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Alroy, Edited by Sheila A. Spector


Part VII

Chapter 2

‘ONCE more within our walls, Caleb. Life is a miracle. I feel young again. This is home; and yet I am a prisoner. You said the host were assembling; he can have no chance. Think you, Caleb, he has any chance? I hope he will die. I would not have him taken. I fear their tortures. We will die too; we will all die. Now I am out of that dungeon, methinks I could even fight. Is it true that he has joined with robbers?’

‘I saw the messenger, and learnt that he first repaired to some bandits in the ruins in the desert. He had become acquainted with them in his pilgrimage. They say their leader is one of our people.’

‘I am glad of that. He can eat with him. I would not have him eat unclean things with the Ishmaelites.’

‘Lord, sir! our people gather to him from all quarters. ’Tis said that Jabaster, the great Cabalist, has joined him from the mountains with ten thousand men.’

‘The great Jabaster! then there is some chance. I know Jabaster well. He is too wise to join a desperate cause. Art sure about Jabaster? ’Tis a great name, a very potent spirit. I have heard such things of that Jabaster, sir, would make you stare like Saul before the spirit! Only think of our David, Caleb, making all this noise! I am full of hope. I feel not like a prisoner. He beat the Harem guard, and, now he has got Jabaster, he will beat them all.’

‘The messenger told me he captured the Harem, only to free his uncle and his sister.’

‘He ever loved me; I have done my duty to him; I think I have. Jabaster! why, man, the name is a spell! There are men at Bagdad who will get up in the night to join Jabaster. I hope David will follow his counsels in all things. I would I had seen his servant, I could have sent him a message.’

‘Lord, sir! the Prince Alroy has no great need of counsellors, I can tell you. ’Tis said he bears the sceptre of great Solomon, which he himself obtained in the unknown tombs of Palestine.’

‘The sceptre of Solomon! could I but believe it! ’Tis an age of wonders! Where are we? Call for Miriam, I’ll tell her this. Only think of David, a mere child, our David with the sceptre of Solomon! and Jabaster too! I have great faith. The Lord confound his enemies!’

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Published @ RC

January 2005