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THE morning after Kalkous had made peace with Rustem, the shab commanded the war clarions to be sounded throughout the city, calling the loyal sons of Iran to go forth to meet the Tartar host. When the Persians arrived in the plains near the white fortress silently they set up their tents, plan ning a surprise for the Tartars. Early In the morning the Tartar watchman upon the towers of the white fortress aaw spread out upon the plains an immense white city, set up as if by magic. Surprised and dismayed he gave a loud shout, whtcji at once brought Sohrab and two great Tartar chiefs out upon the ramparts. When Human saw upon every side the mighty Persian host, looking so brave and formidable, he suddenly grew pale and trembled like a leaf. But Sohrab took a glass of wine, drank to their destruction and said: "Look, brave Human! There are many men tn thia hostile army, but within its ranks I see no hero with mighty mace who can atand against the fearless son of Rustem! When that mighty cham pion himself appears then it will be time for us to rally our courage. But as for these others—why, they are but dogs!" So saying Sohrab went down fsom the ramparts and invited hie " great warriors and chiefs to a banquet. Gayly he issued his invitations, saying to his guests: "Today let us feast; let us banquet today, for tomorrow to battle we'll hasten away." But—at Sohrab's banquet there was to be an un invited guest! For when the night came Rustem the Mighty went boldly unto the' shah, demanding permission to go unarmed to spy out the forces of the enemy and to learn the character of the chief tains opposed to him, particularly Sohrab, whose re nown had aroused such dread in the heart of Kal kous. He was granted permission and, clad In the dress of a Tartar, under the cover ot darkness he stole forth like a lion penetrating Into the very presence of the great Sohrab and his warriors as they feasted. Rustem stood by the door and saw that Sohrab was like a tall cypress of good sap, while round about him were seated more than 100 brave war riors, scarcely equaled In the Persian army. It was indeed a festive scene! Torches gave back the flash of arms and the gleam of eyes eager for the morrow's battle. Beside the glorious fare to delight the appetites there was also sweet music . to charm the ear. All were filled with gayety and merriment, never dreaming of the coming sorrow. Now among Sohrab's guests was an old man, Zen deh, the brother of Sohrab's mother. Tamineh, the fond mother, had sent him forth to sacredly guard her boy during all dangers, and should the youth meet Rustem, old Zendeh was to warn him of their relationship before a tragedy occurred. Rising from the banquet table Zendeh, unobserved and quietly, went out into the curtained vestibule. He saw the shadow of one in ambush, and ad vancing to where Rustem was hiding, said quietly: "Vile Persian! Come forth into the light that I may see thy face. For well I know by thy stature that thou belongest to Iran." Rustem did not reply, but, before Zendeh had ceased speaking, he struck the old man such a blow THE SAN FRANCISCO CALL, SATURDAY, MAY 11, 1012.—THE JUNTOR CALE. on the nape of his neck that he laid him dead at his feet. The merry makers did not know that the dark angel of death hovered about the door. Presently Sohrab noticed that his uncle's place at table was vacant and asked why he delayed. One of the chiefs hastened out to seek .him. In doing so he found the body of the unfortunate warrior cold upon the floor. Quickly returning to Sohrab in an awed voice he told of the fatal happening. Sohrab would scarcely believe that right in their midst, without a cry or struggle, death could have come so suddenly to his uncle. Commanding torches to be brought Sohrab, fol lowed by all his warriors rushed out to And his devoted uncle In a pitiful state. He turned to his nobles with tears in his eyes and cried: "Wool Woe unto Turan. For behold the wolf hath stolen into the fold and in spite of shepherds and dogs, has taken the best of the flock. But, verily, Qod helping me, I will be fully avenged for the death of Zendeh!" Sohrab then returned to hla place at the banquet table and continued the feast. Although his own heart was heavy with sorrow, he did not wish the spirit of his warriors to be dampened by pity or fear of this terrible, silent, unknown foe. Raising his glass to his lips he cried lustily: "A toast, my brave comrades, 'Death to the slayer of Zendeh and destruction, utter and sure, unto the Persian host!" So the warriors and chiefs all drank, standing upon their feet and as the hours passed by Sohrab con tinued to fan into a more glowing flame the lust of battle which slumbered in every warrior's soul. Now Sohrab and his mighty army occupied the white fortress as their starting point in the battle to be raged against the Persians. Although Sohrab was deeply grieved over his uncle's death, he thought it but folly to waste tears and time. Before him, as far as eye could discern, stretched the Persian tents. Greatly disappointed was Sohrab the next morning after his uncle was murdered, that l.c could not learn from Hujir, the defeated .cliara. plon of the white fort, which of the mighty war riors encamped upon the plains before them was Rustem, the great hero of Persia. Sohrab strongly suspected a certain great warrior In a green tent, vfrho was Indeed Rustem. Defeated In this endeavor Sohrab entered the fort, donned his chain mall and arming himself, he and his band of sturdy warriors sallied o*ut upon the plain. So sudden and swift was the rush of these warriors that the Persians were taken unawares and Sohrab was able to penetrate almost at once into their very center. However, the Persians soon rallied. Then, so fear ful was the contest that the /cry earth seemed to shake beneath the shock and me vantage was fear ful. All through the long hours of th•» battle, although Sohrab seemed to be everywhere upon the field, never once did he catch a glimpse of the owner of the green tent and much he wondered. In spite of the day's successes, that night Sohrab lay wakeful tn his tent, restlessly tossing noon his bed of skins, while busy thoughts surged through his mind. ■As soon as the daylight appeared, he sought his old adviser, Plran-Wisa, and implored him thus for advice: "O, glorious chief, whose wisdo.n hath ever bSSS Rustem Accepts Sohrab's Challenge THE ELEVENTH OP RUSTEM STORIES RETOLD BY MRS. ERIC It OLSEN my counsel! I would make known unlo thee a plan which hath kept me wakeful upon my bed: "I would have thee challenge the bravest of the Persian Pehliva to meet me, man to man, in single combat. If I prevail Rustem will surely learn of it; while if I fail, no man need hear of me again." Piran-Wlsa replied: "My son, much I love thy valorous spirit, which hath striven and longed for the noblest and best. Nevertheless I counsel thee to think of thy mother and be content to share the common risks of battle. Or, If thou wouldst seek that loved father whom thou hast never seen, seek him where men say he dwelleth, in far off Seistar with his aged father, Zal." But Sohrab passionately answered the old war rior: "Alas, good old Piram! canst thou not under stand that I wish not to go to my father empty handed? I am so proud of him and with reason t must make him proud of his son also." Piran-Wlsa finally consented to Sohrab's plan snd the old general summoned his herald and taking his ruler's staff, he went forth, marshaling the whole Tartar army upon the plain. The Persians noticing this move of the enemy, also formed Into battle array opposite, bright in burn ished steel and splendid in rank upon rank of brave warriors. When all waa in readiness, Piran-Wlsa advanced to the front, while the herald blew a blast upon his trumpet to make known that he had something to say. Silence, deep and thrilling, reigned in both great armies as Piran, in ringing tones, offered Sohrab's challenge. The Tartars rent the air with shouts and called their hero's name, for sincerely they felt no Per sian hero could match their gallant leader. Unexpected was this call to the Persians and as a consequence a deep silence reigned within the lines of Iran. So greatly was Sohrab feared that no man dared take up the challenge! After their first shock of surprise, from mouth to mouth there was breathed the one word: "Rustem! Rustem!" So, quickly Kaikous sent a messenger to the great Pabllva, saying: "O mighty one. Come quickly, f*-r behold, the faces of my warriors grow pale before this young Tartar and only thy sword can cause the sun to weep." When (Judarz, Rustem's old friend, entered his tent to deliver the message, he frowned at its mean ing, for well he remembered the cowardice of Kal kons, which made him sick with shame. Ru9tem made no reply but frowned and Gudar*/. continued: "Truly this young hero is marvelous and this time Kaikous Is not to be condemned for his terror. For as I live, the champion existeth not who can match Sohrab with the exception of Rustem, the mighty, unto whom all eyes turn." Rustem, who was again arrgered at Kaikous, re plied bitterly to Gudarx. Rut this excited and anx ious messenger would not listen to Rustem when that hero spoke of delaying such a contest and cried: "Take heed, Oh mighty one, lest men say that thou faarest to peril thy fame with a younger man!'' With a fierce frown of displeasure Rustem con sented to meet the champion upon condition that he be allowed to fight unknown and in plain arms. Quickly the noble*- btickled upon" him his armor, threw his leopard skin around him, saddled Rakusli and made him ready for the strife.