Perhaps he thought that they would satisfy his curiosity, when the visitor had gone inside. But Stephen thought differently. The Arabs would tell nothing, because they knew nothing which could explain the mystery. The Negro had no French, and either did not understand or pretended not to understand the Roumi's request to see the marabout.

There were other ways there must be other ways. Fortunately Maïeddine had not been told of the Roumi's presence in the Zaouïa, and need not learn anything concerning him or his proposals until the time came when a friend could be of use and not a hindrance.

"He is of your Order, then?" she asked abruptly. "He was yes." "Oh, ha!" cried Cigarette, with her old irony. "Then he must be always, mustn't he? You think too much of your blue blood, you patricians, to fancy it can lose its royalty, whether it run under a King's purple or a Roumi's canvas shirt. Blood tells, they say! Well, perhaps it does. Some say my father was a Prince of France maybe!

The lounging Negro, who had let him in before, stared at the grey mehari with the red-curtained bassour, whose imposing height dwarfed the Roumi's horse. No doubt the man wondered why it was there, since only women or invalids travelled in a bassour; and his eyes dwelt with interest on the two Arabs from the town of Oued Tolga.