noumiae for two willing hands!” he shouted.
There was no r nike air max 95 eply. “If not for the money, then in honor of the noble lady who has feasted you and your wives and children.”
A voice answered out of the throng: “Here am I!” and presently the hamari appeared with the bear behind him.
“Here,” he said, “take care of Joqard for me. I will row in the sick man’s place, and”–
The remainder of the sentence was lost in an outburst of gibing–and laughter. Finally the Princess asked the rowers if they were satisfied with the volunteer.
They surveyed him doubtfully.
“Art thou an oarsman?” one of them asked.
“There is not a better on the Bosphorus. And I will prove it. Here, some of you–take the beast off my hands . Fear not, friend, Joqard’s worst growl nike air max 90 is inoffensive as thunder without lightning. That’s a good man.”
And with the words the hamari released the leading strap, sprang into the boat, and without giving time for protest or remonstrance, threw off his jacket and sandals, tucked up his shirt-sleeves, and dropped into the vacant fifth seat. The dexterity with which he then unshipped the oars and took them in hand measurably quieted the associates thus audaciously cheap nike air max adopted; his action was a kind of certificate that the right man had been sent them.
“Believe in me,” he said, in a low tone. “I have the two qualities which will bring us home winners–skill and endurance.” Then he spoke to the Princess: “Noble lady, have I your consent to make a proclamation?”
The manner of the request was singularly deferential. Sergius observed the change, and took a closer look cheap nike air max at him while the Princess was giving the permission.
Standing upon the seat, the hamari raised his voice: “Ho, here–there– every one!” and drawing a purse from his bosom, he waved it overhead, with a louder shout, “See!–a hundred noumiae, and not all copper either. Piece against piece weighed or counted, I put them in wager! Speak one or all. Who dares the chance?”
Takers of the offer not appearing on the shore, he shook the purse at his competitors.
“If we are not Christians,” he said to them, “we are oarsmen and not afraid cheap nike air max . See–I stake this purse–if you win, it is yours.”
They only gaped at him.
He put the purse back slowly, and recounting the several towns of his opponents by their proper names in Greek, he cried: “Buyukdere, Therapia, Stenia, Bebek, Balta-Liman, Yenimahale–your women will sing you low to-nigh nike air max t!” Then to the Princess: “Allow us now to take our place seventh on the left.”
The bystanders were in a maze. Had they been served with a mess of brag, or was the fellow really capable? One thing was clear–the interest in the race had taken a rise perceptible in the judge’s stand not less than on the crowded shore.
The four Gypsies, on their part, were content with the volunteer. In fact, they were more than satisfied when he said to them, as their vessel turned into position:
“Now, comrades, be governed by me; and besides the prize, if we win, you shall have my purse to divide amongst you man and man. Is it agreed?” And they answered, foreman and all, yes. “Very well,” he returned. “Do you watch, and get the time and force from me. nike air max sale Now for the signal.”
The Princess sent the starting flag to the top of the pole, and cheap nike air max trainers the boats were off together. A great shout went up from the spectators–a shout of men mingled with the screams of women to whom a hurrah or cheer of any kind appears impossible.
To warm the blood, there is nothing after all like the plaudits of a multitude looking on and mightily concerned. This was now noticeable. The eyes o nike air max 90 sale f all the rowers enlarged; their teeth set hard; the arteries of the neck swelled; and even in their tension the muscles of the arms quivered.
A much better arrangement would have been to allow the passage of the racers broadside to the shore; for then the shiftings of position, and the strategies resorted to would have been plain to the beholders; as it was, each foreshortened vessel soon became to them a black body, with but a man and one pair of oars in motion; and sometimes provokingly indistinguishable, the banderoles blew backward squarely in a line with the direction of the movement. Then the friends on land gave over exercising their throats; finally drawn down to the water’s edge, and pressing on each other, they steadied and welded into a mass, like a wall.
Once there was a general shout. Gradually the boats ha nike air max 1 d lost the formation of the start, and falling in behind each other, nike air max assumed an order comparable to a string. While this change was going on, a breeze unusually strong blew from the south, bringing every flag into view at the same time: when it was perceived that the red was in the lead. Forthwith the clansmen 8

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