The Garden of Allah eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 736 pages of information about The Garden of Allah.

She said nothing.  Her hands dropped from his shoulders, she turned away and her lips moved once more.

Then Androvsky moved slowly in through the doorway of the monastery, crossed the patch of sunlight, lifted his hand and rang the bell at the second door.

“Drive back to Tunis, please.”

“Madame!” said the coachman.

“Drive back to Tunis.”

“Madame is not going to enter!  But Monsieur—­”

“Drive back to Tunis!”

Something in the voice that spoke to him startled the coachman.  He hesitated a moment, staring at Domini from his seat, then, with a muttered curse, he turned his horses’ heads and plied the whip ferociously.

* * * * *

“Love watcheth, and sleeping, slumbereth not.  When weary it is not tired.  When weary—­it—­is not—­tired.”

Domini’s lips ceased to move.  She could not speak any more.  She could not even pray without words.

Yet, in that moment, she did not feel alone.


In the garden of Count Anteoni, which has now passed into other hands, a little boy may often be seen playing.  He is gay, as children are, and sometimes he is naughty and, as if out of sheer wantonness, he destroys the pyramids of sand erected by the Arab gardeners upon the narrow paths between the hills, or tears off the petals of the geraniums and scatters them to the breezes that whisper among the trees.  But when Larbi’s flute calls to him he runs to hear.  He sits at the feet of that persistent lover, and watches the big fingers fluttering at the holes of the reed, and his small face becomes earnest and dreamy, as if it looked on far-off things, or watched the pale pageant of the mirages rising mysteriously out of the sunlit spaces of the sands to fade again, leaving no trace behind.

Only one other song he loves more than the twittering tune of Larbi.

Sometimes, when twilight is falling over the Sahara, his mother calls him to her, to the white wall where she is sitting beneath a jamelon tree.

“Listen, Boris!” she whispers.

The little boy climbs up on her knee, leans his face against her breast and obeys.  An Arab is passing below on the desert track, singing to himself as he goes towards his home in the oasis: 

     “No one but God and I
     Knows what is in my heart.”

He is singing the song of the freed negroes.  When his voice has died away the mother puts the little boy down.  It is bed time, and Smain is there to lead him to the white villa, where he will sleep dreamlessly till morning.

But the mother stays alone by the wall till the night falls and the desert is hidden.

     “No one but God and I
     Knows what is in my heart.”

She whispers the words to herself.  The cool wind of the night blows over the vast spaces of the Sahara and touches her cheek, reminding her of the wind that, at Arba, carried fire towards her as she sat before the tent, reminding her of her glorious days of liberty, of the passion that came to her soul like fire in the desert.

Project Gutenberg
The Garden of Allah from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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