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.

The pirates loudly applauded the justice of a decision by which they benefited, and all appeal on our parts was useless.  When the weather became more settled, we were put on board one of their small xebeques, and on our arrival at this port were exposed for sale and purchased.

Such, pacha, is the history which induced me to make use of the expressions which you wished to be explained; and I hope you will allow that I have been more unfortunate than guilty, as on every occasion in which I took away the life of another, I had only to choose between that and my own.

* * * * *

“Well, it is rather a curious story,” observed the pacha, “but still, if it were not for my promise, I certainly would have your head off for drowning the aga—­I consider it excessively impertinent in an unbelieving Greek to suppose that his life is of the same value as that of an aga of janissaries, and follower of the prophet; but, however, my promise was given, and you may depart.”

“The wisdom of your highness is brighter than the stars of heaven,” observed Mustapha.  “Shall the slave be honoured with your bounty?”

“Mashallah! bounty!  I’ve given him his life, and, as he considers it of more value than an aga’s, I think ’tis a very handsome present.  Drown an aga, indeed!” continued the pacha, rising, “but it certainly was a very curious story.  Let it be written down, Mustapha.  We’ll hear the other man to-morrow.”

Chapter III

“Mustapha,” said the pacha the next day, when they had closed the hall of audience, “have you the other Giaour in readiness?”

“Bashem ustun!  Upon my head be it, your highness.  The infidel dog waits but the command to crawl into your sublime presence.”

“Let him approach, that our ears may be gratified.  Barek Allah!  Praise be to God.  There are others who can obtain stories besides the Caliph Haroun.”

The slave was ordered into the pacha’s presence.  He was a dark man with handsome features, and he walked in with a haughty carriage, which neither his condition nor tattered garments could disguise.  When within a few feet of the carpet of state he bowed and folded his arms in silence.  “I wish to know upon what grounds you asserted that you were so good a judge of wine the other evening, when you were quarrelling with the Greek slave.”

“I stated my reason at the time, your highness, which was, because I had been for many years a monk of the Dominican order.”

“I recollect that you said so.  What trade is that, Mustapha?” inquired the pacha.

“If your slave is not mistaken, a good trade every where.  The infidel means that he was a mollah or dervish among the followers of Isauri."[2]

  [2] Jesus Christ.

“May they and their fathers’ graves be eternally defiled,” cried the pacha.  “Do not they drink wine and eat pork?  Have you nothing more to say?” inquired the pacha.

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