THEY knew not, they thought not, as they played. But the signs of love were manifest in them: the beloved was coy and winning, and the lover was hot in supplication. And all this without sense or knowledge, nor did either know what path they were treading. It is an old story. Love is a conjurer, and we are the dolls he plays with. When the heart and the heart-compeller dwell together, it is like the straw and the amber: the straw knows not why it is drawn to the amber, nor the amber that it draws the straw. Love is victor and the world his captive, he is supreme and the world without will.

Now when Ali Ghuli Khan, who was called Valeh, was six years old, they set him to his tasks that he might learn. And to him the school was as heaven, for he studied that he might be a better lover than Ferhod. In every “Aleph” he saw the cypress form of his beloved* , and in every “Jim” a curl from her locks.

So passed the years till the time came when each knew the other's secret. The eyes and eyebrows spoke, though the lips were dumb; but the heart knew. And every day Hadijeh grew fairer, and every day Valeh was more deeply in love.