Ilderim returned to the dowar next day about the third hour. As he dismounted, a man whom he recognized as of his own tribe came to him and said, "O sheik, I was bidden give thee this package, with request that thou read it at once. If there be answer, I was to wait thy pleasure."
Ilderim gave the package immediate attention. The seal was already broken. The address ran, TO VALERIUS GRATUS AT CAESAREA.
"Abaddon take him!" growled the sheik, at discovering a letter in Latin.
Had the missive been in Greek or Arabic, he could have read it; as it was, the utmost he could make out was the signature in bold Roman letters--MESSALA--whereat his eyes twinkled.
"Where is the young Jew?" he asked.
"In the field with the horses," a servant replied.
The sheik replaced the papyrus in its envelopes, and, tucking the package under his girdle, remounted the horse. That moment a stranger made his appearance, coming, apparently, from the city.
"I am looking for Sheik Ilderim, surnamed the Generous," the stranger said.