Halil the Pedlar eBook

Mór Jókai
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 181 pages of information about Halil the Pedlar.

He began to perceive, however, that he would have to keep the money after all, and the very thought of it kept him awake all night long.

Next day he again strolled about the bazaars, and then directed his steps once more towards that house where he had chalked up his name the day before.  And lo! the name of Pelivan was again stuck at the top of his own.

“This must be put a stop to once for all,” murmured Halil, and beckoning to a load-carrier he mounted on to his shoulders and wrote his name high up, just beneath the eaves of the house on a spot where Pelivan’s name could not top his own again, from whence it is manifest that there was a certain secret instinct in Halil Patrona which would not permit him to take the lower place or suffer him to recognise anybody as standing higher than himself.  And as he, pursuing his way home, passed by the Tsiragan Palace, and there encountered riding past him the Padishah, Sultan Achmed III., accompanied by the Grand Vizier, Ibrahim Damad, the Kiaja Beg, the Kapudan Pasha, and the chief Imam, Ispirizade; and as he humbly bowed his head in the dust before them, it seemed to him as if something at the bottom of his heart whispered to him:  “The time will come when the whole lot of you will bow your heads before me in the dust just as I, Halil Patrona, the pedlar, do obeisance to you now, ye lords of the Empire and the Universe!”

Fortunately for Halil Patrona, however, he did not raise his face while the suite of the Lords of the Universe swept past him, for otherwise it might have happened that Halil Pelivan, who went before the Sultan with a drawn broadsword, might have recognised him, and certainly nobody would have taken particular trouble to inquire why the Janissary had split in two the head of this or that pedlar who happened to come in his way.

CHAPTER II.

Guel-Bejaze—­the white rose.

The booth of Halil Patrona, the pedlar, stood in the bazaar.  He sold tobacco, chibooks, and pipe-stems, but his business was not particularly lucrative.  He did not keep opium, although that was beginning to be one of the principal articles of luxury in the Turkish Empire.  From the very look of him one could see that he did not sell the drug.  For Halil had determined that he would never have any of this soul-benumbing stuff in his shop, and whenever Halil made any resolution he generally kept it.  Oftentimes, sitting in the circle of his neighbours, he would fall to discoursing on the subject, and would tell them that it was Satan who had sent this opium stuff to play havoc among the true believers.  It was, he would insist, the offscouring of the Jinns, and yet Mussulmans did not scruple to put the filth into their mouths and chew and inhale it!  Hence the ruin that was coming upon them and their posterity and the whole Moslem race.  His neighbours let him talk on without contradiction, but they took good

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Halil the Pedlar from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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