The Book Of The Thousand Nights And A Night, Vol 1 Page-315

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

A plain and literal translation of the arabian nights entertainments

me till I took a liking to her. One day she said to me, ‘We have a marriage festival at our house the like of which was never seen and I wish thee to enjoy the sight.’ ‘To hear is to obey,’ answered I, and rising arrayed myself in my finest raiment and ornaments, and took with me a purse containing an hundred gold pieces. Then she brought me hither and hardly had I entered the house when the black seized on me, and I have remained in this case three whole years through the perfidy of the accursed beldam.” Then my brother asked her, “Is there anything of his in the house?”; whereto she answered, “Great store of wealth, and if thou art able to carry it away, do so and Allah give thee good of it” My brother went with her and she opened to him sundry chests wherein were money bags, at which he was astounded; then she said to him, “Go now and leave me here, and fetch men to remove the money.”, He went out and hired ten men, but when he returned he found the door wide open, the damsel gone and nothing left but some small matter of coin and the household stuffs.[FN#680] By this he knew that the girl had overreached him; so he opened the store rooms and seized what was in them, together with the rest of the money, leaving nothing in the house. He passed the night rejoicing, but when morning dawned he found at the door some twenty troopers who laid hands on him saying, “The Governor wants thee!” My brother implored them hard to let him return to his house; and even offered them a large sum of money; but they refused and, binding him fast with cords, carried him off. On the way they met a friend of my brother who clung to his skirt and implored his protection, begging him to stand by him and help to deliver him out of their hands. The man stopped, and asked them what was the matter, and they answered, “The Governor hath ordered us to bring this fellow before him and, look ye, we are doing so.” My brother’s friend urged them to release him, and offered them five hundred dinars to let him go, saying, “When ye return to the Governor tell him that you were unable to find him.” But they would not listen to his words and took my brother, dragging him along on his face, and set him before the Governor who asked him, “Whence gottest thou these stuffs and monies?”; and he answered, “I pray for mercy!” So the Governor gave him the kerchief of mercy;[FN#681] and he told him all that had befallen him from first to last with the old woman and the flight of the damsel; ending with, “Whatso I have taken, take of it what thou wilt, so thou leave me sufficient to support life.”[FN#682] But the Governor took the whole of the stuffs and all the money for himself; and, fearing lest the affair come to the Sultan’s ears, he summoned my brother and said, “Depart from this city, else I will hang thee.” “Hearing and obedience” quoth my brother and set out for another town. On the way thieves