The Biters Bit.
♦ An extraordinary story is told by a Smyrna correspondent of the " Levant Herald." Two Greeks presented themselves at the palace of the Grand Rabbi of Smyrna, and asked to see him on very important business, The Venerable Abraham Falacci .being unwell, they were asked to come another day. Next day they called again. The rabbi not having yet recovered, his son,. a man of ,45, learning that their business was urgent, asked if they could not explain it to him. After some desultory conversation, they consented, at the same time requesting to be conducted to some remote apartment where there was no danger of being over heard. This being done, one of them said to him :—" Everyone has his particular religion ; we are aware that part of yours is to offer at Easter a Christian child in i sacrifice ; now we are ready, for the sum of Ll4oo' to furnish you with a fine plump and healthy Christian child, a little Greek girl of four years, for your sacrifice, and the child shall be obtained in such a manner as to ensure the most profound secrecy." The rabbi's son, as may well be supposed, was thunderstruck at the proposal, but he dissembled his feelings and stated that before he could enter into any definite arrangements with them it was necessary he should consult his father. They having assented to this he withdrew to his father's room and briefly related to him the story of the grim proposal. Speaking in the Hebrew tongue, for fear the men outside should understand, the father told him to despatch a messenger speedily to the headquarters of the police, requesting the chief of the police to send immediately an officer with a body of gendarmes, and then to go back and keep the Greeks under the pretence of discussing the price of their crime. Emin Efl'endi speedily answered the summons, and on the arrival of the zaptiehs the rabbi posted them behind, the door, concealed by a heavy curtain, and sent word to his son that the men had come; this message, like the previous one, being delivered in Hebrew. One of these individuals asking what the man had said, Nissan Pklacci answered tjiat his father, although ill, ' wished tp see them. Ushered into the presence of the rabbi, he began asking them in Turkish, so that the officials might understand the affair, how and where they go J} the child, how the sale was to be effected, and many other particulars. The examination.,, of the case satisfactorily concluded, he whistled, the police came in, and, having manacled the men, led them off to prison. As they were led through the streets some inkling of tho affair seems to have got abroad, and the police had to be strengthened to repress the people, who 1 looked as if about to take vengeance on ] the miscreants
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The Biters Bit., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2435, 21 May 1890
The Biters Bit. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2435, 21 May 1890
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