Page 29 - Vladimir Bartol ALAMUT
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Fiction SANJE 31were attacked by an enemy tribe. Before our men could set up a defense, their bandits seized me and took me away. They sold me at the market in Basra to a buyer for Our Master. I was miserable.”She started to cry. Thick, heavy drops fell on Halima’s cheeks and breast.“Don’t be sad, Sara. Things are good for you here with us.”“If I knew that you liked me even just a little, I’d feel better. My Moawiya was so handsome and loved me so much.”“I like you, Sara,” Halima said, letting herself be kissed.Then she started back in on the questions.“Was Miriam in a harem too?”“Yes, but it was different for her. She was like a queen. Two menwere killed because of her.”“Why did she come here, then?”“Her husband’s relatives sold her to avenge her unfaithfulness tohim. She had brought terrible shame on the entire family.”“Why was she unfaithful to him?”“You wouldn’t understand that yet, Halima. He wasn’t the right onefor her.”“He must not have loved her.”“Oh he loved her all right. He loved her so much that it killed him.” “How can you know that?”“She told us about it herself when she first came here.”“Wasn’t she here before you?”“No. Fatima, Jada, Safiya and I were the first. Miriam came after us.At that point we were all still equals, and only Apama gave us orders.” “So how did Miriam get to meet Sayyiduna after that?”“That I really couldn’t say. He’s a prophet, so maybe he sees andknows everything. One day he sent for her. She didn’t tell us that, but we could sense it. Since then we stopped being equals. She started giving us orders, even opposing Apama. Her power grew and grew, and now even Apama has to obey her, and she hates her for it.”“All of this is very strange.”Zainab came in and sat down at her dressing table to adjust her hair and put on makeup.“Time to go, Halima,” she said. “Apama is our next teacher, and you’d better not cross her. Be careful you don’t come running into

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