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Alroy, Edited by Sheila A. Spector


Part X

Chapter 13

‘NOBLE Captain,’ said Kisloch, ‘we trust that you will permit us to enlist in the band. This is not the first time we have served under your orders in this spot. Old co-mates i’faith, who have seen the best and the worst. We suspected where you might be found, although, thanks to the ever felicitous invention of man, it is generally received that you died in battle. I hope your Majesty is well,’ added Kisloch, bowing to Schirene.

‘You are welcome, friends,’ replied Alroy; ‘I know your worth. You have seen, as you say, the best and the worst, and will, I trust, see better. Died in battle, eh! that's good.’

‘’Tis so received,’ said Calidas.

‘And what news of our friends?’

‘Not over good, but strange.’

‘How so?’

‘Hamadan is taken.’

‘I am prepared; tell me all.’

‘Old Bostenay and the Lady Miriam are borne prisoners to Bagdad.’

‘Prisoners?’

‘But so: all will be well with them, I trow. The Lord Honain is in high favour with the conqueror, and will doubtless protect them.’

‘Honain in favour?’

‘Even so. He made terms for the city, and right good ones.’

‘Hah! he was ever dexterous. Well! if he save my sister, I care not for his favour.’

‘There is no doubt. All may yet be well, Sir.’

‘Let us act, not hope. Where’s Abner?’

‘Dead.’

‘How?’

‘In battle.’

‘Art sure?’

‘I saw him fall, and fought beside him.’

‘A soldier’s death is all our fortune now. I am glad he was not captured. Where's Medad, Ithamar?’

‘Fled into Egypt.’

‘We have no force whatever, then?’

‘None but your guards here.’

‘They are strong enough to plunder a caravan. Honain, you say, in favour?’

‘Very high. He’ll make good terms for us.’

‘This is strange news.’

‘Very, but true.’

‘Well! you are welcome! Share our fare; ’tis rough, and somewhat scanty; but we have feasted, and may feast again. Fled into Egypt, eh?’

‘Ay! Sir.’

‘Schirene, shouldst like to see the Nile?’

‘I have heard of crocodiles.’

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Published @ RC

January 2005

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