Then, in an arabîyeh just driving off, he detected the hideous mask. Hatless as he was, he ran down the steps and threw himself into another. The carriage-controller was in attendance, and Cairn rapidly told him to instruct the driver to follow the arabîyeh which had just left. The man lashed up his horses, turned the carriage, and went galloping on after the retreating figure. Past the Esbekîya Gardens they went, through several narrow streets, and on to the quarter of the Mûski. Time after time he thought he had lost the carriage ahead, but his own driver’s knowledge of the tortuous streets enabled him always 杭州夜生活一条街 to overtake it again. They went rocking along lanes so narrow that with outstretched arms one could almost have touched the walls on either side; past empty shops and unlighted houses. Cairn had not the remotest idea of his whereabouts, save that he was evidently in the district of the bazaars. A right-angled corner was abruptly negotiated—and there, ahead of him, stood the pursued vehicle! The driver was turning his horses around, to return; his fare was disappearing from sight into the black shadows of a narrow alley on the left.
Cairn leaped from the arabîyeh, shouting to the man to wait, and went dashing down the sloping lane after the retreating figure. A sort of blind fury possessed him, but he never paused to analyse it, never asked himself by what right he pursued this man, what wrong the latter had done him. 杭州丝袜按摩足疗 His action was wholly unreasoning; he knew that he wished to overtake the wearer
of the mask and to tear it from his head; upon that he acted!
He discovered that despite the tropical heat of the night, he was shuddering with cold, but he disregarded this circumstance, and ran on.
The pursued stopped before an iron-studded door, which was opened instantly; he entered as the runner came up with him. And, before the door could be reclosed, Cairn thrust his way in.
Blackness, utter blackness, was before him. The
figure which he had pursued seemed to have been swallowed up. He stumbled on, gropingly, hands outstretched, then fell—fell, as he realised in the moment of falling, down a short flight of stone steps.
Still amid utter blackness, he got upon his feet, shaken but otherwise unhurt by his fall. He turned about, 杭州足疗店的口一次多少钱 expecting to see some glimmer of light from the stairway, but the blackness was unbroken. Silence and gloom hemmed him in. He stood for a moment, listening intently.
A shaft of light pierced the darkness, as a shutter was thrown open. Through an iron-barred window the light shone; and with the light came a breath of stifling perfume. That perfume carried his imagination back instantly to a room at Oxford, and he advanced and looked through into the place beyond. He drew a swift breath, clutched the bars, and
was silent—stricken speechless.
He looked into a large and lofty room, lighted by several hanging lamps. It had a carpeted divan at one end and was otherwise scantily furnished, in the Eastern manner. A silver incense-burner smoked upon a large praying-carpet, and by it stood the man in the crocodile mask. An Arab girl,杭州西湖区夜网 fantastically attired, who had evidently just opened the shutters, was now helping him to remove the hideous head-dress.
She presently untied the last of the fastenings and lifted the thing from the man’s shoulders, moving away with the gliding step of the Oriental, and leaving him standing there in his short white tunic, bare-legged and sandalled.
The smoke of the incense curled upward and played around the straight, slim figure, drew vaporous lines about the still, ivory face—the handsome, sinister face, sometimes partly veiling the long black eyes and sometimes showing them in all their unnatural brightness. So the man stood, looking towards the barred window.
It was Antony Ferrara!
“Ah, dear Cairn—” the husky musical voice smote upon Cairn’s ears as the most hated sound in nature—”you have followed me. Not 杭州水疗价格 content with driving me from London, you would also render Cairo—my dear Cairo—untenable for me.”
Cairn clutched the bars but was silent.
“How wrong of you, Cairn!” the soft voice mocked. “This attention is so harmful—to you. Do you know, Cairn, the Sudanese formed the extraordinary opinion that I was an efreet, and this strange 杭州按摩街reputation has followed me right down the Nile. Your father, my dear friend, has studied these odd matters, and he would tell you that there is no power, in Nature, higher than the human will. Actually, Cairn, they have ascribed to me the direction of the Khamsîn, and so many worthy Egyptians have made up their minds that I travel with the storm—or that the storm follows me—that something of the kind has really come to pass! Or is it merely coincidence, Cairn? Who can say?”
Motionless, immobile, 杭州丝袜养生会所 save for a slow smile, Antony Ferrara stood, and Cairn kept his eyes upon the evil face, and with trembling hands clutched the bars.
“It is certainly odd, is it not,” resumed the taunting voice, “that Khamsîn, so violent, too, should thus descend upon the Cairene season? I only arrived from the Fayûm this 杭州品茶的地方你懂的 evening, Cairn, and, do you know, they have the pestilence there! I trust the hot wind does not carry it to Cairo; there are so many distinguished European and American visitors here. It would be a thousand pities!”
Cairn released his grip of the bars, raised his clenched fists above his head, and in a voice and with a maniacal fury that were neither his own, cursed the man who
stood there mocking him. Then he reeled, fell, and remembered no more.
“All right, old man—you’ll do quite nicely now.”