“And I, your friend?” asked Philippus.
“I shall bear the remembrance of you in a grateful heart.”
The physician smiled, as though something had happened just as he expected; after a moment’s reflection he said:
“And where can the Nabathaean find you, if indeed he discovers your father in the hermit of Sinai?”
The question startled and surprised Paula, and Philippus now adduced every argument to convince her that it was necessary that she should remain in the City of the Pyramids. In the first place she must liberate her nurse—in this he could promise to help her—and everything he said was so judicious in its bearing on the circumstances that had to be reckoned with, and the facts actual or possible, that she was astonished at the practical good sense of this man, with whom she had generally talked only of matters apart from this world. Finally she yielded, chiefly for the sake of her father and Perpetua; but partly in the hope of still enjoying his society. She would remain in Memphis, at any rate for the present, under the roof of a friend of the physician’s—long known to her by report—a Melchite like herself, and there await the further development of her fate.
To be away from Orion and never, never to see him again was her heartfelt wish. All places were the same to her where she had no fear of meeting him. She hated him; still she knew that her heart would have no peace so long as such a meeting was possible. Still, she longed to free herself from a desire to see what his further career would be, which came over her again and again with overwhelming and terrible power. For that reason, and for that only, she longed to go far, far away, and she was hardly satisfied by the leech’s assurance that her new protector would be able to keep away all visitors whom she might not wish to receive. And he himself, he added, would make it his business to stand between her and all intruders the moment she sent for him.
They did not part till the sun was rising above the eastern hills; as they separated Paula said:
“So this morning a new life begins for me, which I can well imagine will, by your help, be pleasanter than that which is past.”
And Philippus replied with happy emotion: “The new life for me began yesterday.”
Between morning and noon Mary was sitting on a low cane seat under the sycamores which yesterday had shaded Katharina’s brief young happiness; by her side was her governess Eudoxia, under whose superintendence she was writing out the Ten Commandments from a Greek catechism.