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    Frederick, the “KKK” of Constantinople, and the American Pearl (continued)

    Although the plan to rescue Pearl seemed to begin as a joke (please see my previous post) it was actually brought to life and had an amusing resolution. 

    After several weeks of plotting, scouting, and indecision, a dozen intrepid Americans decided to act.  One night, taking advantage of the Prince’s trip ashore with half of his crew, they slid up to the yacht in a boat belonging to a Turkish fisherman who had agreed to help them, overpowered the sailor on watch, trapped the remaining guards in their quarters, and proclaimed the Meteor captured “in the name of the Ku Klux Klan of Constantinople.”

    “We have come to rescue you,” the leader of the raiding party blurted out when “Princess Pearl of Hollywood, U. S. A.,” suddenly appeared at her cabin door, dressed in a fetching kimono and looking very angry. 

    “You roughnecks have your nerve with you,” she snapped and slammed the door in their astonished faces. 

    The chastened Americans hurried off the yacht and returned to Maxim, where the “K. K. K. of Constantinople was permanently dissolved at a killjoy konklave.” 

    This time, however, they presumably paid for their drinks themselves.

    But the Prince continued to cut a swath through various hot spots in the U. S. and Europe for years after. He inevitably also left a lurid trace in many magazines and newspapers that relished his exploits. 

    Here is a report of one of his adventures from 1929, as described in Time magazine.  The article is entitled “Ibrahim’s Best Bust” (and uses a somewhat different set of names for him than the ones that Frederick’s tipplers did):


    A beautifully restored 1921 Farman A6B Super Sport

    Prince Mohammed Ah Ibrahim of Egypt is a spectacular figure in Europe's baccarat belt. He traces his ancestry back to Mehemet Ali Pasha, the "Terrible Turk" who conquered all Egypt in 1805, beat the British at Rosetta, decorated the streets of Cairo with the bluish severed heads of British soldiers. Prince Ibrahim disregards his cousin, Egypt's plump King Fuad I, nor is he interested in Egyptian politics. On an income of $150,000 a year, he confines his interests to champagne, roulette, a beautiful wife and numerous attractive friends. Also he takes a sparring partner with him wherever he goes, though boxing circles are more impressed by the fearsome hairiness of His Highness's chest than by the power of his punch. Lastly Prince Ibrahim has a talent for catastrophe.

    In a magnificent bust-up near Montélimar in southern France last autumn His Highness wrecked a brand new super-costly Farman, strewed the highway with a tonneau full of fragile young ladies, escaped unscathed. Some three weeks ago, off the coast of Norway occurred Prince Ibrahim's latest, grandest bust-up. Five minutes after His Highness's famed quarter-million-dollar Diesel yacht Nazpermer ("Beautiful Lady") struck a rock, it sank. How it all happened, a Miss Margaret Woolf of Rochester, N. Y., cheerfully told Paris reporters last week. Excerpts:

    "When we retired for the night it was still light. . . . The sea was absolutely calm. I was awakened by a terrific crash which threw me partly out of my bunk. . . . I ran in my nightdress out into the saloon where I found the Prince and Princess also in night clothes. . . . Water began coming in on top of me through the portholes. The Prince aided me out on deck, returning to get the Princess. . . . They had told a sailor to swim with me, as the captain said that the ship was sinking so fast it was impossible to make any use of the lifeboats.

    "We were about 200 yards from the rocky shore, so I told the sailor I would swim by myself, not that I was brave, but I like swimming. . . . The Princess, who does not swim well, was helped by two sailors, and was almost the last to jump.

    "We all clambered ashore over the slimy rocks, most of us almost entirely unclothed. My nightdress was torn, and a sailor gave me an Arab cloak which was wringing wet. One of the ship's officers still wore his fez, but he had no trousers on. . . ."

    The Roaring Twenties  . . . those were the days.

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