“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?”