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The Secret of the Coffer

Nuri Bey, who lived in Albania, was a man of profound wisdom. He had married a woman who was much younger than him.

One evening, as he was retiring into his rooms later than usual, his most trustful servant came to him and told him, “You should know that the behaviour of your wife has been suspicious today. Allow me to tell you in detail. She locked herself in her room with a coffer. This coffer was so big that you could hide a dead body in it. It was the same coffer where your grandmother used to put her precious ancient broideries. Your wife didn’t allow me to open it when I asked her—me, the oldest and most devoted of your servants.”

Nuri Bey went straight to his wife’s chambers. She was sitting, with a melancholy figure, next to the old coffer.

“Can you show me what is inside?” Nuri Bey asked.

“Why do you want to know? Is it because of your servant? It is it because you don’t trust me?”

“Wouldn’t it be simpler to just open it?” asked Nuri Bey.

“No, it wouldn’t,” his wife replied.

“It is locked?”


“Where is the key?”

The woman showed Nuri Bey the key, which she held in her hand, and told him, “Discharge your servant and I will give it to you.”

Nuri Bey did just that. He fired the old servant and went back to his wife’s chambers. She gave him the key and left.

Alone with the old coffer, Nuri Bey stood in silence for a long time. He then called four gardeners and ordered them to take the coffer and bury it in some field as far away from his house as possible.

After that, no one mentioned the coffer ever again.

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