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The Oriental Peddler

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The hawker of tbeeast is pictnrosque n oostame and of many uationalities. lis suimy smile and white, gleaming eth are of tho very essence of the blue ky overhead. Hedoesnot stand Still in ;he street and appeal to passersby to buy lis wares. He flits from cafe to cafe and nferviews loungers smoking their j iles in the open air. He adopts the ; jambling system as being a more direct appeal to human passions. In his hand ie carries a lucky bag. When he enters ; a cafe, he invites you to dip your hand n the bag and try your luck f or a pair of ive turkeys, a boautiful Egyptiau shawl himmering with gold or silver eni)roidery, or some other of the many ornamenta peculiar to the east. It isdiffiult to resist his persua-sive eloquence. The method of procedure is this: In ïis lucky bag the hawkor carries 200 mnibers. The figures are neatly inscribed on small slips of stift" paper. These are rolled and curled up in the lucky iag, which resembles a pillowease more lian auythiug else. When the pcddler ■nters tho cafe, his quick eye soon deeets a likely customer. To start by doing a trado will greatly enliauce his chances with others. Terms are arranged, say three tries for a half frano, ?hen you guöss, perhaps three times, at he lucky unmber, say betweeu 100 and 120, as arranged. On drawing the first number you pay lown your half franc. Of course the odds are very much against you. The ïawkers in Cairo and Alexandria make a very fair harvestwhen these cities are 'uil. As much as 15 to 18 francs for a ;urkey which costs 5 francs is pret.ty good profit. Soniebody, of course, wins t in the long run. The articles disposed of in this way cornprise boxes of splendid peaches and other f mits, soap, flowers' in great variety, plants and he beautiful poinsettia, turkeys and other live stock, game in season, fish, dates, a great variety of ornaments, cunning deviccs in clocks, furniture, etc. There is another side to tbe picture. die eastern hawker would not be con;ent with the mere garnble for a lucky mmber without exercising his natural ingenuity. While he is talking to a would be "flutterer" he drops his hand nto the bag and begins shaking up tho numbers. These, it should be explained, are made up in batches of tens and wenties, which are composed of a slightly different qualities of paper. In ;he bag is a false bottorn. So delicate is üassan or Abdul's touch that he can distinguish one batch froni the other with his hand. Instantly you select your ïumbers he switches them off into the reserved compartment. You niay easily )e tricked half a dozen times in this way without knowiug it. The face of ;he hawker on such occasions is a study. Never for a moment does he relax his attention to you. His smile is sunny as ;he eastern morn. His respectful


Ann Arbor Argus
Old News