At the Queen's Mercy

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General Books LLC, 2009 - 110 pages
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This historic book may have numerous typos, missing text or index. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. 1897. Not illustrated. Excerpt: ... Chapter xviii The Wisdom of Hubla A T first, after the Queen had spoken thus, .-I answered nothing. The light in her eyes dazzled me, and the new tone of her voice echoed in my heart. But when a second time she broke the silence, a certain menace lurked beneath the sweetness of her words, and that acted as a spur to my faltering impulse. So I wrestled with temptation and forgot not the peril of my friends, and indeed I spoke sternly, demanding to be told their fate. "For I have searched, and they are gone from here," I said. "This is no hour for idle dalliance. Your Palace, O Queen! has much that I mislike. In which of its many dungeons shall I look for these two, Astolba and Lestrade?" At my words the quick color surged to the face of Lah, but she answered calmly. "Question Agno and his servants. In this matter I have no part." "To believe you is to doubt your power," I said. "Do you tell me that the High Priest has dared--." But here she stopped me with uplifted hand. "I pray thee, anger me not. O my Dering," and marvellously tender was that wondrous voice, "I am not as other women, even as thou art beyond and above the horde of courtiers and of warriors to whom my word is law, who kiss my sandal's print, rejoicing when I smile, trembling before my frown. Yet even to the meanest of these, comes love. To thy lips, beloved, I hold in my turn the golden cup. Drink deep and forget all care, all sorrow. Together we will stand before Edba's altar. There shalt thou be crowned on the third day, with me, ruler of the people of the Walled City. Agno himself shall bless our union, nor dare to lay a sacrilegious hand upon thy garment's hem. "Thus shalt thou escape death and gain great glory, and length of years, and fulness of power. Thus, O my Dering, Hubla the red witch ...

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