Stephenson Tales

The Arab-Type Dagger

I went in to Algiers to hear an opera almost every week that I was in North Africa. One time, as so often happened I heard, "Hey, Joe...." but this time instead of offering his sister for "jig-jig" He said, "you want knife?" Well that was a switch! He was almost as nervous as he was filthy. He pulled this from under his brown (with grime) robe an held it out to me. "How much?" He named a price. I reached into my pocket and pulled out exactly half of what he had asked. He objected, "Non, non!" and repeated his price I said, "oui, oui...ou rien!" and turned to go. "O.K., Joe" I grabbed the knife and he snatched the bills, and looking furtively around, scurried off around the corner and out of sight. Of course it was stolen. I put it in my belt under my jacket.

The Arab-Type Dagger

As you can see, it is not complete. The circles on each side by which the dagger is hung from a bandolier are missing. But, I believe it is silver on one side and brass on the other. Is it Arab? Look closely. On the silver side, part way down is a CROSS!!!! Explain that, if you can. I have often wondered what would have happened if the British colonel sitting next to me had noticed an odd shape for a soldier's torso!

Recorded on September 6 2008

© Jim Bob Stephenson 2008

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