“A magnificent stone!” cried Orion. “Even Heliodora has nothing to equal it.—Well, father, what do you say is its value?”
“Great, very great,” replied the Mukaukas. “And yet the whole unmutilated work would be too small an offering for Him to whom I propose to offer it.”
“To the great general, Amru?” asked Orion.
“No child,” said the governor decidedly. “To the great, indivisible and divine Person of Jesus Christ and his Church.”
Orion looked down greatly disappointed; the idea of seeing this splendid gem hidden away in a reliquary in some dim cupboard did not please him: He could have found a much more gratifying use for it.
Neither his father nor his mother observed his dissatisfaction, for Neforis had rushed up to her husband’s couch, and fallen on her knees by his side, covering his cold, slender hand with kisses, as joyful as though this determination had relieved her of a heavy burden of dread: “Our souls, our souls, George! For such a gift—only wait—you will be forgiven all, and recover your lost peace!”
The governor shrugged his shoulders and said nothing; the hanging was rolled up and locked into the tablinum by Orion; then the Mukaukas bid the chamberlain show the Arab and his followers to quarters for the night.
Abandon to the young the things we ourselves used
most to enjoy
Spoilt to begin with by their mothers, and then all the women
Talk of the wolf and you see his tail
Temples of the old gods were used as quarries
Women are indeed the rock ahead in this young fellow’s life
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