„Then kill me,“ she answered fiercely, leaping up to confront and dare
him. “Kill me. You are used to killing, and for that at least I should be grateful.”

„I will kill you if I please,“ he said in level icy tones. „But not to please you. You don’t yet understand. You are my slave, my thing, my property, and I will not suffer you to be damaged save at my own good pleasure. Therefore, eat, or my Nubians shall whip you to quicken appetite.“

For a moment she stood defiant before him, white and resolute. Then
quite suddenly, as if her will was being bent and crumpled under the
insistent pressure of his own, she drooped and sank down again to the
divan. Slowly, reluctantly she drew the dish nearer. Watching her, he
laughed quite silently.

She paused, appearing to seek for something. Failing to find it she
looked up at him again, between scorn and intercession.

„Am I to tear the meat with my fingers?“ she demanded.

His eyes gleamed with understanding, or at least with suspicion. But he
answered her quite calmly—“It is against the Prophet’s law to defile
meat or bread by the contact of a knife. You must use the hands that God has given you.”

Rafael Sabatini, The Sea-Hawk


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