|Abbud’s House, where Abdul Baha kept the notorious prostitute.|
This officer was a staff Colonel and associated with military & civil functionaries. He had a beautiful step daughter, the child of his wife by former marriage, who gathered young men around her.
Colonel Badri Beg hired a house at Haifa to spend the summer season there. He attended evening parties of the French Consul and leading members of the [Arab] Christian community. They engaged themselves in gambling.
The Most Great Branch [Sir Abbas Effendi] met all the [gambling] losses of the Beg, and provided for the upkeep of the [Beg’s] house, and for the expenses of the [Beg’s] step daughter. Thus the step daughter came to have plenty opportunity. She became familiar with a good looking Italian man. At night they met together and indulged themselves in love affair.
Some people became aware of the affair and advised the Beg to send the family to Acre. As the Beg himself had connection with the girl, and could not send her away from him. He disregarded the advice.
Eventually the Beg came to know about the affair and this roused his jealousy. One evening the Beg detailed two soldiers to go and deliver a message to the Italian young man on behest of the girl to come & see her at night. The house was unattended. The occupant had gone to Acre. As soon as the Italian young man came into the house & seated himself in the drawing room, the two soldiers appeared at the scene, caught hold of him, strangled him to death, stuffed up his throat with a long piece of rag, took him away and cast him into the sea.
In their hurry & bustle, they did not tie a stone to his foot to keep the corpse at the bottom of the sea.
In the morning his mother and relatives begun to search for the young man. Finally the young man’s body was discovered near the sea shore, strangled to death.
The incident set people’s tongue wagging. His mother and relatives raised a tumult in Haifa. They held Badri Beg responsible for the incident and brought an action against him and also against [Sir] Abbas Effendi because he came to Haifa after and frequented the Beg’s house.”
I realised that the allegation against the Most Great Branch [Sir] Abbas Effendi reflected on the whole family. By strong arguments and proof I applied myself to proving that it was impossible for him to have been involved in the matter. I called on members of the bereaved family to offer my condolences. I seised the opportunity to convince them that my brother [Sir] Abbas Effendi had not taken part at all in the matter. The mother of the deceased replied: “If he had not taken part in the matter, and had no connection with the girl, why did he take her to his own home in Acre?” I endeavoured as far as possible to exonerate the Most Great Branch [Sir] Abbas Effendi as the allegation reflected on the family as well as on Baha’s name. But I did not expect that he would take her to his own house. I went to Acre to see what had happened. I enquired from the Baha’is and others. I found out that he had put up the notorious prostitute girl in his own house, the ‘Abbud-House’, which was the dwelling place of the Blessed Beauty [i.e. Baha], exalted be his power, before his ascension [i.e. death].