disbelieve my tale. You will see it stated in this manuscript that I, or
rather we, had made up our minds not to make this history public dur-
ing our joint lives. Nor should we alter our determination were it not for
a circumstance which has recently arisen. We are for reasons that, after
perusing this manuscript, you may be able to guess, going away again
this time to Central Asia where, if anywhere upon this earth, wisdom is
to be found, and we anticipate that our sojourn there will be a long one.
Possibly we shall not return. Under these altered conditions it has be-
come a question whether we are justified in withholding from the world
an account of a phenomenon which we believe to be of unparalleled in-
terest, merely because our private life is involved, or because we are
afraid of ridicule and doubt being cast upon our statements. I hold one
view about this matter, and Leo holds another, and finally, after much
discussion, we have come to a compromise, namely, to send the history
to you, giving you full leave to publish it if you think fit, the only stipula-
tion being that you shall disguise our real names, and as much concern-
ing our personal identity as is consistent with the maintenance of the
bona fides of the narrative.
"And now what am I to say further? I really do not know beyond once
more repeating that everything is described in the accompanying
manuscript exactly as it happened. As regards She herself I have nothing
to add. Day by day we gave greater occasion to regret that we did not
better avail ourselves of our opportunities to obtain more information
from that marvellous woman. Who was she? How did she first come to
the Caves of Kâ„¢r, and what was her real religion? We never ascertained,
and now, alas! we never shall, at least not yet. These and many other
questions arise in my mind, but what is the good of asking them now?
"Will you undertake the task? We give you complete freedom, and as a
reward you will, we believe, have the credit of presenting to the world
the most wonderful history, as distinguished from romance, that its re-
cords can show. Read the manuscript (which I have copied out fairly for
your benefit), and let me know.
"Believe me, very truly yours, "L. Horace Holly.1
"P.S.Ã‘Of course, if any profit results from the sale of the writing
should you care to undertake its publication, you can do what you like
with it, but if there is a loss I will leave instructions with my lawyers,
Messrs. Geoffrey and Jordan, to meet it. We entrust the sherd, the scarab,
and the parchments to your keeping, till such time as we demand them
back again. Ã‘L. H. H."
1.This name is varied throughout in accordance with the writer's request.Ã‘Editor.