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consequence of what had happened some
months previously."

"Barbarians!" yelled the untamed innocent;
"to violate the tent of an honest
Mussulman!"

"But we had no need to enter it; which,
moreover, we should not have done without
the kaïd's authorisation."

"Quite right," said the magistrate,
approvingly.

"We met his wife, as she was coming from
the water."

"What an abomination!" howled the biped
brute; "to stop a woman on the road!"

"And who, for the promise of a trifling
reward, told us the whole affair."

"A capital witness!—a she-beggar, who
betrays me!"

"She explained that it was her husband
who stole our bullock, in order to provide
himself with a store of salt meat."

"Sidi Bou Krari! That a woman should
lie like that!"

"She then showed us several goat-skins
filled with the meat."

"As if a Mussulman were not allowed to
keep salted meat in his tent!"

"And, to remove all doubt as to where the
meat came from, she showed us the bullock's
head lying in one corner of the tent, still in a
state sufficiently preserved to enable us to
recognise the animal."

"What a horrible she-vagabond! But her
evidence is good for nothing; I had given
her a beating not two days before."

"Our only thought then was to seize the
wild-boar who is now before you. There
was the difficulty; for this son of Satan is
as strong as no one.else, and can knock down
a camel with a blow of his fist."

"What a joke! I am as mild as a sheep."

"Twenty of us met in company, and at
dawn of day, informed by his wife—"

"What a pity I did not strangle her, as I
meant to!"

"Informed by his wife that he was still
asleep, we rushed down upon him; and, after
a hard struggle, contrived to bind him in the
way you see, as he lay on his mat."

"Sidi Abd-Allah! What treachery! To
attack a good Mussulman as he lay asleep!"

"And a good thing it was that we did attack
him in that way; for, although he was hardly
awake, he managed, while he was wrestling
with us, to break one of Oulid Sekrad's legs,
and to put out one of Ali Oud Ama's eyes.
He smashed in five or six of poor Bou
Senan's teeth, and bit Otsman Oud Messassit's
back savagely."

"Justice of the Master of the World! is
It possible to lie in this way? On the
contrary, I have been half killed by you. Don't
you see my face is covered with blood?"

"Son of a dog! you well know the blood is
from poor Oud Messassit's body."

"Sidi Abd-Allah!" exclaimed Ben Serraq.
But it was of no use invoking the saints.
Djilali called for a towel and a basin of
water, and with them washed Ben Serraq's
face. The experiment established the fact
that that interesting individual had not
received the slightest scratch, and that the bite
on the unfortunate Oud Messassit's back
must have been the only source of the
stains.

"Well, Ben Serraq," said the president;
"although I cannot entertain any reasonable
doubt of your guilt, you are, nevertheless, at
liberty to speaklet us hear what you have
to say in justification."

"Ah! I am allowed to explain! Well;
you will soon see! In the first place, my
wife is a she-vagabondeverybody knows it
don't they, Djilali?"

But Djilali, who was particularly anxious
to conceal all cognisance of the defendant's
affairs, only replied,—"May your tent catch
fire! Pray, what connection have I ever had
with you, that I should know how your wife
employs herself?"

"Very well; 'tis of no consequence. But
the fact is notorious and incontestablethe
she-dog betrays my honour."

"I will take your word for it," said the
court; "and then?—"

"She has taken a fancy to Oud Raï,
whose people's shepherds have treated me
so shamefully. I have often said to her,
'Fatma, my darling, things cannot go on in
this manner; your improper conduct sets
everybody talking, and a modest and
virtuous man, like myself, will soon be the
laughing-stock of the whole country, and
that on your account. Mind what you are
about, else I shall be obliged to beat you;
and you are aware, my beloved, that, when I
do hit, I hit rather hard.'"

"But I do not see what reference your
matrimonial tribulations can have to the
business now before us."

"I beg your pardonyou will see directly.
I admonished her, therefore, with the utmost
gentleness, in accordance with my natural
disposition. But it was a waste of time and
breath. She persevered in her infamous
conduct till I was obliged, as a gentleman,
to administer to her and to Oud Raï one day,
a considerable number of kicks and thumps."

''But, again I ask, what have these details
to do with the theft of which you stand
accused? Explain yourself, more clearly."

"What! cannot a man of your great genius
see, now, how things have been managed?"

"I have an idea I can; but probably not
in the same light as you do."

"What! don't you see that Oud Raï and
my wretch of a wife, to be avenged of the
beating I gave them, have subtracted the
bullock in question without my knowledge,
and have cut it up in my tent, in order to
compromise me with the authorities? Sidi
Bou Krari! it is as clear as the sun, that.
Don't you see that I am a virtuous husband
calumniated by a criminal wife?"

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