"At this very moment the horsemen, who had not at first found the gate of the garden, made a breach in its crumbling wall, through which they entered. I saw they were Kutluk Muhammad Barlas and Babai Pargári, two of my most devoted followers, with ten or twenty other persons.
"Babai!" continued Demetrius, lolling back his great length on the couch, "who would have imagined that I, just returning from a mere voyage to Delos to get rid of some slaves, should save the lives of my cousin, my benefactor's son, and Cæsar himself, and become once more an honest man. Gods! gods! avert the misfortunes that come from too much good fortune!"
"Face-of-the-Moon" passed over the horizon into oblivion whence he emerged to find himself in a tree, his brow eased with an alova-leaf poultice, his heart comforted by Daughter of Pearl and Coral. Excursions beyond the outer reef. Our aquatic wives. Premonitions. A picnic on the mountain. Hearts and flowers. Whinney delivers a geological dissertation. Babai finds a fatu-liva nest.
Then, of course, Babai must have one, too, and great were our exertions before we bagged an additional pair for our loved ones. Swank was so intoxicated by it all that I made almost the only break of our island experience. "You've been drinking," I accused. "You lie," he answered hotly, "it's these colors! Wow-wow! Osky-wow-wow! Skinny wow-wow Illinois!" "Oh, shut up!"
Whinney was not alone in his scientific discoveries for on the return trip Babai suddenly gave a cry of delight and the next instant had climbed with amazing agility to the top of a towering palm whence she returned bearing a semi-spheric bowl of closely woven grass in which lay four snow-white, polka-dotted cubes, the marvelous square eggs of the fatu-liva! "Kopaa kopitaa aue!" she cried.
But he did not reckon with his host that is, with his querida, with his babai," added another, smiling. "That is God's work. Santiago protects Spain!" The old army officer stopped and approached Maria Clara. She was listening to the conversation, immovable in her seat. The flowers were at her feet. "You are a very prudent young woman," said the old lieutenant to her in a low voice.
We were all wearing the native costume and Swank, I remember, caught his rigolo on a coral branch and delayed us five minutes. But we were soon on the inner beach laughing over the incident while Babai made repairs. The path up the mountain led through a paradise of tropical wonders.