"The Chief of the Pindaris, after the habit of Moslems, is one whose heart softens toward a woman who is beautiful and is pleasing to his eye." "Ancient history," Nana Sahib commented in English, "and not confined to Musselmen." "Speak on," the Dewan commanded curtly.
The Musselmen, who seized Kachmyr and Ladak at a remote epoch, converted by force the poor inhabitants of old Thibet to the faith of Islam. The political existence of Ladak ended with the annexation of this country to Kachmyr by the sëiks, which, however, permitted the Ladakians to return to their ancient beliefs.
Ranjoor Singh asked him, and the Kurd said nothing; but I feared greatly because they seemed on the verge of a religious argument, and those Kurds are fanatics. If anything but gold had been in the balance against him, I believe that Kurd would have defied us, for, although he did not know what Sikhs might be, he knew us for no Musselmen.
I shall always wear my melancholy memories of sin, as Musselmen wear their turban or pall as a continual memento of death.
It requires of us great efforts to bring back those Musselmen, descendants of Buddhists, into the path of the true God. As regards the Europeans, it is quite a different affair. Not only do they profess the essential principles of monotheism, but they are, in a sense, adorers of Buddha, with almost the same rites as the lamas who inhabit Thibet.
"Why?" asked I, knowing that something funny was coming. "Because they're regular musselmen!" said the skipper, laughing out loudly at the old joke, Jorrocks and I, of course, joining in.
They made no outcries and no ado; they had given him up long ago; he would be no company for them in their rounds of gaiety and fashion; he might as well be teaching heathens or Musselmen in the kingdoms of the Brother to the Sun as a dry, dull parson in America, ever in danger of offending their aristocratic tone and ideas by his sober, old-fashioned notions.
At length the letters being ready for your majesty, they called for me and explained them, and the following is their substance, so far as I could understand them by my interpreter: "The commandment of the Eternal GOD is this: As there is but one Eternal GOD in heaven, so upon earth let there be but one Lord, Zingis-khan, son of God, and Mangu-tinij . This is the word which is spoken to you; whether Moals, Namans, Markets, or Musselmen; wherever man may hear or horse may go, cause it to be heard and understood, that such as have heard my commands and do not obey, or would levy an army against me, shall be as having eyes and not seeing, as having hands and unable to hold any thing, and as having feet, yet unable to walk.
The lamas much prefer the visits of Europeans to those of Musselmen, and when I asked the one who received me why this was so, he answered me: "Musselmen have no point of contact at all with our religion. Only comparatively recently, in their victorious campaign, they have converted, by force, part of the Buddhists to Islam.
We Musselmen don't talk so much about women; but I suppose as you were a Frenchman, and very young then, you knew no better. Why you talk of women as if they had souls!" The renegade did not think it advisable to express his opinion in contradiction to that of his highness, and the assertions of the Prophet.