212 STORY OF THE THREE SONS OF HALI
jug of wine, which he put on the table, together with a small silver and mother-of-pearl box.
' Taste this wine,' he said to the young man, pouring some into a glass.
' Give me a little, too,' cried Zelida.
' Certainly not,'answered her father, 'you and Hassan both had as much as was good for you the other day.'
'Then drink some yourself,' repliedshe, ' or this young man will think we mean to poison him.'
' Well, if you wish, I will do so,' said the father ; ' this elixir is not dangerous at my age, as it is at yours.'
When Neaugir had emptied his glass, his host opened the mother-of-pearl box and held it out to him. Neangir was beside himself with delight at the picture of a young maiden more beautiful than anything he had ever dreamed of. He stood speechless before it, while his breast swelled with a feeling quite new to him.
His two companions watched him with amusement, until at last Neangir roused himself. ' Explain to me, I pray you,' he said, ' the meaning of these mysteries. Why did you ask me here? Why did you force me to drink this dangerous liquid which has set fire to my blood? Why have you shown me this picture which has almost deprived me of reason? '
' I will answer some of your questions,' replied his host, 'but all, I may not. The picture that you hold in your hand is that of Zelida's sister. It has filled your heart with love for her; therefore, go and seek her. When you find her, you will find yourself.'
'But where shall I find her?' cried Neangir, kissing the charming miniature on which his eyes were fixed.
' I am unable to tell you more,' replied his host cautiously.
' But I can,' interrupted Zelida eagerly. ' To-morrow you must go to the Jewish bazaar, and buy a wratch from the second shop on the right hand. And at midnight-----'
But what was to happen at midnight, Neangir did