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Sample text

The granite stones and marble columns of the palace would yield good building materials for the mosque tomb of Selim, and the families could move elsewhere. , Then, as custom required, the cavalcade rode back outside the city wall to the gnarled cypress trees around the tomb of a soldier saint, Ayub. Here waited a white-bearded man robed like a wanderer but holding a slender curved sword sheathed in silver that gleamed with precious stones. He was the head of the Mevlevi dervishes, the brotherhood that had aided the Osmanlis from their earliest struggles.

Close to him the shell of a Byzantine palace stood, tenanted only by some tribal families. The granite stones and marble columns of the palace would yield good building materials for the mosque tomb of Selim, and the families could move elsewhere. , Then, as custom required, the cavalcade rode back outside the city wall to the gnarled cypress trees around the tomb of a soldier saint, Ayub. Here waited a white-bearded man robed like a wanderer but holding a slender curved sword sheathed in silver that gleamed with precious stones.

Light rippled pleasantly along the tiled walls. Trees and flower borders painted on the tiles gave the room the aspect of a garden nook. Once he had entered it, Suleiman threw off his headcloth and flung himself down on the wall couch. His head was shaved except for one long lock of hair; he shaved his chin after the manner of the army. Without moving he watched the hearth fire until Flower of Spring came in, through the other curtain. And he checked the ceremonious greeting that she tried to repeat, her slight forehead wrinkled.

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