Sinbad and The Eye of the Tiger

BOOK: Sinbad and The Eye of the Tiger
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Columbia Pictures Presents

A Charles H. Schneer Production

Starring

PATRICK WAYNE and TARYN POWER

Co-Starring
Margaret Whiting
Jane Seymor
Patrick Troughton
Screenplay by Beverly Cross
Creator of Special Visual Effects Ray Harryhausen
Produced by Charles H. Schneer and Ray Harryhausen
Directed by Sam Wanamaker
Filmed in Dynarama
Production services by Devon Company/Persky Bright

SINBAD AND THE EYE OF THE TIGER

POCKET BOOK edition published May, 1977

POCKET BOOK editions are published by
POCKET BOOKS,
a Simon & Schuster Division of
GULF & WESTERN CORPORATION
1230 Avenue of the Americas,
New York, N.Y. 10020.
Trademarks registered in the United States
and other countries.

ISBN: 0-671-80933-4.
Copyright, ©, 1977, by Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc.
All rights reserved. Published by POCKET BOOKS,
New York, and on the same day in Canada by
Simon & Schuster of Canada, Ltd., Markham, Ontario.
Printed in the U.S.A.

CONTENTS

SINBAD AND THE EYE OF THE TIGER

CHAPTER 1

CHAPTER 2

CHAPTER 3

CHAPTER 4

CHAPTER 5

CHAPTER 6

CHAPTER 7

CHAPTER 8

CHAPTER 9

CHAPTER 10

CHAPTER 11

CHAPTER 12

CHAPTER 13

CHAPTER 14

CHAPTER 15

CHAPTER 16

CHAPTER 17

CHAPTER 18

CHAPTER 19

CHAPTER 20

CHAPTER 21

CHAPTER 22

CHAPTER 23

To the hero in everyone:
you, me, and the one you least suspect

CHAPTER
1

T
he ornate chamber was humming with the talk of nobles and the rustling of their richly embroidered clothing. Dignitaries from far lands, in their distinctive clothing, stood about showing off their finery while ceremonial music was being played in a hidden alcove. From time to time their eyes strayed to the imposing figure of a woman, heavily veiled, dressed in the manner of the court, whose heavily made-up eyes swept the room in an imperious and somewhat disdainful manner.

Few of the men dared to ask about this haughty woman, obviously a noble and just as obviously one of power. Near the richly decorated throne, at the foot of the dais, a bearded ambassador from Europe whispered to an Islamic noble. “Who is that woman? The one whose eyes are . . . are . . .”

The son of Islam’s thin smile split his heavy beard. He turned toward the ambassador so that his lips would not reveal his words to the aristocratic woman across the great hall. “That is Zenobia . . .
Queen
Zenobia. Some think her a witch and . . .”

A gong sent golden waves thrumming in the incense-laden air. A silence fell over the throng and they turned toward the entrance to the throne room. The music blended discreetly into a more dignified tone. The European ambassador gave Zenobia another look and saw her dark eyes sweep over him, pause but briefly on his face, then move on. But it was enough to give the blond and bearded man a moment of quite irrational fear. He stepped slightly to one side, to place a huge ornamental incense brazier between him and the veiled woman, then turned to watch the procession enter.

Musicians entered first, playing their pipes and strings, their golden trumpets and small gourdlike drums, and shaking their silver and ebony tambourines. The European ambassador saw the High Priest enter, haughty and self-important, carrying a bejeweled coronation crown on a pillow of purple silk. The ambassador followed the great crown with his eyes, then looked through the haze of incense at Queen Zenobia. He saw her lean to the side and whisper to a handsome young prince. The young man, thin-faced and lean, looked around, his eyes slitting with cunning alertness. Then he slipped back into the crowd of magnificently robed nobles and disappeared.

The ambassador felt a wave of apprehension. The atmosphere was heavy with intrigue, a far cry from the honest, straightforward intrigues of power in his native country. He sighed to himself, his face a practiced mask of imperturbability and bland interest. He had been posted to this far kingdom because of his supposed knowledge of the Byzantine labyrinths of power-seeking and diplomatic maneuvering in this Islamic country, but the more he saw of these turbaned courts, the less he understood them. There were layers upon layers of meaning and motivation, some going back for generations. Blood feuds and vendettas, regicides and assassinations were used as tools of diplomacy and power. There were even rumors of magic and strange apparitions, but the ambassador chose to ignore them until he had better proof. Not that he doubted these non-Christian devils would use such satanic power if they had it, but he was a pragmatic man who believed only what he saw, and not always that.

He bowed ever so slightly at the passage of the High Priest, as did the other nobles and ambassadors, then straightened to watch the astrologers pass in their odd robes, mixed with the lesser priests and court functionaries. His eyes betrayed the slightest amount of interest as he saw Prince Kassim appear in the arch. His automatic, practiced assessment of the young prince occupied the next few moments. About to be crowned Caliph, Kassim would be the man the ambassador would be dealing with. In the absolute autocracy of this country, it would be the whim of the new Caliph that granted certain trade considerations to the ambassador’s country. It was the ambassador’s stock in trade to correctly assess the leaders and men of wealth and power in the countries outside his own.

As Caliph, Kassim’s immense power could aid the ambassador’s country, and even line his own pockets with gold. But disfavor might bring disgrace, even death.

Just as automatically, the ambassador picked out the older, bearded figure just behind Prince Kassim. It was Balsora, the Vizier, the wise and powerful adviser to the throne, who had been vizier to Kassim’s father. He carried the mace of state, a heavy and bejeweled symbol of power. Balsora was no fool, the ambassador knew, and wise in the ways of the court. His reputation was great, an honest man with ambitions for his country, but little for himself, it was said. Some said it in derision, disdaining the efforts of any honest man in the courts of Arabia, but there were many who openly admired the old and bearded Vizier.

A light flickered briefly in the ambassador’s eyes as he saw the next in the procession. It was Princess Farah, the beautiful, dark-haired sister of Kassim. Even through her veil and expensive jeweled gown it was seen that she was a great beauty, although the ambassador personally knew little of the highly protected princess. In Islamic nations it was best not to appear too curious about the women, and most especially those of royal blood. The ambassador glanced at the two ladies-in-waiting that followed her, a pair of veiled beauties whose eyes—unlike those of their mistress—sometimes strayed and swept across the throng.

Then the ambasador blinked and his eyes flickered through the incense smoke to where the veiled Zenobia had stood. She was gone, and now walked haughtily at the rear of the procession, with the handsome young prince at her side. Two soldiers, armed and obviously loyal veterans, brought up the rear.

BOOK: Sinbad and The Eye of the Tiger
5.95Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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