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About Custer County Republican. (Broken Bow, Neb.) 1882-1921 | View Entire Issue (Feb. 3, 1910)
AUTHOR Of < WAQNEeA" "ARETHIWFWM
"You Will Never Understand , " She Said
Baraka , a Tartar girl , became enamored
ot a golden bearded stranger who was
respecting and studying herbs In tlio
e Icinlty of her home In central Asia , and
revealed to him the location of a mine
o rubles hoping that the stranger would
love her In return for her illnolosnire.
They were followed to the cave by the
girl's relatives , who blocked up the en
trance , and drew off the water supply ,
leaving the couple to die. Raraku's cousin
Saad , her betrothed , attempted to climb
down a cliff overlookliiK the mine : but
the traveler Hhot him. The stranger was
revived from a water gourd Saad car
ried , dug his way out of the tunnel , and
departed , deserting the Klrl and currying
a bag of rubles. LJnrului gathered all the
gems she could carry , and started In pur-
Biilt. Margaret Donne ( Margarita da
Cordova ) , a famous prlma donna , became
engaged In London to Konstantln Lo-
Kothetl. a wealthy Greek llnaneler. Her
intimate friend was Countess Li'ven ,
known as Lady Maud , whoso husband
had been killed by a bomb In St. Peters
burg , and Lady Maud's moat Intimate
friend was Rufus Van Torn , an Ameri
can , who had become one of the'ilehest
men In the world. Van Torp was In love
with Margaret , and rushed to London as
noon as he hoard of her betrothal. Ho
offered Lady Maud $3,000,000 for her pet
charity If she would aid him In winning
the singer from Logothetl. Baraka approached
preached Logothoti nt Versailles with
rubles to sell. lie * presented a ruby to
Margaret. Van Torp bought a yacht' and
Bent it to Venice. Ho was visited by
Baraka In male attlie. She gave him n
ruby after the American had told her ot
having seen In the United States a man
answering the description of the tjne she
loved. The Amcilcan followed Margaret
to the Bayreuth " 1'arslfal" festival. Mar
garet took a liking to Van Torp. who pre
sented her with tlio ruby Baraka had
given him. Count KrallnsUy , a Uuss'an.
arrived at Bayreuth. Van Torp believed
him to bo the ono Baraka was putsulng.
Baralca was arrested In London on thn
charge of stealing from Pinney , a jeweler -
eler , the ruby she had sold to Logothoti.
Two strangers were the thieves. Lady
Maud believed that Logotheti's associa
tions with liurakn were open to suspi
cion , and so Infoimed Margaret. Vun
Tovp believed that KralliiHky wa the
cowboy he had known in his young man
hood. Logotheti secured Baralui's re
lease , and then , with her as his guest ,
went to sea on his yacht Krlnnn.
CHAPTER X. Continued.
lie had boon on deck a long time
that day , but Baraka had only been
established In her chair a few rain-
utes. As yet ho had hardly talked
with her of anything but the neces
sary preparations for the journey , and
she had trusted him entirely , being so
worn out with fatigue and bodily dls.
comfort that she was already hall
asleep when ho had at last brought
her aboard , late on the previous night.
Before the yacht had sailed ho had re
celved Van Torp's telegram informing
him that Krallnsky was at Bayreuth ;
for his secretary had sat tip till twc
In the morning to telegraph him the
latest news and forward any message
that came , and Van Torp's had beer
amongst the number.
"I have something of importance tc
tell you , " Logothetl said.
Baraka prepared herself against be
traying surprise by letting her lids
droop a little , but that was all.
"Speak , " she answered. "I desire
knowledge more than gold. "
"You arc wise , " said the Greol
gravely. "No doubt you remembei
the rich man Van Torp , for whom :
gave you a letter , and whom you hae
seen on the day you wore arrested. "
"Van Toip. " Huraku pronouncei
the name distinctly , and nwdded. "Yes
I remember him well. Ho know ;
whore the man is whom 1 seoJk , : xu
he wrote the address for mo. I have
It. You will take me there In your
ship , and 1 shall find him. "
"If yon find him , what shall you say
to him ? " Logothoti asked.
"Few words. These perhaps : 'You
left me to dje , but I am not dead , I
am here. Through me yon are a rich ,
great man. The rubies are my mar
riage portion , which you have taken.
Now you must be my husband. ' That
Is all. Few words. "
"It is your right , " Logothoti an
swered. "But he will not marry you. "
"Then he shall die , " replied Uaraka ,
as quietly as if she were saying that
he should go for a walk.
"If you kill him , the laws of that
country may take your life , " objected
"That will bo my portion , " the girl
answered , with profound Indifference.
"You only have one life , " Logotheti
observed. "It is yours to throw away.
But the man yon seek is not in that
country. Van Torp has telegraphed
mo that he Is much nearer. Neverthe
less , if you moan to kill him , I will
not take you to him , as I intended
to do. "
Baraka's face had changed , though
she had boon determined not to betray -
tray surprise at anything he said ; she
turned to him , and fixed her eyes on
his , and he saw her lashes quiver.
"you will tell mo where he is , " she
said anxiously , "If you will not take
me I will go alone with Spiro. I have
been In many countries with no other
help. I can go there also , wherehe
is. You will toll me. "
"Not if you mean to murder him , "
said LoL'Othotl. ami she snw that ho
.was in earnest.
"But If he will not be my husband ,
what can 1 do. If 1 do not kill him ? "
She abked the question in evident
"If I were you. 1 should make him
'share ' the rubies and the money with
you , and then 1 would leave him to
"But you do ncit umlorstand , " Ba
raka protested. "He is young , ho is
beautiful , ho is rich. Ho will take
some other woman for his wife , if I
leave him. You see , he must die ,
there is no other way. If he will not
marry me , It Is his portion. Why do
you talk ? Have I not come across
the world from the Altai , by Samark
and and Tillls. as far as England , to
find him and marry him ? Is it noth
ing that I have done , a Tartar girl
alone , with no friend but a bag of
precious stones that any strong thief
might have taken Irom me ? Is the
danger nothing ? Tlio travel nothing ?
Is it nothing that 1 have gone about
like a shameless ono , with my face
uncovered , dressed in a man's clothes ?
That I have cut my hair , my beautiful
black hair , is that as nothing , too ?
That I have been in an English prison ?
That I have been called a thief ? I
have suffered all these things to find
him , and if I come to him at last , and
ho will not be my husband , shall ho
live and take another woman ? You
are a great man , It is true. But you
do not understand. You are only a
Frank , after all ! That Mule maid you
have brought for mo would under *
stand me hotter , though she has been
taught for six years by Christians.
Shu is n good girl. She says that in
all that time she has never once for
gotten to say the Fatiheh three times
a day , and to say 'el Immtlu lllah' to
herself after she has eaten ! She
would understand. I know she would.
But you , never ! "
The exquisite little aqulllno fea
tures wore a look of unutterable con
"If 1 wore you , " said Logothoti ,
smiling , "I would not tell her what
you are going to do. "
"You see ! " crlod Baraka , almost an
grily. "You do not understand. A
servant ! Shall I tell my heart to my
handmaid , and my secret thoughts tea
a hired man ? 1 toll you , because you
are a friend , though you have no un
derstanding of us. My father feeds
many Hocks , and has many bondmen
and bondwomen , whom he heats when
It pleases him , and can put to death
If he likes. Ho also knows the mine
of rubles , as his father did before
him , and when ho desires gold ho
takes one to Tashkent , of even to
Samarkand , a long journey , and sells
it to the Russians. He Is u great
man. If he would bring a camel bag
full of precious stones to Europe he
could be one of the greatest men in
the world. And you think that my
father's daughter would open her
heart to one of her servants ? T said
well that you do not understand ! "
Logothotl looked quietly at the slim
young thing In a ready-made blue
serge frock , who said such things as a
Lady Clara Vere do Voro would
scarcely dare to say above her breath
in these democratic days ; and he
watched the noble little features , and
the small white hands , that had comedown
down to her through generations of
chieftains , since the days when the
primeval shepherds of the world
counted the stars In the plains of
Ho himself , with his long Greek de
scent , was an aristocrat to the mar
row , and smiled at the claims of men
who traced their families back to the
Crusaders. With the help of a legend
or two and half a myth , he could al
most make himself a far descendant of
the Tyndaridao. But what was that
compared with the pedigree of the lit-
tiething , in a blue serge frock ? Her
race went back to a time before
Ileslod , before Homer , to a date that
might be found in the annals of Egypt ,
but nowhere else in all the dim tradi
tions ot human history.
"No , " lie said , after a long pause
"I begin to understand. You had no
told mo that your father was a grea
man , and that his sires before Iiln
had joined hand to hand , from tin
hand of Adam himself. "
This polite speech , delivered in his
best Tartar , though with sundry Turk
ish terminations and accents , some
what mollified Baraka , and she pushet
her little head backwards and up
wards against the top of the dec !
chair , as if she was drawing hcrsel
up with pride. Also , not being usei
to European skirts , she stuck out one
tiny foot a little further across UK
other , as she stretched herself , ant
she indiscreetly showed a pale-yellov
silk ankle , round which she couh
have easily made her thumb meet hoi
second linger. Logothetl glanced at it
"You will never understand , ' sht
said , but her tone had relented , am
she made a concession. "If you wll
take me to him , and if he will not b (
my husband , I will let Spire kill him. '
"That might be better , " Logothet
answered with extreme gravity , for hi
was quite sure that Spire would neve :
kill anybody. "If you will take ai
oath which I shall dictate , and swea
to let Spire do it , I will take you i (
the man you sook. "
"What must be , must bo , " Baraks
said in a tone of resignation. "Whei
ho is dead , Spire can also kill me am
take the rubles and the money. "
"That would be a pity , " observe (
the Greek , thoughtfully.
"Why a pity ? It will bo my nor
tlon. I will not kill myself because
then I should go to hell-lire , but Spire
can do it very well. Why should 1
still live , then ? "
"Because you are young and beau
tiful and rich enough to bo very hap
py. Do you never look at your face in
the mirror ? The eyes of Baraka are
like the pools of paradise , when the
moon rose upon them the first time ,
her waist Is as slender as a young
willow sapling that bends to the
breath of a spring breeze , her mouth
Is a dark rose from Gullstan "
But Baraka Interrupted him with a
"You speak emptiness , " she said
quietly. "What is the oath , that I
may swear it ? Shall I take Allah , and
the prophet , and the Angel Isralit to
witness that I will keep my word ?
Shall I prick my hand and let the
drops fall Into your two hands that
you may drink them ? What shall I
do and say ? I am ready. "
"You must swear an oath that my
fathers swore before there were Chris
tians or Mussulmon In the world
when the old gods were still great. "
"Speak. I will repeat any words
you liko. Is it a very solemn oath ? "
"It Is the most solemn that ever
was sworn , for it Is the oath of the
gods themselves. I shall give It to
you slowly , and you must try to pro
nounce It right , word by word , holding
out your hands , like this , with the
palms downwards , "
"I am ready , " said Baraka , doing as
he bade her.
Ho quoted in Greek the oath that
Hypnos dictates to Hera in the
"Iliad , " and Baraku repeated each
word , pronouncing as well as aho
"I swear by the Inviolable water of
the Styx , and 1 lay one hand upon the
all-nourishing earth , the other on the
sparkling sea , that all the gods below
may bo our witnesses , oven they that
stand round about Kronos. Thus 1
As ho had anticipated , Baraka
was mtich more Impressed by the Im
portance of the words she did not un
derstand than If she had bound her
self by any oath familiar to her.
" 1 am sorry. " she said , "but what is
done Is done , and you would have It
She pressed her hand gently to her
loft side and t'elt the long stool bodkin
kin , and sighed regretfully.
"You have sworn an oath that no
man would dare to break , " said Logo
thetl solemnly. "A man would rath
er kill pigs on the graves of his fa
ther and his mother than break It. "
"I shall keep my word. Only take
me quickly whore I would bo. "
Logothetl produced a whistle from
his pocket and blow on It , and u quar
termaster answered the call , and was
sent for the captain , who came in a
"Head her about for Jersey and
Carterets , captain. " said the owuer.
"The sea is as Hat as a board , and we
will land there. You can go on to the
Mediterranean without coaling , can
you not ? "
The captain said ho could coal at
Gibraltar. If necessary.
"Then take her 'to Naples , please ,
and wait tor instructions. "
Uaraka understood nothing , but
within two minutes she saw that the
yacht was changing her course , for
the afternoon sun was all at once
pouring in on the deck , just beyond
the end of her chair. She was satis-
Hod. and nodded her approval.
"When shall wo roach that place ? "
she asked laxlly , and she turned her
face to Logothoti.
"Allah knows , " lie answered gravely.
She had boon so well used to hearIng
Ing that answer to all sorts of ques
tions since she had boon a child that
she thought nothing of it , ani waited
awhile before speaking again. Her
eyes studied the man's face almost
unconsciously. Ho now wore a fo/
instead of a yachting cap , and it
changed his expression. He no longer
looked In the least like a European.
The handsome red felt glowed like
blood In the evening light , and the
long black silk tassel hung backwards
with a dashing air. There was some
thing about him that reminded Ba
raka of Saad. and Saad had been a
handsome man , even in her eyes , un
til the traveler had como to her fa
ther's house with Ills blue eyes and
golden beard. Hut Saad had only
seen her unveiled face once , and that
was the last thing he saw when tlio
ball from the Maus'er wont through
"I mean , " she asked after some
time , "shall wo bo there to-morrow ?
or the next day ? I see no land on
this side : is there any on the other ? "
"Ne > , " Logothoti answered , "thoro is
no land near. Perhaps , far off , wo
might see a small island. "
"Is that the place ? " Baraka began
to be Interested at last.
"The place Is far awajy You must
have patience. All hurry comes
from Satan. "
"I am not impatient , " the girl an
swered mildly. " 1 am glad to rest in
your ship , for I was very tired , more
tired than 1 over was when I wan a
child , and used to climb up the foot
hills to see Altai hotter. It is good
to be in your ship for a while , and after
or that , what shall bo , will bo. It Is
Allah that known. "
"That is the truth , " responded the
( Irook. "Allah knows. 1 said so just
now. But I will toll you what I have
decided , if you will listen. "
"I listen. "
"It Is hotter that you should rest
boveral days after all your weari
ness , ami the man you seek will not
run away , for he does not know that
you are so near. "
"But ho may take another woman , "
Baraka objected , growing earnest at
onco. "Perhaps ho has already ! Then
there will be two instead of ono. "
"Spiro , " said IxjgotheU , with perfect
truth , "would as soon kill two as one ,
I am sure , for ho Is a good servant.
It will be the same to him. You call
mo a great man and a king ; I am not
a king , for I have no kingdom , though
some kingdoms would like to have as
much ready money as I. But here , on
the ship , I am the master , not only
because it is mine , and because I
choose to command , but because the
men are bound by English law to
obey me ; and If they should refuse
and overpower mo , and take my shin
where I did not wish to go , the laws
of all nations would give mo the right
to put them all Into prison at once ,
for a long time. Therefore when I
say , 'Go to a certain place , ' they take
the ship there , according to their
knowledge , for they are trained to
that busines.8 and can giiitlo the vessel
towards any place in the world ,
though they cannot se"o land till they
reach It. Do you understand all those
"I understand , " Uaraka answered ,
smiling. "But 1 am not bound to obey
you , and at least I can beg you to do
what I ask , and I think you will do It. "
Her voice grew suddenly soft , and
almost tender , for though she was
only u Tartar girl , and very young
and slim , she was a wouwu. Eve had
"You Are Wise as Well as Great , " Baraka Said.
not had long experience ot talking
when she explained to Adam the
properties of apples.
Logothcti answered her smile and
" 1 shall do what you ask me , but I
shall do It slowly rather than quick
ly , because that will bo better for you
In the end. If wo had gone on as wo
were going , wo should have got to
land to-night , but to a wretched little
town from which wo should have had
to take n night train , hot and dirty
and dusty , all the way to Paris. That
would not help you to rest , would It ? "
"Oh , no ! I wish to sleep again In
your ship , once , twice , till I cannot
sloop any more. Then you will take
me to the place. "
' That is what you shall do. To that
end 1 gave orders this afternoon. "
"You are wise , as well as great , "
They left the rail and walked slowly
forwaid , side by side , without speak
ing ; and Logothoti told himself how
utterly happy he should be If Baraka
could turn into Margaret and be walk
ing with him there ; yet something an
swered him that since she was not by
his side ho was not to bo pitied for
the company of a lovely Tartar girl
whoso language ho could understand
and oven speak tolerably ; and when
the first voice observed rather drily
that Margaret would surely think that
he ought to fool very miserable , the
second voice .told him to take the
goods the gods sent him and bo grate
ful ; and this little antiphono of
aim svnnman went on for
some time , till It occurred to him to
stop the duo by explaining to Baraka
how a European girl would probably
slip her arm , or at least her hand ,
through the arm of the man with
whom she was walking on the deck of
a yacht , because thcro was generally
a little motion at sea , and she would
like to steady herself , and when there
was none , there ought to be , and she
would do the same thing by force of
habit. But Baraka looked at such be
havior quite differently.
"That would bo a sort of dance , "
she sold. " 1 am not a dancing girl ! J
have soon men and women dancing
together , both Russians In Samarkand
and other people In France. It Is dis
gusting. I would rather go unveiled
among my own people ! "
"Which may Allah forbid ! " an
swered Logotheti devoutly. "But
whore there are Englishmen , Allah
does nothing ; the women go without
veils , and the boys and girls dance to
" 1 have done worse , " said Baraka ,
"for 1 have dressed as a man , and If
a woman did that among my people
she would bo stoned to death and not
burled. My people will never know
what I have done alnco I got away
from them alive. But ho thought be
was leaving mo there to die ! "
"Snroly. I cannot see why you wish
to marry a man who robbed you ami
tried to compass your death ! I can
understand that you should dream ol
killing him , and ho deserves to be
burnt alive , but why you should wish
to marry him Is known to the wisdom
of the blessed ones ! "
"You never saw him , " Baraka an
swered with perfect simplicity. "Ho
Is u beautiful man ; his beard Is like
the rays of the morning sun on a ripe
cornfield. Ills eyes are bright as an
eagle's , but blue as sapphires. Ho Is
much taller and bigger and stronger
that you are. Do you not see why I
want him for a husband ? Why did
he not desire mo for his wlfo ? Am I
crooked , am I blinded by the small
pox , or have 1 six lingers on both
hands and a hump on my shoulder
like the Witch of Altai ? Was my portion
tion a cotton shift , ono brass bangle
and a horn comb for my hair ? I gave
him the riches ot the world to take
me , and he would not ! I do not un
derstand. Am I an evil sight In n
man's eyes ? Tell me the truth , for
you are a friend ! "
"You are good to see , " Logothetl
answered , stopping and pretending to
examine her face critically as she
stood and faced him.
"I do not desire you to speak for
yourself , " returned Baraka. "I wish
you to speak for any man , since I go
about unveiled and any man may see
me. What would they say in the
street if they saw mo now , as a wom
an ? That is what I must know , for he
is a Frank , and he will judge mo as
the Franks judge when he sees mo !
What will ho say ? "
"Shall I speak as a Frank ? Or as
they speak In Constantinople ? "
"Speak as ho would speak , I pray.
But speak the truth. "
"I take Allah to witness that I speak
the truth , " Logothcti answered. "If
I had never seen you , and if I wore
walking In the Great Garden in Lon
don and I met you by the bank of the
river , I should say that you wore the
prettiest dark girl In England , but
that I should like to see you in a
beautiful Feringhi hat and the best
frock that could be made In Paris. "
Baraka's face was troubled , and she
looked Into his eyes anxiously.
"I understand , " she said. "Beforo I
meet him I must have more clothes ,
many beautiful new dresses. It was
shameless , but It was easy to dress
as a man , after I had learned , for It
was always the same the difference
was throe buttons or four buttons , era
a high hat or a little hat ; not much.
Also the FerliiKhl men button their
garments as the Mussulmans do , the
left over the right , but I often sea
their women's coats buttoned like a
Hindu's. Why is this ? Have the
women another religion than the
men ? It Is very strange ! "
Logothoti laughed , for ho had really
never noticed the rather singular fact
which had struck the born Asiatic at
( TO UK f'ONTINL'nn. )
"With us the crime Is not in detec
tion. It's in admission. All sorts of
things may bo thought of you' and
said of you , and even known of you.
and you can bluff them out ; but when
you have acknowledged 'iom You're
doomed. " The Inner Shrluo.
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