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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 64 pages of information about If.

Ha, yes.  Very good of you.

Ali [advancing, handing trinket]

Protector of the Just, my offering.

JOHN

Your offering?

ALI

Hush.  It is beyond price.  I am not bidden to sell it.  I was in my extremity, but I was not bidden to sell it.  It is a token of gratitude, a gift, as it came to me.

JOHN

As it came to you?

ALI

Yes, it was given me.

JOHN

I see.  Then you had given somebody what you call rivers of gold?

ALI

Not gold; it was in Sahara.

JOHN

O, and what do you give in the Sahara instead of gold?

ALI

Water.

JOHN

I see.  You got it for a glass of water, like.

ALI

Even so.

JOHN

And—­and what happened?

MARY

I wouldn’t take his only crystal, dear.  It’s a nice little thing, but [to Ali], but you think a lot of it, don’t you?

ALI

Even so.

JOHN

But look here, what does it do?

ALI

Much.

JOHN

Well, what?

ALI

He that taketh this crystal, so, in his hand, at night, and wishes, saying “At a certain hour let it be”; the hour comes and he will go back eight, ten, even twelve years if he will, into the past, and do a thing again, or act otherwise than he did.  The day passes; the ten years are accomplished once again; he is here once more; but he is what he might have become had he done that one thing otherwise.

MARY

John!

JOHN

I—­I don’t understand.

ALI

To-night you wish.  All to-morrow you live the last ten years; a new way, master, a new way, how you please.  To-morrow night you are here, what those years have made you.

JOHN

By Jove!

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