| Part i
Baron LaCavanier is a soldier serving under Napolean Bonaparte in the attempted conquest of Egypt. While granted some leisure time, he is perusing the Cairo marketplace when he spots a green-veiled dancer. Although there are other dancers, he is transfixed by this one, so much so that he wants to marry her. However, when he tries to approach the old man who is her "guardian" he is rebuffed due to a language barrier. LaCavanier is not discouraged, and uses his servant as a translator. The old man is reluctant, but agrees to the arrangement.
Kamilah, the dancer, is angry that her uncle, Ubaid Edufu, is giving her to a foreigner. He replies that all of her suitors are only after her wealth and some sort of title they will gain upon marrying her. He had promised her late father that she would be married to a man who wanted her and not her wealth. He asks her if she finds the baron handsome. Kamilah does not answer, but it is clear that she does. To cover her embarresment, she states she does not wish to be married, she would just rather dance. Edufu becomes upset, saying that with age her skill would weaken, and that it is impossible to dance forever. He tells her to be happy for her good fortune, but she is too uncertain of the future to do so.
Baron LaCavanier invites his best friend, a Count Laurent St. Martin, to his wedding the next day. Laurent accepts, and reveals the baron's first name, Jardan. Laurent becomes alarmed to learn the woman is a "Moslem". Jardan says he can marry whomever he wishes. Laurent apologizes.
Jardan and Laurent go to the agreed upon place for the wedding in the early morning hours. There is much music and dancing, and Kamilah is in the middle of it all, wrapped in yards of colorful fabric. A man dressed in red speaking for the Bedouin people, protests the marriage because Jardan is not Bedouin, but Ubaid rebuffs him. There are no more objections. Ubaid steps forth, and performs the ceremony in Greek, a language both sides understand. As the ceremony ends, Kamilah thinks she sees Jardan's eyes glow, but assumes it is a trick of light. Ubaid adorns Kamilah with pounds and pounds of expensive jewelry as her dowry. When Ubaid and Jardan embrace as kin to seal the deal, Kamilah and Laurent look on in equal disgust.
Ubaiad whispers that due to the suddeness of the marriage arrangement, there has not been enough time to prepare a feast. Jardan understands, saying he will take Kamilah away for a while to avoid any embarresment. Jardan announces to the people that he must introduce Kamilah to his "people". The crowd bids the couple well, then goes off to make the neccessary arrangements.
Laurent makes a comment about "wealthy heathens", and Jardan defends Kamilah's honor, lashing out at his friend. Laurent apologizes, and excuses himself. Jardan is slightly ashamed for losing his temper, but comforts himself by assuming Kamilah does not understand French.
In order to make her new status known, Jardan takes her to the only source of European women's clothing in Cairo: A French officer who dresses like a woman off duty. Kamilah is disgusted, since the officer's behavior is unnnatural to her, but says nothing, although it is revealed that she knows French. She does not want to draw more attention to the situation. The officer is hesitant to part with his "costumes", but he is a poorer man than Jardan, and gives in to sum of 200 francs a dress. Kamilah is furious when she realizes the dresses are being bought for her, but she says nothing, in honor of her vows.
Jardan leads Kamilah to his apartment that he has managed to acquire because of his wealth. His servants take off her jewelry and put it into a safe place. Jardan and Kamilah are left alone in his bedroom. Both feel uneasy, Jardan because he fears she is ugly underneath her wedding veil, and Kamilah , because he knows what he wants from her. Jardan orders her to remove her veil, and is relieved to find that she is quite attractive to him. He is so excited that his eyes glow. Kamilah, in her fear, draws a blade from her wedding garments, and threatens Jardan, thinking he is a sexless demon. Jardan undresses quickly to prove he is not. He easily disarms her, and beds her twice. Afterwards, in the first real sign of affection she has shown to him, Kamilah clasps his hands before going to sleep.
When they wake up in late afternoon, Kamilah's advances are deflected by Jardan. He tells her to get dressed in one of the dresses he has bought her. Kamilah refuses, knowing she will feel great shame to wear such foreign clothing. Jardan almost forces her to wear a new dress, but thinks better of it. After all, he wanted this woman because she seemed to be bold and uninhibited, so he lets her wear her wedding clothes. Jardan and Kamilah pay a little visit to Laurent, and after he apoligizes appropriately, the three of them, along with several servants, proceed to the wedding feast.
The baron's procession is greeted with tamborines, drums, foot stomps, and singing. Jardan and Kamilah are led to a richly embroidered rug, which they sit on. After they both drink from wine skins they are given, they are joined by Ubaid and Laurent. The servants sit with the rest of the Bedouins(which is what the people are called), facing Jardan and the others. Unleavened bread is brought out, along with more wine, beer, cheeses, and several other foods native to the region. After everyone has eaten, everyone participates in a wedding dance. Although Laurent tries hard not to, he enjoys himself. Afterwards, Jardan thinks it is time they left. Kamilah wants to stay for the official send off with wedding gifts. She changes her mind after Jardan whispers suggestively in her ear. Kamilah tells her uncle that she and Jardan must leave urgently. Edufu understands, but tells them they must stay to recieve their gifts, out of respect. The gifts range from finely woven fabric to amulets to instruments. The Bedouins insist on following the couple back their home and leave their gifts there out of tradition and safety. After this is done, Ubaid, Laurent and the Bedouins with the newlyweds well, then leave. After the gifts are put away by the servants, Jardan and Kamilah are left to their passion. Kamilah thanks Jardan drowsily before going to sleep.
Kamilah awakes and finds her husband not in bed. She doesn't panic at first, but as time passes, she grows anxious. She asks a servant where he is, but the servant does not know. Kamilah goes back into the bedroom and sees Jardan, naked with muddy hands and feet. Kamilah is so scared of him, she runs into the clothes closet. Jardan bathes, and then tells his servants he is reporting to his commanding officer, and that he will be returning in a few hours. He knows Kamilah is in the closet, and he finds this amusing. When he goes into the closet for his uniform, Kamilah quickly scoots back into a corner out of sight, so she thinks. Jardan can plainly see her, but holds back his laughter until he is outside. Kamilah falls asleep in the closet.
Kamilah wakes up on her bed, where Jardan has managed to put her without her waking up. Jardan immediately asks for dinner. Kamilah, avoiding the question, asks how his feet and hands got muddy. Jardan tells her his clothes were stolen while swimming in the Nile, and he had to crawl on all fours to prevent anyone from seeing him. Kamilah doesn't believe him, but since there is no other explaination, she accepts his story. Kamilah makes him what would satisfy any man of the time: ten loaves of flatbread the size of dinner plates, hunks of goat cheese,two shanks of lamb, dates, and a hearty gallon-sized jar of beer. Jardan finishes quickly, and asks for seconds. After two more helpings of food, his hunger is finally satiated.
When he is done eating, Jardan tells Kamilah that they are leaving for his home soon. The Turks are coming to reoccupy Cairo, and the baron doesn't want his new wife to be anywhere near a battle. Kamilah says she will go only if her uncle accompanies them. She tells Jardan that they are not really one of the Bedouin people, that they adopted them because of her uncle's status as a keeper of ancient texts. Kamilah worries that no one else will care for her uncle as she does. Jardan says he will consider the matter. Then they retire to bed.
Kamilah awakes with Jardan beside her. She wakes him up and asks for an answer concerning her uncle. Jardan rubs his eyes, yawns loudly, and says he will allow her uncle to come with them. After the morning meal, the couple goes to see Ubaid Edufu, but discover that he has died in the night. Among his personal effects are a collection of very old, possibly ancient texts. Jardan doesn't understand the foreign characters, and Kamilah, since she was a woman, was never taught how to read. However, Kamilah says that because Jardan married her, he is now one of her people, a Leon. She tells him it is his duty to keep and perserve the texts. Jardan argues it is pointless to keep papers no one understands. Kamilah demands that he take the texts. Jardan warns her not to command him. Kamilah backs off, but takes the texts herself.
After her uncle is buried that day, Kamilah worries about what Jardan will do to her for questioning him in public, but feels it was worth it to protect something that was so important to her uncle. When they are alone, Jardan means to speak to her harshly, but because she is in so much pain from her loss, he feels it would be cruel to do so. Kamilah is suprised that Jardan shows concern for her pain, but allows him to comfort her.
In the morning of the next day, Kamilah awakes to find everything in the apartment packed up. Jardan tells her that they are leaving immediately. After she changes into a light blue "Empire Style" dress, the couple rushes to a barge where their things are waiting. The barge takes them upstream to their ship, a large merchant vessel. After their possessions are loaded onto the merchant ship, Jardan pays his servants well, and bids them goodbye.
Before he can get on the ship, however, Jardan is confronted by the first mate, who refuses to let Kamilah on. Jardan asks why. The first mate makes a rude comment. Jardan calmly challenges him to a duel to defend his wife's honor. The first mate is so surprised that Jardan actually married Kamilah, that Jardan shoves him aside quite easily, allowing Kamilah to board first. After Jardan comes aboard, he tells the first mate to be ready in two days, with the weapon of his choice.
Jardan has arranged to have a cabin set aside for Kamilah's protection and privacy. Unfortunately, the small cabin is no comfort to Kamilah, who in addition to grieving for her dead uncle, is now racked with terrible bouts of sea-sickness. Jardan has to escort Kamilah up on deck to relieve her stomach of it's contents. They encounter many strange looks from the ship's crew, but no one speaks to them. Word of Jardan's duel with the first mate has travelled quickly. No one wants to fight an experienced soldier. Kamilah watches the Egyptian coastline grow smaller and smaller. She weeps with regret, knowing she will probably never see her home again.
The first night, Kamilah cannot sleep, her uncle's death weighs heavily on her mind. She is frightened to be on this strange ship, with strange people. She can't stop crying, and her husband tries to comfort her in his way, telling her she is unattractive in her grief. Offended, she storms up on deck. Jardan follows, and tries to bring her back to the cabin, but she pulls away from him. The first mate sees, and makes another comment about Kamilah. Jardan, angered and embarassed, pulls his sabre, and initiates the duel early. The first mate is caught off guard, but is able to draw his cutlass in time to protect his neck. It is a quick fight. Jardan pushes the mate back, the man trips over some rope, and Jardan presses his sabre to the mate's neck. Jardan shows the man no mercy. He cuts his throat.
Kamilah screams as she watches Jardan kill the first mate. She runs into her cabin. Jardan shows no remorse for killing the first mate, merely cleans his sabre and goes to tend to his wife. She, in her fear, refuses to let him in. The ship's crew gangs up on Jardan, beat him, and then bring him to the captain. The captain tells Jardan he is leaving him and his wife at the next available island port, and that he is claiming half of Jardan's belongings to cover the first mates loss. Jardan negotiates the captain down to two thousand and fifty francs. Jardan is free to go back to his cabin, but Kamilah will not come near him.
Jardan lays outside of the cabin door, unwilling to admit he is in pain. Kamilah opens the door after a time, concerned, and shocked at his condition. His eyes are swollen, and his entire body seems to be painted in shiny bruises. Kamilah lets him in, more out of devotion to her vows than to him. Jardan makes a comment that he would do anything to protect his and her honor. Kamilah states she would prefer a live dishonored husband, which brings a laugh from Jardan. His laughs soon turn hacking coughs, and it is clear from the blood in his mouth that he has internal injuries.
Jardan cannot stop coughing, and soon passes out. Kamilah panics, and runs out of the cabin for help. She brings the ship's doctor to the cabin, but since he is intoxicated, promptly falls into a deep stupor, and refuses to rise to treat such an unpopular passenger. Kamilah cries out and sobs on the bed next to her husband. After some time, Kamilah looks over at Jardan, screams and backs away. Some of his bruises have faded. His eyes, once puffy and purpilish, are only reddened as if he had been crying. Kamilah watches as Jardan's injuries heal before her eyes, and he continues to sleep.
Kamilah spends the whole night praying that Jardan is not a demon. When the baron wakes up in the morning, he acts as if nothing has happened, and avoids Kamilah's questions. Kamilah becomes convinced he is evil, and plans to run away from him as soon as they reach port. In another day, the port is sighted, and Jardan and Kamilah prepare to disembark.
Kamilah waits until Jardan goes off to pay the captain in the morning, then runs off. She wanders around looking for an inn, any place where she can collect her thoughts on what to do next. She finds a tavern that looks legitamite, but is actually a front for a shangai operation. She sits down at a table, and tries to iqnore the men who immediately approach her. Kamilah decides she will try to find passage back to Cairo, perhaps by working as a cook somewhere here on the island. When she decides what she wants to do, she rises, and makes an attempt to leave. Her path is blocked by the bartender and a few sailors(really a ship's captain and his crew) who want her to have a drink. Kamilah refuses, not liking wine, and not liking the look of those men.
She politely asks for them to move. They approach her, and she draws her dagger, the same one she attempted to use on Jardan. Of course, thinking they can take her, they laugh and attempt to take her forcefully. Kamilah cries out, and runs to them, slashing crazily, fighting for her honor. The sailors become frightened, all except for the captain, who grabs Kamilah. In her light, Empire Style dress, Kamilah is able to turn around and rake him across the eyes. She runs out into the street, only to fall into the muck. The captain, infuriated that he was almost blinded, hauls her up by her hair and slaps her across the face.
Suddenly, Jardan is there behind the captain, pressing his sword against the captain's neck, and pointing his pistol at the captain's crew. He orders the captain to release his wife. The captain complies. Kamilah immediately goes to Jardan and kneels before him, apologizing profusely. Jardan tells her to get up and stand aside, his eyes are on the captain for a duel. The captain obligizes him, choosing pistols as his weapon of choice. The two men fire their shots at the apropriate distance. The captain's shot goes wide, but Jardan shoots the captain right in the head. Kamilah screams, watching the horror of it all. She weakly leans on him for support as he walks her to the inn where they will be staying. Strangely, he doesn't scold her for running away, only applauds her for defending herself as long as she did, and even kisses her on the forehead. Kamilah trembles in fear, wondering if he is a madman.
Kamilah spends a sleepless night, scared for the life of whoever crosses the path of the now infamous Baron LaCavanier, regardless of what they deserve. The baron's tender affection for her in and out of the bedroom is of little comfort. In the morning, the couple goes for a stroll, and Jardan is accosted by a severe looking man, who turns out to be a cousin of his, Jorge LaCavanier. The cousin was on his way to Cairo to take Jardan back home to be with his dying father. Kamilah says a silent prayer, grateful that the recent bad luck they have encountered has turned into a blessing, of sorts. Jardan pulls Jorge aside and tells him something in a language Kamilah doesn't understand. Then Jardan and Kamilah board Jorge's vessel, which is, coincidentally, crewed by more of Jardan's relatives.
Kamilah gets a strange feeling from the ship's crew as soon as she boards. She feels that they are all staring at her. She decides it is because a foriegner, and is relieved when no one treats her with disrespect. In fact, she is treated with the proper respect of her station, the crew doing everything in their power to see to her comfort. As the days go by, Jardan and Kamilah are finally able to relax like never before. Kamilah questions why Jardan seems to show no concern for his father, but feels it is not her place to ask.
After a week, land is sighted. It is Jardan's island home, about 50 miles in circumference. It appears to be covered in all kinds of ancient looking trees and vegetation, broken up occasionally by gray stone houses. Kamilah tells Jardan she is nervous about meeting his family, that she does not know the proper way to act. Jardan kisses her, and says his sister will show her. Kamilah is comforted, at least until Jardan leaves without her. She remains on the ship for half a day, confused as to what her husband is doing without her. He comes back all smiles, and they are recieved warmly by the island, though there are some who do not cheer. The people of the island are well tanned, so much so that Kamilah feels almost no difference between them and her. Despite the general happiness of the people, Kamilah notices that everything is slightly behind the times. The clothing of the people is dated to the reign of King Louis the XVI, and the buildings look even older, and poorly kept. She makes no mention of this to Jardan, but decides to do all she can to help the island.
Kamilah and Jardan are escorted to a waiting carriage, which is very elaborate, but smells of mold and dust. Kamilah smiles bravely, but she secretly dreads seeing her husband's home, fearing it is in worse repair. To her surprise, it is a perfectly kept estate with several buildings, sprawling over several acres. Larger than life statues of Jardan's ancestors are all over the place, stretching back hundreds of years. Kamilah is impressed, enjoying the look of the place. She is lead to her own seperate rooms, which are all decorated with expensive materials like ivory and gold. The linens on her bed are of the finest silk and soft cotton, the bed spread is mink and chinchila. There is a room completely devoted to clothes, Kamilah is almost intimidated by it. She looks at some of the clothes, and realizes, some of them are old, so old they are rotting. Others are disentegrating into dust. She starts to back away, but walks right into Jardan.
Jardan tells Kamilah that the old clothes have been left over from the wives of every Baron LaCavanier from before he can remember. He kisses her goodbye so that she can be prepared her for the evening meal. A cousin of his, Dominique, and his sister, Rosalie, help her get dressed in one of the dresses he has purchased for her. They are both dressed in the style of the last century, and they both look so beautiful in their elaborate dresses and powdered wigs and faces, that Kamilah is a bit intimidated. Dominique and Rosalie speak French freely, but Dominique occasionally slips into the strange tounge of the island, which Rosalie discourages. Dominique seems to be upset by something, but about what, Kamilah can only guess.
After Kamilah is dressed, Jardan arrives to escort her to dinner arm in arm. Kamilah is a bit uneasy about what she should do, but Dominique and Rosalie asure her it is all right. They walk to the banquet hall where all of Jardan's close relatives are waiting. At the head of the table is Jardan's father, a thin, grey looking man who looks like few things are keeping him in this world. He nods slightly at Kamilah as Jardan pulls out his chair for her, a chair on the direct right of the other end of the table. Jardan sits at the head of the table directly opposite to his father, and next to Kamilah. His father, Javier LaCavanier, greets Kamilah warmly, but he seems to be in great pain as he speaks, his words are strained whispers. Kamilah feels bad for him, but she can detect no compassion from her husband.
Javier starts speaking to his son in the dialect of the island, and Kamilah can detect an undisguised anger in his voice. Jardan replies in kind. Kamilah listens and tries to understand them, considering she knows several languages, but they are speaking so rapidly, and the langauge is spoken so gutarally, that she cannot. Eventually, the elder LaCavanier stands up and says in archiac Arabic, "Defiler", while pointing at Jardan. Kamilah gasps, shocked at the man's language, which is a very strong epithet in her language.
Javier looks striken when he realizes Kamilah can understand him, and yells something at Jardan. Jardan responds calmly, and Javier looks at Kamilah again. Javier excuses himself and stumbles off. Kamilah starts crying, certain that she has done something wrong. Rosalie leans over and pats her hand, telling her that Javier has frequent hallucinations, and that he often becomes violent. Rosalie tells Kamilah not to concern herself with her father-in-law's strange actions.
They eat a peaceful meal, and everyone retires to their seperate bedchambers. Kamilah sleeps fitfully, though she is in the softest bed she has ever been in. When she finally does rest, she awakes to see a large black cat staring at her from her armoir.
Kamilah screams, and immediately backs away in her bed. The cat does nothing, merely stares at her with it's light green eyes. Eventually, Jardan comes running in to see what the commmotion is about, and chases the cat out of the room angrily. Even when he was dueling, Jardan had always remained calm, but this time, he is livid, his tan face suddenly dark red. He holds Kamilah in his arms and explains that the cat is one of several dozen on the palace grounds owned by his family. He was going to introduce her to them slowly so she wouldn't be terrified, and so he had ordered his family to keep the cats, the panthers as he calls them, away. But apparently, someone had ignored him.
"Outside of the island, I am a mere baron in the world's eyes. But here, I am king, and you are my queen. I will deal with the one responsible!" he tells her, soothing her. He is trembling with rage, and Kamilah is suprisingly more at ease now that he has shown some emotion. Now she is sure he is no demon, even though his eyes are growing brighter now than ever.
After they make love, Jardan leaves to fetch Rosalie to dress Kamilah for breakfast, but Dominique is not with her. When Kamilah asks why, Rosalie smiles nervously, and changes the subject to the current fashions. The island is very behind the times. Kamilah is embarressed, and says that Empire Style is very new to her as well, but she describes her native style. Again, Rosalie acts strangely, and changes the subject, whereupon, Kamilah becomes sad and starts to cry. Rosalie soothes her, saying that she is not very good at conversation, and that she does not engage in rumors, which is why she keeps changing the subject. Kamilah nods, and she gets dressed.
Jardan appears, comments on her appearance positively, and kisses her on the hand gallently. Then they walk arm and arm to the dining room. Dominique is nowhere to be seen, and neither is Jardan's father. Kamilah senses there is something wrong, but doesn't know enough about the situation to do anything. She sits at the table silently, until an old man, far away at the other side of the table, tells her to have a good morning in Arabic. Kamilah is sruprised, but feels it is not her place to respond back to the strange man, even though he is probably family.
Jardan gives her permission to speak to him, and Kamilah responds in kind. The old man asks her various question, and introduces himself as Nestor LaCavanier, the "scribe" of the family. Kamilah notes the name fits, seeing as his name means "wisdom" in Greek. Nestor flatters her by saying that she is indeed "perfect" as her name states in Arabic. Excitedly, Kamilah mentions the fact that she has some very old texts, and asks Nestor if he would be able to protect them. Nestor readily agrees, and suggests that she help him translate them. Kamilah insists that she does not know how to read. Nestor offers to become her tutor, and in return, she can help him with modern Arabic terms. Kamilah looks to Jardan for permission. Jardan agrees.
Kamilah is eager to start working with Nestor, and Jardan accompanies them to the estate library. It is a library indeed, there are enough books housed here to put any royal library to shame. All of the knowledge in the world might be contained within. Kamilah sets the old scrolls on a table, and Nestor spreads one out carefully. Some of the red lettering has already been lost to time, but from what Nestor can decipher, it is an account of the burning of the library of Alexandria, written in hieroglyphs. Nestor is of course very excited, the manuscript is of priceless historical value. The scroll also states that the other scrolls are the most important books saved from the fire. Nestor becomes so excited, he jumps up and down like a little boy.
After Nestor calms himself, he begins to teach Kamilah what the hieroglyphs of the first scroll, and teaches her the French equivalents at the same time. Kamilah wonders why Nestor is not teaching her the island's language, but does not ask. Jardan is watching the both of them, and she suspects Nestor is under the baron's orders, but hopes it is just an oversight.
Once her first reading lessons are complete, Jardan takes Kamilah for a walk around the estate. He shows her The Garden of Kings, a lush private garden that sprawls over several acres. Kamlilah sees what appear to be statues through a grove of trees, and asks Jardan about them. Jardan becomes angry and tells her not to speak of them. He apologizes, but the damage is done, and Kamilah starts crying about the way he treats her, not letting her know anything. Jardan apologizes and takes her for a ride in the carriage, which by now has been cleaned out and restored.
Kamlilah takes the opportunity to ask Jardan questions about the island, and it's people, but treads carefully so she doesn't anger him. Jardan explains that the island has been inhabited for the past twelve hundred years, originally settled by Africans seeking to escape persecution at the hands of Muslims. As the years went on, in order for them to prevent inbreeding and invasion by European countries, they had interbred with Europeans, as well as traders, which is why they appear to be perpetually tanned. The islands also accepted the soveriegnty of other nations for protection.
"This century it is France. But next century it could just as easily be Germany, Spain, or England. We let them think that they own us for peace. A few of our young men for fighting, a few pieces of gold, an appearance in a royal court on occasion. It is nothing for peace and the freedom to govern ourselves. A fair price." he tells her.
Kamilah asks Jardan about the language of the island, and he briefly states it is a mixture of lanuguages, which is why she was able to understand his father's curse. He changes the subject to the island's geography, speaking about the two sources of fresh water, the Pretorus Falls, which is contained on his estate, and the Mangapay Lake, which lies in a non-active volcano towards the south of the island. The whole island is covered with wild game, and the people here raise their own crops, so everything is mostly self contained.
"One rarely has to venture out except to fight a war, or marry a handsome woman." Jardan tells Kamilah, making her blush.
Kamlilah notices very few people are up and about at that time of day. She sees hardly anyone working, but the fields look well-maintained, even if the houses do not. Jardan makes a comment about them taking a mid-day siesta to avoid any more questions, but Kamilah does not quite believe him. She fears something is very wrong here on the island.
Jardan and Kamilah return to the estate where they both rest in Kamilah's bedchambers. When Kamilah awakes, it is early evening, and Jardan is gone. Before she can go out of her room to look for him, Rosalie and Dominique show up, asking her to join them for tea. She agrees, deciding to find Jardan for dinner.
The two women show Kamilah the way to a small sitting room near the library, where they teach Kamilah proper tea-time etiquette. During a lull in conversation, Kamilah mentions Dominique's absence at breakfast. Dominique glances at Rosalie before saying she was feeling ill, and decided to stay in bed. Kamilah wishes her the best of health, but doesn't believe her. She asks about Javier's absence. The two women reply that his condition has worsened, and he is now unable to get out of bed.
Kamilah feels guilty about the carriage ride with Jardan. "Surely he does not want to take me around while his father lies dying! How horrible I acted earlier!" Kamilah immediately presses the side of her hand-horizontally-to her forehead and prays. Dominique and Rosalie stare, but do not stop her. Kamilah apologizes, not knowing their religion, after she realizes what she has done. Dominique stands up and yells something at Kamilah in the island language. Rosalie tells Dominique something quietly in the same language, making Dominique storm off.
Rosalie apologizes for Dominique's behavior, and quickly goes after her cousin. Kamilah hesitates for a moment, and follows Rosalie to a bedroom, tired of all the secrecy. Through a crack in the door, Kamilah watches a heated argument between Rosalie and Dominique. Dominique confesses her love for Jardan, while Rosalie encourages her to forget about him and focus on Jorge, who is has yet to take a wife. Dominique refuses, replying, "I will not be denied! He belongs to me, not some weak outsider of the same blood that drove us from our lands!". Before more can be said, Kamilah hears a low growl at on the other side of the door. She retreats to her bedchambers.
Kamilah cries on her bed, not knowing what to do on this strange island, where she doesn't even understand the language. Jardan comes to escort her for dinner, and Kamilah collapses in his arms and tells him about Dominique. Jardan becomes quiet, and assures his wife that he has no love for Dominique. He tells her to wait in her room until he comes back to get her. He has to have a little chat with Dominique.
Kamilah waits until after dinner has been served to go looking for her husband. She finds Rosalie and stops her in the hallway, asking about Jardan, but Rosalie is strangely closed lipped about where her brother may be found. Not knowing any others in the household, Kamilah seeks Nestor in the library, who is poring over more of the ancient texts. Nestor knows nothing about Jardan's whereabouts, but offers her some leftover cassatta and coffee. While Kamilah eats, Nestor teaches her more French, and Kamilah in turn gives him more Arabic terms. In the middle of the of their study, Jardan bursts into the library, severely wounded.
Kamilah runs to his side, but Jardan soon becomes unconscious. Upon closer inspection, Kamilah discovers he has been clawed by some large animal. Nestor pauses when Kamilah frantically asks for his help in getting Jardan to his bedroom. Eventually, they haul up the baron, and take him to his room. Surprisingly, there is no bed within, only a richly embroidered chaise lounge, and they lay the baron on it. Kamilah asks Nestor if the large cat she saw in her room the day before could have attacked her husband. Nestor looks horrified, and does not answer her question, telling her to watch over Jardan. Kamilah grabs at him, demanding to know what is going on. Nestor tells her that it is up to her husband to inform her of the situation. Kamilah presses him for information, but he reminds her that whatever has attacked Baron LaCavanier must be found, and to do that, the rest of the family must be notified. Reluctantly, Kamilah lets Nestor leave.
Kamilah waits by her husband's side, monitoring his health. Soon, Nestor returns with the island's only doctor, and strange man who has various strange liquids in bottles. Kamilah is asked to leave the room. Kamilah refuses, and both the doctor and Nestor forcibly remove her. They inform her that in order to ensure her safety, she must be locked in her own rooms. Kamilah protests, but they are stronger than she is, and she is locked in her room.
A day passes, and Kamilah is still locked in her room. Nestor gives her her meals, but all too quickly locks her up again, as soon as the food is in her hands. He brings no word of her husband's condition, only that his health has not improved. It does not take long for Kamilah to make plans to escape.
Kamilah opens her window and realizes it is not so far down to the ground. After carefully tying her bed linens to her bedpost, she ties the other end around her waist, and leaps down. After bruising her ankles, she hobbles away from the building to the maze of statues of Jardan's ancestors. There are hundreds of them, set in no particular order, but all are surrounded by their own special grove of shrubs or trees, which hide the statues from view from the waist down. Eventually, Kamilah finds the statue of the founder of Jardan's ancestral line, and notices some stunted trees in a spot that allows her to squeeze closer to the statue for a closer view. To her astonishment, she discovers that the statue has the feet and legs of a large cat! Unable to accept this, she looks at the feet of other statues, and finds they are all the same. All have the bodies and heads of men and women, with the legs and feet of cats. Reeling from the shock, Kamilah runs to the stable and steals a horse, tearing her dress so she can ride it easily. She guides the horse along the carriage tracks, while trying to think of a place to hide.
Kamilah continues on until she comes to a flat embankment she has never seen before. The horse skitters nervously along the edge, which is right above a sudden drop to the sea below. Kamilah pulls the horse back and continues on the trail, being careful to avoid the ill kept settlements of the native islanders. She soon finds herself at the base of the inactive volcano, and sees the clear lake of Mangpay Lake. The volcano has a side that has been obliterated, so the volcano and the water resemble a cove. Kamilah dismounts for a drink, and the horse lingers for one as well. There are grapevines nearby, as well as olive trees, in unusual and seemingly scattered patterns. Kamilah helps herself to a grape, but finds it too bitter. Hungry, and unable to eat the olives, which are more bitter than the grapes, she mounts the horse again and continues on.