ISBN: 0554236605 / ISBN-13: 9780554236605
Jimgrim and Allah's Peace
by Talbot Mundy
Excerpt: ...able to steal the bed from under a sleeper without waking him. But even the stealthiest animals go crashing away from danger, and, now ... Show synopsis Excerpt: ...able to steal the bed from under a sleeper without waking him. But even the stealthiest animals go crashing away from danger, and, now that the worst of the danger lay behind, more or less panic seized all of us. Mahommed ben Hamza refused to follow the regular track, for fear of ambush or a chance encounter in the dark. Grim let him have his way. They dragged the wretched Abdul Ali like a sack of corn by a winding detour, and wherever the narrow path turned sharply to avoid great rocks they skidded him at the turn until he yelled for mercy. Grim pulled off the sack at last, untied his arms and legs, and let him walk; but whenever he lagged they frog-marched him again. At last we reached a brook where we all waded to get rid of the filth and smell from that infernal moat, and Abdul Ali seized that opportunity to play his last cards. Considering Ben Hamza's reputation, the obvious type of his nine ruffians, the darkness and rough handling, it said a lot for Grim's authority that Abdul Ali still had that wallet-full of money in his possession. Sitting on a stone in the moonlight, he pulled it out. His nerve was a politician's, cynical, simple. Its simplicity almost took your breath away. "How many men from Hebron?" he demanded. "Ten. Well and good. I have here ten thousand piastres-one thousand for each of you, or divide it how you like. That is the price I will pay you to let me go. What can these other two do to you? Take the money and run. Leave me to settle with these others." Ben Hamza, knee-deep in the brook, laughed aloud as he eyed the money. He made a gesture so good-humoured, so full of resignation and regret and broad philosophy that you would have liked the fellow even if he hadn't saved your life. "Deal with those two first!" he grinned. "I would have taken your money long ago, but that I know Jimgrim! He would have made me give it up again." "Jimgrim!" said Abdul Ali. "Jimgrim? Are you Major James Grim? A good thing for you I did not...