I80 Ashes of Incense

be yours, my little moon”-—he was speaking low, low, against her ear—“forever more.”

“Forever more?” trembling, she half whispered it. “No, that is impossible. I did not tell you my greatest joke—-my last that is to be—I did not tell you

“And do not tell me. You have come, you are here. You are in an Eastern house, the woman of an Eastern man: there is no to-morrow. For an Eastern woman there is forever but to- day! And that day, oh, my little soul”——he had taken the veil from her face and was drawing her nearer to him; nearer and nearer into his arms— “that day is forever man’s! It is mine, rose of joy, it is mine!”

Looking up into the triumphant, fiercely beau- tiful face, Dorofée gave a little conquered moan. “It is yours,” she murmured, closing her eyes un- der his, “the day is yours.”

He bent to her swiftly; laid his lips upon hers, burning. She felt the hot sands of the desert, the rush of winds, the thunder and lightning of wild storms; and strangely, for an instant she saw Michael’s face, but it had melted into the fierce- ness of those passionate dark features above her. In the tumult of Barali’s embrace, she felt the grinning spirit that had ruled her slink by, beaten;