"Ah, I beg your pardon, sir. Isanmesez means do you still live? It is a sort of greeting, like how do you do."
"I am Bakhyt. For fifteen years I was an aide to the Khan's executioner in Bakhchisaray. The work was busy, but I did not mind it... Until the new Khan installed a new Vizier, that is."
"The old vizier was retired. I cried as I strangled him with a silk thread. The new vizier was a miser, quite like your everyday Instanbul shroff! He decided that the executioner needs no assistant, so I was put out of the palace the very same day. Now I make my bread as I can. Working as an assistant in the butcher's row at the markets, chopping up the carcass at the slaughterhouse. I even went as low as accepting a job killing a pig at a Cossack homestead -- for ten thaler! Shaitan damn that beast, cursed by the Allah..."