Page:Thotharomance00nichgoog.djvu/58

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53
THE MIGHT OF CHANCE.

and to kiss her hand was an honour worthy of the noblest. But, to the surprise of the maidens, this seemed to be a most difficult and disagreeable duty. The man obeyed his leader, but he asked for the favour as willingly as a coward might ask for death. The maiden laughed at the obvious dislike, and thinking it was due to the seeming dishonour, and being in her nature kind and generous, she said, "Nay, it is not so terrible. See, I will kiss thy hand first." But the man drew back with signs of abhorrence much more strongly marked, and the maiden was indignant.

The leader seemed for the moment surprised at the failure of his plan, and then his determination became stronger than ever. He commanded the men to kneel before the maidens, and to say in the most distinct and emphatic manner, "We will honour all these maidens as we honour thee, O Thoth." He