“What is an amulet of the heart?”
“In the days of Ancient Egypt, when the heart had been taken from the dead body for purposes of preservation, an amulet, a scarab, sometimes heart-shaped, was placed within the body to ensure it life and movement in the new life.”
They both stood looking down upon the jewel, the girl’s finger-tips resting upon the man’s hand.
“Keep it,” she said softly. “Keep it.”
“I will keep it to replace that which has gone from me. I will restore it to its shape, I will take from it the golden setting of the ring. I will wear it upon my breast.” And, bending, he gently raised the yashmak in both hands and pressed his forehead to the few inches which had rested above her crimson mouth.
“Love is one and the same in
the original, but
there are a thousand copies of it, and, it may
be, all differing from one another.”
Ben Kelham, disguised as Rameses the Great, laid a hand upon the girl’s shoulder as, passing to the left of the tent, she walked slowly towards the door leading to the grounds, whilst sounds of wrath came from the serried ranks of those who wished to pry into the future.
The fortune-teller had sent word that there would be no more reading of horoscopes or hands that evening, and had absented himself therewith through a back entrance.
“You have been a long time,” said Ben Kelham. He looked magnificent as the great Sestoris, who had stood well over six feet in the days of Ancient Egypt. “What was the man telling you?”
Damaris was disturbed, and it was most unfortunate that, under the spur of inquietude, he should have chosen just this occasion and this moment to allow a hint of authority to creep into his voice and a shadow of proprietorship to show in his actions.
“How do you know who I am?” parried the girl coldly, as she shrugged the proprietory hand off her shoulder.
“Wellington gave you away. He followed your trail to the tent and sat growling at everybody until I came along and removed him.”
“I wish you would leave the dog alone,” said Damaris, with a certain amount of acerbity. “He is my custos.”
“But that is not the kind of guardian you want, Damaris—you are too beautiful, you know. Let us sit here; it’s lovely and warm, and the stars look just like diamonds, don’t they?”
“I would rather walk,” said Damaris, who was longing to sit down.
But she sat down when Ben Kelham took her by the elbow and led her to the seat; and she sat quite still when he suddenly took both her hands.
“Oh! don’t, Ben,” she said, when he pulled them up against his heart. “I can’t stand any more to-night.” And he, being over-slow in the uptak’, failed to catch her in this slip of the tongue.