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It showed a heavy black table of some rare Oriental wood elaborately carved and inlaid with still rarer woods; a table covered with a prayer-rug, on which lay various books on aeronautics and kindred sciences, jostling works on Eastern travel, on theosophy, mysticism, exploration. Maps and atlases added their note of research.

Moreover, he bade lay on her back a carpet of silk and strap the saddle-bags on that and spread a prayer-rug over the whole. The man did as he bade him and Noureddin said to his servants, "I have a mind to ride out a-pleasuring towards Kelyoubiyeh, and I shall lie three nights abroad; but let none of you follow me, for my heart is heavy."

And when the little breeze walked upon them it was as though they bent beneath the soft tread and were brushed by the sweeping skirts of unseen, hastening Presences. Like a vast prayer-rug, sapphire and silken, the poppies stretched to the gray feet of the mountain.

But Jill heard nothing, neither his light footfall as he moved some yards from the unclean Christian whom he loved, and placing his prayer-rug upon the ground turned towards Mecca, which in Islam is called Keblah, which, being translated, means "centre"; nor the splashing of water as he washed three times his nostrils, his mouth, and hands and arms to the elbow, the right first as ordained, then head and neck, and ears once and feet once, whilst murmuring a prescribed form of words, these words being repeated in different positions, standing erect or sitting, with inclinations of the head and body, and prostrations in which the Arab in all humility touched the ground with his forehead.

Kneeling reverently on the solitary furniture of the room a prayer-rug from Medina he lost himself as completely in his devotions as though his life were an even current of unforbidden acts and motives.

I felt sure he would be at Alexandria to meet the ship. When "Antoun Effendi" makes up his mind to do a thing, he will crawl from under a falling sky to do it. As the Laconia swept on, I hardly saw the glittering city on its vast prayer-rug of green and gold, guarded by sea forts like sleepy crocodiles.

It may seem mere grotesque piquancy that the muezzin should ride to the mosque in a tram-car, or that the Moslem business man should emerge from his harem, read his morning paper, motor to an office equipped with a prayer-rug, and turn from his devotions to dictaphone and telephone.

Then he unrolled the bundle he carried, spread it upon the floor, and stepped into its exact centre. "Are you standing on my prayer-rug?" demanded his companion, angrily. "I am! And from this on I'm goin' to make it work itself to death. She said a feller couldn't get hurt if he stood on it and said 'Allah. Well, I'm goin' to wear it out." "What's wrong?"

He caught up the glass of champagne and dashed it upon the fine prayer-rug which Shelek Pasha had, with a kourbash, collected for taxes from a Greek merchant back from Tiflis the rug worth five hundred English pounds, the taxes but twenty Turkish pounds. "Thee is a villain, friend," he said to Shelek Pasha in a voice like a noise in a barrel; "I read thee as a book."

"I will start," he said, after a little pause, "from when I met Richard Drake on the field of blue poppies that are like a great prayer-rug at the gray feet of the nameless mountain."