"This is he." Ben-Hur shook the rein over Antares. "This is he: but he will win, for, look you, sheik, he will run his utmost all day--all day; and, as the sun goes down, he will reach his swiftest."
"I have but one fear, O sheik."
The sheik became doubly serious.
"In his greed of triumph, a Roman cannot keep honor pure. In the games--all of them, mark you--their tricks are infinite; in chariot racing their knavery extends to everything--from horse to driver, from driver to master. Wherefore, good sheik, look well to all thou hast; from this till the trial is over, let no stranger so much as see the horses. Would you be perfectly safe, do more--keep watch over them with armed hand as well as sleepless eye; then I will have no fear of the end."
At the door of the tent they dismounted.
"What you say shall be attended to. By the splendor of God, no hand shall come near them except it belong to one of the faithful. To-night I will set watches. But, son of Arrius"--Ilderim drew forth the package, and opened it slowly, while they walked to the divan and seated themselves--"son of Arrius, see thou here, and help me with thy Latin."
He passed the despatch to Ben-Hur.
"There; read--and read aloud, rendering what thou findest into the tongue of thy fathers. Latin is an abomination."