7HE BATTLE OF THE WOMEN 43
slumber, and waken not the fowls with thy unmaidenly shouting.'
Now, when Tungku Amnah heard these words she dropped her sword, and beat upon the door with her little bare hands, weeping and screaming in a perfect ecstasy of rage, and showering curses and imprecations on her brother. The army joined in the torrent of abuse, and a very pretty set of phrases were sent spinning through the clean night air. At length, Tngku Amnah, finding that she only bruised her hands, again took up her sword, and, as soon as she could make herself heard, renewed her challenge to her brother to come forth.
When this scene had continued for about twenty minutes, and I was beginning to fear that the Devil would prompt Tngku Amnah to fire her brother's house, and that I should get burned out also,a suffering, as the Malays says, like the woodpecker in the falling tree,aa sudden and unexpected turn was given to affairs, which speedily brought things to an abrupt conclusion.
During one of the pauses for breath, indulged in by the clamouring women, Tngku Indut was heard to arise from his couch with great noise and deliberation. A hushed silence immediately fell upon the assembled women, and, in the stillness, Tngku Indut's words were distinctly heard by all of us.
c Awang ! ' he said, naming one of his followers, c Awang ! Bring me my sword ! '
That was all, but it was enough and to spare. A shrill shriek was raised by the listening women,aa shriek, this time, of fear and not of defiance,aand in aThat was all, but it was enough and to spare. A shrill shriek was raised by the listening women,a a shriek, this time, of fear and not of defiance,a and in a