“It is well said, cadi. Murakhas—you are dismissed.”
The Frank physician was then fined one hundred sequins more; fifty for feeling the pulse, and fifty more for looking at a Turkish woman’s tongue. The young woman was dismissed to the pacha’s harem, the old woman to curse as much as she pleased, and Hudusi with full permission to doubt anything but the justice of the pacha.
“Mashallah! God be praised! we are rid of that fellow and his doubts. I have been thinking, Mustapha, as I smoked the pipe of surmise, and arrived at the ashes of certainty, that a man who had so many doubts, could not be a true believer. I wish I had sent him to the mollahs; we might have been amused with his being impaled, which is a rare object now-a-days.”
“God is great,” replied Mustapha, “and a stake is a strong argument, and would remove many doubts. But I have an infidel in the court-yard who telleth of strange things. He hath been caught like a wild beast; it is a Frank Galiongi, who hath travelled as far as that son of Shitan, Huckaback; he was found in the streets, overpowered by the forbidden juice, after having beaten many of your highness’s subjects, and the cadi would have administered the bamboo, but he was as a lion, and he scattered the slaves as chaff, until he fell, and could not rise again. I have taken him from the cadi, and brought him here. He speaketh but the Frankish tongue, but the sun who shineth on me knoweth I have been in the Frank country; and Inshallah! please the Lord, I can interpret his meaning.”
“What sort of a man may he be, Mustapha?”
“He is a baj baj—a big belly—a stout man; he is an Anhunkher, a swallower of iron. He hath sailed in the war vessels of the Franks. He holdeth in one hand a bottle of the forbidden liquor; in the other, he shakes at those who would examine him, a thick stick. He hath a large handful of the precious weed which we use for our pipes in one of his cheeks, and his hair is hanging behind down to his waist, in a rolled up mass, as thick as the arm of your slave.”
“It is well—we will admit him; but let there be armed men at hand. Let me have a full pipe! God is great,” continued the pacha, holding out his glass to be filled; “and the bottle is nearly empty. Place the guards, and bring in the infidel.”
The guards in a few minutes brought into the presence of the pacha a stout-built English sailor, in the usual dress, and with a tail which hung down behind, below his waist. The sailor did not appear to like his treatment; and every now and then, as they pushed and dragged him in, turned to one side or the other, looking daggers at those who conducted him. He was sober, although his eyes bore testimony to recent intoxication, and his face, which was manly and handsome, was much disfigured by an enormous quid of tobacco in his right cheek, which gave him an appearance of natural deformity. As soon as he was near enough to the pacha, the attendants let him go. Jack shook his jacket, hitched up his trousers, and said, looking furiously at them, “Well, you beggars, have you done with me at last?”