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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 417 pages of information about The Pacha of Many Tales.

“You are the image of your father, Pedro,” observed she, mournfully, “but God’s will be done.  If he has taken away, he also hath given, and truly grateful am I for his bounty.”  When we had in some degree recovered our agitation, I entreated her to narrate to me the history of my father of which I had heard but little from the good brother Anselmo, and she repeated to me those events of her youthful days which she had communicated before.

“But you have not been introduced to Clara:  the naughty girl little thought that she was carrying on an amour with her own cousin.”

When Donna Celia called her down, I made no scruple of pressing the dear girl to my heart, and implanting a kiss upon her lips:  with our eyes beaming with love and joy, we sat down upon the sofa, I in the centre, with a hand locked in the hand of each.  “And now, my dear Pedro, I am anxious to hear the narrative of your life,” said Donna Celia:  “that it has been honourable to yourself, I feel convinced.”  Thanking her for her good opinion, which I hoped neither what had passed, or might in future occur, would be the means of removing, I commenced the history of my life in the following words.

* * * * *

“Commenced the history of your life?” interrupted the pacha.  “Does the slave laugh at our beards?  What then is all this you have been telling us?”

“The truth, your highness,” replied the Spaniard.  “What I am about to tell, is the history of my life, which I invented to deceive the old lady Donna Celia, and which is all false.”

“I understand, Mustapha, this kafir is a regular Kessehgou,[3] he makes one story breed another; but it is late, see that he attends to-morrow afternoon, Bero!  Go, infidel, the muezzin calls to prayers.”

  [3] Eastern story-teller.

The Spaniard quitted the sublime presence, and in obedience to the call of the muezzin, the pacha and Mustapha paid their customary evening devotions—­to the bottle.

Chapter IV

The next day the Spanish slave was summoned to continue his narrative.

“Your sublime highness of course recollects where I lest off yesterday evening,” commenced the slave.

“Perfectly well,” replied the pacha, “you left off at the beginning of your story; but I hope you will finish it this evening, as I have already forgotten a great deal of what you said.”

“Your highness may recollect that I was seated—­”

“Yes, in our presence,” interrupted the pacha; “such was our condescension to a Giaour.  Now go on with your story.”

“With due submission to your highness, I was seated on a sofa, between my mother Donna Celia and my mistress Donna Clara.”

“Very true; I recollect now that you were.”

“A hand clasped in the hand of each.”

“Exactly,” replied the pacha, impatiently.

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