236 STORY OF THE THREE SONS OF HALI
' But he knows me very well,' replied Neangir,' ' for he has recognised me as his sou. Come with me now, into his presence.'
The stranger bowed and passed through the curtain held back by Neangir, whose surprise was great at seeing his father spring forward and clasp the soldier in his arms.
'What! is it you, my dear Siroco?' cried he. ' I believed you had been slain in that awful battle when the followers of the Prophet were put to flight. But why do your eyes kindle with the flames they shot forth on that fearful day? Calm yourself and tell me what I can do to help you. See, I have found my son, let that be a good omen for your happiness also.'
' I did not guess,' answered Siroco, ' that the son you have so long mourned had come back to you. Some days since the Prophet appeared to me in a dream, floating in a circle of light, and he said to me, ',k Go to-morrow at sunset to the Galata Gate, and there you will find a young man whom you must bring home with you. lie is the second son of your old friend the Bassa of the Sea, and that you ma}r make no mistake, put your lingers in his turban and you will feel the plate on which my name is engraved in seven different languages."
' I did as I was bid,' went on Siroco, ' and so charmed was I with his face and manner that I caused him to fall in love with Argentine, whose portrait I gave him. But at the moment when I was rejoicing in the happiness before me, and looking forward to the pleasure of restoring you your son, some drops of the elixir of love were spilt on the table, and caused a thick vapour to arise, which hid everything. When it had cleared away he was gone. This morning my old slave informed me that she had discovered the traitors who had stolen my daughters from me, and I hastened hither to avenge them. But I place myself in your hands, and will follow your counsel.'
' Fate will favour us, I am sure,' said the Bassa, k for