If: a play in four acts eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 64 pages of information about If.

And what kind of an investment was it?

MIRALDA

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.

JOHN

And who gets it?

MIRALDA

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.

JOHN

Do they?

MIRALDA

Yes, they get it from the rivers.

JOHN

I see.

MIRALDA

It does seem a shame his not paying, doesn’t it?

JOHN

A shame?  I should think it is.  An awful shame.  Why, it’s a crying shame.  He ought to go to prison.

MIRALDA

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 . . .

JOHN

I’d soon find him.  I’d . . .  Why, a man like that deserves anything.

MIRALDA

It is good of you to say that.

JOHN

Why, I’d . . .  And you say you never got a penny?

MIRALDA

No.

JOHN

Well, that is a shame.  I call that a downright shame.

MIRALDA

Now, what ought I to do?

JOHN

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.

MIRALDA

It is, isn’t it?

JOHN

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 . . .

MIRALDA

What would you do?

JOHN

I’d go and find that Hussein fellow; and then . . .

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If: a play in four acts from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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