a doffed coronet

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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to www.million-books.com where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: expression. At last he spoke, a wicked gleam flashing from under his now half-shut eyelids, and his voice sounding harsh and metallic, like clanging bronze. " I would sooner have doubted anything in earth or heaven than have believed that my darling should ever betray me, and yet she made me her dupe, as had I been the most malleable of easily cozened fools." A nervous spasm of laughter contracted his mouth, like a rictus of death. " My word!" thought I. " How he will hate me later for having been a witness to such shame and humiliation!" To a Mohammedan, women impure and unfaithful are the horror of horrors, and to be betrayed as he had been, the last degree of dishonor. But I might as well have tried to move mountains from their bases as to stem the boiling torrent of his wrath. All the pent-up emotions of a lifetime breaking through the triple bastions of his pride, his self-restraint and his great moral strength had gotten beyond his control, and certainly beyond mine, under that intolerable outrage and deception which burned him like devouring flames, and as I watched him I felt a little sorry for Fred and for myself, since Ismail was not a pleasant enemy to make, nor a man to forgive those who had thus seen him lay his soul bare. Perhaps he guessed my thoughts, for with a great effort he pulled himself together. " You have been very good, very patient, to listen to what I have told you. I thank you from my heart, and I crave your pardon for disturbing your purity with so foul a tale. I am betrayed, befooled, and, alas! I have no longer the power to avenge betrayal—at least, as I understand revenge. The enormity of this irreparable wrong is but a paltry excuse for my present lack of courage to meet it. But let that pass." Again he paused, and then rapidly, as i...
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