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chapter 6
 In one of the narrowest streets of this quarter, seated on the floor or rather on his heels, at the door of a very modest but very neat whitewashed house, smoking a clay pipe, was a Moor of some thirty-five or forty years of age, a dealer in eggs and chickens, which the free peasants of Sierra Bullones and Sierra Bermeja brought to him to the gates of Ceuta, and which he sold either in his own house or at the market, with a profit of a hundred per cent. He wore a white woollen chivala and a black woollen, hooded Arab cloak, and was called by the Spaniards, Manos-gordas, and by the Moors, Admet-Ben-Carime-el-Abdoun.
 
When the Moor saw the Chapel-master approaching, he rose and advanced to meet him, making deep salaams at every step, and when they were close together, he said cautiously:
 
"You want a little Moorish girl? I bring to-morrow little dark girl of twelve—"
 
"My wife wants no more Moorish servants," answered the musician stiffly.
 
Manos-gordas began to laugh.
 
"Besides," continued Don Bonifacio, "your infernal little Moorish girls are very dirty."
 
"Wash!" responded the Moor, extending his arms crosswise and inclining his head to one side.
 
"I tell you I want no Moorish girls," said Don Bonifacio. "What I want to-day is that you, who know so much that you are Interpreter of the Fortress, should translate this document into Spanish for me."
 
Manos-gordas took the document, and at the first glance murmured:
 
"It is Moor—"
 
"Of course, it is in Arabic. But I want to know what it says, and if you do not deceive me I will give you a handsome present—when the business which I am about to entrust you with is concluded."
 
Meantime Admet-Ben-Carime glanced his eye over the document, turning very pale as he did so.
 
"You see that it concerns a great treasure?" the Chapel-master half-affirmed, half-asked.
 
"Me think so," stammered the Mohammedan.
 
"What do you mean by saying you think so? Your very confusion tells plainly that it is so."
 
"Pardon," replied Manos-gordas, a cold sweat breaking out over his body.
"Here words modern Arabic—I understand. Here words ancient, or classic
Arabic—I no understand."
 
"What do the words that you understand signify?"
 
"They signify GOLD, they signify PEARLS, they signify CURSE OF ALA. But I no understand meaning, explanations, or signs. Must see the Dervish of Anghera—wise man and translate all. I take parchment to day and bring parchment to-morrow, and deceive not nor rob Senor Tudela. Moor swear."
 
Saying which he clasped his hands together, and, raising them to his lips, kissed them fervently.
 
Don Bonifacio reflected; he knew that in order to decipher the meaning of this document he should be obliged to take some Moor into his confidence, and there was none with whom he was so well acquainted and who was so well disposed to him as Manos-gordas; he consented, therefore, to confide the manuscript to him, making him swear repeatedly that he would return on the following day from Anghera with the translation, and swearing to the Moor on his side that he would give him at least a hundred dollars when the treasure should be discovered.
 
The Mussulman and the Christian then separated, and the latter directed his steps, not to his own house, nor to the cathedral, but to the office of a friend of his, where he wrote the following letter:
 
"Senor Don Matias de Quesada y Sanchez, Alpujarra, Ugijar.
 
"MY DEAREST UNCLE,—Thanks be to God that we have at last received news of you and of Aunt Encarnacion, and as good news as Josefa and I could desire. We, my dear uncle, although younger than you and my aunt, are full of ailments and burdened with children, who will soon be left orphans and compelled to beg for their bread.
 
"Whoever told you that the document you sent me bore any reference to a treasure deceived you. I have had it translated by a competent person, and it turns out to be a string of blasphemies against our Lord Jesus Christ, the Holy Virgin, and the Saints, written in Arabic verses, by a Moorish dog of the Marquisate of El Cenet, during the rebellion of Aben-Humeya. In view of its sacrilegious nature, and by the advice of the Senor Penitentiary, I have just burned this impious testimony to Mohammedan perversity.
 
"Remembrances to my aunt; Josefa desires to be remembered to you both; she is now for the tenth time in an interesting condition, and your nephew, who is reduced to skin and bone by the wretched affection of the stomach, which you will remember, begs that you will send him some assistance.
"BONIFACIO.
 
"CEUTA, January 29, 1821."


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