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Chapter NumberXXXV
Chapter Title
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Full Date1883-08-14
Page Number0
Word Count1547
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleKerang Times and Swan Hill Gazette (Vic. : 1877 - 1889)
Trove TitleAdventures of Three Young Ladies
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ADVENTURES OF THREE YOUNG LADIES . C IITER XxV. The very rich,' said the moollah gravely obtain, by a long and tedious process, a sepa. ration from their unfaithful spouses-who then if their lover is disposed they marry. 'Long and expensive process cried the em peror with blinking eyes. No bowstring no sack. The man who took his wifee life under any pretence, would be hanged.' replied the mool lab. Can such things be ? Why, the Christians are greater foells than I thought them,' cried the amazed emperor. You said the rich-what do the poor do with their bad wives. I have heard replied the moollah with in tense gravity, 'of their inflicting the punish ment of the stick upon while others have well thrashed them until they have had black eyes. But they do not put the infamous creatures to death zoared the emperor snvegily ' And your highness if a man in Europe takes to himself a second wife-a pretended second wife continued the moollah, his wife can take him before the cadi and have him pnuished. The emperor looked at the moollah anxiously to see if lie was not taking leave of his senses. 'Wsnllah he said, 'you would not have ree believe this-where are your laws and your prophets. Such are the laws made by the rulers of Ingelterra, was the answer. It is horribly to believe such folly and wickedness cried the despot, and now, before we make any final arangments abont the English hourls what shall be done wtih the vile Medora and her paramour. The moollah tapped his head and reflected deeply. ' Most high and mighty potentate sublime ruler of universe I will tell you my idea. ' Speak at once. ' To-morrow after your marriage it will be well to let the new beauties of the harem know what derelection from duty means let them witness the punishment'of the slaves. A cruel smile passed over the countenance of the emperor. The suggestion was one aster his own heart. Still his suspicious n:ture was not wholly to be lulled to sleep. Strange things have happened in the zeana of late. he said; people come and go I am told who have no no business within its pre aincts. Your highness must ba misformed began the moollah. I hope so. But see that nothing of the kind occurs before to morrow. I have resolved to make these Northern beauties my partners if twenfy maligant stars intervene. He had imbibed considerable of wine by ; time and was in a peculiarly defian nianner. The moollah with white and quivering lips bowed and took his leave. Should his sheams fail terrible indeed would be the retribution which would fall upon' him self and friends. But as soon as he was alone in a distant chamber he drew himselt up and stood erect and firm. The man-tyrant and despot and voluptery as he is-has been to a certain extent my friend and my heart bleeds for him. But, rather than immolate these girls to him he shall die even by my own hand. His face was white, the muscles quivered convulsively but in another moment it was rigid and determined. ' Perish a hundred men so that no harm comes to them !' he said and moved stcathily towards one of the secret corridors which sur rounded the harem and which, in his cups the emperor had made known to him. 'At last,' cried Kate, who, with her com panions was now immured within the prison walls, 'we are wholly abandoned and deserted: Everything turns against us and even the moollah falls away. ' I do not believe it, seid Edith warmly; if he does not come it is that he is prevented by a power over which he had no control. You know his mysterious promise, said Bacon it appeared to be rung from him by de spair. Still hbe will do his best. ' I hope so observed Jessia, sadly, but still more and more do I feel that dull depression that gloomy foreboding which has attached me recently. Nerves my dear girl nerves. In no manner or form is it given to us in this world to for see events one hour before they come. Second sight, warnings, mysterious appearances are all moonshine, figments of the brain' the means by which rogues obtain power over fools,' cried Mrs Bacon. ' Mrs Bacon, I am not a fool,' said Jrssie, equally hotly, 'and I do believe supernatural hints. 'Nonsense my child you are naturally enough bilious and out of sorts, But the great scheme of this mighty universe is not all put out of order to frighten or reassure one poor soul. The young Scotch girl would very likely have made a sharp retort being somewhat given to t believe old wives tales, and having a fervent mind that revelled in the notion of bogies and private family ghosts but that at this moment several women entered bearing large piles of rich and magnificent costumes. The discipline of the harem being main tained on the coercive principle, and the ecer cion taking the form of heavy-heeled slipuers, a stick bowstring, and sacks if resistance to an arbitary order was out of the quettion. The girls were compelled to submit to the exigencies of the toiletse. The bhawls gauzes head dresses and other appurtences of their new costume were simply superbnand would under orther circumstances have excited their admiration. But cold, blahk despair crushed their souls and embittered within them every natural and feminine sympathy, They were as usual when making the slight. eat change in their cos.ume taken to the bath, where they were subjected to an ordeal not muchL dilfferent from that which we ,ndore in this country in the name of a Turkish bath. After tbis had been gone through the 6or' geous raiment was put on and the ladies were offered a repast worthy of their coming rank and fortunes. Never, before cried the impetuous Kate did I understand what it was to be a caged bird. Never if we escape from this den will I see a poor linnet or other feathered creature without releasing it. Aud yetthey say that stone walls do not a prison make nor iron bars a cage, observed Mrs Bacon for ever trying to do the cheerful and consoling. Whover wrote those lines knew little about humane suffering or sorrow exclained Edith ' Give me the meanest hovel in all England -a labour's cottage only let me free to come and go. Several richly-habited slaves and guards now entered, proceding the empress mother. She strode in haughtly and with a dark and malignant scowl upon her features, All her plans were failing. The tool, MIedors whom she had dazz'ed with a vision of imperial glory had fallen a prey to vagaries oft human aflection an manly love. The blind ad insrnetatepassion of the em peror was driving himlheadlong to a course which the old lady convinced would strengthen the already powerful party who were in favour of European intercourse and reforrm founded on European notions. All four rose to receive the imperial lady. She seated herself and then sent away all save a frail Italian girl a new interpreter who had taken the place of her who had been so cruelly murdered. You are arrayed as if for a bridal,' was the flert sarcastic smile. 1What shall we say ?' cried Kate: Are they willing brides asked the Italian girl quietly,

No ten thousand times no death in any shape were welcome to us rather than this wretched sacrifice. The empress was told, A cold and doubting smile wreathed her lips as if she could not credit even Feringhee gi Is with such folly. 'Now then-at the last moment then she in quired you are willing to run some danger to escape. We will endure any risk answered the girls by the mouthpiece of Mrs Bacon. The empress spoke for some few minutes to the Italian girl. There is said the young person turning to them with something like a shndder, a secret way of escape from the palace, It is known as a rule only when revolts have rendered a sud.. den' departure necessary, We understand replied Mrs Bacon noticing that the other hesitated slightly. But the empress has twice in time of civil war beencarried that way his gracious majesty had once to flee for his life. ' The way. Is under the castle through winding vaults to the seashore on the side of the mole. But once more what.could we do asked Mrs Bacon. There are many Christian boatmen about and several foreign vessels in the harbour re torted the interpreter. Mrs Bacon and the girls conferred. The whole transaction was suspicious in the extreme and yet, in that hour of supreme peril with an abhorrent and instant future before them it seemed worse than death any loophole for escape appeared welcome. Who will guide us asked Mrs Bacon. The lady Haredeena herself was the reply. When. Now at'once. In two hours thoceremony of betrothal will begin, she translated. Could they have read the inscrutable smile upon the womans face they might have hesi. trated. (To be continued.)