Saïd the Fisherman(1904). Novel by Marmaduke William Pickthall

Saïd the Fisherman

Saïd the Fisherman Free PDF Novel


The house of Said the fisherman nestled among the sandhills of the seashore at a long stone’s throw from the town, in whose shadow it lay at sunset. Within, it was a single room, very dirty, the abode of many aged smells; without, a squat cube with walls of stone and roof of mud sun-baked and rolled to a seemly flatness. Hard by was a fig tree, the nearest to the sea in all that coast Here, in a crotch of the branches. Said would place his mattress in the stifling summer nights and snore two deep bass notes in peace and coolness, while his wife trumpeted a treble from her couch upon the housetop. Here, when the day’s work was done, he would squat in the shade, drawing leisurely at his nargileh, with the sound of bubbling water to cool him at every puff.

He was not a great fisherman, such as is to be found in Europe, with a sailing boat of his own, who will go far out to sea with his nets. If there were any such in all the coasts of Arabistan, Said had never heard of them. Sometimes he would row out in a friend’s boat to a little distance from the shore and drop his nets, a great circle of bobbing cork and driftwood to mark their whereabouts.

But mostly he would go to some river-mouth or promontory where flat-topped rocks stretched far into the sea, promising safe foothold. And there, mother-naked, save for a huge turban, he would paddle and flounder all day long with his cast-net, sometimes alone, sometimes with several comrades. At times, when the catch had been good, he would go into the city with a crate of fish and take his stand in the marketplace, In a corner which from long use he had come to call his own. There he would cry in a loud voice, beseeching Allah to put a craving for fish into the hearts of the passers-by. And Allah often lent a kindly ear to his prayer, for he seldom went home but with an empty basket. It was one evening as he was wending homeward, dragging his empty basket with him across the sand, that the first gust of misfortune struck him

Author: Marmaduke William Pickthall Publication Date: 1904

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