After brief pause, Ben-Hur resumed speaking.
"I would not take his life, good Malluch; against that extreme the possession of the secret is for the present, at least, his safeguard; yet I may punish him, and so you give me help, I will try."
"He is a Roman," said Malluch, without hesitation; "and I am of the tribe of Judah. I will help you. If you choose, put me under oath--under the most solemn oath."
"Give me your hand, that will suffice."
As their hands fell apart, Ben-Hur said, with lightened feeling, "That I would charge you with is not difficult, good friend; neither is it dreadful to conscience. Let us move on."
They took the road which led to the right across the meadow spoken of in the description of the coming to the fountain. Ben-Hur was first to break the silence.
"Do you know Sheik Ilderim the Generous?"
"Where is his Orchard of Palms? or, rather, Malluch, how far is it beyond the village of Daphne?"