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

And I did set off in the morning upon one of the Marquis’s horses, and rode as hard as I could to Toulon.  I determined again to try my fortune at sea, as I was afraid that I should be discovered if I remained on shore.  I purchased a small venture with the money in my purse, and having made my agreement with the captain of a vessel bound to St Domingo, exchanged my dress for a jacket and trousers, and was again at the mercy of the waves.

* * * * *

“Such, your highness, is the history of my First Voyage, and the incidents which resulted from it.”

“Well,” said the pacha, rising, “there was too much love and too little sea in it; but, I suppose, if you had left the first out it would not have been so long.  Mustapha, give him five pieces of gold, and we will have his Second Voyage to-morrow.”

As soon as the pacha had retired, the renegade growled out, “If I am to tell any more stories, I must not be checked and dictated to.  I could have talked for an hour after I had met Cerise, if I had not been interrupted:  as it was, I cut the matter short.”

“But, Selim,” replied Mustapha, “the pacha is not fond of these sort of adventures; he likes something much more marvellous.  Could you not embellish a little?”

“How do you mean?”

“Holy prophet! what do I mean!—­Why, tell a few lies,—­not adhere quite so much to matter of fact.”

“Adhere to matter of fact, vizier!—­why, I have not stated a single fact yet!”

“What! is not all this true?”

“Not one word of it, as I hope to go to heaven!”

“Bismillah!—­what, not about Marie and the Convent—­and Cerise?”

“All lies from beginning to end.”

“And were you never a barber?”

“Never in my life.”

“Then why did you make such long apostrophes to the dead Cerise, when you observed that the pacha was impatient.”

“Merely because I was at fault, vizier, and wished to gain time, to consider what I should say next.”

“Selim,” replied Mustapha, “you have great talent; but mind that your next voyage is more wonderful; I presume it will make no difference to you.”

“None whatever; but the pacha is not a man of taste.  Now give me my five pieces, and I’ll be off:  I’m choked with thirst, and shall not be comfortable till I have drunk at least a gallon of wine.”

“Holy prophet! what a Turk!” exclaimed the vizier, lifting up his hands.  “Here is your money, Kafir;—­don’t forget to be here to-morrow.”

“Never fear me, vizier; your slave lives but to obey you, as we Turks say.”

“We Turks!” muttered the vizier, as he cast his eyes upon the retiring figure of the renegade.  “Well of all the scoundrels—­” “Well,” muttered the renegade, who was now out of hearing, “of all the scoundrels—­” Whom they were referring to in their separate soliloquies must be left to the reader’s imagination; for caution prevented either of the parties from giving vent to the remainder of their thoughts.

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