Job Has A Presentiment

IT was nine o'clock on the following morning when Job, who still looked scared and frightened, came in to call me, and at the same time breathe his gratitude at finding us alive in our beds, which it appeared was more than he had expected. When I told him of the awful end of poor Ustane he was even more grateful at our survival, and much shocked, though Ustane had been no favourite of his, or he of hers, for the matter of that. She called him `pig' in bastard Arabic, and he called her `hussy' in good English, but these amenities were forgotten in the face of the catastrophe that had overwhelmed her at the hands of her Queen.

`I don't want to say anything as mayn't be agreeable, sir,' said Job, when he had finished exclaiming at my tale, `but it's my opinion that that there She is the old gentleman himself, or perhaps his wife, if he has one, which I suppose he has, for he couldn't be so wicked all by himself. The Witch of Endor * was a fool to her, sir: bless you, she would make no more of raising every gentleman in the Bible out of these here beastly tombs than I should of growing cress on an old flannel. It's a country of devils, this is, sir, and she's the master one of the lot; and if ever we get out of it it will be more than I expect to do. I don't see no way out of it. That witch isn't likely to let a fine young man like Mr. Leo go.'

`Come,' I said, `at any rate she saved his life.'

`Yes, and she'll take his soul to pay for it. She'll make him a witch, like herself. I say it's wicked to have anything to do with those sort of people. Last night, sir, I lay awake and read in my little Bible that my poor old mother gave me about what is going to happen to sorceresses and them sort* till my hair stood on end. Lord, how the old lady would stare if she saw where her Job had got to!'

`Yes, it's a queer country, and a queer people too, Job,' I answered, with a sigh, for, though I am not superstitious like Job, I admit to a natural shrinking (which will not bear investigation) from the things that are above Nature.

`You are right, sir,' he answered, `and if you won't think me very foolish, I should like to say something to you now that Mr. Leo is out of the way'--(Leo had got up early and gone for a stroll)--`and that is that I know it is the last country as ever I shall see in this world. I had a dream last night, and I dreamed that I saw my old father with a kind of night-shirt on him, something like these folks wear when they want to be in particular full-dress, and a bit of that feathery grass in his hand, which he may have gathered on the way, for I saw lots of it yesterday about three hundred yards from the mouth of this beastly cave.

`"Job," he said to me, solemn like, and yet with a kind of satisfaction shining through him, more like a Methody* parson when he has sold a neighbour a marked horse for a sound one and cleared twenty pounds by the job than anything I can think on--"Job, time's up, Job; but I never did expect to have to come and hunt you out in this 'ere place, Job. Such ado as I have had to nose you up; it wasn't friendly to give your poor old father such a run, let alone that a wonderful lot of bad characters hail from this place Kôr."'

`Regular cautions,' I suggested.

`Yes, sir--of course, sir, that's just what he said they was--"cautions, downright scorchers"--sir, and I'm sure I don't doubt it, seeing what I know of them and their hot-potting ways,' went on Job, sadly. `Anyway, he was sure that time was up, and went away saying that we should see more than we cared for of each other soon, and I suppose he was a-thinking of the fact that father and I never could hit it off together for longer nor three days, and I dare say that things will be similar when we meet again.'

`Surely,' I said, `you don't think that you are going to die because you dreamed you saw your old father; if one dies because one dreams of one's father, what happens to a man who dreams of his mother-in- law?'

`Ah, sir, you're laughing at me,' said Job; `but, you see, you didn't know my old father. If it had been anybody else--my Aunt Mary, for instance, who never made much of a job--I should not have thought so much

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