overcoming me, I slept where I was for a while. When I awoke I found a jet black damsel sitting at my feet shampooing them; and by her side stood two black bitches (my sisters, O Commander of the Faithful!). I was ashamed before her[FN#325] and, sitting up, asked her, “O my sister, who and what art thou?”; and she answered, “How soon hast thou forgotten me! I am she for whom thou wroughtest a good deed and sowedest the seed of gratitude and slowest her foe; for I am the serpent whom by Allah’s aidance thou didst just now deliver from the Dragon. I am a Jinniyah and he was a Jinn who hated me, and none saved my life from him save thou. As soon as thou freedest me from him I Dew on the wind to the ship whence thy sisters threw thee, and removed all that was therein to thy house. Then I ordered my attendant Marids to sink the ship and I transformed thy two sisters into these black bitches; for I know all that hath passed between them and thee; but as for the youth, of a truth he is drowned.” So saying, she dew up with me and the bitches, and presently set us down on the terrace roof of my house, wherein I found ready stored the whole of what property was in my ship, nor was aught of it missing. “Now (continued the serpent that was), I swear by all engraver on the seal-ring of Solomon[FN#326] (with whom be peace!) unless thou deal to each of these bitches three hundred stripes every day I will come and imprison thee forever under the earth.” I answered, “Hearkening and obedience!”; and away she Dew. But before going she again charged me saying, “I again swear by Him who made the two seas flow[FN#327] (and this be my second oath) if thou gainsay me I will come and transform thee like thy sisters.” Since then I have never failed, O Commander of the Faithful, to beat them with that number of blows till their blood flows with my tears, I pitying them the while, and well they wot that their being scourged is no fault of mine and they accept my excuses. And this is my tale and my history! The Caliph marvelled at her adventures and then signed to Ja’afar who said to the second lady, the Portress, “And thou, how camest thou by the welts and wheels upon thy body?” So she began the Tale of the Portress. Know, O Commander of the Faithful, that I had a father who, after fulfilling his time, deceased and left me great store of wealth.