The loud shouts of joy that resounded without announced to the sarechsme that the soldiers were well pleased to return home. "I am, too!" said he to himself, smiling. "I am well pleased that we are not compelled to confront the Mamelukes! Perhaps we shall soon be fighting side by side!"
In the meanwhile intelligence of the defeat of the Turkish army had reached Cairo. Many had heard it with intense satisfaction, many with sorrow, according to whether they were friends or enemies of the viceroy.
Yet, when Mohammed Ali's troops marched through the streets, they were greeted with shouts of joy. They returned, as the sarechsme had ordered, quietly to their barracks.
Mohammed Ali also repaired to his house to rest and to wait.
In the meanwhile the remnant of the defeated army had also returned to Cairo; and Youssouf Bey, who had succeeded in making his escape from the slaughter, repaired, at the very hour when Mohammed entered the city with his troops to the citadel, to the viceroy. With furious despair and tears of rage, he told the story of his terrible defeat, thinking by this display of anguish to wash his hands of the disgrace of having been vanquished with three thousand Turks by eight hundred Mamelukes! But, as though the number of his troops ought not to have been sufficient to insure victory over the small force of the Mamelukes, he sought to throw the blame on others.
"I was betrayed--betrayed! Mohammed Ali and Taher Pacha are to blame for this disaster. They should have come to my assistance, but they left me to shift for myself. That is infamous conduct! Here, before your throne, I accuse of treason, above all, Mohammed Ali, and also Taher Pacha! They knew I was in danger: had they come up, I should not have lost the battle; but they did not come, because they desired my downfall, in order that they might ascend to the height of your favor over my neck! They are both traitors. I entreat you to cause searching inquiries to be made, and to hold to a strict accountability those who so shamefully deserted me."
Cousrouf Pacha felt deeply touched by the anguish and despair of his favorite, and perhaps he also felt a foreboding rise in his heart that Mohammed Ali was still his enemy, and was seeking revenge for his long-since-destroyed happiness.
"You are right, Youssouf Bey. I promise you strict investigation shall be made, and woe to them if they fail to justify themselves!"
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