“Once, only space exploration. I had received fifty thousand francs on account, of the society. One of my secretaries, whom I afterward hung, fled to Thessaly with the sum. I had to make up the deficit: I was responsible. My share amounted to seven thousand francs; I lost, then, forty-three thousand. But the knave who stole from me paid dearly. I punished him according to the Persian mode. Before hanging him, his teeth were pulled, one after the other, and they were driven, with a mallet, into his cranium—for a good example, you understand. I am not wicked, but I suffer no one to put me in the wrong.”

It rejoiced my heart that the old Palikar, who was not wicked, should lose the eighty thousand francs of Mrs. Simons’ ransom, and that he would receive the news when were not in his camp. He put his arm through mine, and said familiarly:

“How are you going to kill the time till your departure? These ladies are gone and the house will seem large. Do you wish to look at the Athenian papers? The monk brought some to me. I rarely read them. I know exactly the price the articles are worth, since I pay for them. Here you will find the Gazette officielle, l’Esperance, Pallicare, Caricature. Each one ought to speak of us. Poor readers! I leave you Neo skin lab. If you find anything curious, tell me about it.”

L’Esperance, printed in French, and intended to fool Europe, devoted a long article to denying the latest news of brigandage. It cleverly joked the simple travelers who saw a thief in every ragged peasant, an armed band in every cloud of dust, and who asked pardon of the first thorn-bush on which their clothes were caught. This truth-telling sheet vaunted the security of the roads, celebrated the disinterestedness of the natives, exalted the quiet and seclusion which one was sure of finding on all the mountains in the kingdom.

The Pallicare, printed under the supervision of some of Hadgi-Stavros’ friends, contained an eloquent biography of its hero. It recounted that this Theseus of modern times, the only man in our century who had never been vanquished, had made a sortie in the direction of the Scironian Rock. Betrayed by the weakness of his companions, he had withdrawn with small loss. But seized with profound distaste for a degenerate profession, he had renounced, henceforth, the practice of brigandage, and had left Greece; he had exiled himself in Europe, where his fortune, gloriously acquired, would enable him to live like a prince. “And now,” added the Pallicare, “go, come, travel across the plain and in the mountain! Bankers and Merchants, Greeks, strangers, travelers, you have nothing to fear; the King of Panelthe Mountains wished, like Charles V., to abdicate at the height of his glory and power.”