Conclusion to Karl May AKA Old Shatterhand AKA Kara ben Nemsi

Conclusion to Karl May AKA Old Shatterhand AKA Kara ben Nemsi

Confirming his identities.

The scene takes place in the Wild West, near a place called Makik-Natun. Old Shatterhand is travelling in the company of Djafar, a man from Persia who is connected to the characters from May’s Orient novels, and his inept guide, Perkins. Old Shatterhand just obtained dinner, in the form of two hares he shot, causing the Persian, Djafar, to pay attention to Shatterhand’s gun, the Henry rifle, and the bear killer.


Excerpt from: SavageTo Saint: The Karl May Story,

“Allah!” Djafar called out. “What a marksman! I see that Perkins told me the truth when he spoke of Old Shatterhand.”

His childlike admiration caused me to laugh merrily. I picked up the hares and hung them on my belt; then we continued.

Those two shots seemed to have directed Djafar’s attention onto my guns. He looked at them repeatedly and in a manner that pointed to an unusual interest, and then he finally expressed his curiosity by asking, “Sir, does this heavy gun have a special name?”



“It’s called the bear killer.”

“Allah! Very peculiar! I have heard this name before, but in Arabic. Are there more such guns?”

“Yes, although not as old and as heavy as this one.”

“How many shots can you fire with the smaller one?”


“Allah! This also is correct. What is it called?”

“It is a Henry rifle.”

“I have also heard this name before in Arabic. Isn’t it an extraordinary coincidence that you own two guns, like those of which I have been told?”

“Where did you hear about them?”

“At the Tigris River.”

“The Tigris River? That is very peculiar, indeed!”

“Do you know this river?”

“Of course. Every student learns about it at school. Then you must have been there, Mr. Djafar?”



“Two years ago. I am Persian, you know, and am known as Mirza Djafar in my country. You probably won’t be educated enough to know what it means.”

“But, yes.”

“Well, what?”

“If it precedes a name, mirza is the title of a scholar; but if it follows a name, the wearer is a prince by bloodline.”

“Truly, you know! I am Mirza Djafar, and I was traveling from Baghdad to Constantinople at the time. The journey led along the Tigris River to Mossul and along the route I was the guest of the Haddedihn, where I was told of these guns.”

“Should there also be Henry rifles and bear killers in that country?” I was intrigued but didn’t let on.

“No. They belonged to a foreigner.”

“Who might that have been?”

“His name was Emir Kara ben Nemsi Effendi.”

“But that’s an Arabic name; therefore, this man was no foreigner!”

“But he was! If you understood Arabic, you would know that Nemsi means ‘German’. The Sheik of the Haddedihn told me of him and of his rifles.”

“What was the name of this sheik?”

“He was a short, but very brave and smart gentleman and his name was Hadji Halef Omar Ben Hadji Abul Abbas Ibn Hadji Dawuhd al Gossarah.”

“What a name! Almost longer than a python!”

“Yes, it might sound funny in your ears, but to append the names of one’s forefathers to one’s own is traditional in the Orient. This honors the man and his forebears at the same time. Besides, Hadji Halef Omar was entitled to bear such a long name because he was a famous man who could tell stories of many heroic deeds. He had hunted the lion and the black panther, and victoriously fought many enemies.”

Of course, I was extraordinarily pleased to hear about my Hadji Halef, here of all places, which was unbelievable. The short fellow, in his oriental exaggeration, had evidently once again told tall tales about his daring deeds, the credits for which were actually mine. I was secretly bemused and kept quiet about the fact that I was that Emir Kara ben Nemsi Effendi, and asked, “Was the German emir present during those adventures?”

“Yes. He was even part of them and never turned his back on an enemy. The Haddedihn have him to thank for their continued existence because he saved them from a defeat that would have had certain annihilation as a consequence. I also hold him especially dear, because I owe him my thanks.”

That was news to me. I knew for certain that I had never met Mirza Djafar before, had never seen him nor heard of him, and he owed me his thanks? I must have looked at him in disbelief because he continued.

“He saved a relative of mine from certain death—you know, he helped him in a fight. Then he accompanied him to Baghdad and stood by him in many dangers, but that still didn’t prevent the later attack and murder of my relative.”

If one liberated a Persian mirza from the Indians in the Wild West of America, it was an event that could certainly be called unusual; but if one was then informed by the mirza that one has saved his relative from certain death on the shores of the Tigris River, then the word unusual became inadequate. That’s why the hasty question escaped me.

“A relative of yours?…Helped him in a fight?…Accompanied to Baghdad?…Murdered later? You’re not talking of Hassan Ardshir-Mirza, by chance?”

It was his turn to be surprised. He halted his horse, which caused me to stop walking as well, threw his arms in the air in utter astonishment and called out, “Hassan Ardshir-Mirza, the lost prince! You know this name! Allah is creating the greatest miracles today! Where did you hear from him?”

“Hear? I’ve seen him!”


“And spoke to him!”


“And knelt next to his corpse when the black death had me already in its ghastly grip!”

“Corpse…! Black death…!”

“Next to him lay Djanah, his wife, his pride, murdered at the same time as him!”

It was an altogether peculiar scene. We were literally shouting those exclamations at each other such that Perkins might have thought we had both gone mad. Djafar stared down at me, wide-eyed; he was searching for words, open-mouthed, but didn’t seem capable of uttering anything. He made one great effort and then hollered, “Djanah, his soul, his pearl! His wife is the link of our kinship! Oh, Mr. Shatterhand, I must ask if I am dreaming or am the victim of high fever. Have you been with the Haddedihn?”


“While Hadji Halef Omar still belonged to them?”


“You were there when Mohammed Emin, their famous sheik died?”

“I helped bury him. He gave me Rih, my magnificent black stallion. He died when we assisted Hassan Ardshir-Mirza in the fight against the Kurds.”

“That’s right, that’s right! But then you must be…you are…”

He grabbed his forehead and continued, “You must be Emir Kara ben Nemsi Effendi!”

“I am. My first name Karl was translated into Kara, Ben Nemsi is my nationality and the titles emir and effendi were bestowed upon me without my doing or being warranted.”

More: Savage To Saint: The Karl May Story,