Fantastic Fables

by Ambrose Bierce

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The Honest Cadi

A ROBBER who had plundered a Merchant of one thousand pieces of gold was taken before the Cadi, who asked him if he had anything to say why he should not be decapitated.

"Your Honour," said the Robber, "I could do no otherwise than take the money, for Allah made me that way."

"Your defence is ingenious and sound," said the Cadi, "and I must acquit you of criminality. Unfortunately, Allah has made me so that I must also take off your head - unless," he added, thoughtfully, "you offer me half of the gold; for He made me weak under temptation."

Thereupon the Robber put five hundred pieces of gold into the Cadi's hand.

"Good," said the Cadi. "I shall now remove but one half your head. To show my trust in your discretion I shall leave intact the half you talk with."

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It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so.