He visibly started.

“I thought,” he said, “that the witness of 杭州足浴合作商家 our conversation was one at least as reliable as yourself. I forgot how it happened that you have diverged from the prudence which forbids our brethren to admit to their households aliens from the Order and possible spies on its secrets.”

“Of whom do you speak as Clavelta?” I asked. “I was not even aware that the Order had a single head.”

“The Signet,” replied my friend in evident surprise, “should have distinguished the Arch-Enlightener to duller sight than yours.”

We had not spoken, of course, till we were again beyond hearing; but my companion looked round carefully before he proceeded—

“You will understand the better, then, how strong is your own claim


upon the care of your brethren, and how confidently you may rely upon their vigilance and fidelity.”

“I should regret,” I answered, “that their lives should be risked for 杭州spa按摩会所qq mine. In dangers like those against which you could protect me, I have been accustomed from boyhood to trust my own right hand. But the fear of secret assassination has often unnerved the bravest men, and I will not say that it may not disturb me.”

“For you,” he answered, “personally we should care as for one of our brethren exposed to especial danger, For him who saved the descendant of our Founder, and who in her right, after her father and brother, would be the guardian, if not the head, of the only remaining family of his lineage, one and all of us are at need bound to die.”

After a few more words we parted, and I rejoined Eunané, and led her back towards the house. I had learnt to consider taciturnity a matter of course, except where there was actual occasion for speech; but Eunané had chattered so fluently and frankly 杭州最好的水疗会所 just before, that her absolute silence might have suggested to me the possibility that she had heard and was pondering things not intended for her knowledge, had I been less preoccupied. Enured to the perils of war, of the chase, of Eastern diplomacy, and of travel in the wildest parts of the Earth, I do not pretend indifference to the fear of assassination, and especially of poison. Cromwell, and other soldiers of equal nerve and clearer conscience, have found their iron courage sorely shaken by a peril against which no precautions were effective and from which they could not enjoy an hour’s security. The incessant continuous strain on the nerves is, I suppose, the chief element in the peculiar dread with which brave men have regarded this kind of peril; as the best troops cannot endure to be under fire in their camp. Weighing, 杭州男士养生会所口 however, the probability that girls who had been selected by the Sovereign, and had left their Nursery only to pass directly into my house, could have been already bribed or seduced to become the instruments of murderous 杭州spa会所 treachery, I found it but slight; and before we reached the house I had made up my mind to discard the apprehensions or precautions recommended to me on their account. Far better, if need be, to die by poison than to live in hourly terror of it. Better to be murdered than to suspect of secret treason those with whom I must maintain the most intimate relations, and whose sex and years made it intolerable to believe them criminal. I dismissed the thought, then; and believing that I had probably wronged them in allowing it to dwell for a moment in my mind, I felt perhaps more tenderly than before towards them, and 杭州保健按摩电话 certainly indisposed to name to Eveena a suspicion of which I was myself ashamed. Perhaps, too, youth and beauty weighed in my conclusion more than cool reason would have allowed. A Martial proverb says—

“Trust a foe, and 杭州特殊spa you may rue it;
Trust a friend, and perish through it.
Trust a woman if you will;—
Thrice betrayed, you’ll trust her still.”

As to the general warning, I was wishful to consult Eveena, and unwilling to withhold from her any secret of my thoughts; but equally averse to disturb her with alarms that were trying even to nerves seasoned by the varied experience of twenty years against every open peril.
As we approached the house I caught sight of Eveena’s figure among the party gathered on the roof. She had witnessed the interview, but her habitual and conscientious deference forbade her to ask a confidence not volunteered; and she seemed fully satisfied when, on the first occasion on which we were alone, I told her simply that the stranger belonged to the Zinta and had been recommended 杭州男士私人养生会所 by her father himself to the charge of my estate. Though reluctant to disturb her mind with fears she could not shake off as I could, and which would make my every absence at least a season of terror, the sense of insecurity doubtless rendered me more anxious to enjoy whenever possible the only society in which it was permissible to be frank and off my guard. No man in his senses would voluntarily have accepted the position which had been forced upon me. The Zveltau never introduce aliens into their households. Their leading ideas and fundamental principles so deeply affect the conduct of existence, the motives of action, the bases of all moral reasoning—so completely do the inferences drawn from them and the habits of thought to which they lead pervade and tinge the mind, conscience, and even language—that though it may 杭州足浴店按摩暗语 be easy to “live in the light at home and walk with the blind abroad,” yet in the familiar intercourse of household life even a cautious and reserved man (and I was neither) must betray to the keen instinctive perceptions of women whether he thought and felt like those around him, or was translating different thoughts into an alien language. This difficulty is little felt between unbelievers and Christians. The simple creed of the Zinta, however, like that of the Prophet, affects the thought and life as the complicated and subtle mysteries of more elaborate theologies, more refined philosophic systems rarely do.

One of Eveena’s favourite quotations bore the unmistakable


stamp of
Zveltic mysticism:—

“Symbols that invert the sense
Form the Seal of Providence;