Idolatry: A Romance
Manetho's devotion to Helen seems unwavering; yet sometimes it is hard not to suspect a secret understanding between him and Salome. He has ceased to wear his diamond ring, and once we caught a diamond-sparkle from beneath the thick folds of lace which cover Helen's bosom; but, on the other hand, we fear his arm has been round the gypsy's graceful waist, and that she has learnt the secret of the private chamber. Is demure Manetho a flirt, or do his affections and his ambition run counter to each other? Helen would bring him the riches of this world, - but what should a clergyman care for such vanities? - while Salome is far the prettier, livelier, and more attractive woman of the two. Brother Hiero, whimsical and preoccupied, sees nothing of what is going on. He is an antiquary - an Egyptologist - and thereto his soul is wedded. He has no eyes nor ears for the loves of other people for one another.
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