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made his way down the Beirut streets to go aboard, leaving the land of his adoption for the land of his birth, leaving pleasant Fenzile for the shrewd pleasantry of his own folk A
little while of Ulster, and he would be coming back again One's heart should lift at the glory of the world, the bold line of Ulster and the lavish color of Syria; the sincere, dour folk of Ulster and the warmth of Fenzile . . He should have left her so warmly: "In a little while, dearest, I'll be back, and my heart will speak to your twin green eyes." "Yes, Zan. I'll be here." But he had left dourly. And Fenzile had watched him go with quivering lip Oh, damn himself for his suspicions, for his annoy
ance, and damn the fatuous Arab fool for arousing them . . . If only he had that fellow on board ship! And suddenly he met him, with his attendants and hangers on. The wrestler drew aside with his insolent smile. Campbell's temper broke loose.
"Listen, O certain person," he insulted the Aleppo man, "there is a street in Beirut down which it does not please me to see you go."
"Will the foreign gentleman tell me," the wrestler's voice drawled, and he smelled his rose, "who will stop a Moslem from going down a Moslem street?"
"By God! I would." The Syrians of Ahmet Ali's escort gathered around, smiling.
"The foreign gentleman forgets that I am the wrestler from Aleppo."
"Just so. I happen to be a bit of wrestler myself."
"Some day perhaps the foreign gentleman will condescend to try a fall with me."
Syrians, Egyptians, Turks, were pouring from all quarters. Six French soldiers, walking gapingly along the bazaars, stopped wonderingly.
"Dites, les soldats," Shane called. "Vous ne voulez pas voir quelque chose d'intéressant?"
"Mais, si, monsieur!"
"Eh bien, je vais lutter contre l'homme avec la rose. C'est un lutteur arabe. Voulez-vous y assister?"
"Mais, pour bien sûr, monsieur." "All right, then, by God!" Shane looked square at Ahmet Ali.
"We'll wrestle right here and now."
"But the stones, the street," Ahmet Ali looked surprised. "You might get hurt."
"We'll wrestle here and now.' "Oh, all right." The Arab lifted an expressive shoulder. Carefully he removed the great white robe and handed it to an attendant. To another he gave the rose. Shane handed his coat and hat to a saturnine French corporal. Ahmet Ali took his shirt off, kicked away his sandals. There was the dramatic appearance of an immense bronze torso. The Syrians smiled. The French soldiers looked judicially grave. Ahmet Ali stood talking for an instant with one of his men, a lean, bilious-seeming Turk. The Turk was urging something with eagerness. The wrestler's soft girl's face had concentrated into a mask of distaste. He was shaking his head. He did n't like something.
"How damned long are you going to keep me here?"
There was a smile on his face, as of amused, embarrassed toleration. He was like a great athlete about to box with a small boy. And the boy in earnest!
"Ready?" he asked.
"Any time," Shane snapped.
Very easily he came forward over the cobbled street. He was like some immense bronze come suddenly to life and shambling. Like the brazen servant Thomas Aquinas made under the influence of particular stars. His great brown shoulders, his barreled chest, his upper arms like a man's leg, his pocked fore arms, his neck like a bull's, his shaven head-all seemed superhuman; and then came his shy, embarrassed smile, his troubled eyes. One felt he hated to do this.
He dropped suddenly, easily into his wrestler's crouch. His shoulders swayed lightly. He pawed like a bear.
Campbell stood easily, left foot forward, like a boxer. His left arm shot out suddenly. The heel of his hand stopped, jolted Ahmet on the chin. The Syrian shook his head, pawed again. Campbell slapped him on the fore arms, jolted him again on the chin, broke away easily to the right. Ahmet's brown forehead frowned. "Don't be childish," he seemed to chide Campbell. The crowd pressed. The French soldiers rapped them back with the scabbard of their side-arms. En arrière, les puants! en arrière! "Back, sons of pole-cats! get back!" The scabbards clacked like slapsticks.
Ahmet Ali stood up straighter. He wanted to get away from that annoying hand on his chin. His fore arms
moved faster now, like brown pistons. There was a slight frown on his face. He was becoming impatient. Shane broke again to the right. Ahmet followed, his immense hands poised. Campbell feinted for the chin again with his left hand. The wrestler's smile flickered. His right arm went out in guard. Campbell shifted, caught the brown wrist in his right hand, his left hand shot forward to the chin again. He brought forward all his forces to twisting that gigantic arm. He held the Syrian locked. The right arm began to give. If he could only shift his feet, get some sort of leverage. But how in God's name? How? How could he get behind. With an immense wrench of shoulders Ahmet got free. He stood for an instant, nursing his numbed wrist. He nodded and grinned. "That was n't bad," he seemed to say. The lean, bilious Turk on the edge of the crowd began talking viciously. The saturnine French corporal turned and smacked him terribly across the nose with the edge of the scabbard of his bayonet. "Et ta sœur!" He had the air of a schoolmaster reproving a refractory pupil. But his language But his language was obscene, and his blow broke the man's nose He vouchsafed no further interest in the Turk, but turned to watch the wrestling, twirling an oiled mustache
The Syrian closed his mouth, breathed heavily through his nostrils. His brow corrugated. His eyes became pin-points. He was a workman He was a workman out to do a job. He began to weave in, his brown arms describing slow arabesques. The crowd around became oppressively silent. They breathed They breathed hissingly.
Shane feinted, dodged, broke away.
Doggedly, Ahmet Ali followed. Faster than time, Shane's right hand shot out and gripped the wrestler's right wrist. His right foot hooked around the Syrian's right ankle. He pulled downward with sudden, vicious effort. Ali crashed forward on his face, a great brown hulk like an overturned bronze statue. Shane stooped down for either the half-Nelson and hammer-lock or full Nelson An instant too long hesitation. Light as a lightweight acrobat, Ahmet Ali had rolled aside, put palm to ground, sprung to his feet. His face was bloody, his right knee shook. With the back of his hand he wiped the blood from his eyes. blood from his eyes. There was a twitter from the Syrians. The wrestler lumbered forward again A little quake of fear came into Campbell's being. bell's being. There was an impersonal doggedness about his eyes, a sense of inevitability Shane's eyes shifted, right and left Then, suddenly, the wrestler had him
He felt a twirl to his shoulder, and then he was pinioned by two immense brown arms. They caught him above the elbows around the chest. First they were like boys' arms, light. They became as firm as calipers. They settled, snugged. Then they tightened slowly with immense certainty. There was something about it like the rise of the tide, a gigantic cable around his chest. At his shoulder-blades the Syrian's pectoral muscles pressed like shallow knobs of steel. His arms began to hurt, his breathing began to be hard. With every output of breath the arms tightened All his vitality was flying through his opened mouth He bit futilely with his knuckles at the rope-like sinews
n't know your wife well?"
"No, sir, I did not."
"Well, she is gone, Zan
know against what he stumbles
"She went, though "No, Uncle, no. If he had been tinkle of his bell strong she might, but-"
The old Druse chief shook his head, smiled in his beard, a little bitter, wise smile.
"You were never sick with her, ignorance never poor."
"No, never sick, never poor."
"You say she was very tenderhearted, my Uncle. I did n't know