The Book Of The Thousand Nights And A Night, Vol 1 Page-305

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

A plain and literal translation of the arabian nights entertainments

brother nor his comrades knew of this. So my brother went to his lodging and sat down to await his companions, and the house owner entered after him without being perceived. When the other blind men arrived, my brother said to them, “Bolt the door and search the house lest any stranger have followed us.” The man, hearing this, caught hold of a cord that hung from the ceiling and clung to it, whilst they went round about the house and searched but found no one. So they came back, and, sitting beside my brother, brought out their money which they counted and lo! it was twelve thousand dirhams. Each took what he wanted and they buried the rest in a corner of the room. Then they set on food and sat down, to eat. Presently my brother, hearing a strange pair of jaws munching by his side,[FN#651] said to his friends, “There is a stranger amongst us;” and, putting forth his hand, caught hold of that of the house master. Thereupon all fell on him and beat him;[FN#652] and when tired of belabouring him they shouted, “O ye Moslems! a thief is come in to us, seeking to take our money!” A crowd gathered around them, whereupon the intruder hung on to them; and complained with them as they complained, and, shutting his eyes like them, so that none might doubt his blindness, cried out, “O Moslems, I take refuge with Allah and the Governor, for I have a matter to make known to him!” Suddenly up came the watch and, laying hands on the whole lot (my brother being amongst them), drove them[FN#653] to the Governor’s who set them before him and asked, “What news with you?” Quoth the intruder, “Look and find out for thyself, not a word shall be wrung from us save by torture, so begin by beating me and after me beat this man our leader.”[FN#654] And he pointed to my brother. So they threw the man at full length and gave him four hundred sticks on his backside. The beating pained him, whereupon he opened one eye and, as they redoubled their blows, he opened the other eye. When the Governor saw this be said to him, “What have we here, O accursed?”; whereto he replied, “Give me the seal-ring of pardon! We four have shammed blind, and we impose upon people that we may enter houses and look upon the unveiled faces of the women and contrive for their corruption. In this way we have gotten great gain and our store amounts to twelve thousand dirhams. Said I to my company, ‘Give me my share, three thousand;’ but they rose and beat me and took away my money, and I seek refuge with Allah and with thee; better thou have my share than they. So, if thou wouldst know the truth of my words, beat one and every of the others more than