A Wind in Cairo by Judith Tarr

By Judith Tarr

THE PRINCE: Spoiled, reckless, heedless of any needs or wants yet his personal, sentenced to a poor destiny for his sins opposed to guy, girl, and God.
THE STALLION: both spoiled, both reckless, sure till loss of life to a sour servitude.
THE TURK'S inheritor: Fiercest of competitors, so much committed of enemies, whose armor hides a mystery. Come into the area of the Arabian Nights, the place magic and secret meet; the place justice lays a sinner low, and the magic of the guts turns hate to like.

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Civil war was still raging in Russia, the Whites now being driven in rout to all points of the compass. The Rumanians were killing Red Hungarians. There were insurrections and mass strikes in Germany, a plague of labor revolts in France and Britain, millions unemployed in every great nation, famine everywhere in Europe, flu in the western half and typhus in the eastern. When, in the middle of 1919, President Wilson and his staff had left the Peace Conference, that body had stayed on to settle the destinies of Austria and Hungary and Bulgaria and Turkey.

She liked pretty tunes, but didn’t know why everything had to become so complicated and so noisy. But that was the way Kurt liked it, and that was the way he had it. Now here was another kind of genius, another strange and bewildering art; Beauty listened, and it seemed to her a chaos of sound, going on without any discoverable reason for either starting or stopping. But Lanny would cry out that it was magnificent, he had always known Kurt had it in him; Beauty decided that she had known it too.

Kurt, who had had the same experience, rejoiced that a painter had immortalized the soul of this woman they both had loved. Now a German saw it, and knew that what he had suffered in his secret soul was the same as a Frenchman had suffered. So Marcel seemed to say, and Kurt felt himself at one with his late antagonist. After Kurt had seen a dozen or so of these, he felt he knew Marcel both as painter and as man, and was not ashamed to be his successor in love. XI Once every twenty-four hours a glow stole up behind the Cap and spread over the sky, and dazzling sunlight descended upon the flowers and foliage and red-roofed houses of Bienvenu.

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