Great master, even so I swore.
. . . . to be true to me always.
There is no Shereef but my master.
Daoud, you have kept your word.
I have sought to, master.
You have helped me often, Daoud, warned me and helped me often. Through you I knew those currents that run through the deeps of the market, in silence and all men feel them, but a ruler never. You told me of them, and when I knew—then I could look after myself, Daoud. They could do nothing against me then. Well, now I hold this people. I hold them at last, Daoud, and now —well, I can rest a little.
Not in the East, master.
Not in the East, Daoud?
Why? What do you mean?
In Western countries, master, whose tales I have read, in a wonderful book named the “Good Child’s History of England,” in the West a man hath power over a land, and lo! the power is his and descends to his son’s son after him.
Well, doesn’t it in the East?
Not if he does not watch, master; in the night and the day, and in the twilight between the day and the night, and in the dawn between the night and the day.
I thought you had pretty long dynasties in these parts, and pretty lazy ones.
Master, he that was mightiest of those that were kings in Babylon had a secret door prepared in an inner chamber, which led to a little room, the smallest in the palace, whose back door opened secretly to the river, even to great Euphrates, where a small boat waited all the days of his reign.
Did he really now? Well, he was taking no chances. Did he have to use it?
No, master. Such boats are never used. Those that watch like that do not need to seek them, and the others, they would never be able to reach the river in time, even though the boat were there.