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Teel James Glenn


Prologue

In the Favor of Allah


As Allah is my witness (if he has not turned away in disgust from this, his most lowly of creations) I did not intend to become involved with sorcery; I abide by Synbad’s motto: Sorcery is for sinners!

I, Captain Aadil el Faakhir, who was with Synbad on his tenth voyage (the one he does not talk about-and no wonder with what those Djinn houri did to us men-but I digress-) am an honest man and a seafarer.

I have sailed the Gulf of Basra which some have called Khalij al-'Ajami or the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Sea all my life.

This adventure of which I now relate began when I was in command of the Baber, the Lion of the Sea. It was a Baghlah—which some might call a mule, for it is a heavy ship, a traditional deep-sea dhow.

The sea was calm, the winds from the east fair and the sun golden on the horizon yet there was trouble.

She is handling like a fat cow,” Baasim, my first mate yelled from the tiller. He is a jolly fellow who fits his name of ‘Smiling One’ with a crooked nose and long hair he grooms too much. He was leaning his bulk against the steering bar and complaining as usual.

Then feed her grass and soothe her, you great behemoth!” I called back to him. “We must bring this cargo to the caliphate quickly if we are to collect our fat reward.”

There will be no reward if we do not make port,” said Nadhim whom we called ‘The Thin’ for his bony appearance. “I see a sail on the horizon; it could be pirates.”

He pointed to the west and by squinting I could see a speck.

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