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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 396 pages of information about Pearl-Maiden.

“Tell Marcus,” she said, “that I go because he bids me, and that I know not whether we shall meet again.  Say that perhaps it is best that we should not meet, since for reasons which he knows, even if he should still wish it, we may not marry.  Say that in life or death I am his, and his only, and that until my last hour my thought and prayer will be for him.  May he be delivered from all those troubles which, as I fear, I have brought upon him, through no will of mine.  May he forgive me for them and let my love and gratitude make some amends for all that I have done amiss.”

To this Marcus answered:  “Tell Miriam that from my heart I thank her for her message, and that my desire is that she should be gone from Rome so soon as may be, since here danger dogs her steps.  Tell her that although it is true that mine has brought me shame and sorrow, still I give her love for love, and that if I come living from my prison I will follow her to Tyre and speak further of these matters.  If I die, I pray that good fortune may attend her and that from time to time she will make the offering of an hour’s thought to the spirit which once was Marcus.”

CHAPTER XXVIII

THE LAMP

If Domitian at length slackened in his fruitless search for Miriam, Caleb, whose whole heart was in the hunt, proved more diligent.  Still, he could find no trace of her.  At first he made sure that if she was in Rome she would return to visit her friends and protectors, Gallus and his wife, and in the hope of thus discovering her, Caleb caused a constant watch to be kept on their abode.  But Miriam never came there, nor, although their footsteps were dogged from day to day, did they lead him to her, since in truth Julia and Miriam met only in the catacombs, where he and his spies dared not venture.  Soon, however, Gallus discovered that his home was kept under observation and its inmates tracked from place to place.  It was this knowledge indeed which, more than any other circumstance, brought him to make up his mind to depart from Rome and dwell in Syria, since he said that he would no longer live in a city where night by night he and his were hunted like jackals.  But when he left for Ostia, to wait there till the ship Luna was ready, Caleb followed him, and in that small town soon found out all his plans, learning that he meant to sail with his wife in the vessel.  Then, as he could hear nothing of Miriam, he returned to Rome.

After all it was by chance that he discovered her and not through his own cleverness.  Needing a lamp for his chamber he entered a shop where such things were sold, and examined those that the merchant offered to him.  Presently he perceived one of the strange design of two palms with intertwining trunks and feathery heads nodding apart, having a lamp hanging by a little chain from the topmost frond of each of them.  The shape of the trees struck him

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