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Chapter 17: SOLOMON'S TREASURE CHAMBER (continued)
Here she paused.
"Well," I asked, breathless with interest as we all were, "what happened to Da Silvestra?"
The old hag started at the mention of the name.
"How knowest thou the dead man's name?" she asked sharply; and then, without waiting for an answer, went on--
"None can tell what happened; but it came about that the white man was frightened, for he flung down the goat-skin, with the stones, and fled out with only the one stone in his hand, and that the king took, and it is the stone which thou, Macumazahn, didst take from Twala's brow."
"Have none entered here since?" I asked, peering again down the dark passage.
"None, my lords. Only the secret of the door has been kept, and every king has opened it, though he has not entered. There is a saying, that those who enter there will die within a moon, even as the white man died in the cave upon the mountain, where ye found him, Macumazahn, and therefore the kings do not enter. Ha! ha! mine are true words."
Our eyes met as she said it, and I turned sick and cold. How did the old hag know all these things?
"Enter, my lords. If I speak truth, the goat-skin with the stones will lie upon the floor; and if there is truth as to whether it is death to enter here, that ye will learn afterwards. Ha! ha! ha!" and she hobbled through the doorway, bearing the light with her; but I confess that once more I hesitated about following.
"Oh, confound it all!" said Good; "here goes. I am not going to be frightened by that old devil;" and followed by Foulata, who, however, evidently did not at all like the business, for she was shivering with fear, he plunged into the passage after Gagool--an example which we quickly followed.
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