Friday, November 7, 2008

عَدَم الجَوَاب جَوَاب

"No answer is an answer."

Sidi Mohammed Ibrahim, Wakil al kharj of his eminence Driss Dey of Bizercca, reflected aloud as the deadline for response from the town fathers of the Cavenderian harbour town of Spilt expired. He ordered his xebec about, out of cannon range from the harbour to the north, and had signals set for a captains' meeting aboard his ship. The time spent off the coast of the Franj was to be minimised, to lessen the likelihood of difficulties with the xebecs' rowers, chained below, and the punitive raid to be launched as soon as final arrangements with the other commanders made.

Each xebec had been manned to capacity with men for the purpose of these raids, over 400 men on each, including the slaves, with each ship capable of putting 300 men onto the deck of enemy ships, or, in this case, ashore to participate in the rebuke of the Franj. While his orders called for the looting of the customs house and any merchants in Spilt, almost as important would be the capture of sufficient foodstuffs for the return voyage, since this raid had not been authorised by the Sublime Porte, and a safe harbourage in any Greek port to take on supplies could not be guaranteed.

Satisfied by the arrangements aboard his own vessel, Ibrahim called for water while waiting, and began his ablutions preparatory to noontime prayers.

2 comments:

abdul666 said...

It is to be feared that the xebecs will hunt more widely than announced and even attended.
Hopefully Cardinal Maximilian is now on safe (and dry) land?
BTW, when the Pharaoh was repaired in Monte-Cristo, did the holy man disembarked, or did he stay aboard in a self-imposed quarantine?

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