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1. CHAPTER I : TARA IN A TANTRUM (continued)
"The Jed of Gathol would forget everything but you, Tara of Helium," he replied. Fiercely he pressed the soft hand that he still retained from the last position of the dance. "I love you, Tara of Helium," he repeated. "Why should your ears refuse to hear what your eyes but just now did not refuse to see--and answer?"
"What meanest thou?" she cried. "Are the men of Gathol such boors, then?"
"They are neither boors nor fools," he replied, quietly. "They know when they love a woman--and when she loves them."
Tara of Helium stamped her little foot in anger. "Go!" she said, "before it is necessary to acquaint my father with the dishonor of his guest."
She turned and walked away. "Wait!" cried the man. "Just another word."
"Of apology?" she asked.
"Of prophecy," he said.
"I do not care to hear it," replied Tara of Helium, and left him standing there. She was strangely unstrung and shortly thereafter returned to her own quarter of the palace, where she stood for a long time by a window looking out beyond the scarlet tower of Greater Helium toward the northwest.
Presently she turned angrily away. "I hate him!" she exclaimed aloud.
"Whom?" inquired the privileged Uthia.
Tara of Helium stamped her foot. "That ill-mannered boor, the Jed of Gathol," she replied.
Uthia raised her slim brows.
At the stamping of the little foot, a great beast rose from the corner of the room and crossed to Tara of Helium where it stood looking up into her face. She placed her hand upon the ugly head. "Dear old Woola," she said; "no love could be deeper than yours, yet it never offends. Would that men might pattern themselves after you!"
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