The Book Of The Thousand Nights And A Night, Vol 1 Page-234

The Book Of The Thousand Nights And A Night, Vol 1

A plain and literal translation of the arabian nights entertainments

pomegranate-grains!’ and drag him here perforce but without doing him a harm.” And they replied, “It is well.” Then the Wazir rode off without losing an instant to the Palace and, foregathering with the Viceroy of Damascus, showed him the Sultan’s orders. After careful perusal he kissed the letter, and placing it upon his head said to his visitor, “Who is this offender of thine?” Quoth the Wazir, “A man who is a cook.” So the Viceroy at once sent his apparitors to the shop; which they found demolished and everything in it broken to pieces; for whilst the Wazir was riding to the palace his men had done his bidding. Then they awaited his return from the audience, and Hasan of Bassorah who was their prisoner kept saying, “I wonder what they have found in the conserve of pomegranate-grains to bring things to this pass!” [FN#476] When the Wazir returned to them, after his visit to the Viceroy who had given him formal permission to take up his debtor and depart with him, on entering the tents he called for the Cook. They brought him forward pinioned with his turband; and, when Badr al-Din Hasan saw his uncle, he wept with excessive weeping and said, “O my lord, what is my offence against thee?” “Art thou the man who dressed that conserve of pomegranate-grains?”; asked the Wazir, and he answered “Yes! didst thou find in it aught to call for the cutting off of my head?” Quoth the Wazir, “That were the least of thy deserts!” Quoth the cook, “O my lord, wilt thou not tell me my crime and what aileth the conserve of pomegranate-grains?” “Presently,” replied the Wazir and called aloud to his men, “Bring hither the camels.” So they struck the tents and by the Wazir’s orders the servants took Badr al-Din Hasan, and set him in a chest which they padlocked and put on a camel. Then they departed and stinted not journeying till nightfall, when they halted and ate some victual, and took Badr al-Din Hasan out of his chest and gave him a meal and locked him up again. They set out once more and travelled till they reached Kimrah, where they took him out of the box and brought him before the Wazir who asked him, “Art thou he who dressed that conserve of pomegranate-grains?” He answered “Yes, O my lord!”; and the Wazir said “Fetter him!” So they fettered him and returned him to the chest and fared on again till they reached Cairo and lighted at the quarter called Al-Raydaniyah. [FN#477] Then the Wazir gave order to take Badr al-Din Hasan out of the chest and sent for a carpenter and said to him, “Make me a cross of wood [FN#478] for his fellow!” Cried Badr al-Din Hasan “And what wilt thou do with it?”; and the Wazir replied, “I mean to crucify thee thereon, and nail thee thereto and parade thee all about the city.” “And why wilt thou use me after this fashion?” “Because of thy villanous cookery of conserved pomegranate-grains; how durst