"That is not true!" exclaimed she, passionately. "That is a falsehood, and I tell you so to your face! My words are true. My kachef has never done such things; he is incapable of inciting any one to a breach of faith or to treason. He is the truest and best of my servants."
"And yet it is true. Your kachef has incited my soldiers to treason. The viceroy says it is true!" cried Cousrouf. "Youssouf attempted to corrupt one of my own soldiers, an Armenian, urging him to go over to Osman Bardissi. When the soldier refused, he promised to give him the same pay he now receives from me."
"Highness, that is not true, I swear it is not!"
"Here is the proof!" answered Cousrouf, rising to his feet and taking from the table a paper, which he unfolded. "Here is the proof! Here it is, plainly written in his own handwriting! Herein your kachef Youssouf promises my soldier, Sadok Aga, to give him his whole pay, and even double the amount, if he will undertake to ride to Bardissi's camp and convey a letter to the bey. Here it is in his own handwriting, and signed by him."
"Highness, I beg you to let me see the writing," said Nefysseh, extending her hand to take the paper. "Let me see it; I can read."
Cousrouf did not comply with her request. He folded the paper, and laid it on the table again.
"It is unnecessary that you should read it. I insist that your kachef endeavors to corrupt my soldiers and induce them to desert to Bardissi's camp. This is clearly treason. As you yourself admit that a mistress is responsible for her servant's actions, I declare and shall hold you, Sitta Nefysseh, responsible for your servant's crime."
"That you cannot do, highness! Youssouf is no longer my servant, is no longer in my house. I have discharged him, not because I thought ill of him, not because I desired to punish him, but because I esteem him, because I know he was created for something better than to be only the servant of a woman. I discharged him because his courage and nobility of soul urged him to draw the sword and go out to battle. He has gone to Bardissi's camp to serve in the ranks of his Mamelukes."
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