178 Hshes of Incense

such a man—a clever man l-I saw how funny, how heavenly funny he was, the man I had mar- ried, and I determined to play jokes on him, from that time forth. It was easy, because he has that odd thing they call a conscience—yes, you have the word in Arabic, though you have not the thing—Glory to Allah! It was that that first made me love Arabs.”

“Yes”—the dark, fathomless eyes probed her --“you love us. You shall love but he checked himself. “You,” he said slowly, moving a little away from her where he could regard her less closely, more keenly, “you are like a sheik with a garment of two colours: one side is grey, one side is scarlet. You cannot decide which is the more to your liking.”

Dorofée opened her lips to speak, but with a quick, imperative motion he silenced her. She obeyed him instantly.

“And does that not prove?” he triumphed. “Your master of the scarlet is man, he conquers you, you obey him. Your master of the grey—— the pale, ash-grey, is your attacking spirit, that you call the spirit of jest, of subtlety.”

“And this?” Dorofée nodded to the rose and blue hat that one of the servants had brought in

and placed in a corner.