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dwelling where his enemy and all his gang had made stronghold, or the place might swarm with Mussulmans, who would think there was no holier service to Allah than to smite, down the life of a Frank, or the latticed window might be that of a seraglio, into whose anderūm it was death for a man and a Giaour to enter. But these memories, never weighed with Erceldoune; he was armed, his blood was up and if his foe were sheltered there, he vowed that all the might of Mahmoud, all the yataghans of Islam, should not serve to shield him.

A flight of steps ending the cedar-walk stopped the chestnut's passage: above ran a terrace, and on that terrace looked the few lattice casements allowed to a Turkish dwelling, whose light from within had caught his eyes. He threw himself out of saddle, passed the bridle over a bough, and went on foot up the stairs. Erceldoune's rifle was loaded; he had on him, too, the hunting-knife with which he had grallocked the hill deer; and he went straight on—into the den of the assassins, as he believed. Foolhardy he was not; but he had found sinew and coolness serve him too well in many an avater, east and west, not to have learned to trust to them, and he had resolved, moreover, to go through with this thing cost what it might, bring what it would.