Ekim Bey

‘First of all I must know your name . . .’ and then, as if talking to himself, he continued slowly—’the first letter of your name. . .’ and he placed on the alphabet the hand of the person wishing to know his fate.
Thanks to the mentioned human property, when the hand passed over the letter with which the name began it gave an involuntary start.

Ekim Bey, knowing the significance of this movement, perceived it and continued: ‘The first letter of your name is . .’ and he pronounced the letter over which the hand had trembled and wrote it down.

Continuing in this way, he found out the next few letters of the name and, having done so, guessed the whole name; for example, having obtained the letters S, T, and E, he could tell that the name was Stephen.
Then he said, ‘Your name is Stephen. Now I must find out how old you are,’ and he began to move the hand over the numbers.

He then discovered whether the man was married or not, how many children there were, the name of each child, the name of his wife, the name of his greatest enemy, greatest friend and so on and so forth.

After several of these miraculous guesses, his clients were so astonished that they forgot everything on earth and proceeded to tell Ekim Bey all he wanted to know, and, letting go their hand, he had only to repeat what they themselves had said. Then, whatever fantastic stuff he might tell them about their future, they believed it all and hung with awe on every word.

Later, everyone on whom Ekim Bey had made this experiment went around talking about it on all possible occasions and, of course, made such extravagant additions about his powers that the listeners’ hair stood on end.

And so, among those who knew and heard about him, an image was built up which gradually acquired the aura of a magician, and even his name was uttered in a whisper and with trepidation.