Room of a photographer’s shop

Someday I used to be within the higher room of a photographer’s store when two Turkish ladies got here in and eliminated their veils, standing with their backs to the English infidel. One was clearly a lot youthful than the opposite, and appeared to have a fantastic determine. I used to be gazing at it, maybe quite steadily, when, evidently conscious of my look, she turned slowly and intentionally spherical. For 2 or three minutes she confronted me, trying to proper and left of me, above me, even on the ground close to my toes, along with her giant and exquisite blue-gray eyes. She was pretty. Younger, maybe eighteen, she was barely painted, and her eyebrows and lengthy curling lashes had been blackened. Her options had been good, her complexion was easy and good, and her expression was actually lovely. It appeared to say to me quietly:

It’s silly ever to hide such a face

“Sure, you’re proper. It’s silly ever to hide such a face as this with a veil when actually there may be not an excessive amount of magnificence on this planet. Mais que voulez- vous? Les Turcs!” And the little hanum certainly moved her skinny shoulders contemptuously. However her aged companion pulled at her gown, and slowly she moved away. As the 2 ladies left the room, the photographer, a Greek, sorted them, smiling. Then he turned to me, unfold out his skinny palms, and stated, with a shrug, “Encore des desen- chantees!”

I considered the disenchanted at some point as I sat among the many letter-writers within the giant and roughly paved court docket of the “Pigeon’s Mosque,” or Mosque of Ba jazet II. For hours I had been wandering on foot by means of the higher quarters of outdated Stamboul, and I couldn’t launch my thoughts from the uninteresting strain of its affect. All these picket homes, silent, ap-parently deserted, shuttered—streets and streets of them, myriads of them! Every now and then above the carved wooden of a lattice I had seen a striped curtain, low cost, dusty, hanging, I guessed, above an inexpensive and dusty divan. The doorways of the homes had been giant and strong, like jail doorways. Earlier than one, as I slowly handed by, I had seen an outdated Turk in a protracted quilted coat of inexperienced, with an enormous key in his hand, about to enter. He glanced to proper and left, then thrust the important thing into the door. I had felt inclined to cease and say to him:

“That home has been deserted for years. Each one has migrated way back from this quarter of Stamboul. In the event you keep right here, you can be fairly alone.” However the outdated Turk knew very properly that each one the homes had been full of individuals, of imprisoned ladies. What a destiny to be one of many prisoners!

 

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