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Yasmini nodded and pressed her hand. "Tomorrow night you shall see another spectacle. Once, when Rajputana was a veritable land of kings, and not a province tricked and conquered by the English, there was a custom that each great king held a durbar, to which princes came from everywhere, in order that the king's daughter might choose her own husband from among them.

The same voice that had thundered in the darkness roared again and two hundred swords leapt from their scabbards. Under an arch of blazing steel, in silence, Yasmini and her chosen husband came to the dais and stood facing the assembly hand in hand, while the swords went back to their owners' sides and once more the crowd clustered in the center of the hall.

There he stood in full sunlight with his bare toes turned inward, holding his stomach with both hands, while Yasmini settled herself in graceful youthful curves on the cushioned bench, with her face in shadow, and the smirking maid at her feet.

He preferred vengeance on the American even to a settled account with Yasmini. He must have found the treasure by accident after crawling into the unsealed crack in the wall to wait there against Dick's coming. "The money must stay here, and be removed little by little," said Utirupa. "First of all Blaine sahib's share of it!" Yasmini added. "Who shall count it? Who!"

"If that elephant will continue to be our friend and will only run the other way for a distraction, so that we are not seen, one of these days I will give him a golden howdah!" vowed Yasmini. And Akbar did that very thing.

And Tess respected the silence, not deceived for a minute by it. He and Yasmini had been longer in that room together than any one-page letter needed, and she was sure there was only one subject they discussed. Dick brought Yasmini's horse to the gate, not to the door, and she mounted outside in the road for additional precaution.

"May the memsahib never lack plenty from which to give!" he said, for there is no word for "Thank you" in all India. "I will bless the memsahib at each mouthful!" said Sita Ram. "Truly a bellyful of blessings!" laughed Yasmini. Then they all went to the stair-head and watched and listened through the open door while a closed carriage was driven away in a great hurry.

King gave him twenty minutes start, letting his men rest their legs and exercise their tongues. Now that he was out of the mullah's clutches and he suspected Yasmini would know of it within an hour or two, and before dawn in any event he began to feel like a player in a game of chess who foresees his opponent mate in so many moves.

"Gungadhura's turban that he wore the night when Akbar chased him down the street." Yasmini nodded, understanding instantly. Five minutes later, after a rousing stiff night-cap, Tom took his leave. They heard his voice outside the window: "Trotters!" The dog's tail beat three times on the veranda. "Take a smell o' this!" There was silence, followed by a growl. "If he comes, kill him!

I shall go now and give this letter to somebody to deliver to Colonel Kirby, and I shall not see you again probably until all this is over. Please do what Yasmini directs until you hear from me or can see for yourself that your task is finished. Depend on me to remember my promise!" Ranjoor Singh saluted, military-wise, although he was not in uniform.

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