Page 28 - Vladimir Bartol ALAMUT
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30 Vladimir Bartol ALAMUTAt first Halima ignored her. But eventually the kissing became bothersome and she had to push Sara away.“I’d like to know what Sayyiduna plans to do with us,” she said. Sara caught her breath and arranged her hair.“So would I,” she replied. “But nobody talks about it and we’reforbidden to ask.”“Do you think it would be possible to escape from here?”“Are you out of your mind, asking things like that when you’ve onlyjust arrived? If Apama could hear you! Didn’t you see the fortress at the top of the cliff? the only way out is through that. Help yourself, if you dare.”“Whose castle is it?”“Whose?! Everything you see around you here, including us, belongs to Sayyiduna.”“Does Sayyiduna live in that castle?”“I don’t know. Maybe.”“And I don’t suppose you know what this country we’re in is called?” “I don’t know. You ask too many questions. I doubt even Apama andAdi know. Miriam might.”“Why just Miriam?”“I told you that they’re close.”“What does that mean, that they’re close?”“That they’re like husband and wife.”“Who told you that?”“Shhh. We girls figured it out.”“I don’t understand.”“Of course you don’t, you’ve never been in a harem.”“Have you?”“Yes, I have, sweet thing. If you only knew. My master was sheikhMoawiya. In the beginning I was his slave. He bought me when I was twelve. Then I became his favorite, his lover. He used to sit on the edge of my bed and gaze at me, just like I’m sitting here now. He’d call me his sweet black cat. He fell in love with me. If only I could tell you what it was like. He was a magnificent man. All of his wives were jealous of me. But they couldn’t do anything about it, because he loved me best of all. Their envy and anger alone made them grow older and uglier by the day. He would take me with him on his expeditions. Then once we

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