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MALLOCK W.
In an enchanted island
page 153

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foremost amongst those thus alluded to, heard this un-welcome order, but it did not diminish his courtesy. On the contrary, knowing that his guest would by this time be tired, he closed the shutters of the room for him and begged him to refresh himself with a siesta. The guest gladly stretched himself out on a low divan, and before long sleep was stealing over him. Suddenly a slight noise startled him. He opened his eyes, and soon, in spite of the darkness, he became conscious that some human figure was present. He saw at last that it was a female. He concluded that she was there by mistake, and he «ave a slight cough a* a hint that the room was oc-cupied. Instead of retiring, however, the apparition glided towards him, stood at the side of the divan, and in silence bent slightly over him. He raised himself on his el! ow. As he did so the figure let fall her yashmak and disclosed to his gaze a beauti-ful Turkish girl, who in another moment he saw was his host's daughter. He stared at her, speech-less with astonishment. In answer she fixed her eyes on him, and he read a meaning in them—no matter what it was—which no well-conducted father, whether Christian or Turk, would approve of. For a second or two he was almost stupefied ; then, as if by inspiration, a sense of the truth came to him. He suddenly sprang up, he threw the doors open, and there outside were all the chief Turks of the village, waiting for a sign from the girl that the collector of taxes had committed himself. Had the plot sue- 150 IN AN ENCHANTED ISLAND

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