STORY OF THE THREE SONS OF HAL I 231
' Not knowing what else to do, we all three returned to Constantinople to ask the advice of Sumi, and found that she was already aware of our misfortunes, having read about them in the book of Moizes. The kind-hearted creature wept bitterly at our story, but, being poor herself, could give us little help. At last I proposed that every morning we should sell the silver watch into which Argentine was changed, as it would, return to Sumi every evening unless it was wound up with the silver key — which was not at all likely. Sumi consented, but only on the condition that we would never sell the watch without ascertaining the house where it was to be found, so that she might also take Aurora thither, and thus Argentine would not be alone if by any chance she was wound up at the mystic hour. For some weeks now we have lived by this means, and the two daughters of Siroco have never failed to return to Sumi each night. Yesterday Izouf sold the silver watch to this young man, and in the even, ing placed the gold watch on the steps by order of Sumi, just before his customer entered the house; from which both watches came back early this morning.'
i If I had only known !' cried Neangir. ' If I had had more presence of mind, I should have seen the lovely Argentine, and if her portrait is so fair, what must the original be ! '
< It was not your fault,' replied the Cadi, ' you are no magician ; and who could guess that the watch must be wound at such an hour? But I shall give orders that the merchant is to hand it over to you, and this evening you will certainly not forget.'
'It is impossible to let you have it to-day,' answered Izouf, ' for it is already sold.'
' If that is so,' said the Cadi, ' you must return the three gold pieces which the young man paid.'
The Jew, delighted to get off so easily, put his hand in his pocket, when Neangir stopped him.
' No, no,' he exclaimed, ' it is not money I want,