The Pacha of Many Tales eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 417 pages of information about The Pacha of Many Tales.
old woman curse.  I pulled my turban over my eyes, that she might not recognise me, and lifted up my garment to cover my face, that I might not be defiled with the shower of curses which were thrown at me like mud, and sat there watching till the storm was over.  Unfortunately, in lifting up my garment, I exposed to the view of the old hag the cursed goat-skin bag, which hung at my girdle, and contained, not only her money, but the remainder of my own.  “Mashallah—­how wonderful is God!” screamed the old beldame, flying at me like a tigress, and clutching the bag from my girdle.  Having secured that, she darted at me with her ten nails, and scored down my face, which I had so unfortunately covered in the first instance, and so unfortunately uncovered in the second.  What shall I say more?  The neighbours came in—­I was hurried before the cadi, in company with the old woman and the Frank physician.  The money and bag were taken from me—­I was dismissed by the Hakim, and after receiving one hundred blows from the ferashes, I was dismissed by the cadi.  It was my fate—­and I have told my story.  Is your slave dismissed?

“No,” replied the pacha; “by our beard, we must see to this, Mustapha; say, Hudusi, what was the decision of the cadi?  Our ears are open.”

“The cadi decided as follows:—­That I had stolen the money, and therefore I was punished with the bastinado; but, as the old woman stated that the bag contained seven hundred sequins, and there were found in it upwards of eleven hundred, that the money could not belong to her.  He therefore retained it until he could find the right owner.  The physician was fined fifty sequins for looking at a Turkish woman, and fifty more for shrugging up his shoulders.  The girl was ordered into the cadi’s harem, because she had lost her dowry; and the old woman was sent about her business.  All present declared that the sentence was wisdom itself; but, for my part, I very much doubted the fact.”

“Mustapha,” said the pacha, “send for the cadi, the Frank physician, the old woman, the girl, and the goat-skin bag; we must examine into this affair.”

The officers were despatched, and in less than an hour, during which the pacha and his vizier smoked in silence, the cadi and the others made their appearance.

“May your highness’s shadow never be less!” said the cadi, as he entered.

“Mobarek! may you be fortunate!” replied the pacha.  “What is this we hear, cadi?  There is a goat-skin bag and a girl, that are not known to our justice.  Are there secrets like those hid in the well of Kashan—­speak! what dirt have you been eating?”

“What shall I say?” replied the cadi; “I am but as dirt; the money is here, and the girl is here.  Is the pacha to be troubled with every woman’s noise, or am I to come before him with a piece or two of gold—­Min Allah—­God forbid!  Have I not here the money, and seven more purses?  Was not the girl visited by the angel of death; and could she appear before your presence lean as a dog in the bazaar?  Is she not here?  Have I spoken well?”

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The Pacha of Many Tales from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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