On Our Return To Kourata The Correspondence Between Theodore And
Mr. Rassam Began Afresh.
The letters, as a rule, contained nothing
of importance, but the messages brought backwards and forwards were
highly special, and had significant reference to the former captives,
with whom Theodore was bent on having a reconciliation before their
Apprehensive that Theodore might get into a passion at
the sight of them, Mr. Rassam endeavoured: by all means to avoid a
meeting he so much dreaded; and, at last, his Majesty seemed to
have been convinced by his friend's reasonings, and to all appearance
gave in to him. Some of the former captives were naturally anxious,
and would have much preferred the risk of having to bear a few harsh
words rather than excite Theodore's suspicions. It was too late.
He had already made up his mind to detain us forcibly, and at the
time he pretended to agree not to see the former captives, he was
all the while, building a fence for their reception.
Mr. Rassam, to divert the Emperor's mind, proposed to him to institute
an order to be called the "Cross of Christ and Solomon's Seal;" the
rules and regulations were drawn out, one of the workmen made a
model of the badges according to Mr. Rassam's direction, his Majesty
approved of them, and nine were ordered - three of the first, three
of the second, three of the third orders. Mr. Rassam, together with
Ras Engeddah and Prince Meshisha, were to be made knights of the
first order; the English officers of the mission were to be second
class; as for the third, I do not know for whom they were destined,
unless for such as Bappo, his butler.
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