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The Washington times. [volume] (Washington [D.C.]) 1902-1939, January 05, 1919, NATIONAL EDITION, The American Weekly, Image 27

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84026749/1919-01-05/ed-1/seq-27/

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E)y? George Gibbr
\
Synopsis of Preceding Chapters.
BEFORE the outbreak of the war. Constance Masterson tells Alan Jessup that
ahe Cannot marry him because he has no worth-while purpose in life. Con
stance then takes up Red Cross work and Jessup sails on his private yacht
for Africa. With hiru goes Von Hengel. whom he afterward learns is a Gerxan
*PT- Von Hengel goes ashore at Gibraltar and brings back on board a mysterious
black stone. Later he disappears without warning and Jessup lands in Cairo, where
he once more naeets Constance, wtiose hospital ship lies in the harbor. While seek
ing to capture Von Hengel and take from him the famous Kaha Stone. Constance
la kidnapped and Jessup slightly wounded. Connelly, one of the men on his
ahip is held for possible information about Von Hengel's movements.
Jessup now returns to the ship and forces Connelly to conless to the place and
time of his intended meeting with >on Hengel in Cairo. Pausing only long enough
to gather a few necessary details. Jessup orders Connelly imprisoned below, and
himself starts out to capture von Hengel. Following Connelly's directions, Jessup
and his man Dawson secure two native disguises and then repair to the house of a
certain sheik of great influence, whom von Hengel has managed to win to the side
of Germany. Gaining entrance without difficulty by repeating the name of Connelly
to the bow-wab at the door, Jessup leaves Dawson in the entrance and follows his
guide to the reception hall, where later, the sheik joins him and telli Jeasup that
he will be compelled to wait a few moments until von Hengel Is ready to receive
him. Meanwhile, Jessup hears the sound of a woman's voice raised in alterca
tion. Presently he catches a glimpae of a struggle behind the lattice work of
an adjoining room. At the same inatant the side of hia face ia grazed and his
native head-dress knocked off by a shot that is fired in hia direction.
CHAPTER XI. Prisoner.
^^ROUCHED close to the flagging in the
?. I passage outside the tomb in the
i* Mosque of Hasaneyn, Constance Mas
' terson waited and listened in an agony of
incertitude to the conversation in Arabic
,>> . of Daoud Bffendi with the Nazirand Imams.
She beard the drone of their prayers, dia
1'* tlnguished the sound of von Hengel's voice
and heard the sudden cry of Alan Jessup
w as he called to the startled perman. The
* deafening explosion of firearms in the
,:i" echoing tomb frightened her and she
crawled back toward the entrance to the
room of the Naxlr, her gaze turned back
in alternate fear and hope toward the
pallid glow beyond the arch.
There was a fearful cry, the Impact of a
blow, the sound of a falling body, then
silence and a murky silhouette appeared
In the opening and grew rapidly larger as
0 It came toward her. Hope revived her.
? Alan!" she whispereo. joyfully. "Alan!"
.. She could not believe that he had failed..
But von Hengel caught her by the
? shoulders and hurtled her out into the
*? room of the Naxlr. where he roughly tore
f: " away the burka over her face, disclosing
\ her Identity.
"Herr Oott! You, Fraulein!" He paused
in a moment of Indecision midway between
a frown and a smile, and while she
*' watched him, aware that there was no pos
sibility of escape from him If he chose to
coerce ber, he glanced for a moment ,
toward the archway, then smUed. "It is
most extraordinary. You, too. I regret
that it will be necessary for you to go
? with me at once."
Constance was gaining her courage rap
T ~ idly. She could not forget that this was
merely the blonde, cherubic, Conrad von
Hengel, amiable companion of many a gay
party at the Wlllard or at 8herry'i. her
^ partner at cotillon or tennis at Chevy
Chase or Piping Rock. The Bedawee
head-dress and stained face no longer
frightened her.
"And If I refuseV she said, with some
show of spirit.
"You wont," he said, grimly, his expres
sion changing. "Will you come wtth me?
Or shall I leave you to the mercy of the
Khateeb whose sanctuary you have pro
" faned? He will kill you. With me you
nave a chance"
-* "Alan?" she whispered, her face
ghastly with fear.
"Dead." he muttered, "and the other
also." And she saw for the first time the
blue black barrel of the automatic he still
held In his hand. ?Come," he ordered,
seising her by the wrist; "I have no time
?? tt> lose."
. She followed him. half led. half dragged,
*>" down the other passage way and out into
"" the vestibule of the door of the Nazir,
' where he paused again a moment, releas
" ing her.
"This is a desperate venture. You have
no business here. Come with me willingly,
make no outcry and you will be safe.
Otherwise"
"What will you do?"
"Take you to the Khateeb," he said
coolly.
? " "It's a choice of evils," she said, impu
? dently. "Lead on, I'll follow."
',0 And so, slipping his weapon into his
J pocket, he disengaged his right hand, his
left, as she noticed, being hidden beneath
a the folds of his robe. Then he opened the
11 door of the vestibule and descended the
02 steps into the dim alley-wav. All Afdal
' stood In the shadow of the opposite wall
?" alone. To him von Hengel spoke a few
? J- words in Arabic and then led his com
panion to the right into the darkness.
?' where they were presently lost in a maze
of dark alleys ever growing more tangled.
If the thought of escape had occurred to
her a moment before, the opportunity had
[ now passed, for von Hengel walked close
'' beside her, uttering a word of warning as
they emerged into a wider and better
lighted thoroughfare. There was a sound
: of horses' hoofs on cobbles at some dls
tance to their right, and she caught a
glimpse of men in blue uniforms on white
*' horses slowly moving in the general direc
tlon from which she had come.
,1 "Make no sound," her companion ordered
shortly. "Cross the street to the alley
there."
Frightened now at his tone. Constance
obeyed and in a moment they were moving
' ' on again in the obscurity of another nar
'n row street, where from the ease and com
1 ^ fort of von Hengel's manner she knew
^ that her opportunity had passed. Indeed,
her companion, needless to say without
w asking permission, had lighted a cigarette
while he walked and gave every appear
ance of intense satisfaction.
His face in the glow of the match was
1,1 disquieting The blonde mustache miss
ing, there were lines around the corners
1 r of von Hengel's mouth that she had never
tu seen before. The cheerful and reassuring
* memories of Sherry's and Piping Rock
seemed suddenly to fade and merge into
others more grim and forbidding?tales of
the French border, of Louvaln and Liege.
She followed him through th? dark
streets, aware of his peremptory accent!
when she faltered, through timidity and
weakness. The hour was now late and the
few people they passed paid them no no
notice, for the burka that von
Hengel had torn from her face
had been at his order put on
again.
The way seemed lnterminaDie
as they went deeper and deeper
into the native, quarter of the
city, but her companion seemed
to be sure of his direction, and
after half an hour stopped before
a door with a
heavy iron knocker
which he struck
five times and was
instantly admitted
toy a wailing por
ter. Bewildered as
she was, and terri
fied at the prospect
of the nameless
dangers that seem
ed to confront her,
she followed blind
ly where von Hen
gel lead, aware of
a small court yard
with a fountain and
a door which they
passed, entered a
room of large di
mensions, evidently
a part of tie abode
of some one of con*
'sequence. Von Hen
gel made a motion
toward the deewan,
and then vanished
through hangings
at one side.
She obeyed bis
gesture, ready to
relax and at the
point of tears, but
summoning her
strength sat stiffly,
dry - eyed gazing
straight before her
at the opposite
doorway, which
seemed to hold the
enigma of her im
mediate future.
From somewhere
within came the
sound of voices,
at first masculine,
and then feminine,
and at last the
hangings parted
and a black woman,
with one hand hold
ing a drapery over
the lower part of
her face, entered
the room and made
a gesture to Con
stance to follow
her. ,
There was nothing for it but to obey, for,
as she had reasoned, retreat past the por
ter was now impossible, and so she foi
lowed into a dark hall and up a flight of
stairs into what was apparently the harem
or that part of the dwelling where the
women of the household were kept se
cluded. .
Upstairs there was a hall paved with
marble, from which radiated several pass
ages and rooms, into the largest of which
the slave-girl, who had lowered her
drapery and disclosed an ebony-colored
face now directed her. With a vision. In
tensified by her fears, her glance took in
every detail of this apartment?its lorty
roof the lantern above with its ingenious
pattern of lattice work, the leewan with
Its deewans and cushions, the cupboards
with curious carved panels, and the shelf
which ran around the room between the
openings of scrollworK, upon which were
arranged a number of china vessels for
use as well as ornament. There was an
oriel, or meshreblya, window at the upper
end of the apartment, through the win
dows of which Constance seemed to hear
the subdued breathing of a sleeping city.
She looked around the room and toward
the corridor, but no female figure ap
peared. The black girl poured water from
an earthen bottle into a brass cup, like a
flngerbowl, and handed it to her; then
brought a cpvered glass cup and set It
upon a tabouret. Then she made a motion
toward the smaller of the deewans. speak
ing a few words that Constance could not
understand, and left her alone to sleep.
The events of the night. Its excitement
and terrors, had kept her going on her
nerves, and this moment of immunity
made her aware of an unpleasant feeling
of physical weakness to which she was
unaccustomed. She was very weary, and,
loosening her garments, tried to relax.
But her mind was oo active, too full of
terrifying visions to make the thought of
slumber possible
She drank a little of the sherbet, and
after awhile found herself slowly regain
ing something of her courage and initia
tive. The buoyancy of her youth and op
timism came to her rescue. She could Hot
believe that Alan was dead. Conrad yon
Hengel had dealt upon her fear and cre
dulity. 8he would not believe it. The
thought was monstrous. He had been in
jured. perhaps, but she knew that the men
of Northby Pasha would surround the
Mosque of Hasaneyn and rescue both
Daoud and Alan. The brief glimpse of the
blue uniforms which she had caught when
fleeing with von Hengel had given her the
courage to believe as she did. Alan had
been injured, perhaps, and unable to save
her from von Hengel, but he would not
die. She knew that. Alan couldd't die
now. Just as he was beginning to be awake
to the real meaning of life and his great
possibilities for good in the great' crisis
that had come upon the world.
He was awake. She had seen the keen
look In his eyes, in which a new flame
seemed to burn. The two months that bad
"Zeyneb
Caught Her
by the Arm
Not Too
Gently and Told Her She Must
Not Approach the Window. By
This Act Constance Knew She
Was a Prisoner."
passed since she had given him his conge
had made a transformation iij Alan. She
had known it In the train to Cairo and
again In the Khan-El-Khalily. He had sud
denly appeared to her In a new light, the
name Alan in all the essentials that she
had cared for?considerate, gentle, steady
and honorable, but horn into a realization
of the gravity of life and a resolute pur
pose to undo a wrong. He typified some
how their own great nation, which was
awakening slowly to the full measure -of
its responsibilities in the great crisis of
civilization, and it had taken the deeds of
a Prussian to arouse him.
She had thought much about Alan since
she had left him in such a sudden and
cruel fashion He had hardly deserved
his punishment. He waB merely the crea-*
ture of his environment, and there had
been many times in the last few weeks
when she would have liked to have told
him that she was sorry. To-night she had
tried to show him something of what was
in her heart, but he had not seen?it had
not seemed, indeed, as if he had wished
to see. He had been abstracted?wrapt in
his new purpose to achieve the capture of
Copyright, 1919, by Star Company.
Conrad von Hengel, and he had not
seemed to remember what had been be
tween them or even to care that she re
membered it And yet In her heart she
felt that she had deserved his indifference.
She had been cruelly abrupt in her dis
missal of him. She should have known
then, as she knew now, that he was merely
what his money had made him. but that
the Alan Jessup that she had cared for,
tha real Alan beneath the bored and weary
exterior, would go to any lengths required
by his sense of justice or honor. To-night
she had even longed for an opportunity to
show him that she knew him in his true
colors, but events had moved too swiftly.
And now!
She clenched her Angers over her eyes
and tried to believe that it was not too
late. She knew that she loved him?that
she had loved him always, and the danger
of login!; him now assailed her like the
pans of an angry conacieuce. It did not
seem to matter a srreat deal what was to
happen to her, if before It happened she
could see /Uan again and tell him what a
terrible mistake she had made. Death!
She would not believe it. And then her
over-wrought nerves broke with the stress
of their tension, and she sank upon the
deewan, racked with sobs, her cheeks wet
with the merciful tears. And after a while
she slept.
She awoke suddenly with an uncomfort
able feeling of oppression. The light in
the huge room was dim. but as she turned
on her couch and raised her head she
found herself facing two females, each in
various stages of undress. They were tit
tering and staring at her in amusement
and no little curiosity. But their attitudes
were not unfriendly.
One of them sat upon the deewan oppo
site her?quite young and handsome?and
the other, a much older woman, stood at
her feet gazing down at her, arms akimbo,
waiting for her to awaken. The eyes of
both women, soft, dark eyes, much the
Great Britain Rights Reserved. ,'
finest features in their faces, were deeply
shaded with kohl, and the palms of tbelr>
hands and their Angers and toenails were
stained a bright orange color. The older
woman, who stood beside the deewan. had
a round tattoo mark on her chin and an
other like a falling arrow upon her fore
head.
Constance straightened and sat up. try
ing to summon her scattered wits ar.d ad
Just her mind to meet this situation. If
her fellow-prisoners were antagonistic
they gave no sign of it. And then, as Con
stance smiled pleasantly from one to the
other and wondered what was going to
happen next, the older woman spoke quite
clearly in English.
"You have slept well, mees?"
"Yea." said Constance with a smile.
"Thank you, very much."
"You would like, perhaps, a bath?"
"If I could"
The woman,
whom the other
called Z e y n e b
spoke a few short
words in Arabic to
the black girl who
stood in the back
ground, and then
went and f helped
her to prepare the
bath.
The younger
woman on the op
posite deewan re
mained as before
regarding her, smil
ing in so friendly
a way that Con
stance felt sure
that she had made
a friend. The girl
was quite pretty
and garbed in stays
and a French frock
would have made
an excellent ap
pearance on the
terrace of Shep
heard's hotel. And
while she looked
at her Constance
wondered where
she came from and
in what part of the
world she belonged.
She was surely
not an Egyptian
or a Habasheeyeh.
like the slave-girl.
who had gone to
draw her bath. She
seemed to repre
sent a type with
which Constance
was more familiar
and looked not un
like some of the
girls in one of Con
stance's pet chari
ties down on the
East Side in New
York ? Greek, Cir
cassian or Geor
- gian? She coutf
not deride
Bat aM the while
the two {.iris smiled
at each ether the
conviction was
growing in the
mind of the Ameri
can girl that some
strange freak ol
fortune had thrown
this girl into these
surroundings. 11
was not that she
did not seem con
tented, for there
were no marks of
pain or unhappi
ness upon her face,
but her expression
was that of sodden
indifference, of the
fatalism which lives
in the present, ob
literating the past
and careless of the
future. Amneh was
of Islam, for later
in the day. at the
duhr, or noon hour,
of prayer, she pros
trated herself and
said her rekahs.
The girl inter
ested Constance in
tensely, but at the
present moment
her own difficulties
scarcely left room
for the affairs
of others, and after a cup of coffee, which
keemed to revive both her health and
spirits, she went into the oriel window with
the intention of sitting alone and gazing
down into the sunlit street b~'ow. But be
fore she could seat herself Zeyneb caught
her by the arm not tod gently and told her
that she must not approach the windows
either to the courtyard or street. And so
if there had been any doubt in her mind as
to her status in the harem, it was now re
moved. She was a .prisoner.
The touch of the woman's hand upon her
crm had made her angry, but she bit her
lip and refrained from a reply. She saw
the soft eyes of Amneh watching her in
sympathy and after a moment 6he sahk
upon the deewan beside the girl and pave
herself up to her rather hopeless medita
tions. She felt Amneh's soft palm steal
into her hand,- and their fingers inter
twined. Constance had not been mistaken.
There was a bon* of sympathy between
them which needed little encouragement
"I?am?sorree," Amneh's soft voice
whispered. And then in a whisper. "Tu
paries francais, mademoiselle?"
Constance turned her face toward her
companion in surprise and deliiht.
"Yes," she said, quickly. "And you?
where did you learn French?"
"In Paris, mademoiselle?in a boarding
school."
"Paris! You are, then"
"An Armenian, mademoiselle."
"But your name, Amneh. How did you
come here?"
The girl shrugged with the same air of
fatalism and Indifference.
"What matters a name?or an identity?
here? Cairo absorbs and forgets. I eat, 1
?Imp. I smoke. What more does one re
quire?*"
Constance glanced toward the other
women, who had moved oet Into the corri
dor. and than spoke in a low vole*.
"An Armenian, if yon are a ChrtaUan
why do you then *ay the prayer* of Islam?"
The girl drew a ahort breath from the
coral mouth-piece of her shibek and
sighed.
"What doe* it matter* God ia the >ame
everywhere It pleases my master Christ
will forgive."
The same note of carelessness and la
difference. Rut beneath her words Con
stance thought that ahe detected the kalien
fire of a hope deferred. There were vaa
tiges of character,* too. beneath the yield
ing softness of her features.
"Ton do not belong here. Amneh. Will
yon tell me how It happened ?"
Their glaacea met and Amneh smiled.
"Yes. Yon shall know. mademoiselle, If
it interests you. I returned to Armenia
from Paris Just at the beginning of the
war. My mother and father lived tn Bttlls
and?and the man I was to marry. My
father wis a merchant and rich. He had
friends In Constantinople and thought him
self secure. But when the Turks came he
waa to learn the truth. They took all his
money, burned his house and then killed
him and my mother before my eyea. Then
they carried me away." She paused a mo
ment while an echo of her terror glowed
in her eyea. Constance's fingers closed
over hers again.
"And the man you were?to marryT" she
asked.
"They killed him when he tried to neve
me." she replied.
No expression of anguiah or emotion
could have been more expressive of the
horrors through which Amneh bed passed
than the hard, even tones of this reply.* It
waa a voice without a soul. Constance was
at loss for a word and so merely pressed
the hand of her companion in an eloqeeat
silence. Amneh closed her eyes for a
moment.
"After that." she went on. calmly, "thgy
sold me into slavery. I was pretty. I
brought a high price. I came to Egypt I
was lucky. The Sheykh Hassan bought
me There were others who went to Con
stantinople and to Moaul ? ? ? and
others up the Nile to the traders of the
Habasheeyehs." She stopped te shudder
and then shrng. "And here I am. Last
year Hassan Tsar married me. I am hia
wife. I am very lucky."
All of this in the aame soulless tone.
Even by contrast to It the sndden shadder
had seemed almost artificial.
But the Utterneas of thia creature's
misfortunes waa sinking deep Into the
heart of the American girl. It was merely
the tale of thoussnds of other* east as
well as west and yet the unvarnished tell
ing of it was more dramatic and cos vine
lng than anything Constance had ever
heard. And the terrible details which
Amneh had omitted seemed to stand forth
one by one before the American gliTs eyes
in graphic pictures. Death had surely
been oeiter than what bad happened to
Amneh. but her soft southern beauty
which should have broken gava no algn
of the ordeal through which aha had
paased. except *t the suddenly tightening
lines at brow and lip when she finiahed her
story.
Constance aat ailent In a moment of
terror at the poasibility thst something at
Amneh's experience might yet be her own
But the thought seemed impossible. The
Kaah where they sat was a part of the
orderly bouse of a Muslim high in family
and in rank. And outside In the bright
sunshine she heard the bum of the drowsy
city, the cries of the sellers of lupins and
limea and the rattle of an arabeeh over
the cobbles of a thoroughfare nearby.
Somewhere near were Englishmen?North
by Tasha with his police and Alan. Her
heart caught a beat?yea. Alan was near,
too?hurt?perhaps badly, ,l>ut near, and
he wouid be well and seek her presently
?snd find her ? ? ?
"And you are happy now, Amneh?" ahe
asked at the end of her fit of abstraction.
"I am not unhappy." the girl replied
calmly. "The Sheykh Hassan ?ia a good
man. I am both daughter and wife to
him. and" She straightened abruptly
with a triumphant glance at the woman
Zeyaeb, who sat at a menseg of walnut
and mother-of-pearl embroidering a head
veil. "Wife." she said with a show of
white teeth, "and favorite!"
Amneh took a light for her shibuk and
smoked In a moment of silence. And then:
"Ch. mademoiselle," she said, "it is good
to see again a white face. But how did
you come here? We are not exrected to
ask questions, but I am very curious."
Constance paused. How much should
she tell? How little? She was singularly
attracted to thia pretty creature, bcth by
the bonda of her sympathy and the cWlma
of her own need. And so with a glance
at Zeyneb, in which she had lnstlnothrely
recognized an enemy. Conatance asked:
"She need not know?"
Amneh shrugged contemptuously. "You
need fear nothing from me."
And so Constance rarldly told her all
that hfid happened, beginning with her
friendship for von Hengel In America and
Alan's, down to the discovery of the Ksba
Stone in the Mosque of Hasanevn and the
calamitous results of the adventure.
Amneh listened, at first indifferently,
but as constance went on she saw that
she had captured the girl's interest and
imagination. For, as the story developed,
h> r eyes sparkled, and then. 4ith her gate
fixed on Constance's face, her llpfc slightly
parted, she became entirely absorbed put
ting in a quick question here and there
and giving every indication of an entire
and partisan Interest. Indeed, so ab
stracted were they from their immediate
surroundings that they did not notice the
figure of Zevneb, which stood almost be
side them and suddenly broke in upon the
conversation with a gush of Arabic in
vective.
Of course. Constance could not know
what she said, but the manner of Amneh
was most reassuring. For the Armenian
(ContinuiA on Sert Paget

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