On Perceiving His Condition
His Majesty Asked Us What Was The Matter With Him.
We answered that
Cameron was unwell, and begged permission for him to sit down, a
request that was immediately granted.
Theodore then greeted the
other prisoners, asked them how they were, and on perceiving the
Rev. Mr. Stern he said, smiling all the while, "O Kokab (Star), why
have you plaited your hair?" [Footnote: Only soldiers plait the
hair; peasants and priests shave the head about once a month.]
Before he could answer Samuel told the Emperor, "Your Majesty, it
is not plaited; it falls naturally on his shoulders."
Theodore then retired a little way from the crowd, and told us three
and Cameron to follow him. Seating himself on a large stone, and
telling us also to sit down, he said, "I have sent for you, as I
desire to look after your safety. When your people come and fire
upon me I will put you in a safe place; and should you even there
be in danger I will remove you to somewhere else." He asked us if
our tents had arrived, and on being informed that they had not, he
ordered one of his own, of red flannel, to be pitched in the
meanwhile. He remained with us about half an hour conversing on
different topics; he narrated the anecdote of Damocles, asked us
about our laws, quoted Scripture - in a word, jumped from one subject
to the other, discoursing on topics quite foreign to his thoughts.
He did his best to appear calm and amiable, but we soon detected
that he was labouring under great excitement.
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