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HOME > Classical Novels > The Last Egyptian > CHAPTER XXVI. THE DRAGOMAN WINS.
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Antar, the sheik, waited for Kāra until his patience was exhausted; then he left the dahabeah and came up through the sands to Fedah to discover, if possible, what had delayed the prince from returning with his promised reward. To Antar this cluster of hovels seemed mean and unattractive when compared with his own village, and these hills were not likely places for treasure tombs. He knew that the French and Italian excavators had been all over them, and found only some crocodile mummy pits.

The sheik grew suddenly suspicious. Kāra’s promises were too extravagant to be genuine; doubtless he had deceived Antar from the first, and sought to obtain his services without payment. It was true that Kāra was reputed in Cairo to be wealthy, but he might easily have squandered his inheritance long ago. One thing Antar was certain of—the Egyptian prince must produce his treasure at once or the sheik, thinking he was duped, would undertake to exact a bit of vengeance on his own account.

Thus musing, he turned the corner of the hill and came full upon Tadros, who was expecting him. The dragoman’s thumbs were thrust into the pockets of his gorgeous silver and blue vest. He stood with his feet{284} spread well apart, in an attitude of dejection; his countenance was sorrowful and discontented.

“Ah,” growled the sheik, “this is the man Kāra requested me to kill!”

“I do not doubt it,” returned Tadros, meekly. “It is so much easier to kill one than to pay him the wages he has earned.”

“Does he owe you money?” demanded Antar, sharply.

“Yes; and now I shall never get it.”

“Why not?”

“Have you not heard? Prince Kāra came to this village a few hours ago and was met by a captain of police, who wants him in Cairo for more than a dozen crimes.”

“What! Have you brought the police upon us?” exclaimed Antar, angrily.

“I? How absurd! I came here to get my money; but they have taken Kāra south to meet a detachment of soldiers who are coming from Assyut. Presently they will return here in force to rescue Winston Bey, who is in some trouble through Kāra’s actions.”

“You are lying to me,” declared the sheik. “It is you who have set the officers upon us. You are a traitor!”

Tadros appeared distressed.

“You have known me long, my sheik,” said he, “and have always found me an honest man. Never have I mixed with the police in any way. But do you{285} imagine the Government will neglect to watch over Winston Bey and protect him from his enemies? Ask the captain when he returns with the soldiers and Kāra. He will be here very soon now, and he will tell you that Tadros the dragoman had nothing to do with his coming here.”

The sheik glance............
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