The Book Of The Thousand Nights And A Night, Vol 1 Page-314

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

A plain and literal translation of the arabian nights entertainments

out into the open; and Allah protected him, so that he went on in the darkness and hid himself in the vestibule till dawn, when he saw the accursed beldam sally forth in quest of other quarry. He followed in her wake without her knowing it, and made for his own lodging where he dressed his wounds and medicined himself till he was whole. Meanwhile he used to watch the old woman, tracking her at all times and seasons, and saw her accost one man after another and carry them to the house. However he uttered not a word; but, as soon as he waxed hale and hearty, he took a piece of stuff and made it into a bag which he filled with broken glass and bound about his middle. He also disguised himself as a Persian that none might know him, and hid a sword under his clothes of foreign cut. Then he went out and presently, falling in with the old woman, said to her, speaking Arabic with a Persian accent, “Venerable lady, [FN#677] I am a stranger arrived but this day here where I know no one. Hast thou a pair of scales wherein I may weigh eleven hundred dinars? I will give thee somewhat of them for thy pains.” “I have a son, a money changer, who keepeth all kinds of scales,” she answered, “so come with me to him before he goeth out and he will weigh thy gold.” My brother answered “Lead the way!” She led him to the house and the young lady herself came out and opened it, whereupon the old woman smiled in her face and said, “I bring thee fat meat today.”[FN#678] Then the damsel took my brother by the hand, and led him to the same chamber as before; where she sat with him awhile then rose and went forth saying, “Stir not from thy seat till I come back to thee.” Presently in came the accursed slave with the drawn sword and cried to my brother, “Up and be damned to thee.” So he rose, and as the slave walked on before him he drew the sword from under his clothes and smote him with it, making head fly from body. Then he dragged the corpse by the feet to the souterrain and called out, “Where is the salt wench?” Up came the girl carrying the tray of salt and, seeing my brother sword in hand, turned to fly; but he followed her and struck off her head. Then he called out, “Where is the souterrain guardianess? , and in came the old woman to whom he said, “Dost know me again, ill omened hag?” “No my lord,” she replied, and he said, “I am the owner of the five hundred gold pieces, whose house thou enteredst to make the ablution and to pray, and whom thou didst snare hither and betray.” “Fear Allah and spare me,” cried she; but he regarded her not and struck her with the sword till he had cut her in four. Then he went to look for the young lady; and when she saw him her reason fled and she cried out piteously “Aman![FN#679] Mercy!” So he spared her and asked, “What made thee consort with this blackamoor?”, and she answered, “I was slave to a certain merchant, and the old woman used to visit