A man and his young wife were in divorce court, but the custody of their children posed a problem. The mother leaped to her feet and protested to the judge that since she brought the children into this world, she should retain custody of them. ... Read more of Child custody at Free Jokes.caInformational Site Network Informational
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The Adventures Of Prince Camaralzaman And The Princess Badoura

from The Arabian Nights Entertainments





Some twenty days' sail from the coast of Persia lies the isle of the
children of Khaledan. The island is divided into several provinces, in
each of which are large flourishing towns, and the whole forms an
important kingdom. It was governed in former days by a king named
Schahzaman, who, with good right, considered himself one of the most
peaceful, prosperous, and fortunate monarchs on the earth. In fact, he
had but one grievance, which was that none of his four wives had given
him an heir.

This distressed him so greatly that one day he confided his grief to
the grand-vizir, who, being a wise counsellor, said: "Such matters are
indeed beyond human aid. Allah alone can grant your desire, and I
should advise you, sire, to send large gifts to those holy men who
spend their lives in prayer, and to beg for their intercessions. Who
knows whether their petitions may not be answered!"

The king took his vizir's advice, and the result of so many prayers for
an heir to the throne was that a son was born to him the following year.

Schahzaman sent noble gifts as thank offerings to all the mosques and
religious houses, and great rejoicings were celebrated in honour of the
birth of the little prince, who was so beautiful that he was named
Camaralzaman, or "Moon of the Century."

Prince Camaralzaman was brought up with extreme care by an excellent
governor and all the cleverest teachers, and he did such credit to them
that when he was grown up, a more charming and accomplished young man
was not to be found. Whilst he was still a youth the king, his father,
who loved him dearly, had some thoughts of abdicating in his favour.
As usual he talked over his plans with his grand-vizir, who, though he
did not approve the idea, would not state all his objections.

"Sire," he replied, "the prince is still very young for the cares of
state. Your Majesty fears his growing idle and careless, and doubtless
you are right. But how would it be if he were first to marry? This
would attach him to his home, and your Majesty might give him a share
in your counsels, so that he might gradually learn how to wear a crown,
which you can give up to him whenever you find him capable of wearing
it."

The vizir's advice once more struck the king as being good, and he sent
for his son, who lost no time in obeying the summons, and standing
respectfully with downcast eyes before the king asked for his commands.

"I have sent for you," said the king, "to say that I wish you to marry.
What do you think about it?"

The prince was so much overcome by these words that he remained silent
for some time. At length he said: "Sire, I beg you to pardon me if I
am unable to reply as you might wish. I certainly did not expect such
a proposal as I am still so young, and I confess that the idea of
marrying is very distasteful to me. Possibly I may not always be in
this mind, but I certainly feel that it will require some time to
induce me to take the step which your Majesty desires."

This answer greatly distressed the king, who was sincerely grieved by
his objection to marriage. However he would not have recourse to
extreme measures, so he said: "I do not wish to force you; I will give
you time to reflect, but remember that such a step is necessary, for a
prince such as you who will some day be called to rule over a great
kingdom."

From this time Prince Camaralzaman was admitted to the royal council,
and the king showed him every mark of favour.

At the end of a year the king took his son aside, and said: "Well, my
son, have you changed your mind on the subject of marriage, or do you
still refuse to obey my wish?"

The prince was less surprised but no less firm than on the former
occasion, and begged his father not to press the subject, adding that
it was quite useless to urge him any longer.

This answer much distressed the king, who again confided his trouble to
his vizir.

"I have followed your advice," he said; "but Camaralzaman declines to
marry, and is more obstinate than ever."

"Sire," replied the vizir, "much is gained by patience, and your
Majesty might regret any violence. Why not wait another year and then
inform the Prince in the midst of the assembled council that the good
of the state demands his marriage? He cannot possibly refuse again
before so distinguished an assemblage, and in our immediate presence."

The Sultan ardently desired to see his son married at once, but he
yielded to the vizir's arguments and decided to wait. He then visited
the prince's mother, and after telling her of his disappointment and of
the further respite he had given his son, he added: "I know that
Camaralzaman confides more in you than he does in me. Pray speak very
seriously to him on this subject, and make him realize that he will
most seriously displease me if he remains obstinate, and that he will
certainly regret the measures I shall be obliged to take to enforce my
will."

So the first time the Sultana Fatima saw her son she told him she had
heard of his refusal to marry, adding how distressed she felt that he
should have vexed his father so much. She asked what reasons he could
have for his objections to obey.

"Madam," replied the prince, "I make no doubt that there are as many
good, virtuous, sweet, and amiable women as there are others very much
the reverse. Would that all were like you! But what revolts me is the
idea of marrying a woman without knowing anything at all about her. My
father will ask the hand of the daughter of some neighbouring
sovereign, who will give his consent to our union. Be she fair or
frightful, clever or stupid, good or bad, I must marry her, and am left
no choice in the matter. How am I to know that she will not be proud,
passionate, contemptuous, and recklessly extravagant, or that her
disposition will in any way suit mine?"

"But, my son," urged Fatima, "you surely do not wish to be the last of
a race which has reigned so long and so gloriously over this kingdom?"

"Madam," said the prince, "I have no wish to survive the king, my
father, but should I do so I will try to reign in such a manner as may
be considered worthy of my predecessors."

These and similar conversations proved to the Sultan how useless it was
to argue with his son, and the year elapsed without bringing any change
in the prince's ideas.

At length a day came when the Sultan summoned him before the council,
and there informed him that not only his own wishes but the good of the
empire demanded his marriage, and desired him to give his answer before
the assembled ministers.

At this Camaralzaman grew so angry and spoke with so much heat that the
king, naturally irritated at being opposed by his son in full council,
ordered the prince to be arrested and locked up in an old tower, where
he had nothing but a very little furniture, a few books, and a single
slave to wait on him.

Camaralzaman, pleased to be free to enjoy his books, showed himself
very indifferent to his sentence.

When night came he washed himself, performed his devotions, and, having
read some pages of the Koran, lay down on a couch, without putting out
the light near him, and was soon asleep.

Now there was a deep well in the tower in which Prince Camaralzaman was
imprisoned, and this well was a favourite resort of the fairy Maimoune,
daughter of Damriat, chief of a legion of genii. Towards midnight
Maimoune floated lightly up from the well, intending, according to her
usual habit, to roam about the upper world as curiosity or accident
might prompt.

The light in the prince's room surprised her, and without disturbing
the slave, who slept across the threshold, she entered the room, and
approaching the bed was still more astonished to find it occupied.

The prince lay with his face half hidden by the coverlet. Maimoune
lifted it a little and beheld the most beautiful youth she had ever
seen.

"What a marvel of beauty he must be when his eyes are open!" she
thought. "What can he have done to deserve to be treated like this?"

She could not weary gazing at Camaralzaman, but at length, having
softly kissed his brow and each cheek, she replaced the coverlet and
resumed her flight through the air.

As she entered the middle region she heard the sound of great wings
coming towards her, and shortly met one of the race of bad genii. This
genie, whose name was Danhasch, recognised Maimoune with terror, for he
knew the supremacy which her goodness gave her over him. He would
gladly have avoided her altogether, but they were so near that he must
either be prepared to fight or yield to her, so he at once addressed
her in a conciliatory tone:

"Good Maimoune, swear to me by Allah to do me no harm, and on my side I
will promise not to injure you."

"Accursed genie!" replied Maimoune, "what harm can you do me? But I
will grant your power and give the promise you ask. And now tell me
what you have seen and done to-night."

"Fair lady," said Danhasch, "you meet me at the right moment to hear
something really interesting. I must tell you that I come from the
furthest end of China, which is one of the largest and most powerful
kingdoms in the world. The present king has one only daughter, who is
so perfectly lovely that neither you, nor I, nor any other creature
could find adequate terms in which to describe her marvellous charms.
You must therefore picture to yourself the most perfect features,
joined to a brilliant and delicate complexion, and an enchanting
expression, and even then imagination will fall short of the reality.

"The king, her father, has carefully shielded this treasure from the
vulgar gaze, and has taken every precaution to keep her from the sight
of everyone except the happy mortal he may choose to be her husband.
But in order to give her variety in her confinement he has built her
seven palaces such as have never been seen before. The first palace is
entirely composed of rock crystal, the second of bronze, the third of
fine steel, the fourth of another and more precious species of bronze,
the fifth of touchstone, the sixth of silver, and the seventh of solid
gold. They are all most sumptuously furnished, whilst the gardens
surrounding them are laid out with exquisite taste. In fact, neither
trouble nor cost has been spared to make this retreat agreeable to the
princess. The report of her wonderful beauty has spread far and wide,
and many powerful kings have sent embassies to ask her hand in
marriage. The king has always received these embassies graciously, but
says that he will never oblige the princess to marry against her will,
and as she regularly declines each fresh proposal, the envoys have had
to leave as disappointed in the result of their missions as they were
gratified by their magnificent receptions."

"Sire," said the princess to her father, "you wish me to marry, and I
know you desire to please me, for which I am very grateful. But,
indeed, I have no inclination to change my state, for where could I
find so happy a life amidst so many beautiful and delightful
surroundings? I feel that I could never be as happy with any husband
as I am here, and I beg you not to press one on me."

"At last an embassy came from a king so rich and powerful that the King
of China felt constrained to urge this suit on his daughter. He told
her how important such an alliance would be, and pressed her to
consent. In fact, he pressed her so persistingly that the princess at
length lost her temper and quite forgot the respect due to her father.
"Sire," cried she angrily, "do not speak further of this or any other
marriage or I will plunge this dagger in my breast and so escape from
all these importunities."

"The king of China was extremely indignant with his daughter and
replied: "You have lost your senses and you must be treated
accordingly." So he had her shut in one set of rooms in one of her
palaces, and only allowed her ten old women, of whom her nurse was the
head, to wait on her and keep her company. He next sent letters to all
the kings who had sued for the princess's hand, begging they would
think of her no longer, as she was quite insane, and he desired his
various envoys to make it known that anyone who could cure her should
have her to wife.

"Fair Maimoune," continued Danhasch, "this is the present state of
affairs. I never pass a day without going to gaze on this incomparable
beauty, and I am sure that if you would only accompany me you would
think the sight well worth the trouble, and own that you never saw such
loveliness before."

The fairy only answered with a peal of laughter, and when at length she
had control of her voice she cried, "Oh, come, you are making game of
me! I thought you had something really interesting to tell me instead
of raving about some unknown damsel. What would you say if you could
see the prince I have just been looking at and whose beauty is really
transcendent? That is something worth talking about, you would
certainly quite lose your head."

"Charming Maimoune," asked Danhasch, "may I inquire who and what is the
prince of whom you speak?"

"Know," replied Maimoune, "that he is in much the same case as your
princess. The king, his father, wanted to force him to marry, and on
the prince's refusal to obey he has been imprisoned in an old tower
where I have just seen him."

"I don't like to contradict a lady," said Danhasch, "but you must
really permit me to doubt any mortal being as beautiful as my princess."

"Hold your tongue," cried Maimoune. "I repeat that is impossible."

"Well, I don't wish to seem obstinate," replied Danhasch, "the best
plan to test the truth of what I say will be for you to let me take you
to see the princess for yourself."

"There is no need for that," retorted Maimoune; "we can satisfy
ourselves in another way. Bring your princess here and lay her down
beside my prince. We can then compare them at leisure, and decide
which is in the right."

Danhasch readily consented, and after having the tower where the prince
was confined pointed out to him, and making a wager with Maimoune as to
the result of the comparison, he flew off to China to fetch the
princess.

In an incredibly short time Danhasch returned, bearing the sleeping
princess. Maimoune led him to the prince's room, and the rival beauty
was placed beside him.

When the prince and princess lay thus side by side, an animated dispute
as to their respective charms arose between the fairy and the genius.
Danhasch began by saying:

"Now you see that my princess is more beautiful than your prince. Can
you doubt any longer?"

"Doubt! Of course I do!" exclaimed Maimoune. "Why, you must be blind
not to see how much my prince excels your princess. I do not deny that
your princess is very handsome, but only look and you must own that I
am in the right."

"There is no need for me to look longer," said Danhasch, "my first
impression will remain the same; but of course, charming Maimoune, I am
ready to yield to you if you insist on it."

"By no means," replied Maimoune. "I have no idea of being under any
obligation to an accursed genius like you. I refer the matter to an
umpire, and shall expect you to submit to his verdict."

Danhasch readily agreed, and on Maimoune striking the floor with her
foot it opened, and a hideous, hump-backed, lame, squinting genius,
with six horns on his head, hands like claws, emerged. As soon as he
beheld Maimoune he threw himself at her feet and asked her commands.

"Rise, Caschcasch," said she. "I summoned you to judge between me and
Danhasch. Glance at that couch, and say without any partiality whether
you think the youth or the maiden lying there the more beautiful."

Caschcasch looked at the prince and princess with every token of
surprise and admiration. At length, having gazed long without being
able to come to a decision, he said

"Madam, I must confess that I should deceive you were I to declare one
to be handsomer than the other. There seems to me only one way in
which to decide the matter, and that is to wake one after the other and
judge which of them expresses the greater admiration for the other."

This advice pleased Maimoune and Danhasch, and the fairy at once
transformed herself into the shape of a gnat and settling on
Camaralzaman's throat stung him so sharply that he awoke. As he did so
his eyes fell on the Princess of China. Surprised at finding a lady so
near him, he raised himself on one arm to look at her. The youth and
beauty of the princess at once awoke a feeling to which his heart had
as yet been a stranger, and he could not restrain his delight.

"What loveliness! What charms! Oh, my heart, my soul!" he exclaimed,
as he kissed her forehead, her eyes and mouth in a way which would
certainly have roused her had not the genie's enchantments kept her
asleep.

"How, fair lady!" he cried, "you do not wake at the signs of
Camaralzaman's love? Be you who you may, he is not unworthy of you."

It then suddenly occurred to him, that perhaps this was the bride his
father had destined for him, and that the King had probably had her
placed in this room in order to see how far Camaralzaman's aversion to
marriage would withstand her charms.

"At all events," he thought, "I will take this ring as a remembrance of
her."

So saying he drew off a fine ring which the princess wore on her
finger, and replaced it by one of his own. After which he lay down
again and was soon fast asleep.

Then Danhasch, in his turn, took the form of a gnat and bit the
princess on her lip.

She started up, and was not a little amazed at seeing a young man
beside her. From surprise she soon passed to admiration, and then to
delight on perceiving how handsome and fascinating he was.

"Why," cried she, "was it you my father wished me to marry? How
unlucky that I did not know sooner! I should not have made him so
angry. But wake up! wake up! for I know I shall love you with all my
heart."

So saying she shook Camaralzaman so violently that nothing but the
spells of Maimoune could have prevented his waking.

"Oh!" cried the princess. "Why are you so drowsy?" So saying she took
his hand and noticed her own ring on his finger, which made her wonder
still more. But as he still remained in a profound slumber she pressed
a kiss on his cheek and soon fell fast asleep too.

Then Maimoune turning to the genie said: "Well, are you satisfied that
my prince surpasses your princess? Another time pray believe me when I
assert anything."

Then turning to Caschcasch: "My thanks to you, and now do you and
Danhasch bear the princess back to her own home."

The two genii hastened to obey, and Maimoune returned to her well.

On waking next morning the first thing Prince Camaralzaman did was to
look round for the lovely lady he had seen at night, and the next to
question the slave who waited on him about her. But the slave
persisted so strongly that he knew nothing of any lady, and still less
of how she got into the tower, that the prince lost all patience, and
after giving him a good beating tied a rope round him and ducked him in
the well till the unfortunate man cried out that he would tell
everything. Then the prince drew him up all dripping wet, but the
slave begged leave to change his clothes first, and as soon as the
prince consented hurried off just as he was to the palace. Here he
found the king talking to the grand-vizir of all the anxiety his son
had caused him. The slave was admitted at once and cried:

"Alas, Sire! I bring sad news to your Majesty. There can be no doubt
that the prince has completely lost his senses. He declares that he
saw a lady sleeping on his couch last night, and the state you see me
in proves how violent contradiction makes him." He then gave a minute
account of all the prince had said and done.

The king, much moved, begged the vizir to examine into this new
misfortune, and the latter at once went to the tower, where he found
the prince quietly reading a book. After the first exchange of
greetings the vizir said:

"I feel really very angry with your slave for alarming his Majesty by
the news he brought him."

"What news?" asked the prince.

"Ah!" replied the vizir, "something absurd, I feel sure, seeing how I
find you."

"Most likely," said the prince; "but now that you are here I am glad of
the opportunity to ask you where is the lady who slept in this room
last night?"

The grand-vizir felt beside himself at this question.

"Prince!" he exclaimed, "how would it be possible for any man, much
less a woman, to enter this room at night without walking over your
slave on the threshold? Pray consider the matter, and you will realise
that you have been deeply impressed by some dream."

But the prince angrily insisted on knowing who and where the lady was,
and was not to be persuaded by all the vizir's protestations to the
contrary that the plot had not been one of his making. At last, losing
patience, he seized the vizir by the beard and loaded him with blows.

"Stop, Prince," cried the unhappy vizir, "stay and hear what I have to
say."

The prince, whose arm was getting tired, paused.

"I confess, Prince," said the vizir, "that there is some foundation for
what you say. But you know well that a minister has to carry out his
master's orders. Allow me to go and to take to the king any message
you may choose to send."

"Very well," said the prince; "then go and tell him that I consent to
marry the lady whom he sent or brought here last night. Be quick and
bring me back his answer."

The vizir bowed to the ground and hastened to leave the room and tower.

"Well," asked the king as soon as he appeared, "and how did you find my
son?"

"Alas, sire," was the reply, "the slave's report is only too true!"

He then gave an exact account of his interview with Camaralzaman and of
the prince's fury when told that it was not possible for any lady to
have entered his room, and of the treatment he himself had received.
The king, much distressed, determined to clear up the matter himself,
and, ordering the vizir to follow him, set out to visit his son.

The prince received his father with profound respect, and the king,
making him sit beside him, asked him several questions, to which
Camaralzaman replied with much good sense. At last the king said: "My
son, pray tell me about the lady who, it is said, was in your room last
night."

"Sire," replied the prince, "pray do not increase my distress in this
matter, but rather make me happy by giving her to me in marriage.
However much I may have objected to matrimony formerly, the sight of
this lovely girl has overcome all my prejudices, and I will gratefully
receive her from your hands."

The king was almost speechless on hearing his son, but after a time
assured him most solemnly that he knew nothing whatever about the lady
in question, and had not connived at her appearance. He then desired
the prince to relate the whole story to him.

Camaralzaman did so at great length, showed the ring, and implored his
father to help to find the bride he so ardently desired.

"After all you tell me," remarked the king, "I can no longer doubt your
word; but how and whence the lady came, or why she should have stayed
so short a time I cannot imagine. The whole affair is indeed
mysterious. Come, my dear son, let us wait together for happier days."

So saying the king took Camaralzaman by the hand and led him back to
the palace, where the prince took to his bed and gave himself up to
despair, and the king shutting himself up with his son entirely
neglected the affairs of state.

The prime minister, who was the only person admitted, felt it his duty
at last to tell the king how much the court and all the people
complained of his seclusion, and how bad it was for the nation. He
urged the sultan to remove with the prince to a lovely little island
close by, whence he could easily attend public audiences, and where the
charming scenery and fine air would do the invalid so much good as to
enable him to bear his father's occasional absence.

The king approved the plan, and as soon as the castle on the island
could be prepared for their reception he and the prince arrived there,
Schahzaman never leaving his son except for the prescribed public
audiences twice a week.

Whilst all this was happening in the capital of Schahzaman the two
genii had carefully borne the Princess of China back to her own palace
and replaced her in bed. On waking next morning she first turned from
one side to another and then, finding herself alone, called loudly for
her women.

"Tell me," she cried, "where is the young man I love so dearly, and who
slept near me last night?"

"Princess," exclaimed the nurse, "we cannot tell what you allude to
without more explanation."

"Why," continued the princess, "the most charming and beautiful young
man lay sleeping beside me last night. I did my utmost to wake him,
but in vain."

"Your Royal Highness wishes to make game of us," said the nurse. "Is
it your pleasure to rise?"

"I am quite in earnest," persisted the princess, "and I want to know
where he is."

"But, Princess," expostulated the nurse, "we left you quite alone last
night, and we have seen no one enter your room since then."

At this the princess lost all patience, and taking the nurse by her
hair she boxed her ears soundly, crying out: "You shall tell me, you
old witch, or I'll kill you."

The nurse had no little trouble in escaping, and hurried off to the
queen, to whom she related the whole story with tears in her eyes.

"You see, madam," she concluded, "that the princess must be out of her
mind. If only you will come and see her, you will be able to judge for
yourself."

The queen hurried to her daughter's apartments, and after tenderly
embracing her, asked her why she had treated her nurse so badly.

"Madam," said the princess, "I perceive that your Majesty wishes to
make game of me, but I can assure you that I will never marry anyone
except the charming young man whom I saw last night. You must know
where he is, so pray send for him."

The queen was much surprised by these words, but when she declared that
she knew nothing whatever of the matter the princess lost all respect,
and answered that if she were not allowed to marry as she wished she
should kill herself, and it was in vain that the queen tried to pacify
her and bring her to reason.

The king himself came to hear the rights of the matter, but the
princess only persisted in her story, and as a proof showed the ring on
her finger. The king hardly knew what to make of it all, but ended by
thinking that his daughter was more crazy than ever, and without
further argument he had her placed in still closer confinement, with
only her nurse to wait on her and a powerful guard to keep the door.

Then he assembled his council, and having told them the sad state of
things, added: "If any of you can succeed in curing the princess, I
will give her to him in marriage, and he shall be my heir."

An elderly emir present, fired with the desire to possess a young and
lovely wife and to rule over a great kingdom, offered to try the magic
arts with which he was acquainted.

"You are welcome to try," said the king, "but I make one condition,
which is, that should you fail you will lose your life."

The emir accepted the condition, and the king led him to the princess,
who, veiling her face, remarked, "I am surprised, sire, that you should
bring an unknown man into my presence."

"You need not be shocked," said the king; "this is one of my emirs who
asks your hand in marriage."

"Sire," replied the princess, "this is not the one you gave me before
and whose ring I wear. Permit me to say that I can accept no other."

The emir, who had expected to hear the princess talk nonsense, finding
how calm and reasonable she was, assured the king that he could not
venture to undertake a cure, but placed his head at his Majesty's
disposal, on which the justly irritated monarch promptly had it cut off.

This was the first of many suitors for the princess whose inability to
cure her cost them their lives.

Now it happened that after things had been going on in this way for
some time the nurse's son Marzavan returned from his travels. He had
been in many countries and learnt many things, including astrology.
Needless to say that one of the first things his mother told him was
the sad condition of the princess, his foster-sister. Marzavan asked if
she could not manage to let him see the princess without the king's
knowledge.

After some consideration his mother consented, and even persuaded the
eunuch on guard to make no objection to Marzavan's entering the royal
apartment.

The princess was delighted to see her foster-brother again, and after
some conversation she confided to him all her history and the cause of
her imprisonment.

Marzavan listened with downcast eyes and the utmost attention. When
she had finished speaking he said,

"If what you tell me, Princess, is indeed the case, I do not despair of
finding comfort for you. Take patience yet a little longer. I will
set out at once to explore other countries, and when you hear of my
return be sure that he for whom you sigh is not far off." So saying, he
took his leave and started next morning on his travels.

Marzavan journeyed from city to city and from one island and province
to another, and wherever he went he heard people talk of the strange
story of the Princess Badoura, as the Princess of China was named.

After four months he reached a large populous seaport town named Torf,
and here he heard no more of the Princess Badoura but a great deal of
Prince Camaralzaman, who was reported ill, and whose story sounded very
similar to that of the Princess Badoura.

Marzavan was rejoiced, and set out at once for Prince Camaralzaman's
residence. The ship on which he embarked had a prosperous voyage till
she got within sight of the capital of King Schahzaman, but when just
about to enter the harbour she suddenly struck on a rock, and foundered
within sight of the palace where the prince was living with his father
and the grand-vizir.

Marzavan, who swam well, threw himself into the sea and managed to land
close to the palace, where he was kindly received, and after having a
change of clothing given him was brought before the grand-vizir. The
vizir was at once attracted by the young man's superior air and
intelligent conversation, and perceiving that he had gained much
experience in the course of his travels, he said, "Ah, how I wish you
had learnt some secret which might enable you to cure a malady which
has plunged this court into affliction for some time past!"

Marzavan replied that if he knew what the illness was he might possibly
be able to suggest a remedy, on which the vizir related to him the
whole history of Prince Camaralzaman.

On hearing this Marzavan rejoiced inwardly, for he felt sure that he
had at last discovered the object of the Princess Badoura's
infatuation. However, he said nothing, but begged to be allowed to see
the prince.

On entering the royal apartment the first thing which struck him was
the prince himself, who lay stretched out on his bed with his eyes
closed. The king sat near him, but, without paying any regard to his
presence, Marzavan exclaimed, "Heavens! what a striking likeness!"
And, indeed, there was a good deal of resemblance between the features
of Camaralzaman and those of the Princess of China.

These words caused the prince to open his eyes with languid curiosity,
and Marzavan seized this moment to pay him his compliments, contriving
at the same time to express the condition of the Princess of China in
terms unintelligible, indeed, to the Sultan and his vizir, but which
left the prince in no doubt that his visitor could give him some
welcome information.

The prince begged his father to allow him the favour of a private
interview with Marzavan, and the king was only too pleased to find his
son taking an interest in anyone or anything. As soon as they were
left alone Marzavan told the prince the story of the Princess Badoura
and her sufferings, adding, "I am convinced that you alone can cure
her; but before starting on so long a journey you must be well and
strong, so do your best to recover as quickly as may be."

These words produced a great effect on the prince, who was so much
cheered by the hopes held out that he declared he felt able to get up
and be dressed. The king was overjoyed at the result of Marzavan's
interview, and ordered public rejoicings in honour of the prince's
recovery.

Before long the prince was quite restored to his original state of
health, and as soon as he felt himself really strong he took Marzavan
aside and said:

"Now is the time to perform your promise. I am so impatient to see my
beloved princess once more that I am sure I shall fall ill again if we
do not start soon. The one obstacle is my father's tender care of me,
for, as you may have noticed, he cannot bear me out of his sight."

"Prince," replied Marzavan, "I have already thought over the matter,
and this is what seems to me the best plan. You have not been out of
doors since my arrival. Ask the king's permission to go with me for
two or three days' hunting, and when he has given leave order two good
horses to be held ready for each of us. Leave all the rest to me."

Next day the prince seized a favourable opportunity for making his
request, and the king gladly granted it on condition that only one
night should be spent out for fear of too great fatigue after such a
long illness.

Next morning Prince Camaralzaman and Marzavan were off betimes,
attended by two grooms leading the two extra horses. They hunted a
little by the way, but took care to get as far from the towns as
possible. At night-fall they reached an inn, where they supped and
slept till midnight. Then Marzavan awoke and roused the prince without
disturbing anyone else. He begged the prince to give him the coat he
had been wearing and to put on another which they had brought with
them. They mounted their second horses, and Marzavan led one of the
grooms' horses by the bridle.

By daybreak our travellers found themselves where four cross roads met
in the middle of the forest. Here Marzavan begged the prince to wait
for him, and leading the groom's horse into a dense part of the wood he
cut its throat, dipped the prince's coat in its blood, and having
rejoined the prince threw the coat on the ground where the roads parted.

In answer to Camaralzaman's inquiries as to the reason for this,

Marzavan replied that the only chance they had of continuing their
journey was to divert attention by creating the idea of the prince's
death. "Your father will doubtless be plunged in the deepest grief,"
he went on, "but his joy at your return will be all the greater."

The prince and his companion now continued their journey by land and
sea, and as they had brought plenty of money to defray their expenses
they met with no needless delays. At length they reached the capital
of China, where they spent three days in a suitable lodging to recover
from their fatigues.

During this time Marzavan had an astrologer's dress prepared for the
prince. They then went to the baths, after which the prince put on the
astrologer's robe and was conducted within sight of the king's palace
by Marzavan, who left him there and went to consult his mother, the
princess's nurse.

Meantime the prince, according to Marzavan's instructions, advanced
close to the palace gates and there proclaimed aloud:

"I am an astrologer and I come to restore health to the Princess
Badoura, daughter of the high and mighty King of China, on the
conditions laid down by His Majesty of marrying her should I succeed,
or of losing my life if I fail."

It was some little time since anyone had presented himself to run the
terrible risk involved in attempting to cure the princess, and a crowd
soon gathered round the prince. On perceiving his youth, good looks,
and distinguished bearing, everyone felt pity for him.

"What are you thinking of, sir," exclaimed some; "why expose yourself
to certain death? Are not the heads you see exposed on the town wall
sufficient warning? For mercy's sake give up this mad idea and retire
whilst you can."

But the prince remained firm, and only repeated his cry with greater
assurance, to the horror of the crowd.

"He is resolved to die!" they cried; "may heaven have pity on him!"

Camaralzaman now called out for the third time, and at last the
grand-vizir himself came out and fetched him in.

The prime minister led the prince to the king, who was much struck by
the noble air of this new adventurer, and felt such pity for the fate
so evidently in store for him, that he tried to persuade the young man
to renounce his project.

But Camaralzaman politely yet firmly persisted in his intentions, and
at length the king desired the eunuch who had the guard of the
princess's apartments to conduct the astrologer to her presence.

The eunuch led the way through long passages, and Camaralzaman followed
rapidly, in haste to reach the object of his desires. At last they
came to a large hall which was the ante-room to the princess's chamber,
and here Camaralzaman said to the eunuch:

"Now you shall choose. Shall I cure the princess in her own presence,
or shall I do it from here without seeing her?"

The eunuch, who had expressed many contemptuous doubts as they came
along of the newcomer's powers, was much surprised and said:

"If you really can cure, it is immaterial when you do it. Your fame
will be equally great."

"Very well," replied the prince: "then, impatient though I am to see
the princess, I will effect the cure where I stand, the better to
convince you of my power." He accordingly drew out his writing case
and wrote as follows--"Adorable princess! The enamoured Camaralzaman
has never forgotten the moment when, contemplating your sleeping
beauty, he gave you his heart. As he was at that time deprived of the
happiness of conversing with you, he ventured to give you his ring as a
token of his love, and to take yours in exchange, which he now encloses
in this letter. Should you deign to return it to him he will be the
happiest of mortals, if not he will cheerfully resign himself to death,
seeing he does so for love of you. He awaits your reply in your
ante-room."

Having finished this note the prince carefully enclosed the ring in it
without letting the eunuch see it, and gave him the letter, saying:

"Take this to your mistress, my friend, and if on reading it and seeing
its contents she is not instantly cured, you may call me an impudent
impostor."

The eunuch at once passed into the princess's room, and handing her the
letter said:

"Madam, a new astrologer has arrived, who declares that you will be
cured as soon as you have read this letter and seen what it contains."

The princess took the note and opened it with languid indifference.
But no sooner did she see her ring than, barely glancing at the
writing, she rose hastily and with one bound reached the doorway and
pushed back the hangings. Here she and the prince recognised each
other, and in a moment they were locked in each other's arms, where
they tenderly embraced, wondering how they came to meet at last after
so long a separation. The nurse, who had hastened after her charge,
drew them back to the inner room, where the princess restored her ring
to Camaralzaman.

"Take it back," she said, "I could not keep it without returning yours
to you, and I am resolved to wear that as long as I live."

Meantime the eunuch had hastened back to the king. "Sire," he cried,
"all the former doctors and astrologers were mere quacks. This man has
cured the princess without even seeing her." He then told all to the
king, who, overjoyed, hastened to his daughter's apartments, where,
after embracing her, he placed her hand in that of the prince, saying:

"Happy stranger, I keep my promise, and give you my daughter to wife,
be you who you may. But, if I am not much mistaken, your condition is
above what you appear to be."

The prince thanked the king in the warmest and most respectful terms,
and added: "As regards my person, your Majesty has rightly guessed
that I am not an astrologer. It is but a disguise which I assumed in
order to merit your illustrious alliance. I am myself a prince, my
name is Camaralzaman, and my father is Schahzaman, King of the Isles of
the Children of Khaledan." He then told his whole history, including
the extraordinary manner of his first seeing and loving the Princess
Badoura.

When he had finished the king exclaimed: "So remarkable a story must
not be lost to posterity. It shall be inscribed in the archives of my
kingdom and published everywhere abroad."

The wedding took place next day amidst great pomp and rejoicings.
Marzavan was not forgotten, but was given a lucrative post at court,
with a promise of further advancement.

The prince and princess were now entirely happy, and months slipped by
unconsciously in the enjoyment of each other's society.

One night, however, Prince Camaralzaman dreamt that he saw his father
lying at the point of death, and saying: "Alas! my son whom I loved so
tenderly, has deserted me and is now causing my death."

The prince woke with such a groan as to startle the princess, who asked
what was the matter.

"Ah!" cried the prince, "at this very moment my father is perhaps no
more!" and he told his dream.

The princess said but little at the time, but next morning she went to
the king, and kissing his hand said:

"I have a favour to ask of your Majesty, and I beg you to believe that
it is in no way prompted by my husband. It is that you will allow us
both to visit my father-in-law King Schahzaman."

Sorry though the king felt at the idea of parting with his daughter, he
felt her request to be so reasonable that he could not refuse it, and
made but one condition, which was that she should only spend one year
at the court of King Schahzaman, suggesting that in future the young
couple should visit their respective parents alternately.

The princess brought this good news to her husband, who thanked her
tenderly for this fresh proof of her affection.

All preparations for the journey were now pressed forwards, and when
all was ready the king accompanied the travellers for some days, after
which he took an affectionate leave of his daughter, and charging the
prince to take every care of her, returned to his capital.

The prince and princess journeyed on, and at the end of a month reached
a huge meadow interspersed with clumps of big trees which cast a most
pleasant shade. As the heat was great, Camaralzaman thought it well to
encamp in this cool spot. Accordingly the tents were pitched, and the
princess entering hers whilst the prince was giving his further orders,
removed her girdle, which she placed beside her, and desiring her women
to leave her, lay down and was soon asleep.

When the camp was all in order the prince entered the tent and, seeing
the princess asleep, he sat down near her without speaking. His eyes
fell on the girdle which, he took up, and whilst inspecting the
precious stones set in it he noticed a little pouch sewn to the girdle
and fastened by a loop. He touched it and felt something hard within.
Curious as to what this might be, he opened the pouch and found a
cornelian engraved with various figures and strange characters.

"This cornelian must be something very precious," thought he, "or my
wife would not wear it on her person with so much care."

In truth it was a talisman which the Queen of China had given her
daughter, telling her it would ensure her happiness as long as she
carried it about her.

The better to examine the stone the prince stepped to the open doorway
of the tent. As he stood there holding it in the open palm of his
hand, a bird suddenly swooped down, picked the stone up in its beak and
flew away with it.

Imagine the prince's dismay at losing a thing by which his wife
evidently set such store!

The bird having secured its prey flew off some yards and alighted on
the ground, holding the talisman it its beak. Prince Camaralzaman
advanced, hoping the bird would drop it, but as soon as he approached
the thief fluttered on a little further still. He continued his
pursuit till the bird suddenly swallowed the stone and took a longer
flight than before. The prince then hoped to kill it with a stone, but
the more hotly he pursued the further flew the bird.

In this fashion he was led on by hill and dale through the entire day,
and when night came the tiresome creature roosted on the top of a very
high tree where it could rest in safety.

The prince in despair at all his useless trouble began to think whether
he had better return to the camp. "But," thought he, "how shall I find
my way back? Must I go up hill or down? I should certainly lose my
way in the dark, even if my strength held out." Overwhelmed by hunger,
thirst, fatigue and sleep, he ended by spending the night at the foot
of the tree.

Next morning Camaralzaman woke up before the bird left its perch, and
no sooner did it take flight than he followed it again with as little
success as the previous day, only stopping to eat some herbs and fruit
he found by the way. In this fashion he spent ten days, following the
bird all day and spending the night at the foot of a tree, whilst it
roosted on the topmost bough. On the eleventh day the bird and the
prince reached a large town, and as soon as they were close to its
walls the bird took a sudden and higher flight and was shortly
completely out of sight, whilst Camaralzaman felt in despair at having
to give up all hopes of ever recovering the talisman of the Princess
Badoura.

Much cast down, he entered the town, which was built near the sea and
had a fine harbour. He walked about the streets for a long time, not
knowing where to go, but at length as he walked near the seashore he
found a garden door open and walked in.

The gardener, a good old man, who was at work, happened to look up,
and, seeing a stranger, whom he recognised by his dress as a Mussulman,
he told him to come in at once and to shut the door.

Camaralzaman did as he was bid, and inquired why this precaution was
taken.

"Because," said the gardener, "I see that you are a stranger and a
Mussulman, and this town is almost entirely inhabited by idolaters, who
hate and persecute all of our faith. It seems almost a miracle that
has led you to this house, and I am indeed glad that you have found a
place of safety."

Camaralzaman warmly thanked the kind old man for offering him shelter,
and was about to say more, but the gardener interrupted him with:

"Leave compliments alone. You are weary and must be hungry. Come in,
eat, and rest." So saying he led the prince into his cottage, and
after satisfying his hunger begged to learn the cause of his arrival.

Camaralzaman told him all without disguise, and ended by inquiring the
shortest way to his father's capital. "For," added he, "if I tried to
rejoin the princess, how should I find her after eleven days'
separation. Perhaps, indeed, she may be no longer alive!" At this
terrible thought he burst into tears.

The gardener informed Camaralzaman that they were quite a year's land
journey to any Mahomedan country, but that there was a much shorter
route by sea to the Ebony Island, from whence the Isles of the Children
of Khaledan could be easily reached, and that a ship sailed once a year
for the Ebony Island by which he might get so far as his very home.

"If only you had arrived a few days sooner," he said, "you might have
embarked at once. As it is you must now wait till next year, but if
you care to stay with me I offer you my house, such as it is, with all
my heart."

Prince Camaralzaman thought himself lucky to find some place of refuge,
and gladly accepted the gardener's offer. He spent his days working in
the garden, and his nights thinking of and sighing for his beloved wife.

Let us now see what had become during this time of the Princess Badoura.

On first waking she was much surprised not to find the prince near her.
She called her women and asked if they knew where he was, and whilst
they were telling her that they had seen him enter the tent, but had
not noticed his leaving it, she took up her belt and perceived that the
little pouch was open and the talisman gone.

She at once concluded that her husband had taken it and would shortly
bring it back. She waited for him till evening rather impatiently, and
wondering what could have kept him from her so long. When night came
without him she felt in despair and abused the talisman and its maker
roundly. In spite of her grief and anxiety however, she did not lose
her presence of mind, but decided on a courageous, though very unusual
step.

Only the princess and her women knew of Camaralzaman's disappearance,
for the rest of the party were sleeping or resting in their tents.
Fearing some treason should the truth be known, she ordered her women
not to say a word which would give rise to any suspicion, and proceeded
to change her dress for one of her husband's, to whom, as has been
already said, she bore a strong likeness.

In this disguise she looked so like the prince that when she gave
orders next morning to break up the camp and continue the journey no
one suspected the change. She made one of her women enter her litter,
whilst she herself mounted on horseback and the march began.

After a protracted journey by land and sea the princess, still under
the name and disguise of Prince Camaralzaman, arrived at the capital of
the Ebony Island whose king was named Armanos.

No sooner did the king hear that the ship which was just in port had on
board the son of his old friend and ally than he hurried to meet the
supposed prince, and had him and his retinue brought to the palace,
where they were lodged and entertained sumptuously.

After three days, finding that his guest, to whom he had taken a great
fancy, talked of continuing his journey, King Armanos said to him:

"Prince, I am now an old man, and unfortunately I have no son to whom
to leave my kingdom. It has pleased Heaven to give me only one
daughter, who possesses such great beauty and charm that I could only
give her to a prince as highly born and as accomplished as yourself.
Instead, therefore, of returning to your own country, take my daughter
and my crown and stay with us. I shall feel that I have a worthy
successor, and shall cheerfully retire from the fatigues of government."

The king's offer was naturally rather embarrassing to the Princess
Badoura. She felt that it was equally impossible to confess that she
had deceived him, or to refuse the marriage on which he had set his
heart; a refusal which might turn all his kindness to hatred and
persecution.

All things considered, she decided to accept, and after a few moments
silence said with a blush, which the king attributed to modesty:

"Sire, I feel so great an obligation for the good opinion your Majesty
has expressed for my person and of the honour you do me, that, though I
am quite unworthy of it, I dare not refuse. But, sire, I can only
accept such an alliance if you give me your promise to assist me with
your counsels."

The marriage being thus arranged, the ceremony was fixed for the
following day, and the princess employed the intervening time in
informing the officers of her suite of what had happened, assuring them
that the Princess Badoura had given her full consent to the marriage.
She also told her women, and bade them keep her secret well.

King Armanos, delighted with the success of his plans, lost no time in
assembling his court and council, to whom he presented his successor,
and placing his future son-in-law on the throne made everyone do homage
and take oaths of allegiance to the new king.

At night the whole town was filled with rejoicings, and with much pomp
the Princess Haiatelnefous (this was the name of the king's daughter)
was conducted to the palace of the Princess Badoura.

Now Badoura had thought much of the difficulties of her first interview
with King Armanos' daughter, and she felt the only thing to do was at
once to take her into her confidence.

Accordingly, as soon as they were alone she took Haiatelnefous by the
hand and said:

"Princess, I have a secret to tell you, and must throw myself on your
mercy. I am not Prince Camaralzaman, but a princess like yourself and
his wife, and I beg you to listen to my story, then I am sure you will
forgive my imposture, in consideration of my sufferings."

She then related her whole history, and at its close Haiatelnefous
embraced her warmly, and assured her of her entire sympathy and
affection.

The two princesses now planned out their future action, and agreed to
combine to keep up the deception and to let Badoura continue to play a
man's part until such time as there might be news of the real
Camaralzaman.

Whilst these things were passing in the Ebony Island Prince
Camaralzaman continued to find shelter in the gardeners cottage in the
town of the idolaters.

Early one morning the gardener said to the prince:

"To-day is a public holiday, and the people of the town not only do not
work themselves but forbid others to do so. You had better therefore
take a good rest whilst I go to see some friends, and as the time is
near for the arrival of the ship of which I told you I will make
inquiries about it, and try to bespeak a passage for you." He then put
on his best clothes and went out, leaving the prince, who strolled into
the garden and was soon lost in thoughts of his dear wife and their sad
separation.

As he walked up and down he was suddenly disturbed in his reverie by
the noise two large birds were making in a tree.

Camaralzaman stood still and looked up, and saw that the birds were
fighting so savagely with beaks and claws that before long one fell
dead to the ground, whilst the conqueror spread his wings and flew
away. Almost immediately two other larger birds, who had been watching
the duel, flew up and alighted, one at the head and the other at the
feet of the dead bird. They stood there some time sadly shaking their
heads, and then dug up a grave with their claws in which they buried
him.

As soon as they had filled in the grave the two flew off, and ere long
returned, bringing with them the murderer, whom they held, one by a
wing and the other by a leg, with their beaks, screaming and struggling
with rage and terror. But they held tight, and having brought him to
his victim's grave, they proceeded to kill him, after which they tore
open his body, scattered the inside and once more flew away.

The prince, who had watched the whole scene with much interest, now
drew near the spot where it happened, and glancing at the dead bird he
noticed something red lying near which had evidently fallen out of its
inside. He picked it up, and what was his surprise when he recognised
the Princess Badoura's talisman which had been the cause of many
misfortunes. It would be impossible to describe his joy; he kissed the
talisman repeatedly, wrapped it up, and carefully tied it round his
arm. For the first time since his separation from the princess he had
a good night, and next morning he was up at day-break and went
cheerfully to ask what work he should do.

The gardener told him to cut down an old fruit tree which had quite
died away, and Camaralzaman took an axe and fell to vigorously. As he
was hacking at one of the roots the axe struck on something hard. On
pushing away the earth he discovered a large slab of bronze, under
which was disclosed a staircase with ten steps. He went down them and
found himself in a roomy kind of cave in which stood fifty large bronze
jars, each with a cover on it. The prince uncovered one after another,
and found them all filled with gold dust. Delighted with his discovery
he left the cave, replaced the slab, and having finished cutting down
the tree waited for the gardener's return.

The gardener had heard the night before that the ship about which he
was inquiring would start ere long, but the exact date not being yet
known he had been told to return next day for further information. He
had gone therefore to inquire, and came back with good news beaming in
his face.

"My son," said he, "rejoice and hold yourself ready to start in three
days' time. The ship is to set sail, and I have arranged all about
your passage with the captain.

"You could not bring me better news," replied Camaralzaman, "and in
return I have something pleasant to tell you. Follow me and see the
good fortune which has befallen you."

He then led the gardener to the cave, and having shown him the treasure
stored up there, said how happy it made him that Heaven should in this
way reward his kind host's many virtues and compensate him for the
privations of many years.

"What do you mean?" asked the gardener. "Do you imagine that I should
appropriate this treasure? It is yours, and I have no right whatever
to it. For the last eighty years I have dug up the ground here without
discovering anything. It is clear that these riches are intended for
you, and they are much more needed by a prince like yourself than by an
old man like me, who am near my end and require nothing. This treasure
comes just at the right time, when you are about to return to your own
country, where you will make good use of it."

But the prince would not hear of this suggestion, and finally after
much discussion they agreed to divide the gold. When this was done the
gardener said:

"My son, the great thing now is to arrange how you can best carry off
this treasure as secretly as possible for fear of losing it. There are
no olives in the Ebony Island, and those imported from here fetch a
high price. As you know, I have a good stock of the olives which grew
in this garden. Now you must take fifty jars, fill each half full of
gold dust and fill them up with the olives. We will then have them
taken on board ship when you embark."

The prince took this advice, and spent the rest of the day filling the
fifty jars, and fearing lest the precious talisman might slip from his
arm and be lost again, he took the precaution of putting it in one of
the jars, on which he made a mark so as to be able to recognise it.
When night came the jars were all ready, and the prince and his host
went to bed.

Whether in consequence of his great age, or of the fatigues and
excitement of the previous day, I do not know, but the gardener passed
a very bad night. He was worse next day, and by the morning of the
third day was dangerously ill. At daybreak the ship's captain and some
of his sailors knocked at the garden door and asked for the passenger
who was to embark.

"I am he," said Camaralzaman, who had opened the door. "The gardener
who took my passage is ill and cannot see you, but please come in and
take these jars of olives and my bag, and I will follow as soon as I
have taken leave of him."

The sailors did as he asked, and the captain before leaving charged
Camaralzaman to lose no time, as the wind was fair, and he wished to
set sail at once.

As soon as they were gone the prince returned to the cottage to bid
farewell to his old friend, and to thank him once more for all his
kindness. But the old man was at his last gasp, and had barely
murmured his confession of faith when he expired.

Camaralzaman was obliged to stay and pay him the last offices, so
having dug a grave in the garden he wrapped the kind old man up and
buried him. He then locked the door, gave up the key to the owner of
the garden, and hurried to the quay only to hear that the ship had
sailed long ago, after waiting three hours for him.

It may well be believed that the prince felt in despair at this fresh
misfortune, which obliged him to spend another year in a strange and
distasteful country. Moreover, he had once more lost the Princess
Badoura's talisman, which he feared he might never see again. There
was nothing left for him but to hire the garden as the old man had
done, and to live on in the cottage. As he could not well cultivate
the garden by himself, he engaged a lad to help him, and to secure the
rest of the treasure he put the remaining gold dust into fifty more
jars, filling them up with olives so as to have them ready for
transport.

Whilst the prince was settling down to this second year of toil and
privation, the ship made a rapid voyage and arrived safely at the Ebony
Island.

As the palace of the new king, or rather of the Princess Badoura,
overlooked the harbour, she saw the ship entering it and asked what
vessel it was coming in so gaily decked with flags, and was told that
it was a ship from the Island of the Idolaters which yearly brought
rich merchandise.

The princess, ever on the look out for any chance of news of her
beloved husband, went down to the harbour attended by some officers of
the court, and arrived just as the captain was landing. She sent for
him and asked many questions as to his country, voyage, what passengers
he had, and what his vessel was laden with. The captain answered all
her questions, and said that his passengers consisted entirely of
traders who brought rich stuffs from various countries, fine muslins,
precious stones, musk, amber, spices, drugs, olives, and many other
things.

As soon as he mentioned olives, the princess, who was very partial to
them, exclaimed:

"I will take all you have on board. Have them unloaded and we will
make our bargain at once, and tell the other merchants to let me see
all their best wares before showing them to other people."

"Sire," replied the captain, "I have on board fifty very large pots of
olives. They belong to a merchant who was left behind, as in spite of
waiting for him he delayed so long that I was obliged to set sail
without him."

"Never mind," said the princess, "unload them all the same, and we will
arrange the price."

The captain accordingly sent his boat off to the ship and it soon
returned laden with the fifty pots of olives. The princess asked what
they might be worth.

"Sire," replied the captain, "the merchant is very poor. Your Majesty
will not overpay him if you give him a thousand pieces of silver."

"In order to satisfy him and as he is so poor," said the princess, "I
will order a thousand pieces of gold to be given you, which you will be
sure to remit to him."

So saying she gave orders for the payment and returned to the palace,
having the jars carried before her. When evening came the Princess
Badoura retired to the inner part of the palace, and going to the
apartments of the Princess Haiatelnefous she had the fifty jars of
olives brought to her. She opened one to let her friend taste the
olives and to taste them herself, but great was her surprise when, on
pouring some into a dish, she found them all powdered with gold dust.
"What an adventure! how extraordinary!" she cried. Then she had the
other jars opened, and was more and more surprised to find the olives
in each jar mixed with gold dust.

But when at length her talisman was discovered in one of the jars her
emotion was so great that she fainted away. The Princess Haiatelnefous
and her women hastened to restore her, and as soon as she recovered
consciousness she covered the precious talisman with kisses.

Then, dismissing the attendants, she said to her friend:

"You will have guessed, my dear, that it was the sight of this talisman
which has moved me so deeply. This was the cause of my separation from
my dear husband, and now, I am convinced, it will be the means of our
reunion."

As soon as it was light next day the Princess Badoura sent for the
captain, and made further inquiries about the merchant who owned the
olive jars she had bought.

In reply the captain told her all he knew of the place where the young
man lived, and how, after engaging his passage, he came to be left
behind.

"If that is the case," said the princess, "you must set sail at once
and go back for him. He is a debtor of mine and must be brought here
at once, or I will confiscate all your merchandise. I sha





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