How do our people make living? There are two ways.
One is by stealing. A thief hopes to grow fat on what he has
stolen, and a bey seeks to increase his herds by recovering
what has been stolen from him and more besides.
authority will fleece both the bey and the thief by promising
the former to help recover his stolen livestock and the latter
to evade justice. Your average man will inform on the thief
to the authorities, at the same time aiding and abetting him
by buying up the stolen goods for a song. Then there is
another way: ordinary people are persuaded by crooks to
resort to tricks they Would otherwise never have dreamt of
Do this or that, they say, and you’ll be rich and famous, you
will be regarded as invulnerable and your opponents will
fear you. Fanning evil passions and setting people against
one another, the swindlers hope to be of service to someone
and profit by this.
That’s the way they live: the grandee by aiding the bey
and abetting the thief, and the poor man by sucking up to the
powers that be and backing them in disputes, siding now
with one, now with another party, and selling dirt cheap his
honour, his wife, his children, and his kith and kin.
If there were no thieves and Swindlers, our people
would think carefully. They would be only too glad to
work honestly and seek goodness and wisdom if the bey
could make do with what he has, and the poor man, with
out losing hope and faith, could earn what he lacks.
Despite themselves, the common people get involved
in dirty business. Who is strong enough to uproot this evil?
Will honour and pledges, loyalty and conscience sink into
There might be a force capable of taming the thief
But what about the bey who out of greed connives with the
swindler who will make him see reason and how?