The Book Of The Thousand Nights And A Night, Vol 1 Page-313

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

A plain and literal translation of the arabian nights entertainments

her, I can manage the matter, for she is my mistress.” “O my mother,” asked my brother, “by what manner of means can I get at her?”; and she answered, “O my son! she hath an inclination for thee, but she is the wife of a wealthy man; so take the whole of thy money with thee and follow me, that I may guide thee to thy desire: and when thou art in her company spare neither persuasion nor fair words, but bring them all to bear upon her; so shalt thou enjoy her beauty and wealth to thy heart’s content.” My brother took all his gold and rose and followed the old woman, hardly believing in his luck. She ceased not faring on, and my brother following her, till they came to a tall gate at which she knocked and a Roumi slave-girl[FN#672] came out and opened to them. Then the old woman led my brother into a great sitting room spread with wondrous fine carpets and hung with curtains, where he sat down with his gold before him, and his turband on his knee.[FN#673] He had scarcely taken seat before there came to him a young lady (never eye saw fairer) clad in garments of the most sumptuous; whereupon my brother rose to his feet, and she smiled in his face and welcomed him, signing to him to be seated. Then she bade shut the door and, when it was shut, she turned to my brother, and taking his hand conducted him to a private chamber furnished with various kinds of brocades and gold cloths. Here he sat down and she sat by his side and toyed with him awhile; after which she rose and saying, “Stir not from thy seat till I come back to thee;” disappeared. Meanwhile as he was on this wise, lo! there came in to him a black slave big of body and bulk and holding a drawn sword in hand, who said to him, “Woe to thee! Who brought thee hither and what dost thou want here?” My brother could not return him a reply, being tongue tied for terror; so the blackamoor seized him and stripped him of his clothes and bashed him with the flat of his sword blade till he fell to the ground, swooning from excess of belabouring. The ill omened nigger fancied that there was an end of him and my brother heard him cry, “Where is the salt wench?”[FN#674] Where upon in came a handmaid holding in hand a large tray of salt, and the slave kept rubbing it into my brother’s wounds;[FN#675] but he did not stir fearing lest the slave might find out that he was not dead and kill him outright. Then the salt girl went away, and the slave cried Where is the souterrain[FN#676] guardianess?” Hereupon in came the old woman and dragged my brother by his feet to a souterrain and threw him down upon a heap of dead bodies. In this place he lay two full days, but Allah made the salt the means of preserving his life by staunching the blood and staying its flow Presently, feeling himself able to move, Al-Nashshar rose and opened the trap door in fear and trembling and crept