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Mushrooms of Zanzibar pages

Sheikh Ibn Heer Befir Interview (2)

June 2, 1971

"But I only meant ---- " (sensing I would get novhere, I mean nowhere, I altered my approach) --- "Might I sit down?" I asked.

"Vot you tink dis is, a lounge? Four veeks you pester at mine door so you kin come in and zit? So! Go aheat! But get to de point; time is mushrooms and I'm gettink short on both and on patience, too!"

Now that I have him charmed I decided to get to the heart of the visit.

"Mighty Sheikh, I am here to get from you directions on how to find the great wild mushrooms of Zanzibar to be perfectly blunt."

"Blunt, schmunt, for tventy-fife percent of vot you get, I'm telllnk you!"

So saying, he summoned his lawyer, Horvath I-Iruba, formerly of the Hungarlan Hussars, who, to my astonishment, cast before me a document which would sign away one-fourth of whatever we found to the Sheikh's mushroom vaults.

Having little choice I signed and received a map from the Sheikh in return.

I was quickly rushed from the room by Captain Ektrek who rapidly outdistanced me in the maze of halls. All of a sudden I was yanked into a side room by a beautiful olive skinned member of the Sheikh's harem.

Her name was, she told me, Rake El Velsch the Voluptuous and she was, she was.

Spiriting me behind a nearby pillar she wasted no time in telling me why she had pulled me aside. Mxch to my disappointment she wanted only to inform me of some dangers that the Sheikh and his lawyer neglected to inform me of prior to my clever negotiation of the map.

She rattled off the miseries that we could expect to encounter and I tried very hard to absorb all that I could (of what she said, too).

When I did listen, I heard of the wise Sheikh of the desert, Margolies Ben Resident who could show us short cuts to our destination (Margolies had a thinking stand on the desert's edge).

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