The Egyptian glanced at the young man, and looked again surprised and doubting; seeing which the sheik continued, "I have promised him my horses for trial to-morrow; and if all goes well, he will drive them in the Circus."
"He came well recommended," Ilderim pursued, much puzzled. "You may know him as the son of Arrius, who was a noble Roman sailor, though"--the sheik hesitated, then resumed, with a laugh--"though he declares himself an Israelite of the tribe of Judah; and, by the splendor of God, I believe that he tells me!"
Balthasar could no longer withhold explanation.
"To-day, O most generous sheik, my life was in peril, and would have been lost had not a youth, the counterpart of this one--if, indeed, he be not the very same--intervened when all others fled, and saved me." Then he addressed Ben-Hur directly, "Art thou not he?"
"I cannot answer so far," Ben-Hur replied, with modest deference. "I am he who stopped the horses of the insolent Roman when they were rushing upon thy camel at the Fountain of Castalia. Thy daughter left a cup with me."
From the bosom of his tunic he produced the cup, and gave it to Balthasar.
A glow lighted the faded countenance of the Egyptian.
"The Lord sent thee to me at the Fountain to-day," he said, in a tremulous voice, stretching his hand towards Ben-Hur; "and he sends thee to me now. I give him thanks; and praise him thou, for of his favor I have wherewith to give thee great reward, and I will. The cup is thine; keep it."