How General de Sonis earned the respect of the Arabs

May 3, 2018

His reputation among the Arabs of the “really just man,” which had followed him for Tenez and Laghouat, at once won the esteem and confidence of the native population. He visited them in their tents, judged their causes and administered justice impartially to all. One day an Arab, richly dressed, came to him and asked for the post of Caid, which is a function greatly coveted by ambitious Mussulmen. Finding that his request was not very favourably received by the Governor, he suddenly lifted his burnous, and pointed to a large bag of five-franc pieces with a significant smile.

An Algerian man with burnous on his shoulder.

De Sonis bounded form his chair, called his guard and ordered them to take the Arab and put him in prison for a fortnight, “for having insulted the Commandant.” This act, which was instantly known among the tribes with the reason for it, made an immense impression. “This extraordinary man is incorruptible!” they exclaimed, and venerated him in proportion.

The life of General de Sonis, from his papers and correspondence by Baunard, Mgr.; Herbert, Mary Elisabeth À Court Herbert, Baroness. P.98-99

Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 624

 

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