I see, you fear some danger.
I fear it, master.
What danger, Daoud?
Master, I know not.
From what quarter, Daoud?
O master, O sole Lord of Al Shaldomir, named the elect, from that quarter.
That quarter? Why, that is the gracious lady’s innermost chamber.
From that quarter, great master, O Lord of the Pass.
Daoud, I have cast men into prison for saying less than this. Men have been flogged on the feet for less than this.
Slay me, master, but hear my words.
I will not slay you. You are mistaken, Daoud. You have made a great mistake. The thing is absurd. Why, the gracious lady has scarcely seen Hafiz. She knows nothing of the talk of the market. Who could tell her? No one comes here. It is absurd. Only the other day she said to me . . . But it is absurd, it is absurd, Daoud. Besides, the people would never rebel against me. Do I not govern them well?
Even so, master.
Why should they rebel, then?
They think of the old times, master.
The old times? Why, their lives weren’t safe. The robbers came down from the mountains and robbed the market whenever they had a mind.
Master, men were content in the old times.
But were the merchants content?
Those that loved merchandise were content, master. Those that loved it not went into the mountains.
But were they content when they were robbed?
They soon recovered their losses, master. Their prices were unjust and they loved usury.