"You challenge my enmity, you shall have it! It were wise on your part to beg me to pardon Youssouf, to withdraw the accusation, and to declare yourself ready to pay the required sum to my soldiers."
"Where is Mourad Bey's widow to obtain the money? Your men have remained in my house, let them search for treasure there. Let them take what they find. Mourad's widow is poor, and your endeavor is vain. You will find nothing of value in my house; long wars have made Mourad's widow poor. And, if I had money, I would rather cast it into the Nile, than to give it to the enemies of my husband!--Now I have spoken and relieved my heart. Now do with me as you think proper, Cousrouf. This I will, however, repeat, my kachef Youssouf did not write the characters on that paper. He is not capable of corrupting men from their allegiance. Do you desire my life? If so, take it! But if you venture to do so, prepare yourself to meet all Cairo in insurrection. Allah is just! You will then see all Cairo, held by you in fetters until now, rise up and burst its bonds, and shake its mane in lion-like wrath."
"We shall see if our lion really rises in its wrath, when I, as I am in duty bound, do justice to those who have done wrong and committed crimes!"
He arose from his divan, stepped to the door, and called one of his servants. In answer to his call, a servant hastened into the room.
"Conduct Sitta Nefysseh to the house of Sheik Hesseyni, who lives in the old citadel; tell him to guard her well, and not to allow any one to see her."
"Tell him, cadi," said Nefysseh, quietly, "tell him to guard me as every jailor guards his prisoner; that is the true meaning of the viceroy's words. Farewell, Cousrouf--I am going to my prison! May your conscience reproach you as little as mine does me! Farewell!"
She drew her veil over her countenance, and slowly left the apartment. At the door sat her two women weeping and sobbing. She commanded them to follow her, and walked on as composedly as if she were the princess of this palace. She swept down the marble stairway to her carriage, as if about to take a drive.
"Sitta Nefysseh, it will not be necessary to enter your carriage," said the cadi, who had followed her. "We shall only have to pass through that little side-door to be in the sheik's house."
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