“We know,” she said. “Our darling’s esve brought us a line that told all; and what is left of those who were all to me, of her who was so much to you, will now be returned to us almost at once.”
We were interrupted. A cry drew my eyes to the right, where, springing from a balloon to the car of which was attached a huge flag emblazoned with the crimson and silver colours of the Suzerain, Ergimo stood before us.
“I am too late,” he said, “to save life; in time only to put an end to rebellion and avert murder. The Prince has fulfilled his promise to you; has repealed the law that was to be a weapon in the hands that aimed at his life and throne, as at the Star and its children. The traitors, save one, the worst, have met by this time their just doom. That one I am here to arrest. But where is our Chief? And,” noticing for the first time the group of women, who in the violence of alarm and agony of sorrow had burst for once unconsciously the restraints of a lifetime—“where ... Are you alone?”
“Alone for ever,” I said; and as I spoke the procession that with bare and bent heads carried two veiled forms into the peristyle below told all he sought to know. I need not dwell on the scene that followed. I scarcely remember anything, till a chest of gold, bearing the cipher which though seldom seen I knew so well, was placed in my hands. I turned to Zulve, and to Ergimo, who stood beside her.
“Have you need of me?” I said. “If I can serve her house I will remain willingly, and as long as I can help or comfort.”