250 THE FAIR CIRCASSIANS
' Night came but no prince, and Tezila, who had been the cause of his departure, showed such signs of uneasiness that Thelamis's jealousy was at once awakened. As for me, I cannot tell what I suffered. Not being able to sleep I rose from my bed and wandered into the forest, along the road which he had taken so many hours before. Suddenly I heard in the distance the s,ound of a horse's hoofs, and in a few moments the prince had flung himself down and was by my side. " Ah, how I adore you ! " he exclaimed, " Thelamis's love will never equal mine." The words wrere hardly out of his mouth when I heard a slight noise behind, and before we could turn round both our heads were rolling in front of us, while the voice of Thelamis cried:
'"Perjured wretches, answer me; and you, faithless Tezila, tell me why you have betrayed me like this?"
' Then I understood what had happened, and that in his rage, he had mistaken me for my sister.
; " Alas," replied my head in weak tones, " I am not Tezila, but Dely, whose life you have destroyed, as well as that of your friend." At this Thelamis paused and seemed to reflect for an instant.
' "Be not frightened," he said more quietly, "I can make you whole again," and laying a magic powder on our tongues he placed our heads on our necks. In the twinkling of an eye our heads were joined to our bodies without leaving so much as a scar; only that, blinded with rage as he still was, Thelamis had placed my head on the prince's body, and his on mine!
' T cannot describe to you how odd we both felt at this strange transformation. A\re both instinctively put up our hands — he to feel his hair, which was, of course, dressed like a woman, and I to raise the turban which pressed heavily on my forehead. But we did not know what had happened to us, for the night was still dark.
' At this point Tezila appeared, followed by a troop of slaves bearing flowers. It was only by the light of their