Ziska eBook

Marie Corelli
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 227 pages of information about Ziska.

“Torture them how, Denzil?” asked the Doctor, kindly.  “Dear lad, you are talking nonsense.  Come and stroll with me up and down; the air is quite balmy and delightful; it will cool your brain.”

“Yes, it needs cooling!” retorted Denzil, beginning to laugh with a sort of wild hilarity.  “Too much wine,—­too much woman,—­too much of these musty old-world records and ghastly pyramids!”

Here he broke off, adding quickly: 

“Doctor, Helen and I will go back to England next week, if all is well.”

“Why, certainly, certainly!” said Dr. Dean, soothingly.  “I think we are all beginning to feel we have had enough of Egypt.  I shall probably return home with you.  Meanwhile, come for a stroll and talk to me; Monsieur Armand Gervase will perhaps go in and excuse us for a few minutes to the Princess Ziska.”

“With pleasure!” said Gervase; then, beckoning Denzil Murray aside, he whispered: 

“Tell me, have you won or lost?”

“Lost!” replied Denzil, fiercely, through his set teeth.  “It is your turn now!  But, if you win, as sure as there is a God above us, I will kill you!”

“SOIT!  But not till I am ready for killing!  After to-morrow night I shall be at your service, not till then!”

And smiling coldly, his dark face looking singularly pale and stern in the moonlight, Gervase turned away, and, walking with his usual light, swift, yet leisurely tread, entered the Princess’s apartment by the French window which was still open, and from which the sound of sweet music came floating deliciously on the air as he disappeared.


In a half-reclining attitude of indolently graceful ease, the Princess Ziska watched from beneath the slumbrous shadow of her long-fringed eyelids the approach of her now scarcely-to-be controlled lover.  He came towards her with a certain impetuosity of movement which was so far removed from ordinary conventionality as to be wholly admirable from the purely picturesque point of view, despite the fact that it expressed more passion and impatience than were in keeping with nineteenth-century customs and manners.  He had almost reached her side before he became aware that there were two other women in the room besides the Princess,- -silent, veiled figures that sat, or rather crouched, on the floor, holding quaintly carved and inlaid musical instruments of some antique date in their hands, the only sign of life about them being their large, dark, glistening almond-shaped eyes, which were every now and then raised and fixed on Gervase with an intense and searching look of inquiry.  Strangely embarrassed by their glances, he addressed the Princess in a low tone: 

“Will you not send away your women?”

She smiled.

Project Gutenberg
Ziska from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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