* * * * *
There is nothing omitted here; that is merely the Colonel’s present address.
* * * * *
Pollimariar was the daughter of a Mussulman—she was, in fact, a Mussulgirl. She lived at Stamboul, the name of which is an admirable rhyme to what Pollimariar was profanely asserted to be by her two sisters, Djainan and Djulya. These were very much older than Pollimariar, and proportionately wicked. In wickedness they could discount her, giving her the first innings.
The relations between Pollimariar and her sisters were in all respects similar to those that existed between Cinderella and her sisters. Indeed, these big girls seldom read anything but the story of Cinderella; and that work, no doubt, had its influence in forming their character. They were always apparelling themselves in gaudy dresses from Paris, and going away to balls, leaving their meritorious little sister weeping at home in their every-day finery. Their father was a commercial traveller, absent with his samples in Damascus most of the time; and the poor girl had no one to protect her from the outrage of exclusion from the parties to which she was not invited. She fretted and chafed very much at first, but after forbearance ceased to be a virtue it came rather natural to her to exercise a patient endurance. But perceiving this was agreeable to her sisters she abandoned it, devising a rare scheme of vengeance. She sent to the “Levant Herald” the following “personal” advertisement:
“G.V.—Regent’s Canal 10.30 p.m., Q.K.X. is O.K.! With coals at 48 sh-ll-ngs I cannot endure existence without you! Ask for G-field St-ch. J.G. + ¶ pro rata. B-tty’s N-bob P-ckles. Oz-k-r-t! Meet me at the ‘Turban and Scimitar,’ Bebeck Road, Thursday morning at three o’clock; blue cotton umbrella, wooden shoes, and Ulster overskirt Polonaise all round the bottom.
One Who Wants to Know Yer.”
The latter half of this contained the gist of the whole matter; the other things were put in just to prevent the notice from being conspicuously sensible. Next morning, when the Grand Vizier took up his newspaper, he could not help knowing he was the person addressed; and at the appointed hour he kept the tryst. What passed between them the sequel will disclose, if I can think it out to suit me.
Soon afterwards Djainan and Djulya received cards of invitation to a grand ball at the Sultan’s palace, given to celebrate the arrival of a choice lot of Circassian beauties in the market. The first thing the wicked sisters did was to flourish these invitations triumphantly before the eyes of Pollimariar, who declared she did not believe a word of it; indeed, she professed such aggressive incredulity that she had to be severely beaten. But she denied the invitations to the last. She thought it was best to deny them.