This is pleasant, indeed.
John has something of the feeling that comes upon the man who awaits the verdict of the jury.
At the same time he is resolved to take the advice given, and be on his guard.
As he saunters around, he fails to see those whom he seeks, though soon becoming conscious of the fact that he is watched and followed.
This does not add to his pleasure.
From the hints Mustapha has dropped, he begins to realize that there is some sort of a league in Al Jezira, looking toward an uprising and the coming of a patriot leader, who will take charge of the rebellion.
He has gained the ill-will of these conspirators by this night visit to the old town, and how unfortunate this may be for him, the future may prove.
It is while he wanders about the square, keeping in the light, and always on his guard, that John receives something of a shock.
He sees a figure ahead, a figure garbed as a sister. She moves slowly on, her face is vailed, and a mad impulse comes upon him to toss aside that vail, to discover whether this can be Sister Magdalen, the one for whom he searches, or another.
THE COMING OF MISS CAPRICE.
This sudden impulse on the part of the young Chicago doctor may be the means of getting him into trouble, for no people are more quick to resent an insult, either fancied or real, to females upon the street, than those of Algeria, Egypt, or Turkey.
Woman is not an equal there, but a highly prized possession, and must never appear upon the street with her face unvailed, so that any man caught tearing the foutah of a lady from her face would be severely dealt with.
John, of course, is only desirous of seeing whether this may be his mother, but the public will hardly take this fact into consideration.
Upon so suddenly conceiving this bold plan of action, John Craig hastens his footsteps, and there is need of hurry, if he hopes to overtake the figure in black before she leaves the square, for, as if conscious that she is pursued, she has also quickened her pace.
He overhauls her just on the outskirts of the Place du Gouvernement, and as he brushes past quickly raises his hand to snatch aside the flowing vail.
Again his heart almost stands still, and the sacred word “mother” trembles on his lips, as he bends forward to get a quick glance of the face that must be disclosed by the shifting of the vail.
His quick movement is not without its result. The vail is drawn aside, and John Craig receives a staggering blow as he gazes upon the shriveled countenance of an old woman.
It is impossible that this can be his mother—perish the thought!—and yet the garb is one seldom seen on the streets of Algiers.
His almost palsied hand drops the vail. Lucky for him will it be if no jealous Moor’s eyes have seen the action.