you want a cigar?” The young officer spoke in fluent English.
“Do you even have a cigar?”
“Oh, yes. We keep one in this little box, just for this
occasion. It is seldom requested, so this one is maybe five
“Do you have any last words?”
“No, I have been shouting those for the past week.”
“I admire your bravado, Englishman. A pity it did not serve you
when you committed your act of insanity.”
“Do you have any regret?” The young officer looked searchingly
at his prisoner.
Sebastian hesitated, then cleared his throat. “I regret I never
learned your language. I would like to have read its poetry.”
“You do not speak Farsi?” The young officer was astonished.
“No, not a word.”
“But the crime for which you have been convicted...”
“I have been curious.”
“It was blasphemy. You were found in the middle of the riot you
caused, shouting curses against our culture.”
“Actually I was asking directions to the market. I wanted to
buy some bacon.”
The young officer paused for a moment.
“Do you want a blindfold?”
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