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Khaled and Djaida part 7

She thereupon mounted her camel at once, and started off through the desert on the tracks of Djaida, who immediately on her arrival home had told her mother everything that had happened. As soon as Khaled’s mother had arrived, she threw herself into the arms of her relative and demanded Djaida in marriage for her son, for Zahir had not yet returned from his expedition.

When Djaida heard from her mother the request of Khaled, she said, “This shall never be, even though I be forced to drink the cup of death. What occurred at his tents was brought about by me to quench the fire of my grief and unhappi-ness, and soothe the anguish of my soul.”

On hearing these words Khaled’s mother, disappointed, went back to her son, who was tortured by the crudest anxiety. He rose suddenly to his feet, for his love had reached the point of despair, and asked un-easily what were the feelings of his cousin. When he learned the answer of Djaida his distress became overwhelming, for her refusal served only to increase his passion. “What can be done, my mother,” he exclaimed.

“I see no way of escaping from this predicament,” she replied, “excepting that you assemble all your horsemen from among the Arabian sheiks, and among those with whom you are on friendly terms. Wait until your uncle returns from the campaign, and then, surrounded by all your followers, go to him, and in the presence of the assembled warriors, demand of him the hand of his daughter in marriage. If he denies that he has a daughter, tell him everything that has happened, and urge him until he gives in to your demand.”

All much astonished

This advice, and the plan that was proposed moderated the grief of Khaled. The moment he learned that his uncle had returned home, he assembled chiefs of his family and told his story to them. They were all much astonished, and Madi Kereb, one of Khaled’s bravest companions, could not help saying: “This is a strange thing; we have always heard it said that your uncle had a son named Djonder, but now the truth is known. You are indeed the man who has the best right to the daughter of your uncle.

It is therefore our best course to present ourselves in a body and prostrate ourselves before him, requesting him to return to his family and not give his daughter to any stranger.” Khaled, without waiting to hear more, took with him a hundred of his bravest horsemen, those who had been brought up with Moharib and Zahir from their earliest childhood, and having provided themselves with presents even more costly than those they had taken before, they started off on their journey, and marched until they came to the clan of Saad.

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