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Alroy, Edited by Sheila A. Spector


Part VII

Chapter 8

‘DRINK,’ said Kisloch the Kourd to Calidas the Indian; ‘you forget, comrade, we are no longer Moslemin.’

‘Wine, methinks, has a peculiarly pleasant flavour in a golden cup,’ said the Guebre. ‘I got this little trifle today in the Bazaar,’ he added, holding up a magnificent vase studded with gems.

‘I thought plunder was forbidden,’ grinned the Negro.

‘So it is,’ replied the Guebre; ‘but we may purchase what we please, upon credit.’

‘Well, for my part, I am a moderate man,’ exclaimed Calidas the Indian, ‘and would not injure even these accursed dogs of Turks. I have not cut my host’s throat, but only turned him into my porter, and content myself with his harem, his baths, his fine horses, and other little trifles.’

‘What quarters we are in! There is nothing like a true Messiah!’ exclaimed Kisloch, devoutly.

‘Nothing,’ said Calidas; ‘though to speak truth, I did not much believe in the efficacy of Solomon’s sceptre, till his Majesty clove the head of the valiant Seljuk with it.’

‘But now there’s no doubt of it,’ said the Guebre.

‘We should indeed be infidels if we doubted now,’ replied the Indian.

‘How lucky,’ grinned the Negro, ‘as I had no religion before, that I have now fixed upon the right one!’

‘Most fortunate!’ said the Guebre. ‘What shall we do to amuse ourselves to-night?’

‘Let us go to the coffee-houses and make the Turks drink wine,’ said Calidas the Indian.

‘What say you to burning down a mosque?’ said Kisloch the Kourd.

‘I had great fun with some Dervishes this morning,’ said the Guebre. ‘I met one asking alms with a wire run through his cheek,58 so I caught another, bored his nose, and tied them both together!’

‘Hah! hah! hah!’ burst the Negro.

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Published @ RC

January 2005