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About The North Platte semi-weekly tribune. (North Platte, Neb.) 1895-1922 | View Entire Issue (Dec. 14, 1917)
THE 8EMLWEEKLY TRIBUNE, NORTH PLATTE, NEBRASKA.
King of the Khyber
By TALBOT MUNDY
The Most Picturesque Romance of the
KING IS LED TO VISIT A VAST CAVE THROUGH WHICH AN
UNDERGROUND RIVER FLOWS, AND IN A GREAT
CAVERN MEETS THOUSANDS OF FANATICS
8ynopsl8. At the beginning of the world wnr Cnpt Atliclslun
King of tho British Indian army nnd of its secret service, Ih ordered
to Delhi to meet Ynsmlnl, n dnncer, nnd go with her to Klnjiin to
meet the outlaws there who are said by spies to be preparing for n
Jihad or holy war. On ills way to Delhi King quietly foils t: plan to
assassinate him nnd gets evidence that Ynsmlnl is uftcr him. lie meets
Ilcwa Qungn, YnBmlnl'a ninn, who snys sho has already gone north,
nnd nt her town house witnesses queer dnnces. Ismail, an Afrldl, be
comes his body sorvnnt and protector. Iio rescues some of YnsmlnPs
hillrncn nnd tnkes them north with him, tricking tho Itnngnr into going
ahead. The Kangar deserts him nt a dangerous time. No meets his
brother nt All Masjid fort. The disguise he assumes there fools even
tho sharp-eyed cutthroats composing his guard. Ho enters Khlnjan
cuves, thanks to his lying guides.
CHAPTER XI. Continued.
"Aro there devils In Tophct? Fire
and my veins are ono '"
Tho man did not notice the cnger
bcss benmlng out of King's horn
rimmed spectacles, but Ismail did; It
seemed to him time to provo his vir
tues no asslstnnt.
"This is the famous linkim Kurram
Khan," ho boasted, "He. can cure any
thing, nnd for a very llttlo feel"
Tho man looked Incredulous, but
King drew the covering from his row
of instruments and bottles.
"Tnko a chance 1" lie ndvlscd. "None
tut the bravo wins anything 1"
Ismail nnd Darya Khnn wero now to
the business and enthusiastic. They
had the man down, held tight on tho
floor to tho huge amusement of the
rest, before ho could even protest ; nnd
his howls of rage did him no good, for
email drove tho hilt of a knlfo be
tween his open Jaws to keep them open.
A very large proportion of King's
stores consisted of morphia and co
caine. Ho injected enough cocnlno to
acaden tho man's nerves, and allowed
U time to work. Then he drew out
ttireo back teeth In quick succession,
to mako suro he had tho right one.
Ismail let tho victim up, and Dar
Khan gave him water In n brass cup.
Utterly without pain for tho first, time
for days, tho man was as grateful as
n wolC freed from a trap.
"Aro thero any others In pain In
Chlnjan?" King asked him.
"Listen to 'him! Whnt is Khlnjan?
b thero ono man without a wound or
ft Bore or a scar or a sickness?"
"Then, tell them," said King.
Tho man laughed.
'When I show my Jaw, thero will bo
ft fight to bo first I Mako ready, hakim i
King sat down to cat, but ho had not
anlshcd his raoal ho hnd mado tho
last llttlo heap of rlco Into n ball with
Bis fingers, native style, nnd was mop
ping up tho last of tho curried gravy
With itwhen tho ndvnnco gunrd of
the lumo, nnd the halt und tho sick
tondo Its appearance. Tho cavo's en
trance beenmo Jammed with them, nnd
Bo riot ever made moro nolso.
"naktm I Ho, hakim I Whcro Is tho
aaklni who draws teeth? Whcro Is tho
nan who knows yunnnl?"
Ten men burst down tho pnssago nil
together, nil clamoring, nnd ono man
wasted no tlmo at nil but began to tear
away bloody banduges to show his
wound. King rolled up his alcoves and
Began, go that eagerness gnvo plnco to
wonder. Tho desperate need of winning
his first trick, mndo him horror-proof;
nd nobody waiting for tho next turn
was troubled because tho man under
the knife screamed a llttlo or bled
moro thaa nsunl.
Whee t&ey died and moro than one
Ad die men carried them out nnd
flung them over tho precipice into tho
Ismail nnd Darya Khan beenmo
choosers of tho victims. They seized n
tnan, laid him on tho bed, toro off his
disgusting bandages and held their
breath until tho nwful resulting stench
had moro or less dispersed. Then
King wonld probo or lanco or bnndngo
as he saw fit, using anesthetics when
ke must, but managing mostly without
' They almoBt flung money nt him. Ho
tossed money and clothes nnd every
other thing they gnvo him Into a corner
at the back of tho cave, nnd nobody
tried to steal them back, although u
man suspected of honesty In that
company would have boen tortured to
death ns an heretic and would havo
had no sympathy.
For hour after gruesome hour bo
tolled over wounds nnd sores such as
nly battles nnd evil living can pro
auce, until men began to como nt last
with fresh wounds, all caused by bul
lets, wrapped In bandages on which
the blood had caked but had not grown
"There has been fighting In tho Khy
bcr," somebody Informed him, and ho
stopped with lancet In midair to listen
canning a hundred faces swiftly In
the smoky lamplight. Thero wero ten
wen who held lamps for him, ono of
them a newcomer, and It was ho who
"Fighting In tbe Khyber I Ayol Wo
were a llttlo Iashkar, but wo drovo
Copyright by Tbe Dobbt-Merrlll Company
them back into their fortl Aye I wo
slew many I"
"Not n JIhnd yet?" Kingnskcd, ns if
tho world might bo coming to an end.
Tho words wero startled out of him.
Under other circumstances ho would
never havo asked that question so di
rectly; but ho had lost reckoning of
everything but these poor devils' drend-
im noeu of doctoring, and ho was like
man roused out of n dream. If n
holy war had becn.proclalmed already,
then ho wits engaged on a forlorn hone.
Hut tho man laughed at him.
"Nay, not yet. Bull-wlth-u-bonrcl
holds bnck vet. This was a llttlo flcht.
The Jihad shall como later 1"
"And who is 'Bull-wlth-a-henril'?"
King wondered: but ho did not nsk
that question because his wits wero
awake again. It pays not to bo In too
much of n hurry to know things In tho
As it hanncned. ho nsked no more
questions, for thero camo n shout nt
tho cavo entrance whose purport ho
did not cntch, and within flvo minutes
after that, without n word of explana
tion, tho cavo was left omnty of all ex
cept his own flvo men. They carried
awny tho men too sick to walk and
vanished, snatching tho last mnn nwnv
almost beforo King's fingers hnd fin
ished tying the bnndngo on his wound.
"Why Is that?" ho, asked Ismail.
Why did they go? Who shouted?"
"It Is night," Ismail nnswered. "It
was time." '
King stared about him. Tin 1m rl nnf
realized until then that without aid of
tho lamps he could not seo his own
hand held out In front of him his
had grown used to tho gloom, llko
thoso of the- surgeons in tho sick-bays
balow tho waterjlno In Nelson's fleet
nut wno snouted 7"
"Who knows? Thero Is onlv ono
hero who gives orders. Wo bo many
who obey," said Ismail.
"Whoso men wero tho Inst nnnsi"
King nsked him, trying n new lino.
"And whoso man nrt thou, Ismail?"
Tho Afrldl hesitated, and when ho
spoko nt last thero was not qulto tho
A Man Whom He Had Never Seen Be
fore Leaned on a Magazine Rifle
and Eyed Him as a Tiger Eyea Its
sumo nssuranco In his volco as onco
there had been.
"I nm hers I Bo thou hers, too l But
It is night Sleep against the toll to
morrow. Thero bo many sick In Khln
King mado a llttlo effort to clean tho
cave, but tho task was hopeless. For
ono thing ho was so weary that his
very bones wero water. Ho appointed
two-nour wntches, to relievo ono an
other until dawn, and Hung himself
on a clean bed. Ho was asleep before
his head had met the pillow; and for
ull Ho know to the contrary he dreamed
of Yasminl all night long.
It seemed to him that aho cumo Into
the cave she, tho woman of tho faded
photograph the general had given him
in Peshawur and that the cavo he
came filled "71th the strange Intoxicat
ing scent that had first wooed his
senses in her reception room in Delhi.
He dreamed that she called '-lm by
nnme. First, "King sahib!" Then
Ktirrnm Khnn I" And her "olre was
surprisingly familiar. But dreams arc
"Ho sleeps 1" said the snme volco
presently. "It Is good that ho sleeps 1"
And in his sleep ho thought that a
shadowy Ismail grunted an answer.
When he awoke nt Inst It was after
dawn, nnd light shone down tho pns
sago Into the cave.
"Ismnll I" ho shouted, for ho was
thirsty. But thero was no answer.
"Dnryu Khan 1"
Again thero was no nnswer. . He
called each of tho other men by name
with tho same result. He decided to
go to the cave-mouth, summon his men,
who wero no doubt sleeping. But there
wns no Ismail near the entrance no
Dnryu Khan nor any of the other
men. Tho horse wns gone. So wns the
mule. So was tho harness, and every
thing he had, except the drugs and in
struments nnd the presents the sick
had given him; ho hnd noticed all
those lying about In, confusion when ho
"Ismnll I" ho shouted nt the top of
his lungs, thinking they might all be
He heard n man hawk nnd spit, close
to tho entrance, nnd went out to see.
A mnn whom he had never seen before
lenned on n mngazlno rifle nnd eyed
him as n tiger eyes his prey.
"No farther 1" ho growled, bringing
his rifle to the port.
"Why not?" King nsked him.
"Allah! When n camel dies in tho
Khyber do tho kites nsk why? Go In I"
no thought then of Ynsmlnl's brace
let, that had nlways gained him at
lenst civility from every man who saw
It. Ho held up his left wrist nnd knew
that Instant why it felt uncomfortable.
Tho bracelet had disappeared!
Ho turned back into tho cave to hunt
for It, nnd, the strange scent greeted
him again. In spito of tho surround
ing stench of drugs nnd filthy wounds,
thero was no mistaking it If it had
been her special scent in Delhi, ns
Snunders sworo it wns, nnd her special
scent on the noto Dnryn Khan had car
ried down the Khyber, then it wns hers
now, nnd she had been In tho cave.
He hunted high nnd low nnd found
no bracelet nis pistol was gone, too,
nnd his cartridges, but not the dngger,
wrapped In n handkerchief, under his
shirt. Tho money, that his patients
hnd brought him, lay on tho floor un
touched. It wns nn unusual robber who
had robbed him.
"Who's 'Bull-wlth-n-benrd'?" ho won
dered. "Nobody Interfered with mo un
til I doctored his men. no's in oppo
sition. That's n fair guess. Now, who
in thunder1 by tho fat lord Harry
can 'Bull-wlth-n-benrd' be? And why
fighting in tho Khyber so early ns all
this? And why does 'Bull-wlth-n-benrd,
whoever ho is, hang back?"
They camo and changed tho guard
two hours nftcr dnwn, to tho nccom
pnnlmcnt of orders growled through
tho mist, and tho crash of rlflo-butts
grounding on tho rock path. King went
to tho cavo entrance, to look tho new
man over; ho was n Mnhsudl no
sweeter to look nt nnd no less treacher
ous for tho fact Also, that ho had
boils all over tho back of his neck. He
wns not likely to bo better tempered
becnuso of flint fact, either. But It is
an ill wind that blows no good to the
"Thero is nn end to everything," ho
romnrked presently, nddresslng tho
world nt lnrgc, or as much as ho could
seo of It through tho cavo mouth. "A
hill Is so high, n pool so deep, n river
so wide. Thero Is nn end to pain!" he
went on, adjusting his horn-rlmmcd
spectacles. "I lnnccd n man's bolls
last' night, nnd It hurt him, but ho must
bo well today."
"Go In I" growled tho gunrd. "She
says It is sorcery I She says nono nro
to let thco touch them I"
"I can heal bolls!" said King, retir
ing Into tho cave. Then, from a snfo
distnnco down tho passage, ho added n
word or two to sink in ns tho hours
went by. At intervals throughout tho
day Yasminl sent him food by silent
messengers. It Is not easy to worry
nnd eat heartily nt ono nnd tho snmo
time, nnvlng eaten, ho rolled up his
sleeves and niitlvc-mndo cotton trou
sers nnd proceeded to clean tho cave.
After that ho overhauled his stock of
drugs and Instruments, repacking them
nnd making ready against opportunity.
"As I told that heathen with n gun
out there, there's an end to every
thing I" ho reflected. "May this como
Tho second guard that afternoon
proved oven less communlcatlvo than
tho first, up to tho point when, to les
sen his ennui, King began to whistle.
Ench tlmo he camo near tho cntrnnco
tho new guard could catch a few bnrs
of the tune. After n little while tho
hook-nosed rulllun began to slug tho
words to it, In u volco llko a forgotten
dog's. So King stopped nt the entrance
nnd saw then a blood-soukcd bandage
on the right of his neck, not very far
from tho Jugular.
"Hnh !" said King. "Was that wound
got In the Khyber the other day?"
"Nay. Here In Khlnjan."
"A mnn told me last night," snid
King, drawing on Imagination without
any compunction at nil, "that the fight
In the Khyber was because u jihad Is
"That man lied!" said tho guard,
shifting position uneasily, as if afraid
to talk too much.
"So I told him!" nnswered King. "I
tuld him there never will bo another
"Then thou nrt n grentcr Unr than
he !" the guard nnswered hotly. "There
will be n JIhnd when she Is ready, such
an ono as never yet wns I India shall
bleed for all the fat years she has lain
unplundered 1 Not' u throat of on un
believer In tile world shall be left un
sllt! No JIhnd? Thou liar! Get In
out of my sight!"
So King retired Into tho cave, with
something new to think nbout. Was
she planning the Jihad ! Or pretending
to plnn ono? Every once in a while
the guard leaned far into tho cavo
mouth nnd hurled ndjectlves nt him,
the mildest of which wns a well of In
formation. If his temper wns the tem
per of tho "Hills," It was easy to rend
disappointment for n jihad that should
have been nlrendy but had been post
poned. King lot him nlono and paced
the cave for hours.
He wns squatting on his bed-end
In the dark, llko a spectacled Image of
Buddha, when the first of tho. three
men came on gunrd again and at Inst
Ismnll came for him holding n pitchy
torch that filled the dim passage full
of acrid smoko and mndo both of them
cough. Ismail was red-eyed with it.
"Come!" ho growledv "Come, little
hakim!" Then ho turned on his heel
nt once, ns if nfrnld of being twitted
with desertion. He seemed to want to
get outside, where he could keep out of
range or words, yet .not to wish to
But King mndo no effort to sneak to
him, following in silence out on to tho
dark ledge nbove the waterfall and no
ticing that tho guard with the boils
was back again oh duty, no grinned
evilly out of a shadow as King pnssed.
Mako an end I" he ndvlsed. "Jumn.
hakim, before n worse thing hnppcns 1"
'o illustrate the suggestion he
kicked a loose stone over tho cliff, nnd
tno movement cnused him to bend his
neck nnd so Inadvertently to hurt his
boils. Ho cursed, nnd thero wnsj pity
In King's volco when lie spoko next
"Do they hurt thee?"
"Aye, like tho devil I Khlnjan is n
plnce of plagues 1"
"I could heal them," King said, pass
ing on, nnd the mnn'stnred hnrd.
"Como !" boomed Ismnll through tho
darkness, slinking tho torch to mnko
It burn better nnd beckoning Impntlent
ly, nnd King hurried nfter him, leaving
behind n savage at tho cave mouth who
fingered his sores nnd wondered, mut
tering, lennlng on n rifle, muttering
und muttering ngain as if ho had seen
n now light.
Instead of wnlting for King to cntch
up, Ismnll began to lead tho way at
great speed along n path that descend
ed gradually until it curved round tho
end of tho chasm and plunged into n
tunnel whcro tho darkness grew
opaque. For thirty minutes ho led
swiftly down n crazy devil's stairway
of uneven bowlders, stopping to lend
n hnnd nt tho worst plnces, but ever
lastingly urging him to hurry.
Then the hell-mouth gloom began to
grow fnlntly luminous, nnd tho water
fall's thunder burst on their ears from
close nt hand. They emerged Into
fresh wot ar und n sea of sound, on u
roclr ledgo llko tho ono nbove. Ismnll
rnlsed tho torch and waved It The
llro and smoko wnndered up, until they
flattened on n moving opal dome, that
prisoned all tho noises In the world.
"Earth's Drink !" ho nnnounccd, wnv
ing tho torch und then shutting his
mouth tight, ns If afraid to volco sacri
lege. It was tho river, million-colored In
tho torchlight pouring from n hnlf-mlle-long
slash In tho cliff nbovo them
nnd plunging past them through the
gloom tovard the very mtddlo of tho
world. Somewhcro It met rock bottom
and boiled there, for n roar llko tho
sea's camo up from deeps unimagin
able. Ho watched tho overturning dome
until his senses reeled. Then ho
crawled on hands nnd knees to tho
ledge's brink und tried to peer over.
But Ismail dragged him bnck.
"Como I" ho howled; but In nil that
din his shout was llko a whisper.
"now deep Is It?" King bellowed
"Allah I Ask him who mndo It I"
Tho fear of tho falls was on tho
Afrldl, nnd ho tugged nt King's arm In
a frenzy of Impatience. Suddenly he
let go nnd broko Into a run. King
trotted nftcr him. After ten minutes'
hurrying uphill ho guessed they must
bo level with tho river, in u tunnel run
ning nearly pnrallel. Ismail kept look
ing bnck to bid King hurry and novcr
paused onco to rest.
"Couiol" he urged fiercely. "This
lends to tho 'ECenirt of the Hills' 1" .And
after that King hnd to do his best to
keep tho Afrldi's back In sight.
They began nftcr n time to hear
voices nnd to see tho smoky glnro mndo
by other torches. Then Ismnll set the
pnee yet faster, and they became tho
Inst two of n procession of turbnncd
men, who tramped nlong n winding
tunnel Into n great mountain's womb.
Tho sound of slippers clicking nnd
rutchliig on the rock floor swelled und
died and swelled ugnln us the tunnel
led from cavern Into cavern.
In one great cavo tliey came to
every man beat out his torch and
tossed it on u heap. After that there
was n ledge nbove the height of n
man's head on either side of the tun
nel, nnd nlons the ledge little oil-burning
lamps jvvore spaced ut measured
Intervals. A quarter of n mile further
along there v:er two sharp turns In
the tunnel, nnd then nt last n sen of
nolso nnd n veritable blaze of light
Part of tho noise made King feel
homesick, for out of tho mountain's
very womb brayed a music-box, such
as the old-time carousals made use of
before tho days of electricity and
steam. It was "being worked by Inex
pert hnnds, for the time was some
thing jerky; but It was robbed of its
tinny meanness nnd oven lent majesty
by tho hugeness of n cavern's roof, ns
well as by the crashing, swinging music
It played wild wonderful Invented
for lawless hours und u klngless peo
ple. "Marchons ! CI toy ens ! "
The procession began to trnmp in
time to It, and the rock shook. They
deployed to left nnd right into a space
"Cornel" He Urged Fiercely. "This
Leads to the 'Heart of the Hlllsl"'
so vnst thnt tho eye nt first refused to
try to measure It It was the hollow
core of n mountain, fitted by the sea
sound of n human crowd and hung with
huge stalactites that danced and shift
ed nnd flung bnck a thousand colors at
tho flickering light below. Across tho
envern's farther end for u space of two
hundred yurds the great river rushed,
plunging out of a great fanged gap nnd
hurrying out of view down unother one,
licking smooth banks on its way with
n hungry slicking sound.
There wero little Inmps everywhere,
perched on ledges nmid the stnlnctites,
nnd they suffused the whole envern In
golden glow. In the midst of the cav
ern n great arena had been left bare,
and thousands of turbaned men squat
ted round It in rings. At the end
where tho river formed a tangent to
them the rings were flattened, nnd nt
thnt point they were cut Into by the
rump of n bridge, nnd by a lane left
to connect the bridge with tho arenn.
Tho bridge end formed n nearly square
platform, nbout fourteen feet ubove tho
floor, and the broad track thenco to
tho arenn, ns well ns all the arena's
boundary, had been marked oft by
grent earthenwnro lnmps, whoso greasy
smoke streaked up nnd wns lost by tho
wind nmong tho stalactites.
"Greek lamps, every ono of 'cm!"
King whispered to himself, but ho
wnsted no time just then on trying to
explain how Greek lumps hnd ever got
there. There was too much else to
watch and wonder nt.
No steps led down from the bridge
end to tho floor; townru the arena It
wns blind. But from the bridge's fur
ther end across tho hurrying water
stairs had been hewn out of tho rock
wall and led up to n hole of twice n
man's height, more than fifty feet
above water level.
On either side of tho bridge end n
passage had been left clear to tho
river edge, nnd nobody seemed to enro
to lnvudo it, although It Was hot
marked off In nny way. Each passage
was about fifty feet wide nnd quite
straight But tho space between the
bridge end nnd the arena, nnd the
nrenn Itself, had to bo kept free from
trespassers by fifty swaggering ruf
fians, armed to tho teeth.
Every man of tho thousands thero
hnd a knlfo in evidence, but tho arena
gunrds had magazlno rifles ns well ns
Khyber tulwnrs. Nobody else wore
firearms openly. Some of tho nrenn
guards boro hugo round shields of pre
historic pattern of a size and sort ho
had never seen before, oven In mu
seums. But thero was very little thut
ho wns seeing thnt night of .-. kind that
he had seen beforo anywhere I
Tho guards lolled Insolently, con
scious of bruto strength nnd special
favor. When any man trespassed with
so much as n toe beyond the ring of
lumps, n guard wonld slap his rifle-butt
until the swivel rattled, and tho of
fender would scurry Into bounds amid
tho jeers of nny who had seen.
Shoving, kicking nnd elbowing with
sot purpose, Ismail forced a way
through tho nlrendy seated crowd nnd
drew King down Into tho cramped
spnee beside him, close enough to tho
nrenn to be able to catch tho gunrds
low laughter. But he wns restless. Ho
wished to get nearer yet, only thero
seemed no room nny where In front
Then n guard threw his shield down
with n clang and deliberately fired his
rifle at the roof. The ricochcttlug bul
let brought down n shower of splint
ered stone and stalactite, nnd ho
grinned us he watched the crowd dodgo
to nvold it
Instantly n hundred men roso from
different directions nnd meed for tho
nrenn. each with n curved sword in
cither hnnd. The yelling chnnged bnck
Into the chant, only louder than before,
and by that much more terrible. Cym
bals crashed. The music box resumed
its mensured grinding of the "Marseil
laise." And the hundred began an
Afrldl sword dance, than which thero
Is nothing wilder in nil the world, it
like can only bo seen under tho shadow
or tlio "Hills."
Ismail seemed obsessed bv tho snlrlt
of hades let loose drawn by It, ns by n
mngnct, although subsequent events
proved him not to have been altogether
without n plnn. He got up, with his
eyes fixed on the dance, nnd thrust
himself and King next to some Orak
zal Pathans, elbowing savagely to right
and left to make room. And patlcnco
proved scarce. The nearest man
reached for tho ever-ready Pathan
knife, but paused In the Instant that
his knife licked clear. From u swift
side glance nt King's fnce he changed
to u full stnre, his scowl slowly giv
ing plnce to a grin us ho recognized
"Allah!" He drove the long blado
back again. 1
"Well met, hakim I Sec the wound
hcnls finely I"
Baring his shoulder under the smelly
sheepskin coat, ho lifted a bandago
gingerly to show the clean opening out
of which King hnd coaxed n bullet tho
day before. It looked wholesome and
ready to heal.
"Name thy reward, hnklm! Wo
Ornkznl Pnthans forget no favors!"
(Now thnt boast was a truo one.)
King nodded more to himself thnn to
the other mnn. He needed, for in
stance, very much to know who was
plnnnlng a jlhad, and who "Bull-wlth-n-benrd"
might be ; but It was not safe
to confide just yet In u chunco-mnde nc-
qunlntnnce. A very fair acquaintance
with some phases of the East had
taught him that names such as Bull-wlth-a-beard
are often almost photo
grnphicully descriptive. He rose to his
feet to look. A blind man can tnlk, but
it takes trained eyes to gather Informa
tion. The din had Increased, and it was
safe to stand up nnd stare, because all
eyes were on the madness In the mid
dle. There were plenty besides him
self who stood to get a better view,
and he had to dodgo from side to side
to seo between them.
"I'm not to doctor his men. There
fore it's a fair guess that he and I are
to bo kept apart Therefore he'll bo us
fur nwny from mo now as possible,
supposing he's here."
Reasoning nlong that line, ho tried
to seo the faces on the far side, but tho
problem was to see over tho dancers'
heads. Ho succeeded presently, for
tho Orakzul Tnthan saw whnt he want
ed, und in his anxiety to bo agreeable,
reached forward to pull back a box
from between the ranks In front. Its
owners offered Instant fight, but mnde
no further objection when they saw
who wanted It nnd why. King won
dered nt their sudden chnnge of mind.
Ho found a mnn soon who wns not
Interested In the dunclng, but who hud
eyes nnd enrs nppnrently for every
thing nnd everybody else. He watched
him for ten minutes, until at last their
eyes met. THcn ho sat down und
kicked tho box bnck to Its owners. Ho
touched tho Pnthan's broad shoulder.
The man smiled nnd bent his turbaned
head to listen.
"Opposite," said King, "nearly ex
actly opposlte-three rows from tho
front, counting tho, front row as one
there sits a man with a black beard,
whoso shoulders nro like a bull's. As
ho sits he hangs his head between
them. Look! See! Tell mo truly
what his, name Is!"
Tho Pathan gol up and strode for
ward to stand on tho box, kicking nsldo
tho elbows thut lenned on it nnd luugh
ing vhen tho owners cursed him. Ho
stood on It nnd stnred for flvo minutes,
counting deliberately three times over,
striking n finger on the palm of his
bund to check himself.
"Bull-wlth-n-benrd!" he announced
nt last, dropping back Into placo besido
King. "Muhnmmad Anlm. The mullah
"An Afghan?" King asked.
"He says ho Is an Afghan. But un
less ho lies ho Is from Ishtamboul
Itching to nsk moro questions, King
tho hakim Kurrnm Khnu blinked
mildly behind his spectacles und looked
llko one to whom a savago might safe
ly ease his mind.
"Ho bade mo go to Slknram where
my village Is and bring him a hundred
men for his Iashkar. He says ho hus
her special favor. Walt and watch, I
"Has he money?" asked King, nppar
ently drawing n bow ut n venturo for
conversation's sake. But thero Is nn
nrt In usklug nrtless questions.
King witnesses wild doings In
the cavern and sees harrowing
sights. Yasminl appears), a love
ly vision, and the army of fight
ers go wild with enthusiasm.
(TO BE CONTINUED,)
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