Halil the Pedlar eBook

Mór Jókai
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 221 pages of information about Halil the Pedlar.

Six-and-twenty of them perished there and then.

Only three survived the day, Sulali, Mohammed the dervish, and Alir Aalem, the custodian of the sacred banner and justiciary of Stambul.  All three were Ulemas, and therefore not even the Sultan was free to slay them.

Accordingly the Grand Vizier appointed them all Sandjak-Begs, or governors of provinces.

As they knew nothing of the death of their comrades they accepted the dignities conferred upon them, renouncing at the same time as usual their office of Ulemas.

The following day they were all put to death.

On the third day after that the people of the city in their walks abroad saw eight-and-thirty severed heads stuck on the ends of spears over the central gate of the Seraglio.  All these heads, with their starting eyes and widely parted lips, seemed to be speaking to the amazed multitudes; only Halil Patrona’s eyes were closed and his lips sealed.

Suddenly a great cry of woe arose from one end of the city to the other, the people seized their arms and rushed off to the Etmeidan under three banners.

They had no other leader now but Janaki, all the rest had escaped or were dead.  So now they brought him forward.  The tidings of Halil’s death wrought no change in him, he had foreseen it long before, and was well aware that Guel-Bejaze had departed from the capital.  He had himself prepared for her the little dwelling in the valley lost among the ravines of Mount Taurus, which was scarce known to any save to him and the few dwellers there, and he had brought back with him from thence a pair of carrier-pigeons, so that in case of necessity he might be able to send messages to his daughter without having to depend on human agency.

When the clamorous mob invited him to the Etmeidan he wrote to his daughter on a tiny shred of vellum, and tied the letter beneath the wing of the pigeon.

And this is what he wrote: 

“God’s grace be with thee!  Wait not for Halil, he is dead.  The Janissaries have killed him.  And I shall not be long after him, take my word for it.  But live thou and watch over thy child.—­JANAKI.”

With that he opened the window and let the dove go, and she, rising swiftly into the air, remained poised on high for a time with fluttering pinions, and then, with the swiftness and directness of a well-aimed dart, she flew straight towards the mountains.

“Poor Irene!” sighed Janaki, buckling on his sword with which he certainly was not very likely to kill anybody—­and he accompanied the insurgents to the Etmeidan.

In Stambul things were all topsy-turvy once more.  The seventh Janissary regiment, when the two-and-thirty Janissaries returned to them with bloody swords boasting of their deed, rushed upon them and cut them to pieces.  The new Janissary Aga was shot dead within his own gates.  Kabakulak retired within a mosque.  Halil Pelivan, who had been appointed Kulkiaja, hid himself in a drain pipe for three whole days, and never emerged therefrom so long as the uproar lasted.

Project Gutenberg
Halil the Pedlar from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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