Mogar and Amara; what had they to do with one another? Leagues of desert divided them. One was a desolation, the other was crowded with men. What linked them together in her mind?
Androvsky’s fear of both—that was the link. She kept on thinking of the glance he had cast at the watch-tower, to which Trevignac had been even then approaching, although they knew it not. De Trevignac! She walked faster on the sand, to and fro before the tent. Why had he looked at the tent in which Androvsky slept with horror? Was it because Androvsky had denounced the religion that he reverenced and loved? Could it have been that? But then—did Androvsky actively hate religion? Perhaps he hated it, and concealed his hatred from her because he knew it would cause her pain. Yet she had sometimes felt as if he were seeking, perhaps with fear, perhaps with ignorance, perhaps with uncertainty, but still seeking to draw near to God. That was why she had been able to hope for him, why she had not been more troubled by his loss of the faith in which he had been brought up, and to which she belonged heart and soul. Could she have been wrong in her feeling—deceived? There were men in the world, she knew, who denied the existence of a God, and bitterly ridiculed all faith. She remembered the blasphemies of her father. Had she married a man who, like him, was lost, who, as he had, furiously denied God?
A cold thrill of fear came into her heart. Suddenly she felt as if, perhaps, even in her love, Androvsky had been a stranger to her.
She stood upon the sand. It chanced that she looked towards the camp of the Ouled Nails, whose fires blazed upon the dunes. While she looked she was presently aware of a light that detached itself from the blaze of the fires, and moved from them, coming towards the place where she was standing, slowly. The young moon only gave a faint ray to the night. This light travelled onward through the dimness like an earth-bound star. She watched it with intentness, as people watch any moving thing when their minds are eagerly at work, staring, yet scarcely conscious that they see.
The little light moved steadily on over the sands, now descending the side of a dune, now mounting to a crest, and always coming towards the place where Domini was standing, And presently this determined movement towards her caught hold of her mind, drew it away from other thoughts, fixed it on the light. She became interested in it, intent upon it.
Who was bearing it? No doubt some desert man, some Arab. She imagined him tall, brown, lithe, half-naked, holding the lamp in his muscular fingers, treading on bare feet silently, over the deep sand. Why had he left the camp? What was his purpose?
The light drew near. It was now moving over the flats and seemed, she thought, to travel more quickly. And always it came straight towards where she was standing. A conviction dawned in her that it was travelling with an intention of reaching her, that it was carried by someone who was thinking of her. But how could that be? She thought of the light as a thing with a mind and a purpose, borne by someone who backed up its purpose, helping it to do what it wanted. And it wanted to come to her.