And what kind of an investment was it?
There’s a pass in some mountains that they can get camels over, and a huge toll is levied on everything that goes by; that is the custom of the tribe that lives there, and I believe the toll is regularly collected.
And who gets it?
The chief of the tribe. He is called Ben Hussein. But my uncle lent him all this money, and the toll on the camels was what they call the security. They always carry gold and turquoise, you know.
Yes, they get it from the rivers.
It does seem a shame his not paying, doesn’t it?
A shame? I should think it is. An awful shame. Why, it’s a crying shame. He ought to go to prison.
Yes, he ought. But you see it’s so hard to find him. It isn’t as if it was this side of Persia. It’s being on the other side that is such a pity. If only it was in a country like, like . . .
I’d soon find him. I’d . . . Why, a man like that deserves anything.
It is good of you to say that.
Why, I’d . . . And you say you never got a penny?
Well, that is a shame. I call that a downright shame.
Now, what ought I to do?
Do? Well, now, you know in business there’s nothing like being on the spot. When you’re on the spot you can—but then, of course, it’s so far.
It is, isn’t it?
Still, I think you should go if you could. If only I could offer to help you in any way, I would gladly, but of course . . .
What would you do?
I’d go and find that Hussein fellow; and then . . .