"On account of her husband's driving skills, Aunt Fatima sat in the back seat of the old green Citroen. Normally she would have taken a taxi, but on this day her knee was particularly irritating and her husband insisted on driving her to the hospital.
Said watched his aunt’s scarfed head wobble and her chest rise and fall behind the car window and knew that whoever opened the door would wither in a Sirocco-strength wind of complaints about joint pain, summer heat, lost time, and men in general. He watched his uncle descend the alley steps to his fate.
As the car disappeared into the streets below the medina, a smile worked its way to Said's lips. He turned back to the shop and felt a cooling zephyr off the bay tickle his neck. Until Uncle Mustafa returned, the shop was his.
Curios and antiques from all over Africa cluttered the fragrant gloom—just like treasure in a robber’s cave, Said thought, plunging his hand into a bowl of old French coins on the table beside him. There were stone carvings from Mali, amber beads and indigo cloth from Mauritania, carpets from the Berber villages of the high Atlas and beyond. What a shame they would never see the light of day, he thought....
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