Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Chapter 19

And here I was entrenched in the adventure, while knowing the outcome. Nel found the perfect wife in Scota's sweet submissiveness and not too much voyage time passed before she fell deeply in love with him as well. Months passed before the Greek mercenaries steered us into a group of islands clustering around a continent in the North Sea. Nel searched for land which had no villages or signs of people until he finally settled on the northernmost part of the continent. "This is the land," he told Scota, "We will call it Scotland, because you trusted me." The eleven vessels dropped anchor at the foot of a cliff of flat rocks which led to a grassy uphill path. The travelers of the Scythian empire proceeded to disembark. There were hundreds of artisans of every description, personal guards of the king and prince as well as thirty or forty of Scota's own personal servants. Sheep, goats, chickens, several milch cows and of course Nel's herd of Arabian horses were all led down the plank. When they reached the plateau at the top of the hill, Nel's excitement could not be contained. The land under them was a meadow of red clover and beyond that green grass and purple mountains. He took Scota's hand and squeezed it. Then turning to find me reining the all khamsa in the peering crowd, clapped his hands and said: "Bring forth the al khamsa." As soon as the horses were at his side, he leapt bareback onto zad el-rehab and galloped through the clover faster than the gazelle. I watched in amazement as this prince rode with great skill and confidence on the back of the fastest horse in all of Arabia and then reined the stallion quietly back to the feigning crowd. We waited while he petted the five stallions. "Their legs were imprisoned for months, yet see how they obey me and do not run into the clover. That is why they are the al khamsa. They are the sons of safanad, the pure." "They will birth many foals," I said confidently. The observation pleased the prince beyond measure. "Yes, yes," he said sincerely, "to know this is wisdom." Then he singled out the reins of one of the five and gave it to me. "Take and ride!" I followed the prince's example and allowed the stallion to run a full gallop across the lush clover meadow. For the first time in my life I experienced the thrill of ecstasy and bonded with the emotions of the prince. When I finally
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returned the steed to his true master, I resolved to follow the prince faithfully without question. Once again, I was content with my environment. Nel squeezed Scota's hand and gestured towards the sea. "That is Ireland," he said. "The land conquered by Heremon and Heber. Heber is my ancestor." "Why did we not go there, to be among your people?" She asked. "For now we are divided by the sea, our land is Scotland," he answered, disappointed that Scota had forgotten the reason. The great tents were unloaded and carried past the clover through a grassy knoll where this caravan tarried for weeks until exploring the innermost bowels of the land and Nel was satisfied that he would be secludes from interlopers.

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