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Tabâh, Abû. Abû Tabâh was created by “Sax Rohmer,” the pseudonym of Arthur Sarsfield Ward (Bimbâshi Barûk, Bazarada, Major Bernard de Treville, Fu Manchu (I), Paul Harley, Red Kerry, Moris Klaw, Gaston Max, Captain O’Hagan), and appeared in six stories in The Premier Magazine in 1917 and 1918, beginning with “The Breath of Allah” (The Premier Magazine, Feb 1917); the stories were collected in Tales of Secret Egypt (1918).
Abû Tabâh is a slim Egyptian man who always wears a black gibbeh and a white turban and carries an ivory cane. He has a gentle manner and “wonderful and liquid” eyes, and always conducts himself gravely and with respect for others. But for all his courtly manner he is known as “The Magician” for a reason: he is the unofficial ruler of Cairo. All of the natives respect him, all doors are open to him, and he takes whatever actions are necessary to maintain the peace of the city, from seeing to it that a particular pearled veil is returned to its rightful owner to banishing an artist’s model from the city. He is hard when he needs to be, but he seems to have taken a liking to the English trader Kernaby and helps Kernaby, within reason and while also requiring Kernaby to do certain favors for him.
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