[Go back to Judar and His Brethren]
There was once in olden time a King of might, Kundamir highs, who had been a brave and doughty man of war, a Kahraman, in his day, but was grown passing old and decrepit. Now it pleased Allah to vouchsafe him, in his extreme senility, a son, whom he named Ajib--the Wonderful--because of his beauty and loveliness; so he committed the babe to the midwives and wet- nurses and handmaids and serving-women, and they reared him till he was full seven years old, when his father gave him in charge to a divine of his own folk and faith. The priest taught him the laws and tenets of their Misbelief and instructed him in philosophy and all manner of other knowledge, and it needed but three full told years ere he was proficient therein and his spirit waxed resolute and his judgment mature; and he became learned, eloquent and philosophic; consorting with the wise and disputing with the doctors of the law. When his father saw this of him, it pleased him and he taught him to back the steed and stab with spear and smite with sword, till he grew to be an accomplished cavalier, versed in all martial exercises; and, by the end of his twentieth year, he surpassed in all things all the folk of his day. But his skill in weapons made him grow up a stubborn tyrant and a devil arrogant, using to ride forth a- hunting and a-chasing amongst a thousand horsemen and to make raids and razzias upon the neighbouring knights, cutting off caravans and carrying away the daughters of Kings and nobles; wherefore many brought complaints against him to his father, who cried out to five of his slaves and when they came said, "Seize this dog!" So they seized Prince Ajib and, pinioning his hands behind him, beat him by his father's command till he lost his senses; after which the King imprisoned him in a chamber so dark one might not know heaven from earth or length from breadth; and there he abode two days and a night. Then the Emirs went in to the King and, kissing the ground between his hands, interceded with him for the Prince, and he released him. So Ajib bore with his father for ten days, at the end of which he went in to him as he slept by night and smote his neck. When the day rose, he mounted the throne of his sire's estate and bade his men arm themselves cap-a-pie in steel and stand with drawn swords in front of him and on his right hand and on his left. By and by, the Emirs and Captains entered and finding their King slain and his son Ajib seated on the throne were confounded in mind and knew not what to do. But Ajib said to them, "O folk, verily ye see what your King hath gained. Whoso obeyeth me, I will honour him, and whoso gainsayeth me I will do with him that which I did with my sire." When they heard these words they feared lest he do them a mischief; so they replied, "Thou art our King and the son of our King;" and kissed ground before him; whereupon he thanked them and rejoiced in them. Then he bade bring forth money and apparel and clad them in sumptuous robes of honour and showered largesse upon them, wherefore they all loved him and obeyed him. In like manner he honoured the governors of the Provinces and the Shaykhs of the Badawin, both tributary and independent, so that the whole kingdom submitted to him and the folk obeyed him and he reigned and bade and forbade in peace and quiet for a time of five months. One Night, however, he dreamed a dream as he lay slumbering; whereupon he awoke trembling, nor did sleep visit him again till the morning. As soon as it was dawn he mounted his throne and his officers stood before him, right and left. Then he called the oneiromants and the astrologers and said to them "Expound to me my dream!" "What was the dream?" asked they; and he answered, "As I slept last Night, I saw my father standing before me, with his yard uncovered, and there came forth of it a thing the bigness of a bee, which grew till it became as a mighty lion, with claws like hangers. As I lay wondering at this lo! it ran upon me and smiting me with its claws, rent my belly in sunder; whereupon I awoke startled and trembling. So expound ye to me the meaning of this dream." The interpreters looked one at other; and, after considering, said, "O mighty King, this dream pointeth to one born of thy sire, between whom and thee shall befal strife and enmity, wherein he shall get the better of thee: so be on thy guard against him, by reason of this thy vision." When Ajib heard their words, he said, "I have no brother whom I should fear; so this your speech is mere lying." They replied, "We tell thee naught save what we know;" but he was an angered with them and bastinadoed them. Then he rose and, going in to the paternal palace, examined his father's concubines and found one of them seven months gone with child; whereupon he gave an order to two of his slaves, saying, "Take this damsel, ye twain, and carry her to the sea-shore and drown her." So they took her forthright and, going to the sea-shore, designed to drown her, when they looked at her and seeing her to be of singular beauty and loveliness said to each other, "Why should we drown this damsel? Let us rather carry her to the forest and live with her there in rare love-liasse." Then they took her and fared on with her days and nights till they had borne her afar off and had brought her to a bushy forest, abounding in fruit-trees and streams, where they both thought at the same time to win their will of her; but each said, "I will have her first." So they fell out one with the other concerning this, and while so doing a company of blackamoors came down upon them, and they drew their swords and both sides fell to laying on load. The mellay waxed hot with cut and thrust; and the two slaves fought their best; but the blacks slew them both in less than the twinkling of an eye. So the damsel abode alone and wandered about the forest, eating of its fruits and drinking of its founts, till in due time she gave birth to a boy, brown but clean limbed and comely, whom she named Gharib, the Stranger, by reason of her strangerhood. Then she cut his navel-string and wrapping him in some of her own clothes, gave him to suck, harrowed at heart, and with vitals sorrowing for the estate she had lost and its honour and solace. And Shahrazed perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say,
When it was the Six Hundred and Twenty-fifth Night,
She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the damsel abode in the bush harrowed at heart and a-sorrowed; but she suckled her babe albeit she was full of grief and fear for her loneliness. Now behold, one day, there came horsemen and footmen into the forest with hawks and hounds and horses laden with partridges and cranes and wild geese and divers and other waterfowl; and young ostriches and hares and gazelles and wild oxen and lynxes and wolves and lions. Presently, these Arabs entered the thicket and came upon the damsel, sitting with her child on her breast a-suckling him: so they drew near and asked her, "Say art thou a mortal or a Jinniyah?" Answered she, "I am a mortal, O Chiefs of the Arabs." Thereupon they told their Emir, whose name was Mardas, Prince of the Banu Kahtan, and who had come forth that day to hunt with five hundred of his cousins and the nobles of his tribe, and who in the course of the chase had happened upon her. He bade them bring her before him, which they did and she related to him her past from first to last, whereat he marvelled. Then he cried to his kinsmen and escort to continue the chase, after which they took her and returned to their encampment, where the Emir appointed her a separate dwelling-place and five damsels to serve her; and he loved her with exceeding love and went in to her and lay with her. She conceived by him straightway, and, when her months were accomplished, she bare a man child and named him Sahim al- Layl. He grew up with his brother Gharib among the nurses and throve and waxed upon the lap of the Emir Mardas who, in due time committed the two boys to a Fakih for instruction in the things of their faith; after which he gave them in charge to valiant knights of the Arabs, for training them to smite with sword and lunge with lance and shoot with shaft; so by the time they reached the age of fifteen, they knew all they needed and surpassed each and every brave of their tribe; for Gharib would undertake a thousand horse and Sahim al-Layl no fewer. Now Mardas had many enemies, and the men of his tribe were the bravest of all the Arabs, being doughty cavaliers, none might warm himself at their fire. In his neighbourhood was an Emir of the Arabs, Hassan bin Sabit hight, who was his intimate friend; and he took to wife a noble lady of his tribe and bade all his friends to the wedding, amongst them Mardas lord of the Banu Kahtan, who accepted his invitation and set forth with three hundred riders of his tribe, leaving other four hundred to guard the women. Hassan met him with honour and seated him in the highest stead. Then came all the cavaliers to the bridal and he made them bride-feasts and held high festival by reason of the marriage, after which the Arabs departed to their dwelling- places. When Mardas came in sight of his camp, he saw slain men lying about and birds hovering over them right and left; and his heart sank within him at the sight. Then he entered the camp and was met by Gharib, clad in complete suit of ring-mail, who gave him joy of his safe return. Quoth Mardas, "What meaneth this case, O Gharib?"; and quoth Gharib, "Al-Hamal bin Majid attacked us with five hundred horsemen of his tribe." Now the reason of this was that the Emir Mardas had a daughter called Mahdiyah, seer never saw fairer than she, and Al-Hamal, lord of the Banu Nabhan, heard of her charms; whereupon he took horse with five hundred of his men and rode to Mardas to demand her hand; but he was not accepted and was sent away disappointed. So he awaited till Mardas was absent on his visit to Hassan, when he mounted with his champions and, falling upon the camp of the Banu Kahtan, slew a number of their knights and the rest fled to the mountains. Now Gharib and his brother had ridden forth a- hunting and chasing with an hundred horse and returned not till midday, when they found that Al-Hamal had seized the camp and all therein and had carried off the maidens, among whom was Mahdiyah, driving her away with the captives. When Gharib saw this, he lost his wits for rage and cried out to Sahim, saying, "O my brother, O son of an accursed dam, they have plundered our camp and carried off our women and children! Up and at the enemy, that we may deliver the captives!" So Gharib and Sahim and their hundred horse rushed upon the foe, and Gharib's wrath redoubled, and he reaped a harvest of heads slain, giving the champions death-cup to drain, till he won to Al-Hamal and saw Mahdiyah among the captives. Then he drave at the lord of the Banu Nabhan braves; with his lance lunged him and from his destrier hurled him; nor was the time of mid-afternoon prayer come before he had slain the most part of the foe and put to rout the rest and rescued the captives; whereupon he returned to the camp in triumph, bearing the head of Al-Hamal on the point of his lance and improvising these couplets,
"I am he who is known on the day of fight, * And the Jinn of earth at my shade take fright:
And a sword have I when my right hand wields, * Death hastens from left on mankind to alight;
I have eke a lance and who look thereon * See a crescent head of the liveliest light.
And Gharib I'm highs of my tribe the brave * And if few my men I feel naught affright."
Hardly had Gharib made an end of these verses when up came Mardas who, seeing the slain and the vultures, was sore troubled and with fluttering heart asked the cause. The youth, after due greetings, related all that had befallen the tribe in his step- sire's absence. So Mardas thanked him and said, "Thou hast well requited our fosterage-pains in rearing thee, O Gharib!"; then he alighted and entered his pavilion, and the men stood about him, all the tribe praising Gharib and saying, "O our Emir, but for Gharib, not one of the tribe had been saved!" And Mardas again thanked him.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say,
When it was the Six Hundred and Twenty-sixth Night,
She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Mardas, hearing the tribesmen's praises of Gharib, again thanked him for his derring-do. But the youth, when he had delivered Mahdiyah from Al-Hamal whom he slew, was smitten by the shaft of her glances and fell into the nets of her allurements, wherefore his heart could not forget her and he became drowned in love and longing and the sweets of sleep forsook him and he had no joy of drink or meat. He would spur his horse up to the mountain tops, where he would spend the day in composing verses and return at nightfall; and indeed manifest upon him were the signs of affection and distraction. He discovered his secret to one of his companions and it became noised abroad in the camp, till it reached the ears of Mardas, who thundered and lightened and rose up and sat down and sparked and snorted and reviled the sun and the moon, saying, "This is the reward of him who reareth the sons of adultery! But except I kill Gharib, I shall be put to shame.'' Then he consulted one of the wise men of his tribe and after telling his secret took counsel with him of killing the youth. Quoth the elder, "O Emir, 'twas but yesterday that he freed thy daughter from captivity. If there be no help for it but thou must slay him, let it be by the hand of another than thyself, so none of the folk may misdoubt of thee." Quoth Mardas, "Advise me how I may do him die, for I look to none but to thee for his death." "O Emir," answered the other, "wait till he go forth to hunt and chase, when do thou take an hundred horse and lie in wait for him in some cave till he pass; then fall upon him unawares and cut him in pieces, so shalt thou be quit of his reproach." Said Mardas, "This should serve me well;" and chose out an hundred and fifty of his furious knights and Amalekites whom he lessoned to his will. Then he watched Gharib till one day, he went forth to hunt and rode far away amongst the dells and hills; whereupon Mardas followed him with his men, ill-omened wights, and lay in wait for him by the way against he should return from the chase that they might sally forth and slay him. But as they lay in ambush among the trees behold, there fell upon them five hundred true Amalekites, who slew sixty of them and made fourscore and ten prisoners and trussed up Mardas with his arms behind his back. Now the reason of this was that when Gharib put Al-Hamal and his men to the sword, the rest fled and ceased not flying till they reached their lord's brother and told him what had happened, whereat his Doom-day rose and he gathered together his Amalekites and choosing out five hundred cavaliers, each fifty ells high, set out with them in quest of blood-revengement for his brother. By the way he fell in with Mardas and his companions and there happened between them what happened; after which he bade his men alight and rest, saying, "O folk, the idols have given us an easy brood-wreak; so guard ye Mardas and his tribesmen, till I carry them away and do them die with the foulest of deaths." When Mardas saw himself a prisoner, he repented of what he had done and said, "This is the reward of rebelling against the Lord!" Then the enemy passed the night rejoicing in their victory, whilst Mardas and his men despaired of life and made sure of doom. So far concerning them; but as regards Sahim al-Layl, who had been wounded in the fight with Al- Hamal, he went in to his sister Mahdiyah, and she rose to him and kissed his hands, saying, "May thy two hands ne'er wither nor shine enemies have occasion to be blither! But for thee and Gharib, we had not escaped captivity among our foes. Know, however, O my brother, that thy father hath ridden forth with an hundred and fifty horse, purposing to slaughter Gharib; and thou wottest it would be sore loss and foul wrong to slay him, for that it was he who saved your shame and rescued your good." When Sahim heard this, the light in his sight became Night, he donned his battle-harness; and, mounting steed, rode for the place where Gharib was a-hunting. He presently came up with him and found that he had taken great plenty of game; so he accosted him and saluted him and said, "O my brother, why didst thou go forth without telling me?" Replied Gharib, "By Allah, naught hindered me but that I saw thee wounded and thought to give thee rest." Then said Sahim, "O my brother, beware of my sire!" and told him how Mardas was abroad with an hundred and fifty men, seeking to slay him. Quoth Gharib, "Allah shall cause his treason to cut his own throat." Then the brothers set out campwards, but night overtook them by the way and they rode on in the darkness, till they drew near the Wady wherein the enemy lay and heard the neighing of steeds in the gloom; whereupon said Sahim, "O my brother, my father and his men are ambushed in yonder valley; let us flee from it." But Gharib dismounted and throwing his bridle to his brother, said to him, "Stay in this stead till I come back to thee." Then he went on till he drew in sight of the folk, when he saw that they were not of his tribe and heard them naming Mardas and saying, "We will not slay him, save in his own land." Wherefore he knew that nuncle Mardas was their prisoner, and said, "By the life of Mahdiyah, I will not depart hence till I have delivered her father, that she may not be troubled!" Then he sought and ceased not seeking till he hit upon Mardas and found him bound with cords; so he sat down by his side and said to him, "Heaven deliver thee, O uncle, from these bonds and this shame!" When Mardas saw Gharib his reason fled, and he said to him, "O my son, I am under thy protection: so deliver me in right of my fosterage of thee!" Quoth Gharib, "If I deliver thee, wilt thou give me Mahdiyah?" Quoth the Emir, "O my son, by whatso I hold sacred, she is thine to all time!" So he loosed him, saying, "Make for the horses, for thy son Sahim is there:" and Mardas crept along like a snake till he came to his son, who rejoiced in him and congratulated him on his escape. Meanwhile, Gharib unbound one after another of the prisoners, till he had freed the whole ninety and they were all far from the foe. Then he sent them their weapons and war horses, saying to them, "Mount ye and scatter yourselves round about the enemy and cry out, Ho, sons of Kahtan! And when they awake, do ye remove from them and encircle them in a thin ring.'' So he waited till the last and third watch of the Night, when he cried out, "Ho, sons of Kahtan!" and his men answered in like guise, crying, "Ho, sons of Kahtan," as with one voice; and the mountains echoed their slogan, so that it seemed to the raiders as though the whole tribe of Banu Kahtan were assailing them; wherefore they all snatched up their arms and fell upon one another,--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say,
When it was the Six Hundred and Twenty-seventh Night,
She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the raiders awoke from sleep and heard Gharib and his men crying out, "Ho, sons of Kahtan!"; they imagined that the whole tribe was assailing them; wherefore they snatched up their arms and fell one upon other with mighty slaughter. Gharib and his men held aloof, and they fought one another till daybreak, when Gharib and Mardas and their ninety warriors came down upon them and killed some of them and put the rest to flight. Then the Banu Kahtan took the horses of the fugitives and the weapons of the slain and returned to their tribal camp, whilst Mardas could hardly credit his deliverance from the foe. When they reached the encampment, the stay-at-home folk all came forth to meet them and rejoiced in their safe return. Then they alighted and betook them to their tents; and all the youths of the tribe flocked to Gharib's stead and great and small saluted him and did him honour. But when Mardas saw this and the youths encircling his stepson he waxed more jealous of Gharib than before and said to his kinsfolk, "Verily, hatred of Gharib groweth on my heart, and what irketh me most is that I see these flocking about him! And to-morrow he will demand Mahdiyah of me." Quoth his confidant, "O Emir, ask of him somewhat he cannot avail to do." This pleased Mardas who passed a pleasant night and on the morrow, as he sat on his stuffed carpet, with the Arabs about him, Gharib entered, followed by his men and surrounded by the youth of the tribe, and kissed the ground before Mardas who, making a show of joy, rose to do him honour and seated him beside himself. Then said Gharib, "O uncle, thou madest me a promise; do thou fulfil it." Replied the Emir, "O my son, she is shine to all time; but thou lackest wealth." Quoth Gharib, "O uncle, ask of me what thou wilt, and I will fall upon the Emirs of the Arabs in their houses and on the Kings in their towns and bring thee fee enough to fence the land from East to West." "O my son," quoth Mardas," I have sworn by all the Idols that I would not give Mabdiyah save to him who should take my blood-wite of mine enemy and do away my reproach." "O uncle," said Gharib, "tell me with which of the Kings thou hast a feud, that I may go to him and break his throne upon his pate." "O my son," replied Mardas, "I once had a son, a champion of champions, and he went forth one day to chase and hunt with an hundred horse. They fared on from valley to valley, till they had wandered far away amongst the mountains and came to the Wady of Blossoms and the Castle of Ham bin Shays bin Shaddad bin Khalad. Now in this place, O my son, dwelleth a black giant, seventy cubits high, who fights with trees from their roots uptorn; and when my son reached his Wady, the tyrant sallied out upon him and his men and slew them all, save three braves, who escaped and brought me the news. So I assembled my champions and fared forth to fight the giant, but could not prevail against him; wherefore I was baulked of my revenge and swore that I would not give my daughter in marriage save to him who should avenge me of my son." Said Gharib, "O uncle, I will go to this Amalekite and take the wreak of thy son on him with the help of Almighty Allah." And Mardas answered, saying, "O Gharib, if thou get the victory over him, thou wilt gain of him such booty of wealth and treasures as fires may not devour." Cried Gharib, "Swear to me before witnesses thou wilt give me her to wife, so that with heart at ease I may go forth to find my fortune." Accordingly, Mardas swore this to him and took the elders of the tribe to witness; whereupon Gharib fared forth, rejoicing in the attainment of his hopes, and went in to his mother, to whom he related what had passed. "O my son," said she, "know that Mardas hateth thee and doth but send thee to this mountain, to bereave me of thee; then take me with thee and let us depart the tents of this tyrant." But he answered, "O my mother, I will not depart hence till I win my wish and foil my foe." Thereupon he slept till morning arose with its sheen and shone, and hardly had he mounted his charger when his friends, the young men, came up to him; two hundred stalwart knights armed cap-a-pie and cried out to him, saying, "Take us with thee; we will help thee and company thee by the way." And he rejoiced in them and cried, "Allah requite you for us with good!" adding, "Come, my friends, let us go." So they set out and fared on the first day and the second day till evening, when they halted at the foot of a towering mount and baited their horses. As for Gharib, he left the rest and walked on into that mountain, till he came to a cave whence issued a light. He entered and found, at the higher facing end of the cave a Shaykh, three hundred and forty years old, whose eyebrows overhung his eyes and whose moustachios hid his mouth. Gharib at this sight was filled with awe and veneration, and the hermit said to him, "Methinks thou art of the idolaters, O my son, stone-worshipping in the stead of the All-powerful King, the Creator of Night and Day and of the sphere rolling on her way." When Gharib heard his words, his side muscles quivered and he said, "O Shaykh, where is this Lord of whom thou speakest, that I may worship him and take my fill of his sight?" Replied the Shaykh, "O my son, this is the Supreme Lord, upon whom none may look in this world. He seeth and is not seen. He is the Most High of aspect and is present everywhere in His works. He it is who maketh all the made and ordereth time to vade and fade; He is the Creator of men and Jinn and sendeth the Prophets to guide His creatures into the way of right. Whoso obeyeth Him, He bringeth into Heaven, and whoso gainsayeth Him, He casteth into Hell." Asked Gharib, "And how, O uncle, saith whoso worshippeth this puissant Lord who over all hath power?" "O my son," answered the Shaykh, "I am of the tribe of Ad, which were transgressors in the land and believed not in Allah. So He sent unto them a Prophet named Hud, but they called him liar and he destroyed them by means of a deadly wind; but I believed together with some of my tribe, and we were saved from destruction. Moreover, I was present with the tribe of Thamud and saw what befel them with their Prophet Salih. After Salih, the Al-mighty sent a prophet, called Abraham the Friend, to Nimrod son of Canaan, and there befel what befel between them. Then my companions died in the Saving Faith and I continued in this cave to serve Allah the Most High, who provideth my daily bread without my taking thought." Quoth Gharib, "O uncle, what shall I say, that I may become of the troop of this mighty Lord?" "Say," replied the old man, 'There is no god but the God and Abraham is the Friend of God.' " So Gharib embraced the Faith of Submission with heart and tongue and the Shaykh said to him, "May the sweetness of belief and devotion be stablished in thy heart!" Then he taught him somewhat of the biblical ordinances and scriptures of Al-Islam and said to him, "What is thy name?"; and he replied, "My name is Gharib." Asked the old man, "Whither art thou bound, O Gharib?" So he told him all his history, till he came to the mention of the Ghul of the Mountain whom he sought,--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say,
When it was the Six Hundred and Twenty-eighth Night,
She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Gharib became a Moslem and told the Shaykh his past, from first to last, till he came to the mention of the Mountain-Ghul whom he sought, the old man asked him, "O Gharib, art thou mad that thou goest forth against the Ghul of the Mountain single handed?"; and he answered, "O my lord, I have with me two hundred horse." "O Gharib," rejoined the hermit, "hadst thou ten thousand riders yet shouldest thou not prevail against him, for his name is The-Ghul- who-eateth-men-we-pray-Allah-for-safety, and he is of the children of Ham. His father's name was Hindi who peopled Hind and named it, and he left this son after him, whom he called Sa'adan the Ghul. Now the same was, O my son, even in his sire's lifetime, a cruel tyrant and a rebellious devil and had no other food than flesh of the sons of Adam. His father when about to die forbade him from this, but he would not be forbidden and he redoubled in his forwardness, till Hindi banished him and drove him forth the Land of Hind, after battles and sore travail. Then he came to this country and fortifying himself herein, established his home in this place, whence he is wont to sally forth and cut the road of all that come and go, presently returning to the valley he haunteth. Moreover, he hath begotten five sons, warlike warlocks, each one of whom will do battle with a thousand braves, and he hath flocked the valley with his booty of treasure and goods besides horses and camels and cattle and sheep. Wherefore I fear for thee from him; so do thou implore Almighty Allah to further thee against him by the Tahlil, the formula of Unity, and when thou drivest at the Infidels, cry, 'God is most Great!' for, saying, 'There is no god but the God' confoundeth those who misbelieve." Then the Shaykh gave him a steel mace, an hundred pounds in weight, with ten rings which clashed like thunder whenas the wielder brandished it, and a sword forged of a thunderbolt, three ells long and three spans broad, wherewith if one smote a rock, the stroke would cleave it in sunder. Moreover he gave him a hauberk and target and a book and said to him, "Return to thy tribe and expound unto them Al-Islam." So Gharib left him, rejoicing in his new Faith, and fared till he found his companions, who met him with salams, saying, "What made thee tarry thus?" Whereupon he related to them that which had befallen him and expounded to them Al-Islam, and they all islamised. Early next morning, Gharib mounted and rode to the hermit to farewell him, after which he set out to return to his camp when behold, on his way, there met him a horseman cap-a-pie armed so that only his eyes appeared, who made at him, saying, "Doff what is on thee, O scum of the Arabs; or I will do thee die!" Therewith Gharib crave at him and there befel between them a battle such as would make a new-born child turn grey and melt the flinty rock with its sore affray; but presently the Badawi did off his face-veil, and lo! it was Gharib's half- brother Sahim al-Layl. Now the cause of his coming thither was that when Gharib set out in quest of the Mountain-Ghul, Sahim was absent and on his return, not seeing his brother, he went in to his mother, whom he found weeping. He asked the reason of her tears and she told him what had happened of his brother's journey, whereupon, without allowing himself aught of rest, he donned his war-gear and mounting rode after Gharib, till he overtook him and there befel between them what befel. When, therefore. Sahim discovered his face, Gharib knew him and saluted him, saying, "What moved thee to do this?" Quoth Sahim, "I had a mind to measure myself with thee in the field and make trial of my lustihood in cut and thrust." Then they rode together and on the way Gharib expounded Al-Islam to Sahim, who embraced the Faith; nor did they cease riding till they were hard upon the valley. Meanwhile, the Mountain-Ghul espied the dust of their horses' feet and said to his sons, "O my sons, mount and fetch me yonder loot." So the five took horse and made for the party. When Gharib saw the five Amalekites approaching, he plied shovel-iron upon his steed's flank and cried out, saying, "Who are ye, and what is your race and what do ye require?" Whereupon Falhun bin Sa'adan, the eldest of the five, came out and said, "Dismount ye and bind one another and we will drive you to our father, that he may roast various of you and boil various, for it is long since he has tasted the flesh of Adam-son." When Gharib heard these words he drove at Falhun, shaking his mace, so that the rings rang like the roaring thunder and the giant was confounded. Then he smote him a light blow with the mace between the shoulders, and he fell to the ground like a tall-trunked palm- tree; whereupon Sahim and some of his men fell upon him and pinioned him; then, putting a rope about his neck, they haled him along like a cow. Now when his brothers saw him a prisoner they charged home upon Gharib, who took three of them captive and the fifth fled back to his sire, who said to him, "What is behind thee and where are the brothers of thee?" Quoth he "Verily, a beardless youth, forty cubits high, hath taken them prisoner." Quoth Sa'adan, "May the sun pour no blessing on you!" and, going down from his hold, tore up a huge tree, with which he went in quest of Gharib and his folk; and he was on foot, for that no horse might carry him, because of the bigness of his body. His son followed him and the twain went on till they came up with Gharib and his company, when the Ghul fell upon them, without word said, and slew five men with his club. Then he made at Sahim and struck at him with his tree, but Sahim avoided the blow and it fell harmless; whereat Sa'adan was wroth and throwing down the weapon, sprang upon Sahim and caught him in his pounces as the sparrow hawk catcheth up the sparrow. Now when Gharib saw his brother in the Ghul's clutches, he cried out, saying, "Allaho Akbar God is most Great! Oh the favour of Abraham the Friend, the Muhammad, the Blessed One (whom Allah keep and assain!)"- -And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say,
When it was the Six Hundred and Twenty-ninth Night,
She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Gharib saw his brother in the clutches of the Ghul, he cried out, saying "Oh the favour of Ibrahim, the Friend, the Blessed One (whom Allah keep and assain!) "; and crave his charger at Sa'adan, shaking his mace, till the rings loud rang. Then he cried out again, "God is most Great!" and smote the Ghul on the flat of the ribs with his mace, whereupon he fell to the ground, insensible, and loosed his grip on Sahim; nor did he come to himself ere he was pinioned and shackled. When his son saw this, he turned and fled; but Gharib drove steed after him and smiting him with his mace between the shoulders, threw him from his horse. So they bound him with his father and brethren and haltering them with ropes, haled them all six along like baggage- camels, till they reached the Ghul's castle, which they found full of goods and treasures and things of price; and there they also came upon twelve hundred Ajamis, men of Persia, bound and shackled. Gharib sat down on Sa'adan's chair, which had aforetime belonged to Sasa bin Shays bin Shaddad bin Ad causing Sahim to stand on his right and his companions on his either hand, and sending for the Ghul of the Mountain, said to him, "How findest thou thyself, O accursed?" Replied Sa'adan, "O my lord, in the sorriest of plights for abasement and mortification; my sons and I, we are bound with ropes like camels." Quoth Gharib, "It is my will that you enter my faith, the faith Al-Islam highs, and acknowledge the Unity of the All knowing King whose All-might created Light and Night and every thing, there is no God 'but He, the Requiting King! and confess the mission and prophethood of Abraham the Friend (on whom be peace!)." So the Ghul and his sons made the required profession after the goodliest fashion, and Gharib bade loose their bonds; whereupon Sa'adan wept and would have kissed his feet, he and his sons: but Gharib forbade them and they stood with the rest who stood before him. Then said Gharib, "Harkye, Sa'adan!"; and he replied, "At thy service, O my lord!" Quoth Gharib, "What are these captives?" "O my lord," quoth the Ghul, "these are my game from the land of the Persians and are not the only ones." Asked Gharib, "And who is with them?"; and Sa'adan answered, "O my lord, there is with them the Princess Fakhr Taj, daughter of King Sabur of Persia, and an hundred damsels like moons." When Gharib heard this, he marvelled and said, "O Emir, how came ye by these?" Replied Sa'adan, "I went forth one night with my sons and five of my slaves in quest of booty, but finding no spoil in our way, we dispersed over wilds and words and fared on, hoping we might happen on somewhat of prey and not return emptyhanded, till we found ourselves in the land of the Persians. Presently, we espied a dust cloud and sent on to reconnoitre one of our slaves, who was absent a while and presently returned and said, 'O my lord, this is the Princess Fakhr Taj, daughter of Sabur, King of the Persians, Turcomans and Medes; and she is on a journey, attended by two thousand horse.' Quoth I, 'Thou hast gladdened us with good news! We could have no finer loot than this.' Then I and my sons fell upon the Persians and slew of them three hundred men and took the Princess and twelve hundred cavaliers prisoners, together with all that was with her of treasure and riches and brought them to this our castle." Quoth Gharib, "Hast thou offered any violence to the Princess Fakhr Taj?" Quoth Sa'adan, "Not I, as thy head liveth and by the virtue of the Faith I have but now embraced!" Gharib replied "It was well done of thee, O Sa'adan, for her father is King of the world and doubtless he will despatch troops in quest of her and lay waste the dwellings of those who took her. And whoso looketh not to issue and end hath not Fate to friend. But where is the damsel?" Said Sa'adan, "I have set apart a pavilion for her and her damsels;" and said Gharib, "Show me her lodging," whereto Sa'adan rejoined, "Hearkening and obedience!" So he carried him to the pavilion, and there he found the Princess mournful and cast down, weeping for her former condition of dignity and delight. When Gharib saw her, he thought the moon was near him and magnified Allah, the All-hearing, the All-seeing. The Princess also looked at him and saw him a princely cavalier, with velour shining from between his eyes and testifying for him and not against him; so she rose and kissed his hands, then fell at his feet, saying, "O hero of the age, I am under thy protection; guard me from this Ghul, for I fear lest he do away my maidenhead and after devour me. So take me to serve shine handmaidens." Quoth Gharib, "Thou art safe and thou shalt be restored to thy father and the seat of thy worship." Whereupon she prayed that he might live long and have advancement in rank and honour. Then he bade unbind the Persians and, turning to the Princess, said to her, "What brought thee forth of thy palace to the wilds and wastes, so that the highway- robbers made prize of thee?" She replied, "O my lord, my father and all the people of his realm, Turks and Daylamites, are Magians, worshipping fire, and not the All-powerful King. Now in our country is a monastery called the Monastery of the Fire, whither every year the daughters of the Magians and worshippers of the Fire resort at the time of their festival and abide there a month, after which they return to their houses. So I and my damsels set out, as of wont, attended by two thousand horse, whom my father sent with me to guard me; but by the way this Ghul came out against us and slew some of us and, taking the rest captive, imprisoned us in this hold. This, then, is what befel me, O valiant champion, whom Allah guard against the shifts of Time!" And Gharib said, "Fear not; for I will bring thee to thy palace and the seat of thy honours." Wherefore she blessed him and kissed his hands and feet. Then he went out from her, after having commanded to treat her with respect, and slept till morning, when he made the Wuzu-ablution and prayed a two-bow prayer, after the rite of our father Abraham the Friend (on whom be peace!), whilst the Ghul and his sons and Gharib's company all did the like after him. Then he turned to the Ghul and said to him, "O Sa'adan, wilt thou not show me the Wady of Blossoms?'' "I will, O my lord," answered he. So Gharib and his company and Princess Fakhr Taj and her maidens all rose and went forth, whilst Sa'adan commanded his slaves and slave- girls to slaughter and cook and make ready the morning-meal and bring it to them among the trees. For the Giant had an hundred and fifty handmaids and a thousand chattels to pasture his camels and oxen and sheep. When they came to the valley, they found it beautiful exceedingly and passing all degree; and birds on tree sang joyously and the mocking-nightingale trilled out her melody, and the cushat filled with her moan the mansions made by the Deity,--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say,
When it was the Six Hundred and Thirtieth Night,
She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Gharib and his merry men and the Giant and his tribe reached the Wady of Blossoms they found birds flying free; the cushat filling with her moan the mansions made by the Deity, the bulbul singing as if 'twere human harmony and the merle whom to describe tongue faileth utterly; the turtle, whose plaining maddens men for loveecstasy and the ringdove and the popinjay answering her with fluency. There also were trees laden with all manner of fruitery, of each two kinds, the pomegranate, sweet and sour upon branches growing luxuriantly, the almond-apricot, the camphor-apricot and the almond Khorasan highs; the plum, with whose branches the boughs of the myrobalan were entwined tight; the orange, as it were a cresses flaming light, the shaddock weighed down with heavy freight; the lemon, that cures lack of appetite, the citron against jaundice of sovereign might, and the date, red and yellow-bright, the especial handiwork of Allah the Most High. Of the like of this place saith the enamoured poet,
"When its birds in the lake make melody, * The lorn lover yearneth its sight to see:
'Tis as Eden breathing a fragrant breeze, * With its shade and fruits and rills flowing free."
Gharib marvelled at the beauty of that Wady and bade them set up there the pavilion of Fakhr Taj the Chosroite; so they pitched it among the trees and spread it with rich tapestries. Then he sat down and the slaves brought food and they ate their sufficiency; after which quoth Gharib, "Harkye, Sa'adan!": and quoth he, "At thy service, O my lord." "Hast thou aught of wine?" asked Gharib, and Sa'adan answered, "Yes, I have a cistern full of old wine." Said Gharib, "Bring us some of it." So Sa'adan sent ten slaves, who returned with great plenty of wine, and they ate and drank and were mirthful and merry. And Gharib bethought him of Mahdiyah and improvised these couplets,
"I mind our union days when ye were nigh, * And flames my heart with love's consuming lowe.
By Allah, Ne'er of will I quitted you: * But shifts of Time from you com pelled me go:
Peace and fair luck and greetings thousand-fold * To you, from exiled lover's pining woe."
They abode eating and drinking and taking their pleasure in the valley for three days, after which they returned to the castle. Then Gharib called Sahim and said to him, "Take an hundred horse and go to thy father and mother and thy tribe, the Banu Kahtan, and bring them all to this place, here to pass the rest of their days, whilst I carry the Princess of Persia back to her father. As for thee, O Sa'adan, tarry thou here with thy sons, till I return to thee." Asked Sa'adan, "And why wilt thou not carry me with thee to the land of the Persians?"; and Gharib answered, "Because thou stolest away King Sabur's daughter and if his eye fall on thee, he will eat thy flesh and drink thy blood." When the Ghul heard this, he laughed a loud laugh, as it were the pealing thunder, and said, "O my lord, by the life of thy head, if the Persians and Medes united against me, I would make them quaff the cup of annihilation." Quoth Gharib, " 'Tis as thou sayest; but tarry thou here in fort till I return to thee;" and quoth the Ghul, "I hear and I obey." Then Sahim departed with his comrades of the Banu Kahtan for the dwelling places of their tribe, and Gharib set out with Princess Fakhr Taj and her company, intending for the cities of Sabur, King of the Persians. Thus far concerning them; but as regards King Sabur, he abode awaiting his daughter's return from the Monastery of the Fire, and when the appointed time passed by and she came not, flames raged in his heart. Now he had forty Wazirs, whereof the oldest, wisest and chiefest was highs Daydan: so he said to him, "O Minister, verily my daughter delayeth her return and I have no news of her though the appointed time is past; so do thou send a courier to the Monastery of the Fire to learn what is come of her." "Hearkening and obedience," replied Daydan; and, summoning the chief of the couriers, said to him, "Wend thou forthright to the Monastery." So he lost no time and when he reached it, he asked the monks of the King's daughter, but they said, "We have not seen her this year." So the courier returned to the city of Isbanir and told the Wazir, who went in to the King and acquainted him with the message. Now when Sabur heard this, he cast his crown on the ground, tore his beard and fell down in a trance. They sprinkled water upon him, and presently he came to himself, tearful-eyed and heavy-hearted, and repeated the words of the poet,
"When I far-parted patience call and tears, * Tears came to call but Patience never hears:
What, then, if Fortune parted us so far? * Fortune and Perfidy are peers
Then he called ten of his captains and bade them mount with a thousand horse and ride in different directions, in quest of his daughter. So they mounted forthright and departed each with his thousand; whilst Fakhr Taj's mother clad herself and her women in black and strewed ashes on her head and sat weeping and lamenting. Such was their case;--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.
When it was the Six Hundred and Thirty-first Night,
She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that King Sabur sent his troops in quest of his daughter, whose mother clad herself and her women in black. Such was their case; but as regards the strange adventures of Gharib and the Princess, they journeyed on ten days, and on the eleventh day, appeared a dust cloud which rose to the confines of the sky; whereupon Gharib called the Emir of the Persians and said to him, "Go learn the cause thereof." "I hear and obey," replied he and crave his charger, till he came under the cloud of dust, where he saw folk and enquired of them. Quoth one of them, "We are of the Banu Hattal and are questing for plunder; our Emir is Samsam bin Al- Jirah and we are five thousand horse." The Persians returned in haste and told their saying to Gharib, who cried out to his men of the Banu Kahtan and to the Persians, saying, "Don your arms!" They did as he bade them and presently up came the Arabs who were shouting, "A plunder! a plunder!" Quoth Gharib, "Allah confound you, O dogs of Arabs!" Then he loosed his horse and drove at them with the career of a right valiant kNight, shouting, "Allaho Akbar! Ho for the faith of Abraham the Friend, on whom be peace!" And there befel between them great fight and sore fray and the sword went round in sway and there was much said and say; nor did they leave fighting till fled the day and gloom came, when they drew from one another away. Then Gharib numbered his tribesmen and found that five of the Banu Kahtan had fallen and three-and- seventy of the Persians; but of the Banu Hattal they had slain more than five hundred horse. As for Samsam, he alighted and sought nor meat nor sleep, but said, "In all my life I never saw such a fighter as this youth! Anon he fighteth with the sword and anon with the mace; but, to-morrow I will go forth on champion wise and defy him to combat of twain in battle plain where edge and point are fain and I will cut off these Arabs." Now, when Gharib returned to his camp, the Princess Fakhr Taj met him, weeping and affrighted for the terror of that which had befallen, and kissed his foot in the stirrup, saying, "May thy hands never wither nor thy foes be blither, O champion of the age! Alhamdolillah--Praise to God--who hath saved thee alive this day! Verily, I am in fear for thee from yonder Arabs." When Gharib heard this, he smiled in her face and heartened and comforted her, saying, "Fear not, O Princess! Did the enemy fill this wild and wold yet would I scatter them, by the might of Allah Almighty." She thanked him and prayed that he might be given the victory over his foes; after which she returned to her women and Gharib went to his tent, where he cleansed himself of the blood of the Infidels, and they lay on guard through the night. Next morning, the two hosts mounted and sought the plain where cut and thrust ruled sovereign. The first to prick into the open was Gharib, who crave his charger till he was near the Infidels and cried out, "Who is for jousting with me? Let no sluggard or weakling come out to me!" Whereupon there rushed forth a giant Amalekite of the lineage of the tribe of Ad, armed with an iron flail twenty pounds in weight, and drove at Gharib, saying, "O scum of the Arabs, take what cometh to thee and learn the glad tidings that thy last hour is at hand!" So saying, he aimed a blow at Gharib, but he avoided it and the flail sank a cubit into the ground. Now the badawi was bent double with the blow, so Gharib smote him with his mace and clove his forehead in sunder and he fell down dead and Allah hurried his soul to Hell-fire. Then Gharib charged and wheeled and called for champions; so there came out to him a second and a third and a fourth and so on, till ten had come forth to him and he slew them all. When the Infidels saw his form of fight and his smashing blows they hung back and forebore to fare forth to him, whereupon Samsam looked at them and said, "Allah never bless you! I will go forth to him." So he donned his battle-gear and driving his charger into mid-field where he fronted the foe and cried out to Gharib saying, "Fie on thee, O dog of the Arabs! hath thy strength waxed so great that thou shouldst defy me in the open field and slaughter my men?" And Gharib replied, "Up and take bloodrevenge for the slaughter of thy braves!" So Samsam ran at Gharib who awaited him with broadened breast and heart enheartened, and they smote each at other with maces, till the two hosts marvelled and every eye was fixed on them. Then they wheeled about in the field and struck at each other two strokes; but Gharib avoided Samsam's stroke which wreak had wroke and dealt with a buffet that beat in his breastbone and cast him to the ground--stone dead. Thereupon all his host ran at Gharib as one man, and he ran at them, crying, "God is most Great! Help and Victory for us and shame and defeat for those who misbelieve the faith of Abraham the Friend, on whom be peace!"--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say,
When it was the Six Hundred and Thirty-second Night,
She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Sam sam's tribesmen rushed upon Gharib as one man, he ran at them crying, "God is most Great! Help and Victory for us and shame and defeat for the Miscreant!" Now when the Infidels heard the name of the All-powerful King, the One, the All-conquering, whom the sight comprehendeth not, but He comprehendeth the sight, they looked at one another and said, "What is this say that maketh our side-muscles tremble and weakeneth our resolution and causeth the life to fail in us? Never in our lives heard we aught goodlier than this saying!" adding, "Let us leave fighting, that we may ask its meaning." So they held their hands from the battle and dismounted; and their elders assembled and held counsel together, seeking to go to Gharib and saying, "Let ten of us repair to him!" So they chose out ten of their best, who set out for Gharib's tents. Now he and his people had alighted and returned to their camp, marvelling at the withdrawal of the Infidels from the fight. But, presently, lo and behold! the ten came up and seeking speech of Gharib, kissed the earth before him and wished him glory and lasting life. Quoth he to them, "What made you leave fighting?"; and quoth they, "O, my lord, thou didst affright us with the words thou shoutest out at us." Then asked Gharib, "What calamity do ye worship?"; and they answered, "We worship Wadd and Suwa'a and Yaghus, lords of the tribe of Noah"; and Gharib, "We serve none but Allah Almighty, Maker of all things and Provider of all livings. He it is who created the heavens and the earth and stablished the mountains, who made water to well from the stones and the trees to grow and feedeth wild beasts in word; for He is Allah, the One, the All- powerful Lord." When they heard this, their bosoms broadened to the words of Unity-faith, and they said, "Verily, this be a Lord high and great, compassionating and compassionate!"; adding, "And what shall we say, to become of the Moslems, of those which submit themselves to Him?" Quoth Gharib, "Say, 'There is no god but the God and Abraham is the Friend of God.'" So the ten made veracious profession of the veritable religion and Gharib said to them, "An the sweet savour of Al-Islam be indeed stablished in your hearts, fare ye to your tribe and expound the faith to them; and if they profess, they shall be saved, but if they refuse we will burn them with fire." So the ten elders returned and expounded Al-Islam to their people and set forth to them the path of truth and creed, and they embraced the Faith of Submission with heart and tongue. Then they repaired on foot to Gharib's tent and kissing ground between his hands wished him honour and high rank, saying, "O our lord, we are become thy slaves; so command us what thou wilt, for we are to thee audient and obedient and we will never depart from thee, since Allah hath guided us into the right way at thy hands." Replied he, "Allah abundantly requite you! Return to your dwellings and march forth with your good and your children and forego me to the Wady of Blossoms and the castle of Sasa bin Shays, whilst I carry the Princess Fakhr Taj, daughter of Sabur, King of the Persians, back to her father and return to you." "Hearkening and obedience," said they and straightway returned to their encampment, rejoicing in Al-Islam, and expounded the True Faith to their wives and children, who became Believers. Then they struck their tents and set forth, with their good and cattle, for the Wady of Blossoms. When they came in sight of the castle of Shays, Sa'adan and his sons sallied forth to them, but Gharib had charged them, saying, "If the Ghul of the Mountain come out to you and offer to attack you, do ye call upon the name of Allah the All-creator, and he will leave his hostile intent and receive you hospitably." So when he would have fallen upon them they called aloud upon the name of Almighty Allah and straightway he received them kindly and asked them of their case. They told him all that had passed between Gharib and themselves, whereupon he rejoiced in them and lodged them with him and loaded them with favours. Such was their case; but as regards Gharib, he and his, escorting the Princess fared on five days' journey towards the City of Isbanir, and on the sixth day they saw a dust-cloud. So Gharib sent one of the Persians to learn the meaning of this and he went and returned, swiftlier than bird in flight, saying, "O my lord, these be a thousand horse of our comrades, whom the King hath sent in quest of his daughter Fakhr Taj." When Gharib heard this, he commanded his company to halt and pitch the tents. So they halted and waited till the new comers reached them, when they went to meet them and told Tuman, their captain, that the Princess was with them; whereupon he went in to Gharib and kissing the ground before him, enquired for her. Gharib sent him to her pavilion, and he entered and kissed her hands and feet and acquainted her with what had befallen her father and mother. She told him in return all that had betided her and how Gharib had delivered her from the Ghul of the Mountain,--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say,
When it was the Six Hundred and Thirty-third Night,
She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the King's daughter, Fakhr Taj, had told Tuman all that had befallen her from the Mountain-Ghul, and how he had imprisoned her and would have devoured her but for Gharib, adding, "And indeed, it behoveth my sire to give him the half of his reign," Tuman arose and returned to Gharib and kissed his hands and feet and thanked him for his good dealing, saying, "With thy leave, O my lord, I will return to Isbanir City and deliver to our King the good news of his daughter's approach." "Go," replied Gharib, "and take of him the gift of glad tidings." So Tuman returned with all dillgence to Isbanir, the Cities, and entering the palace, kissed ground before the King, who said to him, "What is there of new, O bringer of good news?" Quoth Tuman, "I will not speak thee, till thou give me the gift of glad tidings." Quoth the King, "Tell me thy glad tidings and I will content thee." So Tuman said, "O King, I bring thee joyful intelligence of the return of Princess Fakhr Taj." When Sabur heard his daughter's name, he fell down fainting and they sprinkled rose-water on him, till he recovered and cried to Tuman, "Draw near to me and tell me all the good which hath befallen her." So he came forward and acquainted him with all that had betided the Princess; and Sabur beat hand upon hand, saying, "Unhappy thou, O Fakhr Taj!'' And he bade give Tuman ten thousand gold pieces and conferred on him the government of Isfahan City and its dependencies. Then he cried out to his Emirs, saying, "Mount, all of you, and fare we forth to meet the Princess Fakhr Taj!"; and the Chief Eunuch went in to the Queen-mother and told her and all the Harim the good news, whereat she rejoiced and gave him a robe of honour and a thousand dinars. Moreover, the people of the city heard of this and decorated the market streets and houses. Then the King and Tuman took horse and rode till they had sight of Gharib, when Sabur footed it and made some steps towards Gharib, who also dismounted and advanced to meet him; and they embraced and saluted each other, and Sabur bent over Gharib's hand and kissed it and thanked him for his favours. They pitched their pavilions in face of each other and Sabur went in to his daughter, who rose and embracing him told him, all that had befallen her and how Gharib had rescued her from the clutches of the Ghul of the Mountain. Quoth the King, "By thy life, O Princess of fair ones, I will overwhelm him with gifts!"; and quoth she, "O my papa, make him thy son-in-law, that he may be to thee a force against thy foes, for he is passing valiant." Her father replied, "O my daughter, knowst thou not that King Khirad Shah seeketh thee in marriage and that he hath cast the brocade and hath given an hundred thousand dinars in settlement, and he is King of Shiraz and its dependencies and is lord of empire and horsemen and footmen?" But when the Princess heard these words she said, "O my papa! I desire not that whereof thou speakest, and if thou constrain me to that I have no mind to, I will slay myself." So Sabur left her and went in to Gharib, who rose to him; and they sat awhile together; but the King could not take his fill of looking upon him; and he said in his mind, "By Allah, my daughter is excusable if she love this Badawi!" Then he called for food and they ate and passed the night together. On the morrow, they took horse and rode till they arrived at the City of Isbanir and entered, stirrup to stirrup, and it was for them a great day. Fakhr Taj repaired to her palace and the abiding-place of her rank, where her mother and her women received her with cries of joy and loud lullilooings. As for King Sabur, he sat down on his throne and seated Gharib on his right hand, whilst the Princes and Chamberlains, the Emirs, Wazirs and Nabobs stood on either hand and gave him joy of the recovery of his daughter. Said Sabur, "Whoso loveth me let him bestow a robe of honour on Gharib," and there fell dresses of honour on him like drops of rain. Then Gharib abode the King's guest ten days, when he would have departed, but Sabur clad him in an honourable robe and swore him by his faith that he should not march for a whole month. Quoth Gharib, "O King, I am plighted to one of the girls of the Arabs and I desire to go in to her." Quoth the King, "Whether is the fairer, thy betrothed or Fakhr Taj?" "O King of the age," replied Gharib, "what is the slave beside the lord?" And Sabur said, "Fakhr Taj is become thy handmaid, for that thou didst rescue her from the pounces of the Ghul, and she shall have none other husband than thyself." Thereupon Gharib rose and kissed ground, saying, "O King of the age, thou art a sovereign and I am but a poor man, and belike thou wilt ask a heavy dowry." Replied the King, "O my son, know that Khirad Shah, lord of Shiraz and dependencies thereof, seeketh her in marriage and hath appointed an hundred thousand dinars to her dower; but I have chosen thee before all men, that I may make thee the sword of my kingship and my shield against vengeance.'' Then he turned to his Chief Officers and said to them, "Bear witness against me, O Lords of mine Empire, that I marry my daughter Fakhr Taj to my son Gharib."--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say,
When it was the Six Hundred and Thirty-fourth Night,
She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Sabur, King of Ajam-land said to his Chief Officers, "Bear ye witness against me that I marry my daughter Fakhr Taj, to my son Gharib!" With that he joined palms with him and she became his wife. Then said Gharib, "Appoint me a dower and I will bring it to thee, for I have in the Castle of Sasa wealth and treasures beyond count." Replied Sabur, "O my son, I want of thee neither treasure nor wealth and I will take nothing for her dower save the head of Jamrkan King of Dasht and the city of Ahwaz." Quoth Gharib, "O King of the age, I will fetch my folk forthright and go to thy foe and spoil his realm." Quoth Sabur, "Allah requite thee with good!" and dismissed the lords and commons, thinking, "If Gharib go forth against Jamrkan, he will never more return." When morning morrowed the King mounted with Gharib and bidding all his troops take horse rode forth to the plain, where he said to his men, "Do ye tilt with spears and gladden my heart." So the champions of Persia land played one against other, and Gharib said, "O King of the age, I have a mind to tilt with the horsemen of Ajam-land, but on one condition." Asked the King, "What is that?"; and answered Gharib, "It is that I shall don a light tunic and take a headless lance, with a pennon dipped in saffron, whilst the Persian champions sally forth and tilt against me with sharp spears. If any conquer me, I will render myself to him: but, if I conquer him I will mark him on the breast and he shall leave the plain." Then the King cried to the commander of the troops to bring forward the champions of the Persians; so he chose out from amongst the Princes one thousand two hundred of his stoutest champions, and the King said to them, in the Persian tongue, "Whoso slayeth this Badawi may ask of me what he will." So they strove with one another for precedence and charged down upon Gharib and truth was distinguished from falsehood and jest from earnest. Quoth Gharib, "I put my trust in Allah, the God of Abraham the Friend, the Deity who hath power over all and from whom naught is hidden, the One, the Almighty, whom the sight comprehendeth not!" Then an Amalekite-like giant of the Persian champions rushed out to him, but Gharib let him not stand long before him ere he marked him and covered his breast with saffron and as he turned away, he smote him on the nape with the shaft of his lance, and he fell to the ground and his pages bore him from the lists. Then a second champion came forth against him and he overcame him and marked him on the breast; and thus did he with a third and a fourth and a fifth; and there came out against him champion after champion till he had overcome them all and marked them on the breast; for Almighty Allah gave him the victory over them and they fared forth vanquish from the plain. Then the servants set food and strong wine before them! and they ate and drank, till Gharib's wits were dazed by the drink. By and by, he went out to obey a call of Nature and would have returned, but lost his way and entered the palace of Fakhr Taj. When she saw him, her reason fled and she cried out to her women saying, "Go forth from me to your own places!" So they withdrew and she rose and kissed Gharib's hand, saying "Welcome to my lord, who delivered me from the Ghul! Indeed I am shine handmaid for ever and ever." Then she drew him to her bed and embraced him, whereupon desire was hot upon him and he broke her seal and lay with her till the morning. Meanwhile the King thought that he had departed; but on the morrow he went in to him and Sabur rose to him and made him sit by his side. Then entered the tributary kings and kissing the ground stood ranged in rows on the right and left and fell to talking of Gharib's velour and saying, "Extolled be He who gave him such prowess albeit he is so young in years!" As they were thus engaged, behold all espied from the palace-windows the dust of horse approaching and the King cried out to his scouts, saying, "Woe to you! Go and bring me news of yonder dust!" So a cavalier took horse and riding off, returned after a while, and said "O King, we found under that dust an hundred horse belonging to an Emir highs Sahim al-Layl." Gharib hearing these words, cried out, "O my lord, this is my brother, whom I had sent on an errand, and I will go forth to meet him." So saying, he mounted, with his hundred men of the Banu Kahtan and a thousand Persians, and rode to meet his brother in great state, but greatness belongeth to God alone. When the two came up with each other, they dismounted and embraced, and Gharib said to Sahim, "O my brother, hast thou brought our tribe to the Castle of Sasa and the Wady of Blossoms?" "O my brother," replied Sahim, "when the perfidious dog Mardas heard that thou hadst made thee master of the stronghold belonging to the Mountain-Ghul, he was sore chagrined and said, 'Except I march hence, Gharib will come and carry off my daughter Mahdiyah without dower.' So he took his daughter and his goods and set out with his tribe for the land of Irak, where he entered the city of Cufa and put himself under the protection of King Ajib, seeking to give him his daughter to wife." When Gharib heard his brother's story, he well-nigh gave up the ghost for rage and said, "By the virtue of the faith of Al-Islam, the faith of Abraham the Friend, and by the Supreme Lord, I will assuredly go to the land of Irak and fierce war upon it I will set on foot." Then they returned to the city and going in to the King, kissed ground before him. He rose to Gharib and saluted Sahim; after which the elder brother told him what had happened and he put ten captains at his commandment, under each one's hand ten thousand horse of the doughtiest of the Arabs and the Ajams, who equipped themselves and were ready to depart in three days. Then Gharib set out and journeyed till he reached the Castle of Sasa whence the Ghul and his sons came forth to meet him and dismounting, kissed his feet in the stirrups. He told them all that had passed and the giant said, "O my lord, do thou abide in this thy castle, whilst I with my sons and servants repair to Irak and lay waste the city Al-Rustak and bring to thy hand all its defenders bound in straitest bond." But Gharib thanked him and said, "O Sa'adan, we will all go." So he made him ready and the whole body set out for Irak, leaving a thousand horse to guard the Castle. Thus far concerning them; but as regards Mardas, he arrived with his tribe in the land of Irak bringing with him a handsome present and fared for Cufa-city which he entered. Then, he presented himself before Ajib and kissed ground between his hands and, after wishing him what is wished to kings, said, "O my lord, I come to place myself under thy protection."--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say,
When it was the Six Hundred and Thirty-fifth Night,
She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King that Mardas coming into the presence of Ajib, said to him, "I come to place myself under thy protection!" Quoth Ajib, "Tell me who hath wronged thee, that I may protect thee against him, though it were Sabur, King of the Persians and Turcomans and Daylamites." Quoth Mardas, "O King of the Age, he who hath wronged me is none other than a youth whom I reared in my bosom. I found him in his mother's lap in a certain valley and took her to wife She brought me a son, whom I named Sahim al-Layl, and her own son, Gharib highs, grew up on my knees and became a blasting thunderbolt and a lasting calamity, for he smote Al-Hamal, Prince of the Banu Nabhan, and slew footmen and threw horsemen. Now I have a daughter, who befitteth thee alone, and he sought her of me; so I required of him the head of the Ghul of the Mountain, wherefore he went to him and, after engaging him in singular combat, made the master his man and took the Castle of Sasa bin Shays bin Shaddad bin Ad, wherein are the treasures of the ancients and the hoards of the moderns. Moreover, I hear that, become a Moslem, he goeth about, summoning the folk to his faith. He is now gone to bear the Princess of Persia, whom he delivered from the Ghul, back to her father, King Sabur, and will not return but with the treasures of the Persians." When Ajib heard the story of Mardas he changed colour to yellow and was in ill case and made sure of his own destruction; then he said, O Mardas, is the youth's mother with thee or with him?"; and Mardas replied, "She is with me in my tents." Quoth Ajib, What is her name?"; quoth Mardas, "Her name is Nusrah." " 'Tis very she," rejoined Ajib and sent for her to the presence. Now when she came before him, he looked on her and knew her and asked her, "O accursed, where are the two slaves I sent with thee?"; and she answered, "They slew each other on my account;" whereupon Ajib bared his blade and smote her and cut her in twain. Then they dragged her away and cast her out; but trouble and suspicion entered Ajib's heart and he cried, "O Mardas, give me thy daughter to wife." He rejoined, "She is one of shine handmaids: I give her to thee to wife, and I am thy slave." Said Ajib, "I desire to look upon this son of an adulteress, Gharib, that I may destroy him and cause him taste all manner of torments." Then he bade give Mardas, to his daughter's dowry, thirty thousand dinars and an hundred pieces of silk-brocaded and fringed with gold and an hundred pieces of silk bordered stuffs and kerchiefs and golden collars. So he went forth with this mighty fine dowry and set himself to equip Mahdiyah in all diligence. Such was their case; but as regards Gharib, he fared on till he came to Al- Jazirah, which is the first town of Al-Irak and is a walled and fortified city and he hard by it called a halt. When the townsfolk saw his army encamped before it, they bolted the gates and manned the walls, then went to the King of the city, who was called Al-Damigh, the Brainer, for that he used to brain the champions in the open field of fight, and told him what was come upon them. So he looked forth from the battlements of the palace and seeing a conquering host, all of them Persians, encamped before the city, said to the citizens, "O folk, what do yonder Ajams want?"; and they replied, "We know not." Now Al- Damigh had among his officers a man called Saba' al-Kifar, the Desert-lion, keen of wit and penetrating as he were a flame of fire; so he called him and said to him, "Go to this stranger host and find out who they be and what they want and return quickly." Accordingly, he sped like the wind to the Persian tents, where a company of Arabs rose up and met him saying, "Who art thou and what dost thou require?" He replied, "I am a messenger and an envoy from the lord of the city to your chief." So they took him and carried him through the lines of tents, pavilions and standards, till they came to Gharib's Shahmiyanah and told him of the mission. He bade them bring him in and they did so, whereupon he kissed ground before Gharib and wished him honour and length of days. Quoth Gharib, "What is shine errand?" and quoth Saba' al-Kifar, "I am an envoy from the lord of the city of Al-Jazirah, Al-Damigh, brother of King Kundamir, lord of the city of Cufa and the land of Irak." When Gharib heard his father's name, the tears railed from his eyes in rills and he looked at the messenger and said, "What is thy name?"; and he replied, "My name is Saba' al- Kifar." Said Gharib, "Return to thy lord and tell him that the commander of this host is called Gharib, son of Kundamir, King of Cufa, whom his son Ajib slew, and he is come to take blood- revenge for his sire on Ajib the perfidious hound." So Saba' al- Kifar returned to the city and in great joy kissed the ground, when Al-Damigh said, "What is going on there, O Saba' al-Kifar?" He replied, "O my master, the leader of yon host is thy nephew, thy brother's son," and told him all. The King deemed himself in a dream and asked the messenger, "O Saba' al-Kifar, is this thou tellest me true?" and the Desert-lion answered, "As thy head liveth, it is sooth!" Then Al-Damigh bade his chief officers take horse forthright and all rode out to the camp, whence Gharib came forth and met him and they embraced and saluted each other; after which Gharib carried him to his tents and they sat down on beds of estate. Al-Damigh rejoiced in Gharib, his brother's son, and presently turning to him, said, "I also have yearned to take blood-revenge for thy father, but could not avail against the dog thy brother; for that his troops are many and my troops are few." Replied Gharib, "O uncle, here am I come to avenge my sire and blot out our shame and rid the realm of Ajib." Said Al-Damigh, "O son of my brother, thou hast two blood-wreaks to take, that of thy father and that of thy mother." Asked Gharib, "And what aileth my mother?" and Al-Damigh answered, "Thy brother Ajib hath slain her."--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say,
When it was the Six Hundred and Thirty-sixth Night,
She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Gharib heard these words of his uncle Al-Damigh, "Verily thy brother Ajib hath slain her!", he asked what was the cause thereof and was told of all that had happened, especially how Mardas had married his daughter to Ajib who was about to go into her. Thereupon Gharib's reason fled from his head and he swooned away and was nigh upon death. No sooner did he come to himself than he cried out to the troops, saying, "To horse!" But Al-Damigh said to him, "O son of my brother, wait till I make ready mine affairs and mount among my men and fare with thee at thy stirrup." Replied Gharib "I have no patience to wait; do thou equip thy troops and join me at Cufa." Thereupon Gharib mounted with his troops and rode, till he came to the town of Babel, whose folk took fright at him. Now there was in this town a King called Jamak, under whose hand were twenty thousand horsemen, and there gathered themselves together to him from the villages other fifty thousand horse, who pitched their tents facing the city. Then Gharib wrote a letter and sent it to King Jamak by a messenger, who came up to the city-gate and cried out, saying, "I am an envoy;" whereupon the Warder of the Gate went in and told Jamak, who said, "Bring him to me." So he led in the messenger, who kissing the ground before the King, gave him the letter, and Jamak opened it and read its contents as follows: "Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Three Worlds, Lord of all things, who giveth to all creatures their daily bread and who over all things is Omnipotent! These from Gharib, son of King Kundamir, lord of Irak and Cufa, to Jamak. Immediately this letter reacheth thee, let not thy reply be other than to break shine idols and confess the unity of the All-knowing King, Creator of light and darkness, Creator of all things, the All-powerful; and except thou do as I bid thee, I will make this day the blackest of thy days. Peace be on those who follow in the way of Salvation, fearing the issues of fornication, and obey the hest of the Most High King, Lord of this world and the next, Him who saith to a thing, 'Be'; and it becometh!" Now when Jamak read this letter, his eyes paled and his colour failed and he cried out to the messenger, "Go to thy lord and say to him, 'To-morrow, at daybreak there shall be fight and conflict and it shall appear who is the conquering hero.'" So he returned and told Gharib, who bade his men make ready for battle, whilst Jamak commanded his tents to be pitched in face of Gharib's camp; and his troops poured forth like the surging sea and passed the night with intention of slaughter. As soon as dawned the day, the two hosts mounted and drew up in battle array and beat their drums amain and drave their steeds of swiftest strain; and they filled the whole earthly plain; and the champions to come out were fain. Now the first who sallied forth a championing to the field was the Ghul of the Mountain, bearing on shoulder a terrible tree, and he cried out between the two hosts, saying, "I am Sa'adan the Ghul! Who is for fighting, who is for jousting? Let no sluggard come forth to me nor weakling." And he called out to his sons, saying, "Woe to you! Bring me fuel and fire, for I am an-hungered." So they cried upon their slaves who brought firewood and kindled a fire in the heart of the plain. Then there came out to him a man of the Kafirs, an Amalekite of the unbelieving Amalekites, bearing on his shoulder a mace like the mast of a ship, and drove at Sa'adan the Ghul, saying, "Woe to thee, O Sa'adan!" When the giant heard this, he waxed furious beyond measure and raising his tree club, aimed at the Infidel a blow, that hummed through the air. The Amalekite met the stroke with his mace, but the tree beat down his guard and descending with its own weight, together with the weight of the mace upon his head, beat in his brain pan, and he fell like a long-stemmed palm-tree. Thereupon Sa'adan cried to his slaves, saying, "Take this fatted calf and roast him quickly." So they hastened to skin the Infidel and roasted him and brought him to the Ghul, who ate his flesh and crunched his bones. Now when the Kafirs saw how Sa'adan did with their fellow, their hair and pile stood on end; their skins quaked, their colour changed, their hearts died within them and they said to one another, "Whoso goeth out against this Ghul, he eateth him and cracketh his bones and causeth him to lack the zephyr-wind of the world." Wherefore they held their hands, quailing for fear of the Ghul and his sons and turned to fly, making for the town; but Gharib cried out to his troops, saying, "Up and after the runaways!" So the Persians and the Arabs crave after the King of Babel and his host and caused sword to smite them, till they slew of them twenty thousand or more. Then the fugitives crowded together in the city gate and they killed of them much people; and they could not avail to shut the gate. So the Arabs and the Persians entered with them, fighting, and Sa'adan, snatching a mace from one of the slain, wielded it in the enemy's face and gained the city race-course. Thence he fought his way through the foe and broke into the King's palace, where he met with Jamak and so smote him with the mace, that he toppled senseless to the ground. Then he fell upon those who were in the palace and pounded them into pieces, till all that were left cried out, "Quarter! Quarter!" and Sa'adan said to them, "Pinion your King."--And Shahrazad saw the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say,
When it was the Six Hundred and Thirty-seventh Night,
Shahrazad continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Sa'adan having broken into the palace of King Jamak and pounded to pieces those therein, the survivors cried out, "Quarter! Quarter!"; and Sa'adan said to them, "Pinion your King!" So they bound Jamak and took him up, and Sa'adan drove them before him like sheep and brought them to Gharib's presence, after the most part of the citizens had perished by the enemy's swords. When the King of Babel came to himself, he found himself bound and heard Sa'adan say, "I will sup to-night off this King Jamak:" whereupon he turned to Gharib and cried to him, "I throw myself on thy mercy." Replied Gharib, "Become a Moslem, and thou shalt be safe from the Ghul and from the vengeance of the Living One who ceaseth not." So Jamak professed Al-Islam with heart and tongue and Gharib bade loose his bonds. Then he expounded The Faith to his people and they all became True Believers; after which Jamak returned to the city and despatched thence provaunt land henchmen to Gharib; and wine to the camp before Babel where they passed the night. On the morrow, Gharib gave the signal for the march and they fared on till they came to Mayyafarikin, which they found empty, for its people had heard what had befallen Babel and had fled to Cufa-city and told Ajib. When he heard the news, his Doom-day appeared to him and he assembled his braves and informing them of the enemy's approach ordered them make ready to do battle with his brother's host; after which he numbered them and found them thirty-thousand horse and ten thousand foot. So, needing more, he levied other fifty- thousand men, cavalry and infantry, and taking horse amid a mighty host, rode forwards, till he came upon his brother's army encamped before Mosul and pitched his tents in face of their lines. Then Gharib wrote a writ and said to his officers, "Which of you will carry this letter to Ajib?" Whereupon Sahim sprang to his feet and cried, "O King of the Age, I will bear thy missive and bring thee back an answer." So Gharib gave him the epistle and he repaired to the pavilion of Ajib who, when informed of his coming, said, "Admit him!" and when he stood in the presence asked him, "Whence comest thou?" Answered Sahim, "From the King of the Arabs and the Persians, son-in-law of Chosroe, King of the world, who sendeth thee a writ; so do thou return him a reply." Quoth Ajib, "Give me the letter;" accordingly Sahim gave it to him and he tore it open and found therein, "In the name of Allah the Compassionating, the Compassionate! Peace on Abraham the Friend await! But afterwards. As soon as this letter shall come to thy hand, do thou confess the Unity of the Bountiful King, Causer of causes and Mover of the clouds; and leave worshipping idols. An thou do this thing, thou art my brother and ruler over us and I will pardon thee the deaths of my father and mother, nor will I reproach thee with what thou hast done. But an thou obey not my bidding, behold, I will hasten to thee and cut off thy head and lay waste thy dominions. Verily, I give thee good counsel, and the Peace be on those who pace the path of salvation and obey the Most High King!" When Ajib read these words and knew the threat they contained, his eyes sank into the crown of his head and he gnashed his teeth and flew into a furious rage. Then he tore the letter in pieces and threw it away, which vexed Sahim and he cried out upon Ajib, saying, "Allah wither thy hand for the deed thou hast done!" With this Ajib cried out to his men, saying, "Seize yonder hound and hew him in pieces with your hangers.'' So they ran at Sahim; but he bared blade and fell upon them and slew of them more than fifty braves; after which he cut his way out, though bathed in blood, and won back to Gharib, who said, "What is this case, O Sahim?" And he told him what had passed, whereat he grew livid for rage and crying "Allaho Akbar God is most great!" bade the battle-drums beat. So the fighting-men donned their hauberks and coats of straitwoven mail and baldrick'd themselves with their swords; the footmen drew out in battle-array, whilst the horsemen mounted their prancing horses and dancing camels and levelled their long lances, and the champions rushed into the field. Ajib and his men also took horse and host charged down upon host. -- And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Six Hundred and Thirty-eighth Night,
She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Gharib and his merry men took horse, Ajib and his troops also mounted and host charged down upon host. Then ruled the Kazi of Battle, in whose ordinance is no wrong, for a seal is on his lips and he speaketh not; and the blood railed in rills and purfled earth with curious embroidery; heads grew gray and hotter waxed battle and fiercer. Feet slipped and stood firm the valiant and pushed forwards, whilst turned the faint-heart and fled, nor did they leave fighting till the day darkened and the night starkened Then clashed the cymbals of retreat and the two hosts drew apart each from other, and returned to their tents, where they righted. Next morning, as soon as it was day, the cymbals beat to battle and derring-do, and the warriors donned their harness of fight and baldrick'd their blades the brightest bright and with the brown lance bedight mounted doughty steed every knight and cried out, saying, "This day no flight!" And the two hosts drew out in battle array, like the surging sea. The first to open the chapter of war was Sahim, who crave his destrier between the two lines and played with swords and spears and turned over all the Capitula of combat till men of choicest wits were confounded. Then he cried out, saying, "Who is for fighting? Who is for jousting? Let no sluggard come out nor weakling!" Whereupon there rushed at him a horseman of the Kafirs, as he were a flame of fire; but Sahim let him not stand long before him ere he overthrew him with a thrust. Then a second came forth and he slew him also, and a third and he tare him in twain, and a fourth and he did him to death; nor did they cease sallying out to him and he left not slaying them, till it was noon, by which time he had laid low two hundred braves. Then Ajib cried to his men, "Charge once more," and sturdy host on sturdy host down bore and great was the clash of arms and battle-roar. The shining swords out rang; the blood in streams ran and footman rushed upon footman; Death showed in van and horse-hoof was shodden with skull of man; nor did they cease from sore smiting till waned the day and the night came on in black array, when they drew apart and, returning to their tents, passed the night there. As soon as morning morrowed the two hosts mounted and sought the field of fight; and the Moslems looked for Gharib to back steed and ride under the standards as was his wont, but he came not. So Sahim sent to his brother's pavilion a slave who, finding him not, asked the tent-pitchers, but they answered, "We know naught of him." Whereat he was greatly concerned and went forth and told the troops, who refrained from battle, saying, "An Gharib be absent, his foe will destroy us." Now there was for Gharib's absence a cause strange but true which we will set out in order due. And it was thus. When Ajib returned to his camp on the preceding Night, he called one of his guardsmen by name Sayyar and said to him, "O Sayyar, I have not treasured thee save for a day like this; and now I bid thee enter among Gharib s host and, pushing into the marquee of their lord, bring him hither to me and prove how wily thy cunning be." And Sayyar said, "I hear and I obey." So he repaired to the enemy's camp and stealing into Gharib's pavilion, under the darkness of the Night, when all the men had gone to their places of rest, stood up as though he were a slave to serve Gharib, who present! being athirst, called to him for water. So he brought him a pitcher of water, drugged with Bhang, and Gharib could not fulfill his need ere he fell down with head distancing heels, whereupon Sayyar wrapped him in his cloak and carrying him to Ajib's tent, threw him down at his feet. Quoth Ajib, "O Sayyar, what is this?" Quoth he, "This be thy brother Gharib;" whereat Ajib rejoiced and said, "The blessings of the Idols light upon thee! Loose him and wake him." So they made him sniff up vinegar and he came to himself and opened his eyes; then, finding himself bound and in a tent other than his own, exclaimed, "There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious the Great!" Thereupon Ajib cried out at him, saying, "Dost thou draw on me, O dog, and seek to slay me and take on me thy blood-wreak of thy father and thy mother? I will send thee this very day to them and rid the world of thee." Replied Gharib, Kafir hound! soon shalt thou see against whom the wheels of fate shall revolve and who shall be overthrown by the wrath of the Almighty King, Who wotteth what is in hearts and Who shall leave thee in Gehenna tormented and confounded! Have ruth on thyself and say with me, 'There is no god but the God and Abraham is the Friend of God!' " When Ajib heard Gharib's words, he sparked and snorted and railed at his god, the stone, and called for the sworder and the leather rug of blood but his Wazir, who was at heart a Moslem though outwardly a Miscreant, rose and kissing ground before him, said, "Patience, O King, deal not hastily, but wait till we know the conquered from the conqueror. If we prove the victors, we shall have power to him and, if we be beaten, his being alive in our hands will be a strength to us." And the Emirs said, "The Minister speaketh sooth"! --And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.
When it was the Six Hundred and Thirty-ninth Night,
She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Ajib purposed to slay Gharib, the Wazir rose and said, "Deal not hastily, for we have always power to kill him!" So Ajib bade lay his brother Gharib in irons and chain him up in his own tent and set a thousand stout warriors to guard him. Meanwhile Gharib's host, when they awoke that morning and found not their King, were as sheep sans a shepherd; but Sa'adan the Ghul cried out at them, saying, "O folk, don your war-gear and trust to your Lord to defend you!" So Arabs and Ajams mounted horse, after clothing themselves in hauberks of iron and skirting themselves in straight knit mail, and sallied forth to the field, the Chiefs and the colours moving in van. Then dashed out the Ghul of the Mountain, with a club on his shoulder, two hundred pounds in weight, and wheeled and careered, saying, "Ho, worshippers of idols, come ye out and renown it this day, for 'tis a day of onslaught! Whoso knoweth me hath enough of my mischief and whoso knoweth me not, I will make myself known to him. I am Sa'adan, servant of King Gharib. Who is for jousting? Who is for fighting? Let no faintheart come forth to me to-day nor weakling." And there rushed upon him a Champion of the Infidels, as he were a flame of fire, and drove at him, but Sa'adan charged home at him and dealt him with his club a blow which broke his ribs and cast him lifeless to the earth. Then he called out to his sons and slaves, saying, "Light the bonfire, and whoso falleth of the Kafirs do ye dress him and roast him well in the flame, then bring him to me that I may break my fast on him!" So they kindled a fire midmost the plain and laid thereon the slain, till he was cooked, when they brought him to Sa'adan, who gnawed his flesh and crunched his bones. When the Miscreants saw the Mountain-Ghul do this deed they were Frighted with sore Wright, but Ajib cried out to his men, saying, "Out on you! Fall upon the Ogre and hew him in hunks with your scymitars!" So twenty-thousand men ran at Sa'adan, whilst the footmen circled round him and rained upon him darts and shafts so that he was wounded in four-and-twenty places, and his blood ran down upon the earth, and he was alone. Then the host of the Moslems crave at the heathenry, calling for help upon the Lord of the three Worlds, and they ceased not from fight and fray till the day came to an end, when they drew apart. But the Infidels had captured Sa'adan, as he vere a drunken man for loss of blood; and they bound him fast and set him by Gharib who, seeing the Ghul a prisoner, said, "There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great! O Sa'adan, what case is this?" "O my lord," replied Sa'adan, "it is Allah (extolled and exalted be He!) who ordaineth joy and annoy and there is no help but this and that betide." And Gharib rejoined, "Thou speakest sooth, O Sa'adan!" But Ajib passed the night in joy and he said to his men, "Mount ye on the morrow and fall upon the Moslems so shall not one of them be left alive." And they replied, "Hearkening and obedience!" This is how it fared with them but as regards the Moslems, they passed the Night, dejected and weeping for their King and Sa'adan; but Sahim said to them, "O folk, be not concerned, for the aidance of Almighty Allah is nigh." Then he waited till midnight, when he assumed the garb of a tent-pitcher; and, repairing to Ajib's camp, made his way between the tents and pavilions till he came to the King's marquee, where he saw him seated on his throne surrounded by his Princes. So he entered and going up to the candles which burnt in the tent snuffed them and sprinkled levigated henbane on the wicks; after which he withdrew and waited without the marquee, till the smoke of the burning henbane reached Ajib and his Princes and they fell to the ground like dead men. Then he left them and went to the prison tent, where he found Gharib and Sa'adan, guarded by a thousand braves, who were overcome with sleep. So he cried out at the guards, saying, "Woe to you! Sleep not; but watch your prisoners and light the cressets." Presently he filled a cresses with firewood, on which he strewed henbane, and lighting it, went round about the tent with it, till the smoke entered the nostrils of the guards, and they all fell asleep drowned by the drug; when he entered the tent and finding Gharib and Sa'adan also insensible he aroused them by making them smell and sniff at a sponge full of vinegar he had with him. Thereupon he loosed their bonds and collars, and when they saw him, they blessed him and rejoiced In him. After this they went forth and took all the arms of the guards and Sahim said to them, "Go to your own camp;" while he re entered Ajib's pavilion and, wrapping him in his cloak, lifted him up and made for the Moslem encampment. And the Lord, Compassionate protected him, so that he reached Gharib's tent in safety and unrolled the cloak before him. Gharib looked at its contents and seeing his brother Ajib bound, cried out, "Allaho Akbar --God is Most Great! Aidance! Victory!" And he blessed Sahim and bade him arouse Ajib. So he made him smell the vinegar mixed with incense, and he opened his eyes and, finding himself bound and shackled, hung down his head earth wards. --And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Six Hundred and Fortieth Night,
She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that after Sahim had aroused Ajib, whom he had made insensible with henbane and had brought to his brother Gharib, the captive opened his eyes and, feeling himself bound and shackled, hung down his head earthwards. Thereupon cried Sahim, O Accursed, lift thy head!" So he raised his eyes and found himself amongst Arabs and Ajamis and saw his brother seated on the throne of his estate and the place of his power, wherefore he was silent and spake not. Then Gharib cried out and said, "Strip me this hound!" So they stripped him and came down upon him with whips, till they weakened his body and subdued his pride, after which Gharib set over him a guard of an hundred knights. And when this fraternal correction had been administered they heard shouts of, "There is no God but the God!" and "God is Most Great!" from the camp of the Kafirs. Now the cause of this was that, ten days after his nephew King Al-Damigh, Gharib's uncle, had set out from Al-Jazirah, with twenty-thousand horse, and on nearing the field of battle, had despatched one of his scouts to get news. The man was absent a whole day, at the end of which time he returned and told Al-Damigh all that had happened to Gharib with his brother. So he waited till the Night, when he fell upon the Infidels, crying out, "Allaho Akbar!" and put them to the edge of the biting scymitar. When Gharib heard the Takbir, he said to Sahim, "Go find out the cause of these shouts and war cries." So Sahim repaired to the field of battle and questioned the slaves and camp followers, who told him that King Al-Damigh had come up with twenty-thousand men and had fallen upon the idolaters by Night, saying, "By the virtue of Abraham the Friend, I will not forsake my brother's son, but will play a brave man's part and beat back the host of Miscreants and please the Omnipotent King!" So Sahim returned and told his uncle's derring-do to Gharib, who cried out to his men, saying, "Don your arms and mount your steeds and let us succour my father's brother!" So they took horse and fell upon the Infidels and put them to the edge of the sharp sword. By the morning they had killed nigh fifty-thousand of the Kafirs and made other thirty-thousand prisoners, and the rest of Ajib's army dispersed over the length and breadth of earth. Then the Moslems returned in victory and triumph, and Gharib rode out to meet his uncle, whom he saluted and thanked for his help Quoth Al-Damigh, "I wonder if that dog Ajib fell in this day's affair." Quoth Gharib, "O uncle, be of good cheer and keep thine eyes cool and clear: know that he is with me in chains." When Al-Damigh heard this he rejoiced with exceeding joy and the two kings dismounted and entered the pavilion, but found no Ajib there; whereupon Gharib exclaimed, "O glory of Abraham, the Friend (with whom be peace!)," adding, "Alas, what an ill end is this to a glorious day!" and he cried out to the tent-pitchers, saying, "Woe to you! Where is my enemy who oweth me so much?" Quoth they, "When thou mountedst and we went with thee, thou didst not bid us guard him;" and Gharib exclaimed, "There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great!" But Al-Damigh said to him, "Hasten not nor be concerned, for where can he go, and we in pursuit of him?" Now the manner of Ajib's escape was in this wise. His page Sayyar had been ambushed in the camp and when he saw Gharib mount and ride forth, leaving none to guard his enemy Ajib, he could hardly credit his eyes. So he waited awhile and presently crept to the tent and taking Ajib, who was senseless for the pain of the bastinado, on his back, made off with him into the open country and fared on at the top of his speed from early night to the next day, till he came to a spring of water, under an apple tree. There he set down Ajib from his back and washed his face, whereupon he opened his eyes and seeing Sayyar, said to him, "O Sayyar, carry me to Cufa that I may recover there and levy horsemen and soldiers wherewith to overthrow my foe: and know, O Sayyar, that I am anhungered." So Sayyar sprang up and going out to the desert caught an ostrich-poult and brought it to his lord. Then he gathered fuel and deftly using the fire sticks kindled a fire,, by which he roasted the bird which he had hallal'd and fed Ajib with its flesh and gave him to drink of the water of the spring, till his strength returned to hits, after which he went to one of the Badawi tribal encampments, and stealing thence a steed mounted Ajib upon it and journeyed on with him for many days till they drew near the city of Cufa. The Viceroy of the capital came out to meet and salute the King, whom he found weak with the beating his brother had inflicted upon him; and Ajib entered the city and called his physicians. When they answered his summons, he bade them heal him in less than ten days' time: they said, "We hear and we obey," and they tended him till he became whole of the sickness that was upon him and of the punishment. Then he commanded his Wazirs to write letters to all his Nabobs and vassals, and he indited one-and-twenty writs and despatched them to the governors, who assembled their troops and set out for Cufa by forced marches. --And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.
When it was the Six Hundred and Forty-first Night,
She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Ajib sent orders to assemble the troops, who marched forthright to Cufa. Meanwhile, Gharib, being troubled for Ajib's escape, despatched in quest of him a thousand braves, who dispersed on all sides and sought him a day and a Night, but found no trace of him; so they returned and told Gharib, who called for his brother Sahim, but found him not; whereat he was sore concerned, fearing for him from the shifts of Fortune. And lo! Sahim entered and kissed ground before Gharib, who rose, when he saw him, and asked, "Where hast thou been, O Sahim?" He answered, "O King, I have been to Cufa and there I find that the dog Ajib hath made his way to his capital and is healed of his hurts: eke, he hath written letters to his vassals and sent them to his Nabobs who have brought him troops." When Gharib heard this, he gave the command to march; so they struck tents and fared for Cufa. When they came in sight of the city, they found it compassed about with a host like the surging main, having neither beginning nor end. So Gharib with his troops encamped in face of the Kafirs and set up his standards, and darkness fell down upon the two hosts, whereupon they lighted camp-fires and kept watch till daybreak. Then King Gharib rose and making the Wuzu-ablution, prayed a two- bow prayer according to the rite of our father Abraham the Friend (on whom be the Peace!); after which he commanded the battle drums to sound the point of war. Accordingly, the kettle-drums beat to combat and the standards fluttered whilst the fighting- men armour donned and their horses mounted and themselves displayed and to plain fared. Now the first to open the gate of war was King Al-Damigh, who urged his charger between the two opposing armies and displayed himself and played with the swords and the spears, till both hosts were confounded and at him marvelled, after which he cried out, saying, "Who is for jousting? Let no sluggard come out to me nor weakling; for I am Al-Damigh, the King, brother of Kundamir the King." Then there rushed forth a horseman of the Kafirs, as he were a flame of fire, and crave at Al-Damigh, without word said; but the King received him with a lance thrust in the breast so dour that the point issued from between his shoulders and Allah hurried his soul to the fire, the abiding-place dire. Then came forth a second he slew, and a third he slew likewise, and they ceased not to come out to him and he to slay them, till he had made an end of six-and-seventy fighting-men. Hereupon the Miscreants and men of might hung back and would not encounter him; but Ajib cried out to his men and said, "Fie on you, O folk! if ye all go forth to him, one by one, he will not leave any of you, sitting or standing. Charge on him all at once and cleanse of them our earthly wone and strew their heads for your horses' hoofs like a plain of stone!" So they waved the ewe striking flag and host was heaped upon host; blood rained in streams upon earth and railed and the Judge of battle ruled, in whose ordinance is no upright. The fearless stood firm on feet in the stead of fight, whilst the faint-heart gave back and took to flight thinking the day would never come to an end nor the curtains of gloom would be drawn by the hand of Night; and they ceased not to battle with swords and to smite till light darkened and murk starkened. Then the kettle- drums of the Infidels beat the retreat, but Gharib, refusing to stay his arms, crave at the Paynimry, and the Believers in Unity, the Moslems, followed him. How many heads and hands they shore, how many necks and sinews they tore, how many knees and spines they mashed and how many grown men and youths they to death bashed! With the first gleam of morning grey the Infidels broke and fled away, in disorder and disarray; and the Moslems followed them till middle-day and took over twenty-thousand of them, whom they brought to their tents in bonds to stay. Then Gharib sat down before the gate of Cufa and commanded a herald to proclaim pardon and protection for every wight who should leave the worship to idols dight and profess the unity of His All-might the Creator of mankind and of light and night. So was made proclamation as he bade in the streets of Cufa and all that were therein embraced the True Faith, great and small; then they issued forth in a body and renewed their Islam before King Gharib, who rejoiced in them with exceeding joy and his breast broadened and he threw off all annoy. Presently he enquired of Mardas and his daughter Mahdiyah, and, being told that he had taken up his abode behind the Red Mountain, he called Sahim and said to him, "Find out for me what is become of thy father." Sahim mounted steed without stay or delay and set his berry-brown spear in rest and fared on in quest till he reached the Red Mountain, where he sought for his father, yet found no trace of him nor of his tribe; however, he saw in their stead an elder of the Arabs, a very old man, broken with excess of years, and asked him of the folk and whither they were gone. Replied he, "O my son, when Mardas heard of Gharib's descent upon Cufa he feared with great fear and, taking his daughter and his folk, set out with his handmaids and negroes into the wild and word, and I wot not whither he went." So Sahim, hearing the Shaykh's words, returned to Gharib and told him thereof, whereat he was greatly concerned. Then he sat down on his father's throne and, opening his treasuries, distributed largesse to each and every of his braves. And he took up his abode in Cufa and sent out spies to get news of Ajib. He also summoned the Grandees of the realm, who came and did him homage; as also did the citizens and he bestowed on them sumptuous robes of honour and commended the Ryots to their care. --And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Six Hundred and Forty-second Night,
She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Gharib, after giving robes of honour to the citizens of Cufa and com mending the Ryots to their care, went out on a day of the days to hunt, with an hundred horse, and fared on till he came to a Wady, abounding in trees and fruits and rich in rills and birds It was a pasturing-place for roes and gazelles, to the spirit a delight whose scents reposed from the langour of fight. They encamped in the valley, for the day was dear and bright, and there passed the night. On the morrow, Gharib made the Wuzu-ablution and prayed the two-bow dawn-prayer, offering up praise and thanks to Almighty Allah; when, lo and behold! there arose a clamour and confusion in the meadows, and he bade Sahim go see what was to do. So Sahim mounted forthright and rode till he espied goods being plundered and horses haltered and women carried off and children crying out. Whereupon he questioned one of the shepherds, saying, "What be all this?"; and they replied, "This is the Harim of Mardas, Chief of the Banu Kahtan, and his good and that of his clan; for yesterday Jamrkan slew Mardas and made prize of his women and children and household stuff and all the belonging of his tribe. It is his wont to go a raiding and to cut off highways and waylay wayfarers and he is a furious tyrant; neither Arabs nor Kings can prevail against him and he is the scourge and curse of the country." Now when Sahim heard these news of his sire's slaughter and the looting of his Harim and property, he returned to Gharib and told him the case, wherefore fire was added to his fire and his spirit chafed to wipe out his shame and his blood wit to claim: so he rode with his men after the robbers till he overtook them and fell upon them, crying out and saying, "Almighty Allah upon the rebel, the traitor, the infidel!" and he slew in a single charge one-and-twenty fighting- men. Then he halted in mid-field, with no coward's heart, and cried out, "Where is Jamrkan? Let him come out to me, that I may make him quaff the cup of disgrace and rid of him earth's face!" Hardly had he made an end of speaking, when forth rushed Jamrkan, as he were a calamity of calamities or a piece of a mountain, cased in steel. He was a mighty huge Amalekite; and he crave at Gharib without speech or salute, like the fierce tyrant he was. And he was armed with a mace of China steel, so heavy, so potent, that had he smitten a hill he had smashed it. Now when he charged, Gharib met him like a hungry lion, and the brigand aimed a blow at his head with his mace; but he evaded it and it smote the earth and sank therein half a cubit deep. Then Gharib took his battle flail and smiting Jamrkan on the wrist, crushed his fingers and the mace dropped from his grasp; whereupon Gharib bent down from his seat in selle and snatching it up, swiftlier than the blinding leven, smote him therewith full on the flat of the ribs, and he fell to the earth like a long-stemmed palm-tree. So Sahim took him and pinioning him, haled him off with a rope, and Gharib's horsemen fell on those of Jamrkan and slew fifty of them: the rest fled; nor did they cease flying till they reached their tribal camp and raised their voices in clamour; whereupon all who were in the Castle came out to meet them and asked the news. They told the tribe what had passed; and, when they heard that their chief was a prisoner, they set out for the valley vying one with other in their haste to deliver him. Now when King Gharib had captured Jamrkan and had seen his braves take flight, he dismounted and called for Jamrkan, who humbled himself before him, saying, "I am under thy protection, O champion of the Age!" Replied Gharib, "O dog of the Arabs, dost thou cut the road for the servants of Almighty Allah, and fearest thou not the Lord of the Worlds?" "O my master," asked Jamrkan, "and who is the Lord of the Worlds?" "O dog," answered Gharib, "and what calamity dost thou worship?" He said, "O my lord, I worship a god made of dates kneaded with butter and honey, and at times I eat him and make me another." When Gharib heard this, he laughed till he fell backwards and said, "O miserable, there is none worship- worth save Almighty Allah, who created thee and created all things and provideth all creatures with daily bread, from whom nothing is hid and He over all things is Omnipotent." Quoth Jamrkan, "And where is this great god, that I may worship him?" Quoth Gharib, "O fellow, know that this god's name is Allah--the God--and it is He who fashioned the heavens and the earth and garred the trees to grow and the waters to flow. He created wild beasts and birds and Paradise and Hell-fire and veileth Himself from all eyes seeing and of none being seen. He, and He only, is the Dweller on high. Extolled be His perfection! There is no god but He!" When Jamrkan heard these words, the ears of his heart were opened; his skin shuddered with horripilation and he said, "O my lord, what shall I say that I may become of you and that this mighty Lord may accept of me?" Replied Gharib, "Say, 'There is no god but the God and Abraham the Friend is the Apostle of God!'" " So he pronounced the profession of the Faith and was written of the people of felicity. Then quoth Gharib, " Say me, hast thou tasted the sweetness of Al-Islam?"; and quoth the other, "Yes;" whereupon Gharib cried, "Loose his bonds!" So they unbound him and he kissed ground before Gharib and his feet. Now whilst this was going on, behold, they espied a great cloud of dust that towered till it walled the word. --And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.
When it was the Six Hundred and Forty-third Night,
She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Jamrkan islamised and kissed the ground between the hands of Gharib, and, as they were thus, behold, a great cloud of dust towered till it walled the wold and Gharib said to Sahim, "Go and see for us what it be." So he went forth, like a bird in full flight, and presently returned, saying, "O King of the Age, this dust is of the Banu Amir, the comrades of Jamrkan." Whereupon quoth Gharib to the new Moslem, "Ride out to thy people and offer to them Al- Islam: an they profess, they shall be saved; but, an they refuse, we will put them to the sword." So Jamrkan mounted and driving steed towards his tribesmen, cried out to them; and they knew him and dismounting, came up to him on foot and said, "We rejoice in thy safety, O our lord!" Said he, "O folk, whoso obeyeth me shall be saved; but whoso gainsayeth me, I will cut him in twain with this scymitar." And they made answer, saying, "Command us what thou wilt, for we will not oppose thy commandment." Quoth he, "Then say with me, 'There is no god but the God and Abraham is the Friend of God!' " They asked, "O our lord, whence haddest thou these words?" And he told them what had befallen him with Gharib, adding, "O folk, know ye not that I am your chief in battle-plain and where men of cut and thrust are fain; and yet a man single-handed me to prisoner hath ta'en and made me the cup of shame and disgrace to drain?" When they heard his speech, they spoke the word of Unity and Jamrkan led them to Gharib, at whose hands they renewed their profession of Al-Islam and wished him glory and victory, after they had kissed the earth before him. Gharib rejoiced in them and said to them, "O folk, return to your people and expound Al-Islam to them;" but all replied, "O our lord, we will never leave thee, whilst; we live; but we will go and fetch our families and return to thee." And Gharib said, "Go, and join me at the city of Cufa." So Jamrkan and his comrades returned to their tribal camp and offered Al-Islam to their women and children, who all to a soul embraced the True Faith, after which they dismantled their abodes and struck their tents and set out for Cufa, driving before them their steeds, camels and sheep. During this time Gharib returned to Cufa, where the horsemen met him in state. He entered his palace and sat down on his sire's throne with his champions ranged on either hand. Then the spies came forwards, and informed him that his brother Ajib had made his escape and had taken refuge with Jaland bin Karkar, lord of the city of Oman and land of Al-Yaman; whereupon Gharib cried aloud to his host, "O men, make you ready to march in three days." Then he expounded Al-Islam to the thirty-thousand men he had captured in the first affair and exhorted them to profess and take service with him. Twenty-thousand embraced the Faith, but the rest refused and he slew them. Then came forward Jamrkan and his tribe and kissed the ground before Gharib, who bestowed on him a splendid robe of honour and made him captain of his vanguard, saying, "O Jamrkan, mount with the Chiefs of thy kith and kin and twenty-thousand horse and fare on before us to the land of Jaland bin Karkar." "Hearkening and obedience," answered Jamrkan and, leaving the women and children of the tribe in Cufa, he set forward. Then Gharib passed in review the Harim of Mardas and his eye lit upon Mahdiyah, who was among the women, wherewith he fell down fainting. They sprinkled rose-water on his face, till he came to himself, when he embraced Mahdiyah and carried her into a sitting-chamber, where he sat with her; and they twain lay together that night without fornication. Next morning he went out and sitting down on the throne of his kingship, robed his uncle Al-Damigh with a robe of honour; and appointed him his viceroy over all Al-Irak, commending Mahdiyah to his care, till he should return from his expedition against Ajib; and, when the order was accepted, he set out for the land of Al-Yaman and the City of Oman with twenty-thousand horse and ten thousand foot. Now, when Ajib and his defeated army drew in sight of Oman, King Jaland saw the dust of their approach and sent to find out its meaning, scouts who returned and said, "Verily this is the dust of one highs Ajib, lord of Al-Irak." And Jaland wondered at his coming to his country and, when assured of the tidings, he said to his officers, "Fare ye forth and meet him." So they went out and met him and pitched tents for him at the city-gate; and Ajib entered in to Jaland, weeping eyed and heavy-hearted. Now Jaland's wife was the daughter of Ajib's paternal uncle and he had children by her; so, when he saw his kinsman in this plight, he asked for the truth of what ailed him and Ajib told him all that had befallen him, first and last, from his brother and said, "O King, Gharib biddeth the folk worship the Lord of the Heavens and forbiddeth them from the service of simulacres and other of the gods." When Jaland heard these words he raged and revolted and said, "By the virtue of the Sun, Lord of Life and Light, I will not leave one of thy brother's folk in existence! But where didst thou quit them and how many men are they?" Answered Ajib, "I left them in Cufa and they be fifty-thousand horse." Whereupon Jaland called his Wazir Jawamard, saying, "Take thee seventy-thousand horse and fare to Cufa and bring me the Moslems alive, that I may torture them with all manner of tortures." So Jawamard departed with his host and fared through the first day and the second till the seventh day, when he came to a Wady abounding in trees and rills and fruits. Here he called a halt -- And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Six Hundred and Forty-fourth Night,
She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Jaland sent Jawamard with his army to Cufa, they came upon a Wady abounding in trees and rills where a halt was called and they rested till the middle of the Night, when the Wazir gave the signal for departure and mounting, rode on before them till hard upon dawn, at which time he descended into a well-wooded valley, whose flowers were fragrant and whose birds warbled on boughs, as they swayed gracefully to and fro, and Satan blew into his sides and puffed him up with pride and he improvised these couplets and cried,
"I plunge with my braves in the seething sea; * Seize the foe in my strength and my valiancy;
And the doughtiest knights wot me well to be * Friend to friend and fierce foe to mine enemy.
I will load Ghanb with the captive's chains * Right soon, and return in all Joy and glee;
For I've donned my mail and my weapons wield * And on all sides charge at the chivalry."
Hardly had Jawamard made an end of his verses when there came out upon him from among the trees a horseman of terrible mien covered and clad in steely sheen, who cried out to him, saying, "Stand, O riff-raff of the Arabs! Doff thy dress and ground thine arms gear and dismount thy destrier and be off with thy life!" When Jawamard heard this, the light in his eyes became darkest night and he drew his sabre and drove at Jamrkan, for he it was, saying, "O thief of the Arabs, wilt thou cut the road for me, who am captain of the host of Jaland bin Karkar and am come to bring Gharib and his men in bond?" When Jamrkan heard these words, he said, "How cooling is this to my heart and liver!" And he made at Jawamard versifying in these couplets,
"I'm the noted knight in the field of fight, * Whose sabre and spear every foe affright!
Jamrkan am I, to my foes a fear, * With a lance lunge known unto every knight:
Gharib is my lord, nay my pontiff, my prince, * Where the two hosts dash very lion of might:
An Imam of the Faith, pious, striking awe * On the plain where his foes like the fawn take flight;
Whose voice bids folk to the faith of the Friend, * False, doubling idols and gods despite!"
Now Jamrkan had fared on with his tribesmen ten days' journey from Cufa city and called a halt on the eleventh day till midnight, when he ordered a march and rode on devancing them till he descended into the valley aforesaid and heard Jawamard reciting his verses. So he crave at him as the driving of a ravening lion, and smiting him with his sword, clove him in twain and waited till his captains came up, when he told them what had passed and said to them. "Take each of you five thousand men and disperse round about the Wady, whilst I and the Banu Amir fall upon the enemy's van, shouting, Allaho Akbar God is Most Great! When ye hear my slogan, do ye charge them, crying like me upon the Lord, and smite them with the sword." "We hear and we obey," answered they and turning back to their braves did his bidding and spread themselves about the sides of the valley in the twilight forerunning the dawn. Presently, lo and behold! up came the army of Al-Yaman, like a flock of sheep, filling plain and steep, and Jamrkan and the Banu Amir fell upon them, shouting, "Allaho Akbar!" till all heard it, Moslems and Miscreants. Whereupon the True Believers ambushed in the valley answered from every side and the hills and mountains responsive cried and all things replied, green and dried, saying, "God is Most Great! ,Aidance and Victory to us from on High! Shame to the Miscreants who His name deny!" And the Kafirs were confounded and smote one another with sabres keen whilst the True Believers and pious fell upon them like flames of fiery sheen and naught was seen but heads flying and blood jetting and faint-hearts hieing. By the time they could see one another's faces, two-thirds of the Infidels had perished and Allah hastened their souls to the fire and abiding-place dire. The rest fled and to the deserts sped whilst the Moslems pursued them to slay and take captives till middle-day, when they returned in triumph with seven thousand prisoners; and but six and twenty-thousand of the Infidels escaped and the most of them wounded. Then the Moslems collected the horses and arms, the loads and tents of the enemy and despatched them to Cufa with an escort of a thousand horse;--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.
When it was the Six Hundred and Forty-fifth Night,
She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Jamrkan in his battle with Jawamard slew him and slew his men; and, after taking many prisoners and much money and many horses and loads, sent them with an escort of a thousand riders, to Cufa city. Then he and the army of Al-Islam dismounted and expounded The saving Faith to the prisoners, who made profession with heart and tongue; whereupon they released them from bonds and embraced them and rejoiced in them. Then Jamrkan made his troops, who had swelled to a mighty many, rest a day and a night and marched with the dawn, intending to attack Jaland bin Karkar in the city Of Oman; whilst the thousand horse fared back to Cufa with the loot. When they reached the city, they went in to King Gharib and told him what had passed, whereat he rejoiced and gave them joy and, turning to the Ghul of the Mountain, said, "Take horse with twenty-thousand and follow Jamrkan." So Sa'adan and his sons mounted and set out, amid twenty-thousand horse for Oman. Meanwhile, the fugitives of the defeated Kafirs reached Oman and went in to Jaland, weeping and crying, "Woe!" and "Ruin!" whereat he was confounded and said to them, "What calamity hath befallen you?" So they told him what had happened and he said, "Woe to you! How many men were they?" They replied, "O King, there were twenty standards, under each a thousand men." When Jaland heard these words he said, "May the sun pour no blessing on you! Fie upon you! What, shall twenty-thousand overcome you, and you seventy-thousand horse and Jawamard able to withstand three thousand in field of fight?" Then, in the excess of his rage and mortification, he bared his blade and cried out to those who were present, saying, "Fall on them!" So the courtiers drew their swords upon the fugitives and annihilated them to the last man and cast them to the dogs. Then Jaland cried aloud to his son, saying, "Take an hundred thousand horse and go to Al-Irak and lay it waste altogether." Now this son's name was Kurajan and there was no doughtier knight in all the force; for he could charge single handed three thousand riders. So he and his host made haste to equip themselves and marched in battle-array, rank following rank, with the Prince at their head, glorying in himself and improvising these couplets,
"I'm Al-Kurajan, and my name is known * To beat all who in wold or in city wone!
How many a soldier my sword at will * Struck down like a cow on the ground bestrown?
How many a soldier I've forced to fly * And have rolled their heads as a ball is thrown?
Now I'll drive and harry the land Irak * And like rain I'll shower the blood of fone;
And lay hands on Ghanb and his men, whose doom * To the wise a warning shall soon be shown!"
The host fared on twelve days' journey and, while they were still marching, behold, a great dust cloud arose before them and walled the horizon and the whole region. So Kurajan sent out scouts, saying, "Go forth and bring me tidings of what meaneth this dust." They went till they passed under the enemy's standards and presently returning said, "O King, verily this is the dust of the Moslems." Whereat he was glad and said, "Did ye count them?" And they answered, "We counted the colours and they numbered twenty." Quoth he, "By my faith, I will not send one man-at-arms against them, but will go forth to them alone by myself and strew their heads under the horses' hooves!" Now this was the army of Jamrkan who, espying the host of the Kafirs and seeing them as a surging sea, called a halt; so his troops pitched the tents and set up the standards, calling upon the name of the All-wise One, the Creator of light and gloom, Lord of all creatures, Who seeth while Him none see, the High to infinity, extolled and exalted be He! There is no God but He! The Miscreants also halted and pitched their tents, and Kurajan said to them "Keep on your arms, and in armour sleep, for during the last watch of the night we will mount and trample yonder handful under feet!" Now one of Jamrkan's spies was standing nigh and heard what Kurajan had contrived; so he returned to the host and told his chief who said to them, "Arm yourselves and as soon as it is Night, bring me all the mules and camels and hang all the bells and clinkets and rattles ye have about their necks." Now they had with them more than twenty-thousand camels and mules. So they waited till the Infidels fell asleep, when Jamrkan com-mended them to mount, and they rose to ride and on the Lord of the Worlds they relied. Then said Jamrkan, "Drive the camels and mules to the Miscreants' camp and push them with your spears for goads!" They did as he bade and the beasts rushed upon the enemy's tents, whilst the bells and clinkets and rattles jangled and the Moslems followed at their heels, shouting, "God is Most Great!'' till all the hills and mountains resounded with the name of the Highmost Deity, to whom belong glory and majesty! The cattle hearing this terrible din, took fright and rushed upon the tents and trampled the folk, as they lay asleep.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Six Hundred and Forty-sixth Night,
She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Jamrkan fell upon them with his men and steeds and camels, and the camp lay sleeping, the idolaters started up in confusion and, snatching up their arms, fell upon one another with smiting, till the most part was slaughtered. And when the day broke, they looked and found no Moslem slain, but saw them all on horseback, armed and armoured; wherefore they knew that this was a sleight which had been played upon them, and Kurajan cried out to the remnant of his folk, "O sons of whores, what we had a mind to do with them, that have they done with us and their craft hath gotten the better of our cunning." And they were about to charge when, lo and behold! a cloud of dust rose high and walled the horizon-sky, when the wind smote it, so that it spired aloft and spread pavilion-wise in the lift and there it hung; and presently appeared beneath it the glint of helmet and gleam of hauberk and splendid warriors, baldrick'd with their tempered swords and holding in rest their supple spears. When the Kafirs saw this, they held back from the battle and each army sent out, to know the meaning of this dust, scouts, who returned with the news that it was an army of Moslems. Now this was the host of the Mountain- Ghul whom Gharib had despatched to Jamrkan's aid, and Sa'adan himself rode in their van. So the two hosts of the True Believers joined company and rushing upon the Paynimry like a flame of fire, plied them with keen sword and Rudaynian spear and quivering lance, what while day was darkened and eyes for the much dust starkened. The valiant stood fast and the faint-hearted coward fled and to the wilds and the words swift sped, whilst the blood over earth was like torrents shed; nor did they cease from fight till the day took flight and in gloom came the night. Then the Moslems drew apart from the Miscreants and returned to their tents, where they ate and slept, till the darkness fled away and gave place to smiling day; when they prayed the dawn prayer and mounted to battle. Now Kurajan had said to his men as they drew off from fight (for indeed two thirds of their number had perished by sword and spear), "O folk, to-morrow, I will champion it in the stead of war where cut and thrust jar, and where braves push and wheel I will take the field." So, as soon as light was seen and morn appeared with its shine and sheen, took horse the hosts twain and shouted their slogans amain and bared the brand and hent lance in hand and in ranks took stand. The first to open the door of war was Kurajan, who cried out, saying, "Let no coward come out to me this day nor craven!" Whereupon Jamrkan and Sa'adan stood by the colours, but there ran at him a captain of the Banu Amir and the two crave each at other awhile, like two rams butting. Presently Kurajan seized the Moslem by the jerkin under his hauberk and, dragging him from his saddle, dashed him to the ground where he left him; upon which the Kafirs laid hands on him and bound him and bore him off to their tents; whilst Kurajan wheeled about and careered and offered battle, till another captain came out, whom also he took prisoner; nor did he leave to do thus till he had made prize of seven captains before mid day. Then Jamrkan cried out with so mighty a cry, that the whole field made reply and heard it the armies twain, and ran at Kurajan with a heart in rageful pain, improvising these couplets,
"Jamrkan am I! and a man of might, * Whom the warriors fear with a sore affright:
I waste the forts and I leave the walls * To wail and weep for the wights I smite:
Then, O Kurajan, tread the rightful road * And quit the paths of thy foul upright:
Own the One True God, who dispread the skies * And made founts to flow and the hills pegged tight:
An the slave embrace the True Faith, he'll 'scape * Hell pains and in Heaven be decks and dight!"
When Kurajan heard these words, he sparked and snorted and foully abused the sun and the moon and crave at Jamrkan, versifying with these couplets,
"I'm Kurajan, of this age the knight; * And my shade to the lions of Shara' is blight:
I storm the forts and snare kings of beasts * And warriors fear me in field of fight;
Then, Harkye Jamrkan, if thou doubt my word, * Come forth to the combat and try my might!"
When Jamrkan heard these verses, he charged him with a stout heart d they smote each at other with swords till the two hosts. lamented for them, and they lunged with lance and great was the clamour between them: nor did they leave fighting till the time of mid-afternoon prayer was passed and the day began to wane. Then Jamrkan crave at Kurajan and smiting him on the breast with his mace, cast him to the ground, as he were the trunk of a palm-tree; and the Moslems pinioned him and dragged him off with ropes like a camel. Now when the Miscreants saw their Prince captive, a hot fever-fit of ignorance seized on them and they bore down upon the True Believers thinking to rescue him; but the Moslem champions met them and left most of them prostrate on the earth, whilst the rest turned and sought safety in flight, seeking surer site, while the clanking sabres their back-sides smite. The Moslems ceased not pursuing them till they had scattered them over mount and word, when they returned from them to the spoil; whereof was great store of horses and tents and so forth: good look to it for a spoil! Then Jamrkan went in to Kurajan and expounded to him Al-Islam, threatening him with death unless he embraced the Faith. But he refused; so they cut off his head and stuck it on a spear, after which they fared on towards Oman city. But as regards the Kafirs, the survivors returned to Jaland and made known to him the slaying of his son and the slaughter of his host, hearing which he cast his crown to the ground and buffeting his face, till the blood ran from his nostrils, fell fainting to the floor. They sprinkled rose-water on his head, till he came to himself and cried to his Wazir, "Write letters to all my Governors and Nabobs, and bid them leave not a smiter with the sword nor a lunger with the lance nor a bender of the bow, but bring them all to me in one body." So he wrote letters and despatched them by runners to the Governors, who levied their power and joined the King with a prevailing host, whose number was one hundred and eighty-thousand men. Then they made ready tents and camels and noble steeds and were about to march when, behold, up came Jamrkan and Sa'adan the Ghul, with seventy-thousand horse, as they were lions fierce-faced, all steel-encased. When Jaland saw the Moslems trooping on he rejoiced and said, "By the virtue of the Sun, and her resplendent light, I will not leave alive one of my foes; no, not one to carry the news, and I will lay waste the land of Al-Irak, that I may take my wreak for my son, the havoc making champion bold; nor shall my fire be quenched or cooled!" Then he turned to Ajib and said to him, "O dog of Al-Irak, 'twas thou broughtest this calamity on us! But by the virtue of that which I worship, except I avenge me of mine enemy I will do thee die after foulest fashion!" When Ajib heard these words he was troubled with sore trouble and blamed himself; but he waited till nightfall, when the Moslems had pitched their tents for rest. Now he had been degraded and expelled the royal camp together with those who were left to him of his suite: so he said to them, "O my kinsmen, know that Jaland and I are dismayed with exceeding dismay at the coming of the Moslems, and I know that he will not avail to protect me from my brother nor from any other; so it is my counsel that we make our escape, whilst all eyes sleep, and flee to King Ya'arub bin Kahtan, for that he hath more of men and is stronger of reign." They, hearing his advice exclaimed "Right is thy rede," whereupon he bade them kindle fires at their tent-doors and march under cover of the night. They did his bidding and set out, so by daybreak they had already fared far away. As soon as it was morning Jaland mounted with two hundred and sixty-thousand fighting-men, clad cap-a-pie in hauberks and cuirasses and strait-knit mail-coats, the kettle-drums beat a point of war and all drew out for cut and thrust and fight and fray. Then Jamrkan and Sa'adan rode out with forty-thousand stalwart fighting-men, under each standard a thousand cavaliers, doughty champions, foremost in champaign. The two hosts drew out in battles and bared their blades and levelled their limber lances, for the drinking of the cup of death. The first to open the gate of strife was Sa'adan, as he were a mountain of syenite or a Marid of the Jinn. Then dashed out to him a champion of the Infidels, and the Ghul slew him and casting him to the earth, cried out to his sons and slaves, saying, "Light the fire and roast me this dead one." They did as he bade and brought him the roast and he ate it and crunched whilst the Kafirs stood looking on from afar; and they cried out, "Oh for aid from the light- giving Sun!" and were affrighted at the thought of being slain by Sa'adan. Then Jaland shouted to his men, saying, "Slay me yonder loathsome beast!" Whereupon another captain of his host drove at the Ghul; but he slew him and he ceased not to slay horseman after horseman, till he had made an end of thirty men. With this the blamed Kafirs held back and feared to face him, crying, "Who shall cope with Jinns and Ghuls?" But Jaland raised his voice saying, "Let an hundred horse charge him and bring him to me, bound or slain." So an hundred horse set upon Sa'adan with swords and spears, and he met them with a heart firmer than flint, proclaiming the unity of the Requiting King, whom no one thing diverteth from other thing. Then he cried aloud, "Allaho Akbar!" and, smiting them with his sword, made their heads fly and in one onset he slew of them four-and-seventy whereupon the rest took to flight. So Jaland shouted aloud to ten of his captains, each commanding a thousand men, and said to them, "Shoot his horse with arrows till it fall under him, and then lay hands on him." Therewith ten thousand horse drove at Sa'adan who met them with a stout heart; and Jamrkan, seeing this, bore down upon the Miscreants with his Moslems, crying out, "God is Most Great!" Before they could reach the Ghul, the enemy had slain his steed and taken him prisoner; but they ceased not to charge the Infidels, till the day grew dark for dust and eyes were blinded, and the sharp sword clanged while firm stood the valiant cavalier and destruction overtook the faint-heart in his fear; till the Moslems were amongst the Paynims like a white patch on a black bull.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.
When it was the Six Hundred and Forty-seventh Night,
She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that battle raged between the Moslems and the Paynims till the True Believers were like a white patch on a black bull. Nor did they stint from the mellay till the darkness fell down, when they drew apart, after there had been slain of the Infidels men without compt. Then Jamrkan and his men returned to their tents; but they were in great grief for Sa'adan, so that neither meat nor sleep was sweet to them, and they counted their host and found that less than a thousand had been slain. But Jamrkan said, "O folk, to- morrow I will go forth into the battle-plain and place where cut and thrust obtain, and slay their champions and make prize of their families after taking them captives and I will ransom Sa'adan therewith' by the leave of the Requiting King, whom no one thing diverteth from other thing!" Wherefore their hearts were heartened and they joyed as they separated to their tents. Meanwhile Jaland entered his pavilion and sitting down on his sofa of estate, with his folk about him, called for Sa'adan and forthright on his coming, said to him, "O dog run wood and least of the Arab brood and carrier of firewood, who was it slew my son Kurajan, the brave of the age, slayer of heroes and caster down of warriors?" Quoth the Ghul, "Jamrkan slew him, captain of the armies of King Gharib, Prince of cavaliers, and I roasted and ate him, for I was anhungered." When Jaland heard these words, his eyes sank into his head for rage and he bade his swordbearer smite Sa'adan's neck. So he came forward in that intent, whereupon Sa'adan stretched himself mightily and bursting his bonds, snatched the sword from the headsman and hewed off his head. Then he made at Jaland who threw himself down from the throne and fled; whilst Sa'adan fell on the bystanders and killed twenty of the King's chief officers, and all the rest took to flight. Therewith loud rose the crying in the camp of the Infidels and the Ghul sallied forth of the pavilion and falling upon the troops smote them with the sword, right and left, till they opened and left a lane for him to pass; nor did he cease to press forward, cutting at them on either side, till he won free of the Miscreants' tents and made for the Moslem camp. Now these had heard the uproar among their enemies and said, "Haply some calamity hath befallen them." But whilst they were in perplexity, behold, Sa adan stood amongst them and they rejoiced at his coming with exceeding joy; more especially Jamrkan, who saluted him with the salam as did other True Believers and gave him joy of his escape. Such was the case with the Moslems; but as regards the Miscreants, when, after the Ghul's departure, they and their King returned to their tents, Jaland said to them, "Ofolk, by the virtue of the Sun's light-giving ray and by the darkness of the Night and the light of the Day and the Stars that stray, I thought not this day to have escaped death in mellay; for, had I fallen into yonder fellow's hands, he had eaten me, as I were a kernel of wheat or a barley corn or any other grain." They re plied, "O King, never saw we any do the like of this Ghul." And he said, "O folk, to-morrow do ye all don arms and mount steed and trample them under your horses' hooves." Meanwhile the Moslems had ended their rejoicings at Sa'adan's return and Jamrkan said to them, "To-morrow, I will show you my derring-do and what behoveth the like of me, for by the virtue of Abraham the Friend, I will slay them with the foulest of slaughters and smite them with the bite of the sword, till all who have under standing confounded at them shall stand. But I mean to attack both right and left wings; so, when ye see me drive at the King under the standards, do ye charge behind me with a resolute charge, and Allah's it is to decree what thing shall be!" Accord ingly the two sides lay upon their arms till the day broke through night and the sun appeared to sight. Then they mounted swiftlier than the twinkling of the eyelid; the raven of the wold croaked and the two hosts, looking each at other with the eye of fascina tion, formed in line-array and prepared for fight and fray. The first to open the chapter of war was Jamrkan who wheeled and careered and offered fight in field; and Jaland and his men were about to charge when, behold, a cloud of dust uprolled till it walled the wold and overlaid the day. Then the four winds smote it and away it floated, torn to rags, and there appeared beneath it cavaliers, with helms black and garb white and many a princely knight and lances that bite and swords that smite and footmen who lion-like knew no affright Seeing this, both armies left fighting and sent out scouts to reconnoitre and report who thus had come in main and might. So they went and within the dust cloud disappeared from sight, and returned after awhile with the news aright that the approaching host was one of Moslems, under the command of King Gharib. When the True Believers heard from the scouts of the coming of their King, they rejoiced and driving out to meet him, dismounted and kissed the earth between his hands--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Six Hundred and Forty-eighth Night,
She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the Moslems saw the presence of their King Gharib, they joyed with exceeding joy; and, kissing the earth between his hands, saluted him and get around him whilst he welcomed them and rejoiced in their safety. Then they escorted him to their camp and pitched pavilions for him and set up standards; and Gharib sat down on his couch of estate, with his Grandees about him; and they related to him all that had befallen, especially to Sa'adan Meanwhile the Kafirs sought for Ajib and finding him not among them nor in their tents, told Jaland of his flight, whereat his Doomsday rose and he bit his fingers, saying, "by the Sun's light-giving round, he is a perfidious hound and hath fled with his rascal rout to desert ground. But naught save force of hard fighting will serve us to repel these foes; so fortify your resolves and hearten your hearts and beware of the Moslems." And Gharib also said to the True Believers, "Strengthen your courage and fortify your hearts and seek aid of your Lord, beseeching him to vouchsafe you the victory over your enemies." They replied, "O King, soon thou shalt see what we will do in battle-plain where men cut and thrust amain." So the two hosts slept till the day arose with its sheen and shone and the rising sun rained light upon hill and down, when Gharib prayed the two-bow prayer, after the rite of Abraham the Friend (on whom be the Peace!) and wrote a letter, which he despatched by his brother Sahim to the King of the Kafirs. When Sahim reached the enemies' camp, the guards asked him what he wanted, and he answered them, "I want your ruler.'' Quoth they, "Wait till we consult him anent thee;" and he waited, whilst they went in to their Sovran and told him of the coming of a messenger, and he cried, "Hither with him to me!" So they brought Sahim before Jaland, who said to him, "Who hath sent thee?" Quoth he, King Gharib sends me, whom Allah hath made ruler over Arab and Ajam; receive his letter and return its reply." Jaland took the writ and opening it, read as follows, "In the name of Allah, the Compassionating, the Compassionate * the One, the All-knowing, the supremely Great * the Immemorial, the Lord of Noah and Salih and Hud and Abraham and of all things He made! * The Peace be on him who followeth in the way of righteousness and who feareth the issues of frowardness * who obeyeth the Almighty King and followeth the Faith saving and preferreth the next world to any present thing! * But afterwards: O Jaland, none is worthy of worship save Allah alone, the Victorious, the One, Creator of night and day and the sphere revolving alway * Who sendeth the holy Prophets and garreth the streams to flow and the trees to grow, who vaulted the heavens and spread out the earth like a carpet below * Who feedeth the birds in their nests and the wild beasts in the deserts * for He is Allah the All-powerful, the Forgiving, the Long-suffering, the Protector, whom eye comprehendeth on no wise and who maketh night on day arise * He who sent down the Apostles and their Holy Writ. Know, O Jaland, that there is no faith but the Faith of Abraham the Friend; so cleave to the Creed of Salvation and be saved from the biting glaive and the Fire which followeth the grave * But, an thou refuse Al-Islam, look for ruin to haste and thy reign to be waste and thy traces untraced * And, lastly, send me the dog Ajib hight that I may take from him my father's and mother's blood-wit." When Jaland had read this letter, he said to Sahim, "Tell thy lord that Ajib hath fled, he and his folk, and I know not whither he is gone; but, as for Jaland, he will not forswear his faith, and to-morrow, there shall be battle between us and the Sun shall give us the victory." So Sahim returned to his brother with this reply, and when the morning morrowed, the Moslems donned their arms and armour and bestrode their stout steeds, calling aloud on the name of the All-conquering King, Creator of bodies and souls, and magnifying Him with "Allaho Akbar." Then the kettle-drums of battle beat until earth trembled, and sought the field all the lordly warriors and doughty champions: The first to open the gate of battle was Jamrkan, who crave his charger into mid-plain and played with sword and javelin, till the understanding was amazed; after which he cried out, saying, "Ho! who is for tilting? Ho! who is for fighting? Let no sluggard come out to me to-day nor weakling! I am the slayer of Kurajan bin Jaland; who will come forth to avenge him?" When Jaland heard the name of his son, he cried out to his men, "O whore-sons, bring me yonder horseman who slew my son, that I may eat his flesh and drink his blood." So an hundred fighting-men charged at Jamrkan, but he slew the most part of them and put their chief to flight; which feat when Jaland saw, he cried out to his folk, "At him all at once and assault him with one assault." Accordingly they waved the awe-striking banners and host was heaped on host; Gharib rushed on with his men and Jamrkan did the same and the two sides met like two seas together clashing. The Yamani sword and spear wrought havoc and breasts and bellies were rent, whilst both armies saw the Angel of Death face to face and the dust of the battle rose to the skirts of the sky. Ears went deaf and tongues went dumb and doom from every side came on whilst valiant stood fast and faint-heart fled: and they ceased not from fight and fray till ended the day, when the drums beat the retreat and the two hosts drew apart and returned, each to its tents.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.
When it was the Six Hundred and Forty-ninth Night,
She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when King Gharib ended the battle and the two hosts drew apart and each had returned to his own tents, he sat down on the throne of his realm and the place of his reign, whilst his chief officers ranged themselves about him, and he said, "I am sore concerned for the flight of the cur Ajib and I know not whither he has gone. Except I overtake him and take my wreak of him, I shall die of despite." Whereupon Sahim came forward and kissing the earth before him, said, "O King, I will go to the army of the Kafirs and find out what is come of the perfidious dog Ajib." Quoth Gharib, "Go, and learn the truth anent the hog." So Sahim disguised himself in the habit of the Infidels and became as he were of them; then, making for the enemy's camp, he found them all asleep, drunken with war and battle, and none were on wake save only the guards. He passed on and presently came to the King's pavilion where he found King Jaland asleep unattended; so he crept up and made him smell and sniff up levigated Bhang and he became as one dead. Then Sahim went out and took a male mule, and wrapping the King in the coverlet of his bed, laid him on its back; after which he threw a mat over him and led the beast to the Moslem camp. Now when he came to Gharib's pavilion and would have entered, the guards knew him not and prevented him, saying, "Who art thou?'' He laughed and uncovered his face, and they knew him and admitted him. When Gharib saw him he said, "What bearest there, O Sahim?"; and he replied, "O King, this is Jaland bin Karkar." Then he uncovered him, and Gharib knew him and said,"Arouse him, O Sahim," So he made him smell vinegar and frankincense; and he cast the Bhang from his nostrils and, opening his eyes, found himself among the Moslems; whereupon quoth he, "What is this foul dream?" and closing his eyelids again, would have slept; but Sahim dealt him a kick, saying, "Open thine eyes, O accursed!" So he opened them and asked, "Where am I?"; and Sahim answered, "Thou art in the presence of King Gharib bin Kundamir, King of Irak." When Jaland heard this, he said, "O King, I am under thy protection! Know that I am not at fault, but that who led us forth to fight thee was thy brother, and the same cast enmity between us and then fled." Quoth Gharib, "Knowest thou whither he is gone?"; and quoth Jaland, "No, by the light-giving sun, I know not whither." Then Gharib bade lay him in bonds and set guards over him, whilst each captain returned to his own tent, and Jamrkan while wending said to his men, "O sons of my uncle, I purpose this night to do a deed wherewith I may whiten my face with King Gharib." Quoth they, "Do as thou wilt, we hearken to thy commandment and obey it." Quoth he, "Arm yourselves and, muffling your steps while I go with you, let us fare softly and disperse about the Infidels' camp, so that the very ants shall not be ware of you; and, when you hear me cry 'Allaho Akbar,' do ye the like and cry out, saying, 'God is Most Great!' and hold back and make for the city- gate; and we seek aid from the Most High." So the folk armed themselves cap-a-pie and waited till the noon of Night, when they dispersed about the enemy's camp and tarried awhile when, lo and behold! Jamrkan smote shield with sword and shouted, "Allaho Akbar'" Thereupon they all cried out the like, till rang again valley and mountain, hills, sands and ruins. The Miscreants awoke in dismay and fell one upon other, and the sword went round amongst them; the Moslems drew back and made for the city-gates, where they slew the warders and entering, made themselves masters of the town with all that was therein of treasure and women. Thus it befel with Jamrkan; but as regards King Gharib, hearing the noise and clamour of "God is Most Great," he mounted with his troops to the last man and sent on in advance Sahim who, when he came near the field of fight, saw that Jamrkan had fallen upon the Kafirs with the Banu Amir by night and made them drink the cup of death. So he returned and told all to his brother, who called down blessings on Jamrkan. And the Infidels ceased not to smite one another with the biting sword and expending their strength till the day rose and lighted up the land, when Gharib cried out to his men, "Charge, O ye noble, and do a deed to please the All-knowing King!" So the True Believers fell upon the idolaters and plied upon every false hypocritical breast the keen sword and the quivering spear. They sought to take refuge in the city; but Jamrkan came forth upon them with his kinsmen, who hemmed them in between two mountain-ranges, and slew an innumerable host of them, and the rest fled into the wastes and words.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Six Hundred and Fiftieth Night,
She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the Moslem host charged upon the Miscreants they hewed them in pieces with the biting scymitar and the rest fled to the wastes and words; nor did the Moslems cease pursuing them with the sword, till they had scattered them abroad in the plains and stony places. Then they returned to Oman city, and King Gharib entered the palace of the King and, sitting down on the throne of his kingship, with his Grandees and Of ficers ranged right and left, sent for Jaland. They brought him in haste and Gharib ex pounded to him Al-Islam; but he rejected it; wherefore Gharib bade crucify him on the gate of the city, and they shot at him with shafts till he was like unto a porcupine. Then Gharib honourably robed Jamrkan and said to him, "Thou shalt be lord of this city arid ruler thereof with power to loose and to bind therein, for it was thou didst open it with thy sword and thy folk." And Jamrkan kissed the King's feet, thanked him and wished him abiding victory and glory and every blessing Morever Gharib opened Jaland's treasuries and saw what was therein of coin, whereof he gave largesse to his captains and standard bearers and fighting-men, yea, even to the girls and children; and thus he lavished his gifts ten days long. After this, one night he dreamt a terrible dream and awoke, troubled and trembling. So he aroused his brother Sahim and said to him, "I saw in my vision that we were in a wide valley, when there pounced down on us two ravening birds of prey, never in my life saw I greater than they; their legs were like lances, and as they swooped we were in sore fear of them." Replied Sahim, "O King, this be some great enemy; so stand on thy guard against him." Gharib slept not the rest of the night and, when the day broke, he called for his courser and mounted. Quoth Sahim, "Whither goest thou, my brother?" and quoth Gharib, "I awoke heavy at heart; so I mean to ride abroad ten days and broaden my breast." Said Sahim, "Take with thee a thousand braves;" but Gharib replied, "I will not go forth but with thee and only thee." So the two brothers mounted and, seeking the dales and leasows, fared on from Wady to Wady and from meadow to meadow, till they came to a valley abounding in streams and sweet-smelling flowers and trees laden with all manner eatable fruits, two of each kind. Birds warbled on the branches their various strains; the mocking bird trilled out her sweet notes fain and the turtle filled with her voice the plain. There sang the nightingale, whose chant arouses the sleeper, and the merle with his note like the voice of man and the cushat and the ring-dove, whilst the parrot with its eloquent tongue answered the twain. The valley pleased them and they ate of its fruits and drank of its waters, after which they sat under the shadow of its trees till drowsiness overcame them and they slept, glory be to Him who sleepeth not! As they lay asleep, lo! two fierce Marids swooped down on them and, taking each one on his shoulders, towered with them high in air, till they were above the clouds. So Gharib and Sahim awoke and found themselves betwixt heaven and earth; whereupon they looked at those who bore them and saw that they were two Marids, the head of the one being as that of a dog and the head of the other as that of an ape with hair like horses' tails and claws like lions' claws, and both were big as great palm-trees. When they espied this case, they exclaimed,, "There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great!" Now the cause of this was that a certain King of the Kings of the Jinn, highs Mura'ash, had a son called Sa'ik, who loved a damsel of the Jinn, named Najmah; and the twain used to foregather in that Wady under the sem blance of two birds. Gharib and Sahim saw them thus and deeming them birds, shot at them with shafts but wounding only Sa'ik whose blood flowed. Najmah mourned over him; then, fearing lest the like calamity befal herself, snatched up her lover and flew with him to his father's palace, where she cast him down at the gate. The warders bore him in and laid him before his sire who, seeing the pile sticking in his rib exclaimed, "Alas, my son! Who hath done with thee this thing, that I may lay waste his abiding-place and hurry on his destruction, though he were the greatest of the Kings of the Jann?" Thereupon Sa'ik opened his eyes and said, "O my father, none slew me save a mortal in the Valley of Springs." Hardly had he made an end of these words, when his soul departed; whereupon his father buffeted his face, till the blood streamed from his mouth, and cried out to two Marids, saying, "Hie ye to the Valley of Springs and bring me all who are therein." So they betook themselves to the Wady in question, where they found Gharib and Sahim asleep, and, snatching them up, carried them to King Mura'ash.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.
When it was the Six Hundred and Fifty-first Night,
She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the two Marids, after snatching up Gharib and Sahim in their sleep, carried them to Mura'ash, king of the Jann, whom they saw seated on the throne of his kinship, as he were a huge mountain, with four heads on his body, the first that of a lion, the second that of an elephant, the third that of a panther, and the fourth that of a lynx. The Marids set them down before Mura'ash and said to him, "O King, these twain be they we found in the Valley of Springs." Thereupon he looked at them with wrathful eyes and sparked and snorted and shot sparks from his nostrils, so that all who stood by feared him. Then said he, "O dogs of mankind, ye have slain my son and lighted fire in my liver." Quoth Gharib, "Who is thy son, and who hath seen him?" Quoth Mura'ash "Were ye not in the Valley of Springs and did ye not see my son there, in the guise of a bird, and did ye not shoot at him with wooden bolts that he died?" Replied Gharib, "I know not who slew him; and, by the virtue of the Great God, the One, the Immemorial who knoweth things all, and of Abraham the Friend, we saw no bird, neither slew we bird or beast!" Now when Mura'ash heard Gharib swear by Allah and His greatness and by Abraham the Friend, he knew him for a Moslem (he himself being a worshipper of Fire, not of the All-powerful Sire), so he cried out to his folk, "Bring me my Goddess." Accordingly they brought a brazier of gold and, setting it before him, kindled therein fire and cast on drugs, whereupon there arose therefrom green and blue and yellow flames and the King and all who were present prostrated themselves before the brazier, whilst Gharib and Sahim ceased not to attest the Unity of Allah Almighty, to cry out "God is Most Great" and to bear witness to His Omnipotence. Presently, Mura'ash raised his head and, seeing the two Princes standing in lieu of falling down to worship, said to them, "O dogs, why do ye not prostrate yourselves?" Replied Gharib, "Out on you, O ye accursed! Prostration befitteth not man save to the Worshipful King, who bringeth forth all creatures into beingness from nothingness and maketh water to well from the barren rockwell, Him who inclineth heart of sire unto new-born scion and who may not be described as sitting or standing; the God of Noah and Salih and Hud and Abraham the Friend, Who created Heaven and Hell and trees and fruit as well, for He is Allah, the One, the All-powerful." When Mura'ash heard this, his eyes sank into his head and he cried out to his guards, saying, "Pinion me these two dogs and sacrifice them to my Goddess." So they bound them and were about to cast them into the fire when, behold, one of the crenelles of the palace parapet fell down upon the brazier and brake it and put out the fire, which became ashes flying in air. Then quoth Gharib, "God is Most Great! He giveth aid and victory and He forsaketh those who deny Him, worshipping Fire and not the Almighty King!" Presently quoth Mura'ash, "Thou art a sorcerer and hast bewitched my Goddess, so that this thing hath befallen her." Gharib replied, "O madman, an the fire had soul or sense it would have warded off from self all that hurteth it." When Mura'ash heard these words, he roared and bellowed and reviled the Fire, saying, "By my faith, I will not kill you save by the fire!" Then he bade cast them into gaol; and, calling an hundred Marids, made them bring much fuel and set fire thereto. So they brought great plenty of wood and made a huge blaze, which flamed up mightily till the morning, when Mura'ash mounted an elephant, bearing on its back a throne of gold dubbed with jewels, and the tribes of the Jinn gathered about him in their various kinds. Presently they brought in Gharib and Sahim who, seeing the flaming of the fire, sought help of the One, the All- conquering Creator of night and day, Him of All-might, whom no sight comprehendeth, but who comprehendeth all sights, for He is the Subtle, the All-knowing. And they ceased not humbly beseeching Him till, behold, a cloud arose from West to East and, pouring down showers of rain, like the swollen sea, quenched the fire. When the King saw this, he was affrighted, he and his troops, and entered the palace, where he turned to the Wazirs and Grandees and said to them, "How say ye of these two men?" They replied, "O King, had they not been in the right, this thing had not befallen the fire; wherefore we say that they be true men which speak sooth." Rejoined Mura'ash, "Verily the Truth hath been displayed to me, ay, and the manifest way, and I am certified that the worship of the fire is false; for, were it goddess, it had warded off from itself the rain which quenched it and the stone which broke its brazier and beat it into ashes. Wherefore I believe in Him Who created the fire and the light and the shade and the heat. And ye, what say ye?" They answered, "O King, we also hear and follow and obey." So the King called for Gharib and embraced him and kissed him between the eyes and then summoned Sahim; whereupon the bystanders all crowded to kiss their hands and heads.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Six Hundred and Fifth-second Night,
She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Mura'ash and his men found salvation in the Saving Faith, Al- Islam, he called for Gharib and Sahim and kissed them between the eyes and so did all the Grandees who crowded to buss their hands and heads. Then Mura'ash sat down on the throne of his kingship and, seating Gharib on his right and Sahim on his left hand, said to them, "O mortals, what shall we say, that we may become Moslems?" Replied Gharib, "Say, 'There is no god but the God, and Abraham is the Friend of God!'" So the King and his folk professed Al-Islam with heart and tongue, and Gharib abode with them awhile, teaching them the ritual of prayer. But presently he called to mind his people and sighed, whereupon quoth Mura'ash, "Verily, trouble is gone and joy and gladness are come." Quoth Gharib, "O King, I have many foes and I fear for my folk from them." Then he related to him his history with his brother Ajib from first to last, and the King of the Jinns said, "O King of men, I will send one who shall bring thee news of thy people, for I will not let thee go till I have had my fill of thy face." Then he called two doughty Marids, by name Kaylajan and Kurajan, and after they had done him homage, he bade them repair to Al-Yaman and bring him news of Gharib's army. They replied, "To hear is to obey," and departed. Thus far concerning the brothers; but as regards the Moslems, they arose in the morning and led by their captains rode to King Gharib's palace, to do their service to him; but the eunuchs told them that the King had mounted with his brother and had ridden forth at peep o' day. So they made for the valleys and mountains and followed the track of the Princes, till they came to the Valley of Springs, where they found their arms cast down and their two gallant steeds grazing and said, "The King is missing from this place, by the glory of Abraham the Friend!" Then they mounted and sought in the valley and the mountains three days, but found no trace of them; whereupon they began the mourning ceremonies and, send ing for couriers, said to them, "Do ye disperse yourselves about the cities and sconces and castles, and seek ye news of our King." "Harkening and obedience!" cried the couriers, who dispersed hither and thither each over one of the Seven Climes and sought everywhere for Gharib, but found no trace of him. Now when the tidings came to Ajib by his spies that his brother was lost and there was no news of the missing, he rejoiced and going in to King Ya'arub bin Kahtan, sought of him aid which he granted and gave him two hundred thousand Amalekites, wherewith he set out for Al-Yaman and sat down before the city of Oman. Jamrkan and Sa'adan sallied forth and offered him battle, and there were slain of the Moslems much folk, so the True Believers retired into the city and shut the gates and manned the walls. At this moment came up the two Marids Kaylajan and Kurajan and, seeing the Moslem beleaguered waited till nightfall, when they fell upon the miscreants and plied them with sharp swords of the swords of the Jinn, each twelve cubits long, if a man smote therewith a rock, verily he would cleave it in sunder. They charged the Idolaters, shouting, "Allaho Akbar! God is Most Great! He giveth aid and victory and forsaketh those who deny the Faith of Abraham the Friend!" and whilst they raged amongst the foes, fire issued from their mouths and nostrils, and they made great slaughter amongst them. Thereupon the Infidels ran out of their tents offering battle but, seeing these strange things, were confounded and their hair stood on end and their reason fled. So they snatched up their arms and fell one upon other, whilst the Marids shore off their heads, as a reaper eareth grain, crying, "God is Most Great! We are the lads of King Gharib, the friend of Mura'ash, King of the Jinn!" The sword ceased not to go round amongst them till the night was half spent, when the Misbelievers, imagining that the mountains were all Ifrits, loaded their tents and treasure and baggage upon camels and made off; and the first to fly was Ajib.- -And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.
When it was the Six Hundred and Fifty-third Night,
She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Misbelievers made off and the first to fly was Ajib. Thereupon the Moslems gathered together, marvelling at this that had betided the Infidels and fearing the tribesmen of the Jinn. But the Marids ceased not from pursuit, till they had driven them far away into the hills and words; and but fifty-thousand Rebels of two hundred thousand escaped with their lives and made for their own land, wounded and sore discomforted. Then the two Jinns returned and said to them, "O host of the Moslems, your lord King Gharib and his brother Sahim salute you; they are the guests of Mura'ash, King of the Jann, and will be with you anon " When Gharib's men heard that he was safe and well, they joyed with exceeding joy and said to the Marids, "Allah gladden you twain with good news, O noble spirits!" So Kurajan and Kaylajan returned to Mura'ash and Gharib; and acquainted them with that which had happened, whereat Gharib finding the two sitting together felt heart at ease and said, "Allah abundantly requite you!" Then quoth King Mura'ash, "O my brother, I am minded to show thee our country and the city of Japhet son of Noah (on whom be peace!)" Quoth Gharib, "O King, do what seemeth good to thee." So he called for three noble steeds and mounting, he and Gharib and Sahim, set out with a thousand Marids, as they were a piece of a mountain cloven lengthwise. They fared on, solacing themselves with the sight of valleys and mountains, till they came to Jabarsa, the city of Japhet son of Noah (on whom be peace!) where the townsfolk all, great and small, came forth to meet King Mura'ash and brought them into the city in great state. Then Mura'ash went up to the palace of Japhet son of Noah and sat down on the throne of his kingship, which was of alabaster, ten stages high and latticed with wands of gold wherefrom hung all manner coloured silks. The people of the city stood before him and he said to them, "O seed of Yafis bin Nuh, what did your fathers and grandfathers worship?" They replied, "We found them worshipping Fire and followed their example, as thou well knowest." "O folk," rejoined Mura'ash, "we have been shown that the fire is but one of the creatures of Almighty Allah, Creator of all things; and when we knew this, we submitted ourselves to God, the One, the All-powerful, Maker of night and day and the sphere revolving alway, Whom compre hendeth no sight, but Who comprehendeth all sights, for He is the Subtle, the All-wise. So seek ye Salvation and ye shall be saved from the wrath of the Almighty One and from the fiery doom in the world to come." And they embraced Al-Islam with heart and tongue. Then Mura'ash took Gharib by the hand and showed him the palace and its ordinance and all the marvels it contained, till they came to the armoury, wherein were the arms .of Japhet son of Noah. Here Gharib saw a sword hanging to a pin of gold and asked, "O King, whose is that?" Mura'ash answered, " 'Tis the sword of Yafis bin Nuh, wherewith he was wont to do battle against men and Jinn. The sage Jardum forged it and graved on its back names of might. It is named Al-Mahik the Annihilator for that it never descendeth upon a man, but it annihilateth him, nor upon a Jinni, but it crusheth him; and if one smote therewith a mountain 'twould overthrow it." When Gharib heard tell of the virtues of the sword, he said, "I desire to look on this blade;" and Mura'ash said, "Do as thou wilt." So Gharib put out his hand, and, hending the sword, drew it from its sheath; whereupon it flashed and Death crept on its edge and glittered; and it was twelve spans long and three broad. Now Gharib wished to become owner of it, and King Mura'ash said, "An thou canst smite with it,take it." " 'Tis well," Gharib replied, and took it up, and it was in his hand as a staff; wherefore all who were present, men and Jinn, marvelled and said, "Well done, O Prince of Knights!" Then said Mura'ash "Lay thy hand on this hoard for which the Kings of the earth sigh in vain, and mount, that I may show thee the city." Then they took horse and rode forth the palace, with men and Jinns attending them on foot,--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Six Hundred and Fifty-fourth Night,
She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Gharib and King Mura'ash rode forth the palace of Japhet, with men and Jinns attending them on foot, they passed through the streets and thoroughfares of the town, by palaces and deserted mansions and gilded doorways, till they issued from the gates and entered gardens full of trees fruit-bearing and waters welling and birds speaking and celebrating the praises of Him to whom belong Majesty and Eternity; nor did they cease to solace themselves in the land till nightfall, when they returned to the palace of Japhet son of Noah and they brought them the table of food So they ate and Gharib turned to the King of the Jann and said to him, "O King, I would fain return to my folk and my force; for I know not their plight after me." Replied Mura'ash, "By Allah, O my brother, I will not part with thee for a full month, till I have had my fill of thy sight." Now Gharib could not say nay, so he abode with him in the city of Japhet, eating and drinking and making merry, till the month ended, when Mura'ash gave him great store of gems and precious ores, emeralds and balass- rubies, diamonds and other jewels, ingots of gold and silver and likewise ambergis and musk and brocaded silks and else of rarities and things of price. Moreover he clad him and Sahim in silken robes of honour gold inwoven and set on Gharib's head a crown jewelled with pearls and diamonds of inestimable value. All these treasures he made up into even loads for him and, calling five hundred Marids, said to them, "Get ye ready to travel on the morrow, that we may bring King Gharib and Sahim back to their own country." And they answered, "We hear and we obey." So they passed the night in the city, purposing to depart on the morrow, but, next morning, as they were about to set forth behold, they espied a great host advancing upon the city, with horses neighing and kettle-drums beating and trumpets braying and riders filling the earth for they numbered threescore and ten thousand Marids, flying and diving, under a King called Barkan. Now this Barkan was lord of the City of Carnelian and the Castle of Gold and under his rule were five hill-strongholds, in each five hundred thousand Marids; and he and his tribe worshipped the Fire, not the Omnipotent Sire. He was a cousin of Mura'ash, the son of his father's brother, and the cause of his coming was that there had been among the subjects of King Mura'ash a misbelieving Marid, who professed Al-Islam hypocritically, and he stole away from his people and made for the Valley of Carnelian, where he went in to King Barkan and, kissing the earth before him, wished him abiding glory and prosperity. Then he told him of Mura'ash being converted to Al-Islam, and Barkan said, "How came he to tear himself away from his faith?'' So the rebel told him what had passed and, when Barkan heard it, he snorted and sparked and railed at Sun and Moon and sparkling Fire, saying, "By the virtue of my faith, I will surely slay mine uncle's son and his people and this mortal, nor will I leave one of them alive!" Then he cried out to the legions of the Jinn and choosing of them seventy-thousand Marids, set out and fared on till he came to Jabarsa the city of Japhet and encamped before its gates. When Mura'ash saw this, he despatched a Marid, saying, "Go to this host and learn all that it wanteth and return hither in haste." So the messenger rushed away to Barkan's camp, where the Marids flocked to meet him and said to him, "Who art thou?" Replied he, "An envoy from King Mura'ash;" whereupon they carried him in to Barkan, before whom he prostrated himself, saying, "O my lord, my master hath sent me to thee, to learn tidings of thee." Quoth Barkan, "Return to thy lord and say to him, 'This is thy cousin Barkan, who is come to salute thee.'"-- And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.
When it was the Six Hundred and Fifty-fifth Night,
She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the Marid-envoy of Mura'ash was borne before Barkan and said to him, "O my lord, my master hath sent me to thee to learn tidings of thee," Barkan replied, "Return to thy lord and say to him, 'This is thy cousin Barkan who is come to salute thee!'" So the messenger went back and told Mura'ash, who said to Gharib, "Sit thou on thy throne whilst I go and salute my cousin and return to thee." Then he mounted and rode to the camp of his uncle's son. Now this was a trick of Barkan, to bring Mura'ash out and seize upon him, and he said to his Marids, whom he had stationed about him, "When ye see me embrace him, lay hold of him and pinion him." And they replied, "To hear is to obey." So, when King Mura'ash came up and entered Barkan's pavilion, the owner rose to him and threw his arms round his neck; whereat the Jann fell upon Mura'ash and pinioned him and chained him. Mura'ash looked at Barkan and said, "What manner of thing is this?" Quoth Barkan, "O dog of the Jann, wilt thou leave the faith of thy fathers and grandfathers and enter a faith thou knowest not?" Rejoined Mura'ash, "O son of my uncle, indeed I have found the faith of Abraham the Friend to be the True Faith and all other than it vain." Asked Barkan, "And who told thee of this?"; and Mura'ash answered, "Gharib, King of Irak, whom I hold in the highest honour." "By the right of the Fire and the Light and the Shade and the Heat," cried Barkan, "I will assuredly slay both thee and him!" And he cast him into gaol. Now when Mura'ash's henchman saw what had befallen his lord, he fled back to the city and told the King's legionaries who cried out and mounted. Quoth Gharib, "What is the matter?" And they told him all that had passed, whereupon he cried out to Sahim, "Saddle me one of the chargers that King Mura'ash gave me." Said Sahim, "O my brother, wilt thou do battle with the Jinn?" Gharib replied, "Yes, I will fight them with the sword of Japhet son of Noah, seeking help of the Lord of Abraham the Friend (on whom be the Peace!); for He is the Lord of all things and sole Creator!" So Sahim saddled him a sorrel horse of the horses of the Jinn, as he were a castle strong among castles, and he armed and mounting, rode out with the legions of the Jinn, hauberk'd cap-a-pie. Then Barkan and his host mounted also and the two hosts drew out in lines facing each other. The first to open the gate of war was Gharib, who crave his steed into the mid-field and bared the enchanted blade, whence issued a glittering light that dazzled the eyes of all the Jinn and struck terror to their hearts. Then he played with the sword till their wits were wildered, and cried out, saying, "Allaho Akbar! I am Gharib, King of Irak. There is no Faith save the Faith of Abraham the Friend!" Now when Barkan heard Gharib's words, he said, "This is he who seduced my cousin from his religion; so, by the virtue of my faith, I will not sit down on my throne till I have decapitated this Gharib and suppressed his breath of life and forced my cousin and his people back to their belief: and whoso baulketh me, him will I destroy." Then he mounted an elephant paper-white as he were a tower plastered with gypsum, and goaded him with a spike of steel which ran deep into his flesh, whereupon the elephant trumpeted and made for the battle-plain where cut and thrust obtain; and, when he drew near Gharib, he cried out to him, saying, "O dog of mankind, what made thee come into our land, to debauch my cousin and his folk and pervert them from one faith to other faith. Know that this day is the last of thy worldly days." Gharib replied, ''Avaunt, O vilest of the Jann!" Therewith Barkan drew a javelin and making it quiver in his hand, cast it at Gharib; but it missed him. So he hurled a second javelin at him; but Gharib caught it in mid air and after poising it launched it at the elephant. It smote him on the flank and came out on the other side, whereupon the beast fell to the earth dead and Barkan was thrown to the ground, like a great palm-tree. Before he could stir, Gharib smote him with the flat of Japhet's blade on the nape of the neck, and he fell upon the earth in a fainting fit; whereupon the Marids swooped down on him and surrounding him pinioned his elbows. When Barkan's people saw their king a prisoner, they drove at the others, seeking to rescue him, but Gharib and the Islamised Jinn fell upon them and gloriously done for Gharib! indeed that day he pleased the Lord who answereth prayer and slaked his vengeance with the talisman-sword! Whomsoever he smote, he clove him in sunder and before his soul could depart he became a heap of ashes in the fire; whilst the two hosts of the Jinn shot each other with flamy meteors till the battle-field was wrapped in smoke. And Gharib tourneyed right and left among the Kafirs who gave way before him, till he came to King Barkan's pavilion, with Kaylajan and Kurajan on his either hand, and cried out to them, "Loose your lord!" So they unbound Mura'ash and broke his fetters and----And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Six Hundred and Fifty-sixth Night,
She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when King Gharib cried out to Kaylajan and Kurajan, saying, "Loose your lord!", they unbound Mura'ash and broke his fetters, and he said to them, "Bring me my arms and my winged horse." Now he had two flying steeds, one of which he had given to Gharib and the other he had kept for himself; and this he mounted after he had donned his battle harness. Then he and Gharib fell upon the enemy, flying through the air on their winged horses, and the true believing Jinn followed them, shouting "Allaho Akbar--God is Most Great!"--till plains and hills, valleys and mountains re-worded the cry. The Infidels fled before them and they returned, after having slain more than thirty thousand Marids and Satans, to the city of Japhet, where the two Kings sat down on their couches of estate and sought Barkan, but found him not; for after capturing him they were diverted from him by stress of battle, where an Ifrit of his servants made his way to him and loosing him, carried him to his folk, of whom he found part slain and the rest in full flight. So he flew up with the King high in air and sat him down in the City of Carnelian and Castle of Gold, where Barkan seated himself on the throne of his kingship. Presently, those of his people who had survived the affair came in to him and gave him joy of his safety; and he said, "O folk, where is safety? My army is slain and they took me prisoner and have rent in pieces mine honour among the tribes of the Jann." Quoth they, "O King, 'tis ever thus that kings still afflict and are afflicted." Quoth he, "There is no help but I take my wreak and wipe out my shame, else shall I be for ever disgraced among the tribes of the Jann." Then he wrote letters to the Governors of his fortresses, who came to him right loyally and, when he reviewed them, he found three hundred and twenty-thousand fierce Marids and Satans, who said to him, "What is thy need?" And he replied, "Get ye ready to set out in three days' time;" whereto they rejoined "Harkening and obedience!" On this wise it befel King Barkan; but as regards Mura'ash, when he discovered his prisoner's escape, it was grievous to him and he said, "Had we set an hundred Marids to guard him, he had not fled; but whither shall he go from us?" Then said he to Gharib, "Know, O my brother, that Barkan is perfidious and will never rest from wreaking blood-revenge on us, but will assuredly assemble his legions and return to attack us; wherefore I am minded to forestall him and follow the trail of his defeat, whilst he is yet weakened thereby." Replied Gharib, "This is the right rede and will best serve our need;" and Mura'ash, said, "Oh my brother, let the Marids bear thee back to thine own country and leave me to fight the battles of the Faith against the Infidels, that I may be lightened of my sin-load." But Gharib rejoined "By the virtue of the Clement, the Bountiful, the Veiler, I will not go hence till I do to death all the misbelieving Jinn; and Allah hasten their souls to the fire and dwelling-place dire; and none shall be saved but those who worship Allah the One the Victorious! But do thou send Sahim back to the city of Oman, so haply he may be healed of his ailment." For Sahim was sick. So Mura'ash cried to the Marids, saying, "Take ye up Sahim and these treasures and bear them to Oman city." And after replying, "We hear and we obey," they took them and made for the land of men. Then Mura'ash wrote letters to all his Governors and Captains of fortresses and they came to him with an hundred and sixty-thousand warriors. So they made them ready and departed for the City of Carnelian and the Castle of Gold, covering in one day a year's journey and halted in a valley, where they encamped and passed the night. Next morning as they were about to set forth, behold, the vanguard of Barkan's army appeared, whereupon the Jinn cried out and the two hosts met and fell each upon other in that valley. Then the engagement was dight and there befel a sore fight as though an earthquake shook the site and fair plight waxed foul plight. Earnest came and jest took flight, and parley ceased 'twixt wight and wight, whilst long lives were cut short in a trice and the Unbelievers fell into disgrace and despite; for Gharib charged them, proclaiming the Unity of the Worshipful, the All- might and shore through necks and left heads rolling in the dust; nor did night betide before nigh seventy thousand of the Miscreants were slain, and of the Moslemised over ten thousand Marids had fallen Then the kettle-drums beat the retreat, and the two hosts drew apart,--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased Baying her permitted say.
When it was the Six Hundred and Fifty-seventh Night,
She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the two hosts drew apart, Gharib and Mura'ash returned to their tents, after wiping their weapons, and supper being set before them, they ate and gave each other joy of their safety, and the loss of their Marids being so small. As for Barkan, he returned to his tent, grieving for the slaughter of his champions, and said to his officers, "O folk, an we tarry here and do battle with them on this wise in three days' time we shall be cut off to the last wight." Quoth they, "And how shall we do, O King?" Quoth Barkan, "We will fall upon them under cover of night whilst they are deep in sleep, and not one of them shall be left to tell the tale. So take your arms and when I give the word of command, attack and fall on your enemies as one." Now there was amongst them a Marid named Jandal whose heart inclined to Al-Islam; so, when he heard the Kafirs' plot, he stole away from them and going in to King Mura'ash and King Gharib, told the twain what Barkan had devised; whereupon Mura'ash turned to Gharib and said to him, "O my brother, what shall we do?" Gharib replied, "To-night we will fall upon the Miscreants and chase them into the wilds and the words if it be the will of the Omnipotent King." Then he summoned the Captains of the Jann and said to them, "Arm yourselves, you and yours; and, as soon as 'tis dark, steal out of your tents on foot, hundreds after hundreds, and lie in ambush among the mountains; and when ye see the enemy engaged among the tents, do ye fall upon them from all quarters. Hearten your hearts and rely on your Lord, and ye shall certainly conquer; and behold, I am with you!" So, as soon as it was dark Night, the Infidels attacked the camp, invoking aid of the fire and light; but when they came among the tents, the Moslems fell upon them, calling for help on the Lord of the Worlds and saying, "O Most Merciful of Mercifuls, O Creator of all createds!" till they left them like mown grass, cut down and dead. Nor did morning dawn before the most part of the unbelievers were species without souls and the rest made for the wastes and marshes, whilst Gharib and Mura'ash returned triumphant and victorious; and, making prize of the enemy's baggage, they rested till the morrow, when they set out for the City of Carnelian and Castle of Gold. As for Barkan, when the battle had turned against him and most of his lieges were slain, he fled through the dark with the remnant of his power to his capital where he entered his palace and assembling his legionaries said to them, "O folk, whoso hath aught of price, let him take it and follow me to the Mountain Kaf, to the Blue King, lord of the Pied Palace; for he it is who shall avenge us." So they took their women and children and goods and made for the Caucasus mountain. Presently Mura'ash and Gharib arrived at the City of Carnelian and Castle of Gold to find the gates open and none left to give them news; whereupon they entered and Mura'ash led Gharib that he might show him the city, whose walls were builded of emeralds and its gates of red carnelian, with studs of silver, and the terrace-roofs of its houses and mansions reposed upon beams of lign aloes and sandle-wood. So they took their pleasure in its streets and alleys, till they came to the Palace of Gold and entering passed through seven vestibules, when they drew near to a building, whose walls were of royal balass rubies and its pavement of emerald and jacinth. The two Kings were astounded at the goodliness of the place and fared on from vestibule to vestibule, till they had passed through the seventh and happened upon the inner court of the palace wherein they saw four daises, each different from the others, and in the midst a jetting fount of red gold, compassed about with golden lions, from whose mouths issued water. These were things to daze man's wit. The estrade at the upper end was hung and carpeted with brocaded silks of various colours and thereon stood two thrones of red gold, inlaid with pearls and jewels. So Mura'ash and Gharib sat down on Barkan's thrones and held high state in the Palace of Gold.-- And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Six Hundred and Fifty-eighth Night,
She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Mura'ash and Gharib took seat on Barkan's thrones and held high state. Then said Gharib to Mura'ash, "What thinkest thou to do?" And Mura'ash replied, "O King of mankind, have despatched an hundred horse to learn where Barkan is, that we may pursue him." Then they abode three days in the palace, the scouting Marids returned with the news that Barkan had fled to the Mountain Kaf and craved protection of the Blue King who granted it; whereupon quoth Mura'ash to Gharib, "What sayest thou, O my brother?" and quoth Gharib, "Except we attack them they will attack us." So they bade the host make ready for departure and after three days, they were about to set out with their troops, when the Marids, who had carried Sahim and the presents back to Oman, returned and kissed ground before Gharib. He questioned them of his people and they replied, "After the last affair, thy brother Ajib, leaving Ya'arub bin Kahtan, fled to the King of Hind and, submitting his case, sought his protection. The King granted his prayer and writing letters to all his governors, levied an army as it were the surging sea, having neither beginning nor end, wherewith he purposeth to invade Al-Irak and lay it waste." When Gharib heard this, he said, "Perish the Misbelievers! Verily, Allah Almighty shall give the victory to Al-Islam and I will soon show them hew and foin." Said Mura'ash, "O King of humans, by the virtue of the Mighty Name, I must needs go with thee to thy kingdom and destroy thy foes and bring thee to thy wish." Gharib thanked him and they rested on this resolve till the morrow, when they set out, intending for Mount Caucasus and marched many days till they reached the City of Alabaster and the Pied Palace. Now this city was fashioned of alabaster and precious stones by Barik bin Faki', father of the Jinn, and he also founded the Pied Palace, which was so named because edified with one brick of gold alternating with one of silver, nor was there builded aught like it in all the world. When they came within half a day's journey of the city, they halted to take their rest, and Mura'ash sent out to reconnoitre a scout who returned and said, "O King, within the City of Alabaster are legions of the Jinn, for number as the leaves of the trees or as the drops of rain." So Mura'ash said to Gharib, "How shall we do, O King of Mankind?" He replied, "O King, divide your men into four bodies and encompass with them the camp of the Infidels; then, in the middle of the Night, let them cry out, saying, 'God is Most Great!' and withdraw and watch what happeneth among the tribes of the Jinn." So Mura'ash did as Gharib counselled and the troops waited till midNight, when they encircled the foe and shouted "Allaho Akbar! Ho for the Faith of Abraham the Friend, on whom be the Peace!" The Misbelievers at this cry awoke in affright and snatching up their arms, fell one upon other till the morning, when most part of them were dead bodies and but few remained. Then Gharib cried out to the True Believers, saying, "Up and at the remnant of the Kafirs! Behold I am with you, and Allah is your helper!" So the Moslems crave at the enemy and Gharib bared his magical blade Al-Mahik and fell upon the foe, lopping off noses and making heads wax hoary and whole ranks turn tail. At last be came up with Barkan and smote him and bereft him of life and he fell down, drenched in his blood. On like wise he did with the Blue King, and by undurn-hour not one of the Kafirs was left alive to tell the tale. Then Gharib and Mura'ash entered the Pied Palace and found its walls builded of alternate courses of gold and silver, with door-sills of crystal and keystones of greenest emerald. In its midst was a fountain adorned with bells and pendants and figures of birds and beasts spouting forth water, and thereby a dais furnished with gold-brocaded silk, bordered or embroidered with jewels: and they found the treasures of the palace past count or description. Then they entered the women's court, where they came upon a magnificent serraglio and Gharib saw, among the Blue King's woman- folk a girl clad in a dress worth a thousand dinars, never had he beheld a goodlier. About her were an hundred slave-girls, upholding her train with golden hooks, and she was in their midst as the moon among stars. When he saw her, his reason was confounded and he said to one of the waiting-women, "Who may be yonder maid?" Quoth they, "This is the Blue King's daughter, Star o' Morn."--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.
When it was the Six Hundred and Fifty-ninth Night,
She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Gharib asked the slave women saying, "Who may be yonder maid," they replied, "This is Star o' Morn, daughter to the Blue King." Then Gharib turned to Mura'ash and said to him, "O King of the Jinn, I have a mind to take yonder damsel to wife." Replied Mura'ash, "The palace and all that therein is, live stock and dead, are the prize of thy right hand; for, hadst thou not devised a stratagem to destroy the Blue King and Barkan, they had cut us off to the last one: wherefore the treasure is thy treasure and the folk thy thralls." Gharib thanked him for his fair speech and going up to the girl, gazed steadfastly upon her and loved her with exceeding love, forgetting Fakhr Taj the Princess and even Mahdiyah. Now her mother was the Chinese King's daughter whom the Blue King had carried off from her palace and perforce deflowered, and she conceived by him and bare this girl, whom he named Star o' Morn, by reason of her beauty and loveliness; for she was the very Princess of the Fair. Her mother died when she was a babe of forty days, and the nurses and eunuchs reared her, till she reached the age of seventeen; but she hated her sire and rejoiced in his slaughter. So Gharib put his palm to hers and went in unto her that night and found her a virgin. Then he bade pull down the Pied Palace and divided the spoil with the true- believing Jinn, and there fell to his share one-and-twenty thousand bricks of gold and silver and money and treasure beyond speech and count. Then Mura'ash took Gharib and showed him the Mountain Kaf and all its marvels; after which they returned to Barkan's fortress and dismantled it and shared the spoil thereof. Then they repaired to Mura'ash's capital, where they tarried five days, when Gharib sought to revisit his native country and Mura'ash said, "O King of mankind, I will ride at thy stirrup and bring thee to thine own land." Replied Gharib, "No, by the virtue of Abraham the Friend, I will not suffer thee to weary thyself thus, nor will I take any of the Jinn save Kaylajan and Kurajan." Quoth the King, "Take with thee ten thousand horsemen of the Jinn, to serve thee;" but quoth Gharib, "I will take only as I said to thee." So Mura'ash bade a thousand Marids carry him to his native land, with his share of the spoil; and he commanded Kaylajan and Kurajan to follow him and obey him; and they answered, "Hearkening and obedience." Then said Gharib to the Marids, "Do ye carry the treasure and Star o' Morn;" for he himself thought to ride his flying steed. But Mura'ash said to him, "This horse, O my brother, will live only in our region, and, if it come upon man's earth, 'twill die: but I have in my stables a sea-horse, whose fellow is not found in Al-Irak, no, nor in all the world is its like." So he caused bring forth the horse, and when Gharib saw it, it interposed between him and his wits. Then they bound it and Kaylajan bore it on his shoulders and Kurajan took what he could carry. And Mura'ash embraced Gharib and wept for parting from him, saying, "O my brother, if aught befal thee wherein thou art powerless, send for me and I will come to thine aid with an army able to lay waste the whole earth and what is thereon." Gharib thanked him for his kindness and zeal for the True Faith and took leave of him; whereupon the Marids set out with Gharib and his goods; and, after traversing fifty years' journey in two days and a Night, alighted near the city of Oman and halted to take rest. Then Gharib sent out Kaylajan, to learn news of his people, and he returned and said, "O King, the city is beleaguered by a host of Infidels, as they were the surging sea, and thy people are fighting them. The drums beat to battle and Jamrkan goeth forth as champion in the field." When Gharib heard this, he cried aloud, "God is Most Great!" and said to Kaylajan, "Saddle me the steed and bring me my arms and spear; for to-day the valiant shall be known from the coward in the place of war and battle-stead." So Kaylajan brought him all he sought and Gharib armed and belting in baldrick Al-Mahik, mounted the sea horse and made toward the hosts. Quoth Kaylajan and Kurajan to him, Set thy heart at rest and let us go to the Kafirs and scatter them abroad in the wastes and wilds till, by the help of Allah, the All-powerful, we leave not a soul alive, no, not a blower of the fire." But Gharib said "By the virtue of Abraham the [Friend, I will not let you fight them without me and behold, I mount!" Now the cause of the coming of that great host was right mar vellous.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Six Hundred and Sixtieth Night,
She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Gharib had bidden Kaylajan go and learn news of his people, the Jinn fared forth and presently returning said, "Verily around thy city is a mighty host!" Now the cause of its coming was that Ajib, having fled the field after Ya'arub's army had been put to the rout, said to his people, "O folk, if we return to Ya'arub bin Kahtan, he will say to us, 'But for you, my son and my people had not been slain; and he will put us to death, even to the last man.' Wherefore, methinks we were better go to Tarkanan, King of Hind, and beseech him to avenge us." Replied they, "Come, let us go thither; and the blessing of the Fire be upon thee!" So they fared days and nights till they reached King Tarkanan's capital city and, after asking and obtaining permission to present himself, Ajib went in to him and kissed ground before him. Then he wished him what men use to wish to monarchy and said to him, "O King, protect me, so may protect thee the sparkling Fire and the Night with its thick darkness!" Tarkanan looked at Ajib and asked, "Who art thou and what dost thou want?"; to which the other answered, "I am Ajib King of Al-Irak; my brother hath wronged me and gotten the mastery of the land and the subjects have submitted themselves to him. Moreover, he hath embraced the faith of Al-Islam and he ceaseth not to chase me from country to country; and behold, I am come to seek protection of thee and thy power." When Tarkanan heard Ajib's words, he rose and sat down and cried, "By the virtue of the Fire, I will assuredly avenge thee and will let none serve other than my goddess the Fire!" And he called aloud to his son, saying, "O my son, make ready to go to Al-Irak and lay it waste and bind all who serve aught but the Fire and torment them and make example of them; yet slay them not, but bring them to me, that I may ply them with various tortures and make them taste the bitterness of humiliation and leave them a warning to whoso will be warned in this our while." Then he chose out to accompany him eighty-thousand fighting-men on horseback and the like number on giraffes, besides ten thousand elephants, bearing on their backs seats of sandal-wood, latticed with golden rods, plated and studded with gold and silver and shielded with pavoises of gold and emerald; moreover he sent good store of war-chariots, in each eight men fighting with all kinds of weapons. Now the Prince's name was Ra'ad Shah, and he was the cham pion of his time, for prowess having no peer. So he and his army equipped them in ten days' time, then set out, as they were a bank of clouds, and fared on two months' journey, till they came upon Oman city and encompassed it, to the joy of Ajib, who thought himself assured of victory. Jamrkan and Sa'adan and all their fighting-men sallied forth into the field of fight whilst the kettle-drums beat to battle and the horses neighed. At this moment up came King Gharib, who, as we have said, had been warned by Kaylajan; and he urged on his destrier and entered among the Infidels waiting to see who should come forth and open the chapter of war. Then out rushed Sa'adan the Ghul and offered combat, whereupon there issued forth to him one of the champions of Hind; but Sa'adan scarce let him take stand in front ere he smote him with his mace and crushed his bones and stretched him on the ground; and so did he with a second and a third, till he had slain thirty fighting-men. Then there dashed out at him an Indian cavalier, by name Battash al- Akran, uncle to King Tarkanan and of his day the doughtiest man, reckoned worth five thousand horse in battle-plain and cried out to Sa'adan, saying, "O thief of the Arabs, hath thy daring reached that degree that thou shouldst slay the Kings of Hind and their champions and capture their horsemen? But this day is the last of thy worldly days." When Sa'adan heard these words, his eyes waxed blood-red and he crave at Battash and aimed a stroke at him with his club; but he evaded it and the force of the blow bore Sa'adan to the ground; and before he could recover himself, the Indians pinioned him and haled him off to their tents. Now when Jamrkan saw his comrade a prisoner, he cried out, saying, "Ho for the Faith of Abraham the Friend!" and clapping heel to his horse, ran at Battash. They wheeled about awhile, till Battash charged Jamrkan and catching him by his jerkin tare him from his saddle and cast him to the ground; whereupon the Indians bound him and dragged him away to their tents. And Battash ceased not to overcome all who came out to him, Captain after Captain till he had made prisoners of four-and-twenty Chiefs of the Moslems, whereat the True Believers were sore dismayed. When Gharib saw what had befallen his braves, he drew from beneath his knee a mace of gold weighing six-score pounds which had belonged to Barkan King of the Jann--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.
When it was the Six Hundred and Sixty-first Night,
She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Gharib beheld what had befallen his braves he drew forth a golden mace which had belonged to Barkan King of the Jann and clapped heel to his sea horse, which bore him like the wind gust into mid-field. Then he let drive at Battash, crying out, "God is Most Great! He giveth aid and victory and He abaseth whoso reject the Faith of Abraham the Friend!" and smote him with the mace, whereupon he fell to the ground and Gharib, turning to the Moslems, saw his brother Sahim and said to him, "Pinion me this hound." When Sahim heard his brother's words, he ran to Battash and bound him hard and fast and bore him off, whilst the Moslem braves wondered who this knight could be and the Indians said one to other, "Who is this horseman which came out from among them and hath taken our Chief prisoner?" Meanwhile Gharib continued to offer battle and there issued forth to him a captain of the Hindis whom he felled to earth with his mace, and Kaylajan and Kurajan pinioned him and delivered him over to Sahim; nor did Gharib leave to do thus, till he had taken prisoner two-and-fifty of the doughtiest Captains of the army of Hind. Then the day came to an end and the kettle-drums beat the retreat; whereupon Gharib left the field and rode towards the Moslem camp. The first to meet him was Sahim, who kissed his feet in the stirrups and said, "May thy hand never wither, O champion of the age! Tell us who thou art among the braves." So Gharib raised his vizor of mail and Sahim knew him and cried out, saying, "This is your King and your lord Gharib, who is come back from the land of the Jann!" When the Moslems heard Gharib 's name, they threw themselves off their horses' backs, and, crowding about him, kissed his feet in the stirrups and saluted him, rejoicing in his safe return. Then they carried him into the city of Oman, where he entered his palace and sat down on the throne of his kingship, whilst his officers stood around him in the utmost joy. Food was set on and they ate, after which Gharib related to them all that had betided him with the Jinn in Mount Kaf, and they marvelled thereat with exceeding marvel and praised Allah for his safety. Then he dismissed them to their sleeping places; so they withdrew to their several lodgings, and when none abode with him but Kaylajan and Kurajan, who never left him, he said to them, "Can ye carry me to Cufa that I may take my pleasure in my Harim, and bring me back before the end of the night?" They replied, "O our lord, this thou askest is easy." Now the distance between Cufa and Oman is sixty days' journey for a diligent horseman, and Kaylajan said to Kurajan, "I will carry him going and thou coming back." So he took up Gharib and flew off with him, in company with Kurajan; nor was an hour past before they set him down at the gate of his palace, in Cufa. He went in to his uncle Al- Damigh, who rose to him and saluted him; after which quoth Gharib, "How is it with my wives Fakhr Taj and Mahdiyah?" Al-Damigh answered, "They are both well and in good case." Then the eunuch went in and acquainted the women of the Harim with Gharib's coming, whereat they rejoiced and raised the trill of joy and gave him the reward for good news. Presently in came King Gharib, and they rose and saluting him, conversed with him, till Al- Damigh entered, when Gharib related to them all that had befallen him in the land of the Jinn, whereat they all marvelled. Then he lay with Fakhr Taj till near daybreak, when he took leave of his wives and his uncle and mounted Kurajan's back, nor was the darkness dispelled before the two Marids set him down in the city of Oman. Then he and his men armed and he bade open the gates when, behold, up came a horseman from the host of the Indians, with Jamrkan and Sa'adan and the rest of the captive captains whom he had delivered, and committed them to Gharib. The Moslems, rejoicing in their safety, donned their mails and took horse, while the kettle-drums beat a point of war; and the Miscreants also drew up in line.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Six Hundred and Sixty-second Night,
She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the Moslem host mounted and rode to the plain of cut and thrust, the first to open the door of war was King Gharib who, drawing his sword Al-Mahik, drove his charger between the two ranks and cried out, saying, "Whoso knoweth me hath enough of my mis chief and whoso unknoweth me, to him I will make myself known. I am Gharib, King of Al-Irak and Al-Yaman, brother of Ajib." When Ra'ad Shah, son of the King of Hind, heard this, he shouted to his captains, "Bring me Ajib." So they brought him and Ra'ad Shah said to him, "Thou wottest that this quarrel is thy quarrel and thou art the cause of all this slaughter. Now yonder standeth thy brother Gharib amiddle-most the fightfield and stead where sword and spear we shall wield; go thou to him and bring him to me a prisoner, that I may set him on a camel arsy-versy, and make a show of him and carry him to the land of Hind." Answered Ajib, "O King, send out to him other than I, for I am in ill-health this morning." But Ra'ad Shah sparked and snorted and cried, "By the virtue of the sparkling Fire and the light and the shade and the heat, unless thou fare forth to thy brother and bring him to me in haste, I will cut off thy head and make an end of thee." So Ajib took heart and urging his horse up to his brother in mid-field, said to him, "O dog of the Arabs and vilest of all who hammer down tent pegs, wilt thou contend with Kings? Take what to thee cometh and receive the glad tidings of thy death." When Gharib heard this, he said to him, "Who art thou among the Kings? And Ajib answered, saying, "I am thy brother, and this day is the last of thy worldly days." Now when Gharib was assured that he was indeed his brother Ajib, he cried out and said, "Ho, to avenge my father and mother!" Then giving his sword to Kaylajan, he crave at Ajib and smote him with his mace a smashing blow and a swashing, that went nigh to beat in his ribs, and seizing him by the mail gorges tore him from the saddle and cast him to the ground; whereupon the two Marids pounced upon him and binding him fast, dragged him off dejected and abject; whilst Gharib rejoiced in the capture of his enemy and repeated these couplets of the poet,
"I have won my wish and my need have scored * Unto Thee be the praise and the thanks, O our Lord!
I grew up dejected and abject; poor, * But Allah vouchsafed me all boons implored:
I have conquered countries and mastered men * But for Thee were I naught, O thou Lord adored!"
When Ra'ad Shah saw how evilly Ajib fared with his brother, he called for his charger and donning his harness and habergeon, mounted and dashed out a field. As soon as he drew near King Gharib, he cried out at him, saying, "O basest of Arabs and bearer of scrubs, who art thou, that thou shouldest capture Kings and braves? Down from thy horse and put elbows behind back and kiss my feet and set my warriors free and go with me in bond of chains to my reign that I may pardon thee and make thee a Shayth in our own land, so mayst thou eat there a bittock of bread." When Gharib heard these words he laughed till he fell backwards and answered, saying, "O mad hound and mangy wolf, soon shalt thou see against whom the shifts of Fortune will turn!" Then he cried out to Sahim, saying, "Bring me the prisoners; so he brought them, and Gharib smote off their heads whereupon Ra'ad Shah crave at him, with the driving of a lordly champion and the onslaught of a fierce slaughterer and they falsed and feinted and fought till nightfall, when the kettle-drums beat the retreat.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.
When it was the Six Hundred and Sixty-third Night,
She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the kettledrums beat the retreat, the two Kings parted and returned, each to his own place where his people gave him joy of his safety. And the Moslems said to Gharib, " 'Tis not thy wont O King, to prolong a fight;" and he replied, "O folk, I have done battle with many royalties and champions; but never saw I a harder hitter than this one. Had I chosen to draw Al-Mahik upon him, I had mashed his bones and made an end of his days: but I delayed with him, thinking to take him prisoner and give him part enjoyment in Al-Islam." Thus far concerning Gharib; but as regards Ra'ad Shah, he returned to his marquee and sat upon his throne, when his Chiefs came in to him and asked him of his adversary, and he answered, "By the truth of the sparkling Fire, never in my life saw I the like of yonder brave! But to-morrow I will take him prisoner and lead him away dejected and abject." Then they slept till daybreak, when the battle-drums beat to fight and the swords in baldric were dight; and war-cries were cried amain and all mounted their horses of generous strain and drew out into the field, filling every wide place and hill and plain. The first to open the door of war was the rider outrageous and the lion rageous, King Gharib, who crave his steed between the two hosts and wheeled and careered over the field, crying, "Who is for fray, who is for fight? Let no sluggard come out to me this day nor dullard!" Before he had made an end of speaking, out rushed Ra'ad Shah, riding on an elephant, as he were a vast tower, in a eat girthed with silken bands; and between the elephant's ears at the driver, bearing in hand a hook, wherewith he goaded the beast and directed him right and left. When the elephant drew near Gharib's horse, and the steed saw a creature it had never before set eyes on, it took fright; wherefore Gharib dismounted and gave the horse to Kaylajan. Then he drew Al-Mahik and advanced to meet Ra'ad Shah a-foot, walking on till he faced the elephant. Now it was Ra'ad Shah's wont, when he found himself overmatched by any brave, to mount an elephant, taking with him an implement called the lasso, which was in the shape of a net, wide at base and narrow at top with a running cord of silk passed through rings along its edges. With this he would attack horsemen and casting the meshes over them, draw the running noose and drag the rider off his horse and make him prisoner; and thus had he conquered many cavaliers. So, as Gharib came up to him, he raised his hand and, despreading the net over him, pulled him on to the back of the elephant and cried out to the beast to return to the Indian camp. But Kaylajan and Kurajan had not left Gharib and, when they beheld what had befallen their lord, they laid hold of the elephant, whilst Gharib strove with the net, till he rent it in sunder. Upon this the two Marids seized Ra'ad Shah and bound him with a cord of palm fibre. Then the two armies drove each at other and met with a shock like two seas crashing or two mountains together dashing, whilst the dust rose to the confines of the sky and blinded was every eye. The battle waxed fierce and fell, the blood ran in rills, nor did they cease to wage war with lunge of lance and sway of sword in lustiest way, till the day darkened and the night starkened, when the drums beat the retreat and the two hosts drew asunder. Now the Moslems were evilly entreated that day by reason of the riders on elephants and giraffes, and many of them were killed and most of the rest were wounded. This was grievous to Gharib who commanded the hurt to be medicined and turning to his Chief Officers, asked them what they counselled. Answered they, "O King, 'tis only the elephants and giraffes that irk us; were we but quit of them, we should overcome the enemy." Quoth Kaylajan and Kurajan, "We twain will unsheath our swords and fall on them and slay the most part of them." But there came forward a man of Oman, who had been privy counsellor to Jaland and said, "O King, I will be surety for the host, an thou wilt but hearken to me and follow my counsel." Gharib turned to his Captains and said to them, "Whatsoever this wise man shall say to you that do."--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Six Hundred and Sixty-fourth Night,
She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Gharib said to his Captains, "Whatsoever this wise man shall say to you, that do"; they replied, "Hearing and obeying!" So the Omani chose out ten captains and asked them, "How many braves have ye under your hands?"; and they answered, "Ten thousand fighting-men." Then he carried them into the armoury and armed five thousand of them with harquebuses and other five thousand with cross bows and taught them to shoot with these new weapons. Now as soon as it was day, the Indians came out to the field, armed cap-a-pie, with the elephants, giraffes and champions in their van; whereupon Gharib and his men mounted and both hosts drew out and the big drums beat to battle. Then the man of Oman cried out to the archers and harquebusiers to shoot, and they plied the elephants and giraffes with shafts and leaden bullets, which entered the beasts' flanks, whereat they roared out and turning upon their own ranks, trod them down with their hoofs. Presently the Moslems charged the Misbelievers and outflanked them right and left, whilst the elephants and giraffes trampled them and drove them into the hills and words, whither the Moslems followed hard upon them with the keen-edged sword and but few of the giraffes and elephants escaped. Then King Gharib and his folk returned, rejoicing in their victory; and on the morrow they divided the loot and rested five days; after which King Gharib sat down on the throne of his kingship and sending for his brother Ajib, said to him, "O dog, why hast thou assembled the Kings against us? But He who hath power over all things hath given us the victory over thee. So embrace the Saving Faith and thou shalt be saved, and I will forbear to avenge my father and mother on thee therefor, and I will make thee King again as thou west, placing myself under thy hand." But Ajib said, "I will not leave my faith." So Gharib bade lay him in irons and appointed an hundred stalwart slaves to guard him; after which he turned to Ra'ad Shah and said to him, "How sayst thou of the faith of Al-Islam?" Replied he, "O my lord, I will enter thy faith; for, were it not a true Faith and a goodly, thou hadst not conquered us. Put forth thy hand and I will testify that there is no god but the God and that Abraham the Friend is the Apostle of God." At this Gharib rejoiced and said to him, "Is thy heart indeed stablished in the sweetness of this Belief?" And he answered, saying, "Yes, O my lord!" Then quoth Gharib, "O. Ra'ad Shah, wilt thou go to thy country and thy kingdom?" and quoth he, "O. my lord, my father will put me to death, for that I have left his faith." Gharib rejoined, "I will go with thee and make thee king of the country and constrain the folk to obey thee, by the help of Allah the Bountiful, the Beneficent." And Ra'ad Shah kissed his hands and feet. Then Gharib rewarded the counsellor who had caused the rout of the foe and gave him great wealth; after which he turned to Kaylajan and Kurajan, and said to them, "Harkye, Chiefs of the Jinn, 'tis my will that ye carry me, together with Ra'ad Shah and Jamrkan and Sa'adan to the land of Hind." "We hear and we obey," answered they. So Kurajan took up Jamrkan and Sa'adan, whilst Kaylajan took Gharib and Ra'ad Shah and made for the land of Hind.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.
When it was the Six Hundred and and Sixty-fifth Night,
She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the two Marids had taken up Gharib and Jamrkan, Sa'adan the Ghul and Ra'ad Shah, they flew on with them from sundown till the last of the Night, when they set them down on the terrace of King Tarkanan's palace at Cashmere. Now news was brought to Tarkanan by the remnants of his host of what had befallen his son, whereat he slept not neither took delight in aught, and he was troubled with sore trouble. As he sat in his Harim, pondering his case, behold, Gharib and his company descended the stairways of the palace and came in to him; and when he saw his son and those who were with him, he was confused and fear took him of the Marids. Then Ra'ad Shah turned to him and said, "How long wilt thou persist in thy frowardness, O traitor and worshipper of the Fire? Woe to thee! Leave worshipping the Fire and serve the Magnanimous Sire, Creator of day and Night, whom attaineth no sight." When Tarkanan heard his son's speech, he cast at him an iron club he had by him; but it missed him and fell upon a buttress of the palace and smote out three stones. Then cried the King, "O dog, thou hast destroyed mine army and hast forsaken thy faith and comest now to make me do likewise!" With this Gharib went up to him and dealt him a cuff on the neck which knocked him down; whereupon the Marids bound him fast and all the Harim- women fled. Then Gharib sat down on the throne of kingship and said to Ra'ad Shah, "Do thou justice upon thy father." So Ra'ad Shah turned to him and said, 'O perverse old man, become one of the saved and thou shalt be saved from the fire and the wrath of the All-powerful" But Tarkanan cried, "I will not die save in my own faith" Whereupon Gharib drew Al-Mahik and smote him therewith and he fell to the earth in two pieces, and Allah hurried his soul to the fire and abiding-place dire. Then Gharib bade hang his body over the palace gate and they hung one half on the right hand and the other on the left and waited till day, when Gharib caused Ra'ad Shah don the royal habit and sit down on his father's throne, with himself on his dexter hand and Jamrkan and Sa'adan and the Marids standing right and left; and he said to Kaylajan and Kurajan, "Whoso entereth of the Princes and Officers, seize him and bind him, and let not a single Captain escape you." And they answered, "Hearkening and obedience!" Presently the Officers made for the palace, to do their service to e King, and the first to appear was the Chief Captain who, seeing King Tarkanan's dead body cut in half and hanging on either side of the gate, was seized with terror and amazement. Then Kaylajan laid hold of him by the collar and threw him and intoned him; after which he dragged him into the palace and before sunrise they had bound three hundred and fifty Captains and set them before Gharib, who said to them, "O folk, have you seen your King hanging at the palace gate?" Asked they, "Who hath done this deed?"; and he answered, "I did it, by the help of Allah Almighty; and whoso opposeth me, I will do with him likewise." Then quoth they, "What is thy will with us?"; and quoth he, "I am Gharib, King of Al-Irak, he who slew your warriors; and now Ra'ad Shah hath embraced the Faith of Salvation and is become a mighty King and ruler over you. So do ye become True Believers and all shall be well with you; but, if ye refuse, you shall repent it." So they pronounced the profession of the Faith and were enrolled among the people of felicity. Then said Gharib, "Are your hearts indeed stablished in the sweetness of the Belief?"; and they replied, "Yes"; whereupon he bade release them and clad them in robes of honour, saying, "Go to your people and expound Al-Islam to them. Whoso accepteth the Faith spare him; but if he refuse slay him."--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Six Hundred and Sixty-sixth Night,
She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that King Gharib said to the troops of Ra'ad Shah, "Go to your people and offer Al-Islam to them. Whoso accepteth the Faith spare him; but if he refuse, slay him." So they went out and, assembling the men under their command, explained what had taken place and expounded Al-Islam to them and they all professed. except a few, whom they put to death; after which they returned and told Gharib, who blessed Allah and glorified Him, saying, "Praised be the Almighty who hath made this thing easy to us without strife!" Then he abode in Cashmere of India forty days, till he had ordered the affairs of the country and cast down the shrines and temples of the Fire and built in their stead mosques and cathedrals, whilst Ra'ad Shah made ready for him rarities and treasures beyond count and despatched them to Al-Irak in ships Then Gharib mounted on Kaylajan's back and Jamrkan and Sa'adan on that of Kurajan, after they had taken leave of Ra'ad Shah; and journeyed through the night till break of day, when they reached Oman city where their troops met them and saluted them and rejoiced in them. Then they set out for Cufa where Gharib called for his brother Ajib and commanded to hang him. So Sahim brought hooks of iron and driving them into the tendons of Ajib's heels, hung him over the gate; and Gharib bade them shoot him; so they riddled him with arrows, till he was like unto a porcupine. Then Gharib entered his palace and sitting down on the throne of his kingship, passed the day in ordering the affairs of the state. At nightfall he went in to his Harim, where Star o' Morn came to meet him and embraced him and gave him joy, she and her women, of his safety. He spent that day and lay that night with her and on the morrow, after he had made the Ghusl-ablution and prayed the dawn-prayer, he sat down on his throne and commanded preparation to be made for his marriage with Mahdiyah. Accordingly they slaughtered three thousand head of sheep and two thousand oxen and a thousand he goats and five hundred camels and the like number of horses, beside four thousand fowls and great store of geese; never was such wedding in Al-Islam to that day. Then he went in to Mahdiyah and took her maidenhead and abode with her ten days; after which he committed the kingdom to his uncle Al-Damigh, charging him to rule the lieges justly, and journeyed with his women and warriors, till he came to the ships laden with the treasures and rarities which Ra'ad Shah had sent him, and divided the monies among his men who from poor became rich. Then they fared on till they reached the city of Babel, where he bestowed on Sahim Al-Layl a robe of honour and appointed him Sultan of the city.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.
When it was the Six Hundred and Sixty-seventh Night,
She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Gharib, after robing his brother Sahim and appointing him Sultan, abode with him ten days, after which he set out again and journeyed nor stinted travel till he reached the castle of Sa'adan the Ghul, where they rested five days. Then quoth Gharib to Kaylajan and Kurajan' "Pass over to Isbanir al-Madain, to the palace of the Chosroe, and find what is come of Fakhr Taj and bring me one of the King's kinsmen, who shall acquaint me with what hath passed." Quoth they, "We hear and we obey," and set out forthright for Isbanir. As they flew between heaven and earth, behold, they caught sight of a mighty army, as it were the surging sea, and Kaylajan said to Kurajan, "Let us descend and determine what be this host." So they alighted and walking among the troops, found them Persians and questioned the soldiers whose men they were and whither they were bound; whereto they made answer, "We are en route for Al-Irak, to slay Gharib and all who company him." When the Marids heard these words, they repaired to the pavilion of the Persian general, whose name was Rustam, and waited till the soldiers slept, when they took up Rustam, bed and all, and made for the castle where Gharib lay. They arrived there by midnight and going to the door of the King's pavilion, cried, "Permission!" which when he heard, he sat up and said, "Come in." So they entered and set down the couch with Rustam asleep thereon. Gharib asked, "Who be this?" and they answered, "This be a Persian Prince, whom we met coming with a great host, thinking to slay thee and thine, and we have brought him to thee, that he may tell thee what thou hast a mind to know." "Fetch me an hundred braves!" cried Gharib, and they fetched them; whereupon he bade them, "Draw your swords and stand at the head of this Persian carle!" Then they awoke him and he opened his eyes; and, finding an arch of steel over his head, shut them again, crying, "What be this foul dream?" But Kaylajan pricked him with his sword point and he sat up and said, "Where am I?" Quoth Sahim, "Thou art in the presence of King Gharib, son-in- law of the King of the Persians. What is thy name and whither goest thou?" When Rustam heard Gharib's name' he bethought himself and said in his mind, "Am I asleep or awake? Whereupon Sahim dealt him a buffet, saying, "Why dost thou not answer?" And he raised his head and asked, "Who brought me from my tent out of the midst of my men?" Gharib answered, "These two Marids brought thee." So he looked at Kaylajan and Kurajan and skited in his bag-trousers. Then the Marids fell upon him, baring their tusks and brandishing their blades, and said to him, "Wilt thou not rise and kiss ground before King Gharib?" And he trembled at them and was assured that he was not asleep; so he stood up and kissed the ground between the hands of Gharib, saying, "The blessing of the Fire be on thee, and long life be thy life, O King!" Gharib cried, "O dog of the Persians, fire is not worshipful, for that it is harmful and profiteth not save in cooking food." Asked Rustam, "Who then is worshipful?"; and Gharib answered, "Alone worshipworth is God, who formed thee and fashioned thee and created the heavens and the earth." Quoth the Ajami, "What shall I say that I may become of the party of this Lord and enter thy Faith?"; and quoth Gharib, "Say, 'There is no god but the God, and Abraham is the Friend of God'." So Rustam pronounced the profession of the Faith and was enrolled among the people of felicity. Then said he to Gharib, "Know, O my lord, that thy father-in-law, King Sabur, seeketh to slay thee; and indeed he hath sent me with an hundred thousand men, charging me to spare none of you." Gharib rejoined, "Is this my reward for having delivered his daughter from death and dishonour? Allah will requite him his ill intent. But what is thy name?" The Persian answered, "My name is Rustam, general of Sabur;" and Gharib, "Thou shalt have the like rank in my army," adding, "But tell me, O Rustam, how is it with the Princess Fakhr Taj?" "May thy head live, O King of the age!" "What was the cause of her death?" Rustam replied, "O my lord, no sooner hadst thou left us than one of the Princess's women went in to King Sabur and said to him, 'O my master, didst thou give Gharib leave to lie with the Princess my mistress?' whereto he answered, 'No, by the virtue of the fire!' and drawing his sword, went in to his daughter and said to her, 'O foul baggage, why didst thou suffer yonder Badawi to sleep with thee, without dower or even wedding?' She replied, 'O my papa, 'twas thou gayest him leave to sleep with me.' Then he asked, 'Did the fellow have thee?' but she was silent and hung down her head. Hereupon he cried out to the midwives and slave-girls, saying, 'Pinion me this harlot's elbows behind her and look at her privy parts.' So they did as he bade them and after inspecting her slit said to him, 'O King, she hath lost her maidenhead Whereupon he ran at her and would have slain her, but her mother rose up and threw herself between them crying, 'O King, slay her not, lest thou be for ever dishonoured; but shut her in a cell till she die.' So he cast her into prison till nightfall, when he called two of his courtiers and said to them, 'Carry her afar off and throw her into the river Jayhun and tell none.' They did his commandment, and indeed her memory is forgotten and her time is past."--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Six Hundred and Sixty-eighth Night,
She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Gharib asked news of Fakhr Taj, Rustam informed him that she had been drowned in the river by her sire's command. And when Gharib heard this, the world waxed wan before his eyes and he cried, "By the virtue of Abraham the Friend, I will assuredly go to yonder dog and overwhelm him and lay waste his realm!" Then he sent letters to Jamrkan and to the governors of Mosul and Mayyafarikin; and, turning to Rustam, said to him, "How many men hadst thou in thine army?" He replied, "An hundred thousand Persian horse;" and Gharib rejoined, "Take ten thousand horse and go to thy people and occupy them with war; I will follow on thy trail." So Rustam mounted and taking ten thousand Arab horse made for his tribe, saying in himself, "I will do a deed shall whiten my face with King Gharib." So he fared on seven days, till there remained but half a day's journey between him and the Persian camp; when, dividing his host into four divisions he said to his men, "Surround the Persians on all sides and fall upon them with the sword." They rode on from eventide till midnight, when they had compassed the camp of the Ajamis, who were asleep in security, and fell upon them, shouting, "God is Most Great!" Whereupon the Persians started up from sleep and their feet slipped and the sabre went round amongst them; for the All-knowing King was wroth with them, and Rustam wrought amongst them as fire in dry fuel; till, by the end of the night, the whole of the Persian host was slain or wounded or fled, and the Moslems made prize of their tents and baggage, horses, camels and treasure-chests. Then they alighted and rested in the tents of the Ajamis till King Gharib came up and, seeing what Rustam had done and how he had gained by stratagem a great and complete victory, he invested him with a robe of honour and said to him, "O Rustam, it was thou didst put the Persians to the rout; wherefore all the spoil is thine." So he kissed Gharib's hand and thanked him, and they rested till the end of the day, when they set out for King Sabur's capital. Meanwhile, the fugitives of the defeated force reached Isbanir and went in to Sabur, crying out and saying, "Alas!" and "Well-away!" and "Woe worth the day!" Quoth he, "What hath befallen you and who with his mischief hath smitten you?" So they told him all that had passed and said, "Naught befel us except that thy general Rustam, fell upon us in the darkness of the night because he had turned Moslem; nor did Gharib come near us." When the King heard this, he cast his crown to the ground and said, "There is no worth left us!" Then he turned to his son Ward Shah and said to him, "O my son, there is none for this affair save thou." Answered Ward Shah, "By thy life, O my father, I will assuredly bring Gharib and his chiefs of the people in chains and slay all who are with him" Then he numbered his army and found it two hundred and twenty-thousand men. So they slept, intending to set forth on the morrow; but, next morning, as they were about to march, behold, a cloud of dust arose and spread till it walled the world and baffled the sight of the farthest seeing wight. Now Sabur had mounted to farewell his son, and when he saw this mighty great dust, he let call a runner and said to him, "Go find me out the cause of this dust-cloud." The scout went and returned, saying, "O my lord, Gharib and his braves are upon you;" whereupon they unloaded their bat-beasts and drew out in line of battle. When Gharib came up and saw the Persians ranged in row, he cried out to his men, saying, "Charge with the blessing of Allah!" So they waved the flags, and the Arabs and the Ajamis crave one at other and folk were heaped upon folk. Blood ran like water and all souls saw death face to face; the brave advanced and pressed forward to assail and the coward hung back and turned tail and they ceased not from fight and fray till ended day, when the kettle-drums beat the retreat and the two hosts drew apart. Then Sabur commanded to pitch his camp hard over the city-gate, and Gharib set up his pavilions in front of theirs; and every one went to his tent.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.
When it was the Six Hundred and Sixty-ninth Night,
She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the two hosts drew apart, every one went to his tent until the morning. As soon as it was day, the two hosts mounted their strong steeds and levelled their lances and wore their harness of war; then they raised their slogan cries and drew out in battle-array, whilst came forth all the lordly knights and the lions of fights. Now the first to open the gate of battle was Rustam, who urged his charger into mid-field and cried out, "God is most Great! I am Rustam, champion-in-chief of the Arabs and Ajamis. Who is for tilting, who is for fighting? Let no sluggard come out to me this day nor weakling!" Then there rushed forth to him a champion of the Persians; the two charged each other and there befel between them a sore fight, till Rustam sprang upon his adversary and smote him with a mace he had with him, seventy pounds in weight, and beat his head down upon his breast, and he fell to the earth, dead and in his blood drowned. This was no light matter to Sabur and he commanded his men to charge; so they crave at the Moslems, invoking the aid of the light-giving Sun, whilst the True Believers called for help upon the Magnanimous King. But the Ajamis, the Miscreants, outnumbered the Arabs, the Moslems, and made them drain the cup of death; which when Gharib saw he drew his sword Al-Mahik and crying out his war-cry, fell upon the Persians, with Kaylajan and Kurajan at either stirrup; nor did he leave playing upon them with blade till he hewed his way to the standard-bearer and smote him on the head with the flat of his sword, whereupon he fell down in a fainting-fit and the two Marids bore him off to their camp. When the Persians saw the standard fall, they turned and fled and for the city-gates made; but the Moslems followed them with the blade and they crowded together to enter the city, so that they could not shut the gates and there died of them much people. Then Rustam and Sa'adan, Jamrkan and Sahim, Al-Damigh, Kaylajan and Kurajan and all the braves Mohammedan and the champions of Faith Unitarian fell upon the misbelieving Persians in the gates, and the blood of the Kafirs ran in the streets like a torrent till they threw down their arms and harness and called out for quarter; whereupon the Moslems stayed their swords from the slaughter and drove them to their tents, as one driveth a flock of sheep. Meanwhile Gharib returned to his pavilion, where he doffed his gear and washed himself of the blood of the Infidels; after which he donned his royal robes and sat down on his chair of estate. Then he called for the King of the Persians and said to him, "O dog of the Ajams, what moved thee to deal thus with thy daughter? How seest thou me unworthy to be her baron?" And Sabur answered, saying, "O King, punish me not because of that deed which I did; for I repent me and confronted thee not in fight but in my fear of thee.'' When Gharib heard these words he bade throw him flat and beat him. So they bastinadoed him, till he could no longer groan, and cast him among the prisoners. Then Gharib expounded Al-Islam to the Persians and one hundred and twenty-thousand of them embraced The Faith, and the rest he put to the sword. Moreover all the citizens professed Al-Islam and Gharib mounted and entered in great state the city Isbanir Al-Madain. Then he went into the King's palace and sitting down on Sabur's throne, gave robes and largesse and distributed the booty and treasure among the Arabs and Persians, wherefore they loved him and wished him victory and honour and endurance of days. But Fakhr Taj's mother remembered her daughter and raised the voice of mourning for her, and the palace was filled with wails and cries. Gharib heard this and entering the Harim, asked the women what ailed them, whereupon the Princess's mother came forward and said, "O my lord, thy presence put me in mind of my daughter and how she would have joyed in thy coming, had she been alive and well." Gharib wept for her and sitting down on his throne, called for Sabur, and they brought him stumbling in his shackles. Quoth Gharib to him, "O dog of the Persians, what didst thou do with thy daughter?" "I gave her to such an one and such an one," quoth the King, "saying, 'Drown her in the river Jayhun.'" So Gharib sent for the two men and asked them, "Is what he saith true?" Answered they, "Yes; but, O King, we did not drown her, nay we took pity on her and left her on the bank of the Jayhun, saying, 'Save thyself and return not to the city, lest the King slay thee and slay us with thee.' This is all we know of her."--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Six Hundred and Seventieth Night,
She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the two men ended the tale of Fakhr Taj with these words, "And we left her upon the bank of the river Jayhun!" Now, when Gharib heard this he bade bring the astrologers and said to them, "Strike me a board of geomancy and find out what is come of Fakhr Taj, and whether she is still in the bonds of life or dead." They did so and said, "O King of the age, it is manifest to us that the Princess is alive and hath borne a male child; but she is with a tribe of the Jinn, and will be parted from thee twenty years; count, therefore, how many years thou hast been absent in travel." So he reckoned up the years of his absence and found them eight years and said, "There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great!'' Then he sent for all Sabur's Governors of towns and strongholds and they came and did him homage. Now one day after this, as he sat in his palace, behold, a cloud of dust appeared in the distance and spread till it walled the whole land and darkened the horizon. So he summoned the two Marids and bade them reconnoitre, and they went forth under the dust-cloud and snatching up a horseman of the advancing host, returned and set him down before Gharib, saying, "Ask this fellow, for he is of the army." Quoth Gharib, "Whose power is this?" and the man answered, "O King, 'tis the army of Khirad Shah, King of Shiras, who is come forth to fight thee." Now the cause of Khirad Shah's coming was this. When Gharib defeated Sabur's army, as hath been related, and took him prisoner, the King's son fled, with a handful of his father's force and ceased not flying till he reached the city of Shiras, where he went into King Khirad Shah and kissed ground before him, whilst the tears ran down his cheeks. When the King saw him in this case, he said to him, "Lift thy head, O youth, and tell me what maketh thee weep." He replied, "O King, a King of the Arabs, by name Gharib, hath fallen on us and captured the King my sire and slain the Persians making them drain the cup of death." And he told him all that had passed from first to last Quoth Khirad Shah, "Is my wife well?" and quoth the Prince "Gharib hath taken her." Cried the King "As my head liveth I will not leave a Badawi or a Moslem on the face of the earth'" So he wrote letters to his Viceroys, who levied their troops and joined him with an army which when reviewed numbered eighty-five thousand men. Then he opened his armouries and distributed arms and armour to the troops, after which he set out with them and journeyed till he came to Isbanir, and all encamped before the city-gate. Hereupon Kaylajan and Kurajan came in to Gharib and kissing his knee, said to him, "O our Lord, heal our hearts and give us this host to our share." And he said, "Up and at them!" So the two Marids flew aloft high in the lift and lighting down in the pavilion of the King of Shiras, found him seated on his chair of estate, with the Prince of Persia Ward Shah son of Sabur, sitting on his right hand, and about him his Captains, with whom he was taking counsel for the slaughter of the Moslems. Kaylajan came forward and caught up the Prince and Kurajan snatched Up the King and the twain flew back with them to Gharib, who caused beat them till they fainted Then the Marids returned to the Shirazian camp and, drawing their swords, which no mortal man had strength to wield, fell upon the Misbelievers and Allah hurried their souls to the Fire and abiding-place dire, whilst they saw no one and nothing save two swords flashing and reaping men, as a husbandman reaps corn. So they left their tents and mounting their horses bare- backed, fled, and the Marids pursued them two days and slew of them much people; after which they returned and kissed Gharib's hand. He thanked them for the deed they had done and said to them, "The spoil of the Infidels is yours alone: none shall share with you therein." So they called down blessings on him and going forth, gathered the booty together and abode in their own homes. On this wise it fared with them; but as regards Gharib and his lieges,--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.
When it was the Six Hundred and Seventy-first Night,
She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that after Gharib had put to flight the host of Khirad Shah, he bade Kaylajan and Kurajan take the spoil to their own possession nor hare it with any; so they gathered the booty and abode in their own homes. Meanwhile the remains of the beaten force ceased not flying till they reached the city of Shiras and there lifted up the voice of weeping and began the ceremonial lamentations for those of them that had been slain. Now King Khirad Shah had a brother Siran the Sorcerer highs, than whom there was no greater wizard in his day, and he lived apart from his brother in a certain stronghold, called the Fortalice of Fruits, in a place abounding in trees and streams and birds and blooms, half a day's journey from Shiras. So the fugitives betook them thither and went in to Siran the Sorcerer, weeping and wailing aloud. Quoth he, "O folk, what garreth you weep?" and they told him all that had happened, especially how the two Marids had carried off his brother Khirad Shah; whereupon the light of his eyes became night and he said, "By the virtue of my faith, I will certainly slay Gharib and all his men and leave not one alive to tell the tale!" Then he pronounced certain magical words and summoned the Red King, who appeared and Siran said to him, "Fare for Isbanir and fall on Gharib, as he sitteth upon his throne." Replied he, "Hearkening and obedience!" and, gathering his troops, repaired to Isbanir and assailed Gharib, who seeing him, drew his sword Al-Mahik and he and Kaylajan and Kurajan fell upon the army of the Red King and slew of them five hundred and thirty and wounded the King himself with a grevious wound; whereupon he and his people fled and stayed not in their flight, till they reached the Fortalice of Fruits and went into Siran, crying out and exclaiming, "Woe!" and "Ruin!" And the Red King said to Siran, "O sage, Gharib hath with him the enchanted sword of Japhet son of Noah, and whomsoever he smiteth therewith he severeth him in sunder, and with him also are two Marids from Mount Caucasus, given to him by King Mura'ash. He it is who slew the Blue King and Barkan Lord of the Carnelian City, and did to death much people of the Jinn." When the Enchanter heard this, he said to the Red King "Go," and he went his ways; whereupon he resumed his conjurations, and calling up a Marid, by name Zu'azi'a gave him a drachm of levigated Bhang and said to him, "Go thou to Isbanir and enter King Gharib's palace and assume the form of a sparrow. Wait till he fall asleep and there be none with him; then put the Bhang up his nostrils and bring him to me." "To hear is to obey," replied the Marid and flew to Isbanir, where, changing himself into a sparrow, he perched on the window of the palace and waited till all Gharib's attendants retired to their rooms and the King himself slept. Then he flew down and going up to Gharib, blew the powdered Bhang into his nostrils, till he lost his senses, whereupon he wrapped him in the bed-coverlet and flew off with him, like the storm wind, to the Fortalice of Fruits; where he arrived at midnight and laid his prize before Siran. The Sorcerer thanked him and would have put Gharib to death, as he lay senseless under Bhang; but a man of his people withheld him saying, "O Sage, an thou slay him, his friend King Mura'ash will fall on us with all his Ifrits and lay waste our realm." "How then shall we do with him?" asked Siran, and the other answered, "Cast him into the Jayhun while he is still in Bhang and he shall be drowned and none will know who threw him in." And Siran bade the Marid take Gharib and cast him into Jayhun river.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Six Hundred and Seventy-second Night,
She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Marid took Gharib and carried him to the Jayhun purposing to cast him therein, but it was grievous to him to drown him, wherefore he made a raft of wood and binding it with cords, pushed it out (and Gharib thereon) into the current, which carried it away. Thus fared it with Gharib; but as regards his people, when they awoke in the morning and went in to do their service to their King, they found him not and seeing his rosary on the throne, awaited him awhile, but he came not. So they sought out the head Chamberlain and said to him, "Go into the Harim and look for the King: for it is not his habit to tarry till this time." Accordingly, the Chamberlain entered the Serraglio and enquired for the King, but the women said, "Since yesterday we have not seen him." Thereupon he returned and told the Officers, who were confounded and said, "Let us see if he have gone to take his pleasure in the gardens." Then they went out and questioned the gardeners if they had seen the King, and they answered, "No;" whereat they were sore concerned and searched all the garths till the end of the day, when they returned in tears. Moreover, the two Marids sought for him all round the city, but came back after three days, without having happened on any tidings of him. So the people donned black and made their complaint to the Lord of all worshipping men who cloth as he is fain. Meanwhile, the current bore the raft along for five days till it brought it to the salt sea, where the waves disported with Gharib and his stomach, being troubled, threw up the Bhang. Then he opened his eyes and finding himself in the midst of the main, a plaything of the billows, said, "There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great! Would to Heaven I wot who hath done this deed by me!" Presently as he lay, perplexed concerning his case, lo! he caught sight of a ship sailing by and signalled with his sleeve to the sailors, who came to him and took him up, saying, "Who art thou and whence comest thou?" He replied, "Do ye feed me and give me to drink, till I recover myself, and after I will tell you who I am." So they brought him water and victual, and he ate and drank and Allah restored to him his reason. Then he asked them, "O folk, what countrymen are ye and what is your Faith?;" and they answered, "We are from Karaj and we worship an idol called Minkash." Cried Gharib, "Perdition to you and your idol! O dogs, none is worthy of wor strip save Allah who creased all things, who saith to a thing Be! and it becometh." When they heard this, they rose up and fell upon him in great wrath and would have seized him. Now he was without weapons, but whomsoever he struck, he smote down and deprived of life, till he had felled forty men, after which they overcame him by force of numbers and bound him fast, saying, "We will not slay him save in our own land, that we may first show him to our King." Then they sailed on till they came to the city of Karaj.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.
When it was the Six Hundred and Seventy-third Night,
She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the ship's crew seized Gharib and bound him fast they said, "We will not slay him save in our own land." Then they sailed on till they came to the city of Karaj, the builder whereof was an Amalekite, fierce and furious; and he had set up at each gate of the city a magical figure of copper which, whenever a stranger entered, blew a blast on a trumpet, that all in the city heard it and fell upon the stranger and slew him, except they embraced their creed When Gharib entered the city, the figure stationed at the gate blew such a horrible blast that the King was affrighted and going into his idol, found fire and smoke issuing from its mouth, nose and eyes. Now a Satan had entered the belly of the idol and speaking as with its tongue, said, "O King, there is come to thy city one highs Gharib, King of Al-Irak, who biddeth the folk quit their belief and worship his Lord; wherefore, when they bring him before thee, look thou spare him not." So the King went out and sat down on his throne; and presently, the sailors brought in Gharib and set him before the presence, saying, "O King, we found this youth shipwrecked in the midst of the sea, and he is a Kafir and believeth not in our gods." Then they told him all that had passed and the King said, "Carry him to the house of the Great Idol and cut his throat before him, so haply our god may look lovingly upon us." But the Wazir said, "O King, it befitteth not to slaughter him thus, for he would die in a moment: better we imprison him and build a pyre of fuel and burn him with fire." Thereupon the King commanded to cast Gharib into gaol and caused wood to be brought, and they made a mighty pyre and set fire to it, and it burnt till the morning. Then the King and the people of the city came forth and the Ruler sent to fetch Gharib; but his lieges found him not; so they returned and told their King who said, "And how made he his escape?" Quoth they, 'We found the chains and shackles cast down and the doors fast locked." Whereat the King marvelled and asked, Hath this fellow to Heaven up flown or into the earth gone down?;' and they answered, "We know not." Then said the King, "I will go and question my God, and he will inform me whither he is gone." So he rose and went in, to prostrate himself to his idol, but found it not and began to rub his eyes and say, "Am I in sleep or on wake?" Then he turned to his Wazir and said to him, "Where is my God and where is my prisoner? By my faith, O dog of Wazirs, haddest thou not counselled me to burn him, I had slaughtered him; for it is he who hath stolen my god and fled; and there is no help but I take brood-wreak of him!" Then he drew his sword and struck off the Wazir's head. Now there was for Gharib's escape with the idol a strange cause and it was on this wise. When they had shut him up in a cell adjoining the doomed shrine under which stood the idol, he rose to pray, calling upon the name of Almighty Allah and seeking deliverance of Him, to whom be honour and glory! The Marid who had charge of the idol and spoke in its name, heard him and fear got hold upon his heart and he said, "O shame upon me! Who is this seeth me while I see him not?" So he went in to Gharib and throwing himself at his feet, said to him, "O my Lord, what must I say that I may become of thy company and enter thy religion?" Replied Gharib, "Say, 'There is no god but the God and Abraham is the Friend of God.'" So the Marid pronounced the profession of Faith and was enrolled among the people of felicity. Now his name was Zalzal, son of Al-Muzalzil, one of the Chiefs of the Kings of the Jinn. Then he unbound Gharib and taking him and the idol, made for the higher air.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Six Hundred and Seventy-fourth Night,
She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Marid took up Gharib and the idol and made for the higher air. Such was his case; but as regards the King, when his soldiers saw what had befallen and the slaughter of the Wazir they renounced the worship of the idol and drawing their swords, slew the King; after which they fell on one another, and the sword went round amongst them three days, till there abode alive but two men, one of whom prevailed over the other and killed him. Then the boys attacked the survivor and slew him and fell to fighting amongst themselves, till they were all killed; and the women and girls fled to the hamlets and forted villages; wherefore the city became desert and none dwelt therein but the owl. Meanwhile, the Marid Zalzal flew with Gharib towards his own country, the Island of Camphor and the Castle of Crystal and the Land of the Enchanted Calf, so called because its King Al Muzalzil, had a pied calf, which he had clad in housings brocaded with red gold, and worshipped as a god. One day the King and his people went in to the calf and found him trembling; so the King said, "O my God, what hath troubled thee?" whereupon the Satan in the calf's belly cried out and said, "O Muzalzil, verily thy son hath deserted to the Faith of Abraham the Friend at the hands of Gharib Lord of Al-Irak;" and went on to tell him all that had passed from first to last. When the King heard the words of his calf he was confounded and going forth, sat down upon his throne. Then he summoned his Grandees who came in a body, and he told them what he had heard from the idol, whereat they marvelled and said, "What shall we do, O King?" Quoth he, "When my son cometh and ye see him embrace him, do ye lay hold of him." And they said, "Hearkening and obedience!" After two days came Zalzal and Gharib, with the King's idol of Karaj, but no sooner had they entered the palace-gate than the Jinn seized on them and carried them before Al-Muzalzil, who looked at his son with eyes of ire and said to him, "O dog of the Jann, hast thou left thy Faith and that of thy fathers and grandfathers?" Quoth Zalzal, "I have embraced the True Faith, and on like wise do thou (Woe be to thee!) seek salvation and thou shalt be saved from the wrath of the King Almighty in sway, Creator of Night and Day." Therewith his father waxed wroth and said, "O son of adultery, dost confront me with these words?" Then he bade clap him in prison and turning to Gharib, said to him, "O wretch of a mortal, how hast thou abused my son's wit and seduced him from his Faith?" Quoth Gharib, "Indeed, I have brought him out of wrongousness into the way of righteousness, out of Hell into Heaven and out of unfaith to the True Faith." Whereupon the King cried out to a Marid called Sayyar, saying "Take this dog and cast him into the Wady of Fire, that he may perish." Now this valley was in the "Waste Quarter" and was thus named from the excess of its heat and the flaming of its fire, which was so fierce that none who went down therein could live an hour, but was destroyed; and it was compassed about by mountains high and slippery wherein was no opening. So Sayyar took up Gharib and flew with him towards the Valley of Fire, till he came within an hour's journey thereof, when being weary, he alighted in a valley full of trees and streams and fruits, and setting down from his back Gharib chained as he was, fell asleep for fatigue. When Gharib heard him snore, he strove with his bonds till he burst them; then, taking up a heavy stone, he cast it down on the Marid's head and crushed his bones, so that he died on the spot. Then he fared on into the valley.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.
When it was the Six Hundred and Seventy-fifth Night,
She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Gharib after killing the Marid fared on into the valley and found himself in a great island in mid-ocean, full of all fruits that lips and tongue could desire. So he abode alone on the island, drinking of its waters and eating of its fruits and of fish that he caught, and days and years passed over him, till he had sojourned there in his solitude seven years. One day, as he sat, be hold, there came down on him from the air two Marids, each carrying a man; and seeing him they said, "Who art thou, O fellow, and of which of the tribes art thou?" Now they took him for a Jinni, because his hair was grown long; and he replied, saying, "I am not of the Jann," whereupon they questioned him, and he told them all that had befallen him. They grieved for him and one of the Ifrits said, "Abide thou here till we bear these two lambs to our King, that he may break his fast on the one and sup on the other, and after we will come back and carry thee to thine own country." He thanked them and said, " Where be the lambs?" Quoth they, "These two mortals are the lambs." And Gharib said, "I take refuge with Allah the God of Abraham the Friend, the Lord of all creatures, who hath power over everything! Then the Marids flew away and Gharib abode awaiting them two days, when one of them returned, bringing with him a suit of clothes wherewith he clad him. Then he took him up and flew with him sky- high out of sight of earth, till Gharib heard the angels glorifying God in Heaven, and a flaming shaft issued from amongst them and made for the Marid, who fled from it towards the earth. The meteor pursued him, till he came within a spear's cast of the ground, when Gharib leaped from his shoulders and the fiery shaft overtook the Marid, who became a heap of ashes. As for Gharib, he fell into the sea and sank two fathoms deep, after which he rose to the surface and swam for two days and two nights, till his strength failed him and he made certain of death. But, on the third day as he was despairing he caught sight of an island steep and mountainous; so he swam for it and landing, walked on inland, where he rested a day and a Night, feeding on the growth of the ground. Then he climbed to the mountain top, and, descending the opposite slope, fared on two days till he came in sight of a walled and bulwarked city, abounding in trees and rills. He walked up to it; but, when he reached the gate, the warders seized on him, and carried him to their Queen, whose name was Jan Shah. Now she was five hundred years old, and every man who entered the city, they brought to her and she made him sleep with her, and when he had done his work, she slew him and so had she slain many men. When she saw Gharib, he pleased her mightily; so she asked him, "What be thy name and Faith and whence comest thou?" and he answered, "My name is Gharib King of Irak, and I am a Moslem." Said she, "Leave this Creed and enter mine and I will marry thee and make thee King." But he looked at her with eyes of ire and cried, "Perish thou and thy faith!" Cried she, "Dost thou blaspheme my idol, which is of red carnelian, set with pearls and gems?" And she called out to her men, saying, "Imprison him in the house of the idol; haply it will soften his heart." So they shut him up in the domed shrine and locking the doors upon him, went their way.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Six Hundred and Seventy-sixth Night,
She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when they took Gharib, they jailed him in the idol's domed shrine; and locking the doors upon him, went their way. As soon as they were gone, Gharib gazed at the idol, which was of red carnelian, with collars of pearls and precious stones about its neck, and presently he went close to it and lifting it up, dashed it on the ground and brake it in bits; after which he lay down and slept till daybreak. When morning morrowed, the Queen took seat on her throne and said, "O men, bring me the prisoner." So they opened the temple doors and entering, found the idol broken in pieces, whereupon they buffeted their faces till the blood ran from the corners of their eyes. Then they made at Gharib to seize him; but he smote one of them with his fist and slew him, and so did he with another and yet another, till he had slain five-and-twenty of them and the rest fled and went in to Queen Jan Shah, shrieking loudly. Quoth she, "What is the matter?" and quoth they, "The prisoner hath broken thine idol and slain thy men," and told her all that had passed. When she heard this, she cast her crown to the ground and said, "There is no worth left in idols!" Then she mounted amid a thousand fighting-men and rode to the temple, where she found Gharib had gotten him a sword and come forth and was slaying men and overthrowing warriors. When she saw his prowess, her heart was drowned in the love of him and she said to herself, "I have no need of the idol and care for naught save this Gharib, that he may lie in my bosom the rest of my life." Then she cried to her men, "Hold aloof from him and leave him to himself!"; then, going up to him she muttered certain magical words, whereupon his arm became benumbed, his forearm relaxed and the sword dropped from his hand. So they seized him and pinioned him, as he stood confounded, stupefied. Then the Queen returned to her palace, and seating herself on her seat of estate, bade her people withdraw and leave Gharib with her. When they were alone, she said to him, " O dog of the Arabs, wilt thou shiver my idol and slay my people?" He replied, "O accursed woman, had he been a god he had defended himself!" Quoth she, "Stroke me and I will forgive thee all thou hast done." But he replied, saying, "I will do nought of this." And she said, "By the virtue of my faith, I will torture thee with grievous torture!" So she took water and conjuring over it, sprinkled it upon him and he became an ape. And she used to feed and water and keep him in a (loses, appointing one to care for him; and in this plight he abode two years. Then she called him to her one day and said to him, "Wilt thou hearken to me?" And he signed to her with his head, "Yes." So she rejoiced and freed him from the enchantment. Then she brought him food and he ate and toyed with her and kissed her, so that she trusted in him. When it was night she lay down and said to him, "Come, do thy business." He replied, " 'Tis well;" and, mounting on her breast, seized her by the neck and brake it, nor did he arise from her till life had left her. Then, seeing an open cabinet, he went in and found there a sword of damascened steel and a targe of Chinese iron; so he armed himself cap-a-pie and waited till the day. As soon as it was morning, he went forth and stood at the gate of the palace. When the Emirs came and would have gone in to do their service to the Queen, they found Gharib standing at the gate, clad in complete war-gear; and he said to them, "O folk, leave the service of idols and worship the All-wise King, Creator of Night and Day, the Lord of men, the Quickener of dry bones, for He made all things and hath dominion over all." When the Kafirs heard this, they ran at him, but he fell on them like a rending lion and charged through them again and again, slaying of them much people;--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.
When it was the Six Hundred and Seventy-seventh Night,
She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the Kafirs fell upon Gharib, he slew of them much people; but, when the night came, they overcame him by dint of numbers and would have taken him by strenuous effort, when behold, there descended upon the Infidels a thousand Marids, under the command of Zalzal, who plied them with the keen sabre and made them drink the cup of destruction, whilst Allah hurried their souls to Hell-fire, till but few were left of the people of Jan Shah to tell the tale and the rest cried out, "Quarter! Quarter!" and believed in the Requiting King, whom no one thing diverteth from other thing, the Destroyer of the Jababirah and Exterminator of the Akasirah, Lord of this world and of the next. Then Zalzal saluted Gharib and gave him joy of his safety; and Gharib said to him, "How knowest thou of my case?" and he replied, "O my lord, my father kept me in prison two years, after sending thee to the Valley of Fire; then he released me, and I abode with him another year, till I was restored to favour with him, when I slew him and his troops submitted to me. I ruled them for a year's space till, one Night, I lay down to sleep, having thee in thought, and saw thee in a dream, fighting against the people of Jan Shah; wherefore I took these thousand Marids and came to thee." And Gharib marvelled at this happy conjuncture. Then he seized upon Jan Shah's treasures and those of the slain and appointed a ruler over the city; after which the Marids took up Gharib and the monies and he lay the same night in the Castle of Crystal. He abode Zalzal's guest six months, when he desired to depart; so Zalzal gave him rich presents and despatched three thousand Marids, who brought the spoils of Karaj-city and added them to those of Jan Shah. Then Zalzal loaded forty-thousand Marids with the treasure and himself taking up Gharib, flew with his host towards the city of Isbanir al-Madain where they arrived at midnight. But as Gharib glanced around he saw the walls invested on all sides by a conquering army, as it were the surging sea, so he said to Zalzal, "O my brother, what is the cause of this siege and whence came this army?" Then he alighted on the terrace roof of his palace and cried out, saying, "Ho, Star o' Morn! Ho, Mahdiyah!" Whereupon the twain started up from sleep in amazement and said, "Who calleth us at this hour?" Quoth he, " 'Tis I, your lord, Gharib, the Marvellous One of the deeds wondrous." When the Princesses heard their lord's voice, they rejoiced and so did the women and the eunuchs. Then Gharib went down to them and they threw themselves upon him and lullilooed with cries of joy, so that all the palace rang again and the Captains of the army awoke and said, "What is to do?" So they made for the palace and asked the eunuchs, "Hath one of the King's women given birth to a child?"; and they answered, "No; but rejoice ye, for King Gharib hath returned to you." So they rejoiced, and Gharib, after salams to the women came forth amongst his comrades, who threw themselves upon him and kissed his hands and feet, returning thanks to Almighty Allah and praising Him. Then he sat down on his throne, with his officers sitting about him, and questioned them of the beleaguering army. They replied, "O King, these troops sat down before the city three days ago and there are amongst them Jinns as well as men; but we know not what they want, for we have had with them neither battle nor speech." And presently they added, "The name of the commander of the besieging army is Murad Shah and he hath with him an hundred thousand horse and three thousand foot, besides two hundred tribesmen of the Jinn." Now the manner of his coming was wondrous.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Six Hundred and Seventy-eighth Night,
She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the cause of this army coming upon Isbanir city was wondrous. When the two men, whom Sabur had charged to drown his daughter Fakhr Taj, let her go, bidding her flee for her life, she went forth distracted, unknowing whither to turn and saying, "Where is thine eye, O Gharib, that thou mayst see my case and the misery I am in?"; and wandered on from country to country, and valley to valley, till she came to a Wady abounding in trees and streams, in whose midst stood a strong-based castle and a lofty-builded as it were one of the pavilions of Paradise. So she betook herself thither and entering the fortalice, found it hung and carpeted with stuffs of silk and great plenty of gold and silver vessels; and therein were an hundred beautiful damsels. When the maidens saw Fakhr Taj, they came up to her and saluted her, deeming her of the virgins of the Jinn, and asked her of her case. Quoth she, "I am daughter to the Persians' King;" and told them all that had befallen her; which when they heard, they wept over her and condoled with her and comforted her, saying, "Be of good cheer and keep thine eyes cool and clear, for here shalt thou have meat and drink and raiment, and we all are thy handmaids." She called down blessings on them and they brought her food, of which she ate till she was satisfied. Then quoth she to them, "Who is the owner of this palace and lord over you girls?" and quoth they, "King Salsal, son of Dal, is our master; he passeth a night here once in every month and fareth in the morning to rule over the tribes of the Jann." So Fakhr Taj took up her abode with them and after five days she gave birth to a male child, as he were the moon. They cut his navel cord and kohl'd his eyes then they named him Murad Shah, and he grew up in his mother's lap. After a while came King Salsal, riding on a paper white elephant, as he were a tower plastered with lime and attended by the troops of the Jinn. He entered the palace, where the hundred damsels met him and kissed ground before him, and amongst them Fakhr Taj. When the King saw her, he looked at her and said to the others, "Who is yonder damsel?"; and they replied, "She is the daughter of Sabur, King of the Persians and Turks and Daylamites." Quoth he, "Who brought her hither?" So they repeated to him her story; whereat he was moved to pity for her and said to her, "Grieve not, but take patience till thy son be grown a man, when I will go to the land of the Ajamis and strike off thy father's head from between his shoulders and seat thy son on the throne in his stead." So she rose and kissed his hands and blessed him. Then she abode in the castle and her son grew up and was reared with the children of the King. They used to ride forth together a-hunting and birding and he became skilled in the chase of wild beasts and ravening lions and ate of their flesh, till his heart became harder than the rock. When he reached the age of fifteen, his spirit waxed big in him and he said to Fakhr Taj, "O my mamma, who is my papa?" She replied, "O my son, Gharib, King of Irak, is thy father and I am the King's daughter, of the Persians," and she told him her story. Quoth he, "Did my grandfather indeed give orders to slay thee and my father Gharib?"; and quoth she, "Yes." Whereupon he, "By the claim thou hast on me for rearing me, I will assuredly go to thy father's city and cut off his head and bring it into thy pre sence!"--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.
When it was the Six Hundred and Seventy-ninth Night,
She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Murad Shah son of Fakhr Taj thus bespake his mother, she rejoiced in his speech. Now he used to go a-riding with two hundred Marids till he grew to man's estate, when he and they fell to making raids and cutting off the roads and they pushed their razzias farther till one day he attacked the city of Shiraz and took it. Then he proceeded to the palace and cut off the King's head, as he sat on his throne, and slew many of his troops, whereupon the rest cried "Quarter! Quarter!" and kissed his stirrups. Finding that they numbered ten thousand horse, he led them to Balkh, where he slew the King of the city and put his men to the rout and made himself master of the riches of the place. Thence he passed to Nurayn, at the head of an army of thirty- thousand horse, and the Lord of Nurayn came out to him, with treasure and tribute, and did him homage. Then he went on to Samarcand of the Persians and took the city, and after that to Akhlat and took that town also; nor was there any city he came to but he captured it. Thus Murad Shah became the head of a mighty host, and all the booty he made and spoils in the sundry cities he divided among his soldiery, who loved him for his velour and munificence. At last he came to Isbanir al-Madain and sat down before it, saying, "Let us wait till the rest of my army come up, when I will seize on my grandfather and solace my mother's heart by smiting his neck in her presence." So he sent for her, and by reason of this, there was no battle for three days, when Gharib and Zalzal arrived with the forty-thousand Marids, laden with treasure and presents. They asked concerning the besiegers, but none could enlighten them beyond saying that the host had been there encamped for three days without a fight taking place. Presently came Fakhr Taj, and her son Murad Shah embraced her saying, "Sit in thy tent till I bring thy father to thee." And she sought succour for him of the Lord of the Worlds, the Lord of the heavens and the Lord of the earths. Next morning, as soon as it was day, Murad Shah mounted and rode forth, with the two hundred Marids on his right hand and the Kings of men on his left, whilst the kettle-drums beat to battle. When Gharib heard this, he also took to horse and, calling his people to the combat, rode out, with the jinn on his dexter hand and the men on his sinistral. Then came forth Murad Shah, armed cap-a-pie and crave his charger right and left, crying, "O folk, let none come forth to me but your King. If he conquer me, he shall be lord of both armies, and if I conquer him, I will slay him, as I have slain others." When Gharib heard his speech, he said, "Avaunt, O dog of the Arabs!" And they charged at each other and lunged with lances, till they broke, then hewed at each other with swords, till the blades were notched; nor did they cease to advance and retire and wheel and career, till the day was half spent and their horses fell down under them, when they dismounted and gripped each other. Then Murad Shah seizing Gharib lifted him up and strove to dash him to the ground; but Gharib caught him by the ears and pulled him with his might, till it seemed to the youth as if the heavens were. falling on the earth and he cried out, with his heart in his mouth, saying, "I yield myself to thy mercy, O Knight of the Age!" So Gharib bound him,--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Six Hundred and Eightieth Night,
She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Gharib caught Murad Shah by the ears and well nigh tore them off he cried, "I yield myself to thy mercy, O Knight of the Age!" So Gharib bound him, and the Marids his comrades would have charged and rescued him, but Gharib fell on them with a thousand Marids and was about to smite them down, when they cried out "Quarter! Quarter!" and threw away their arms. Then Gharib returned to his Shahmiyanah which was of green silk, embroidered with red gold and set with pearls and gems; and, seating himself on his throne, called for Murad Shah. So they brought him, shuffling in his manacles and shackles. When the prisoner saw him, he hung down his head for shame; and Gharib said to him, "O dog of the Arabs, who art thou that thou shouldst ride forth and measure thyself against kings?" Replied Murad Shah, "O my lord, reproach me not, for indeed I have excuse." Quoth Gharib, "What manner of excuse hast thou?"; And quoth he, "Know, O my lord, that I came out to avenge my mother and my father on Sabur, King of the Persians; for he would have slain them; but my mother escaped and I know not whether he killed my father or not." When Gharib heard these words, he replied, "By Allah, thou art indeed excusable! But who were thy father and mother and what are their names?" Murad Shah said, "My sire was Gharib, King of Al-Irak, and my mother Fakhr Taj, daughter of King Sabur of Persia." When Gharib heard this, he gave a great cry and fell down fainting. They sprinkled rose- water on him, till he came to himself, when he said to Murad Shah, "Art thou indeed Gharib's son by Fakhr Taj?"; and he replied, "Yes." Cried Gharib, "Thou art a champion, the son of a champion. Loose my child!" And Sahim and Kaylajan went up to Murad Shah and set him free. Then Gharib embraced his son and, seating him beside himself, said to him, "Where is thy mother?" "She is with me in my tent," answered Murad Shah; and Gharib said, "Bring her to me." So Murad Shah mounted and repaired to his camp, where his comrades met him, rejoicing in his safety, and asked him of his case; but he answered, "This is no time for questions." Then he went in to his mother and told her what had passed whereat she was gladdened with exceeding gladness: so he carried her to Gharib, and they two embraced and rejoiced in each other. Then Fakhr Taj and Murad Shah islamised and expounded The Faith to their troops, who all made profession with heart and tongue. After this, Gharib sent for Sabur and his son Ward Shah, and upbraided them for their evil dealing and expounded Al-Islam to them; but they refused to profess wherefore he crucified them on the gate of the city and the people decorated the town and held high festival. Then Gharib crowned Murad Shah with the crown of the Chosroes and made him King of the Persians and Turks and Medes; moreover, he made his uncle Al-Damigh, King over Al-Irak, and all the peoples and lands submitted themselves to Gharib. Then he abode in his kingship, doing justice among his lieges, wherefore all the people loved him, and he and his wives and comrades ceased not from all solace of life, till there came to them the Destroyer of Delights and Sunderer of Societies, and extolled be the perfection of Him whose glory endureth for ever and aye and whose boons embrace all His creatures! This is every thing that hath come down to us of the history of Gharib and Ajib. And Abdullah bin Ma'amar al Kaysi hath thus related the tale of...
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Burton, Richard (1821-1890). The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night. London. 1885-1888. Gutenberg Vol. I. Gutenberg Vol. II. Gutenberg Vol. III. Gutenberg Vol. IV. Gutenberg Vol. V. Gutenberg Vol. V. Gutenberg Vol. VII. Gutenberg Vol. VIII. Gutenberg Vol. IX. Gutenberg Vol. X. Please consult the Gutenberg edition for footnotes; the footnotes have not been included in this web version.
1001 Nights Hypertext. Laura Gibbs, Ph.D. This website is licensed under a Creative Commons License. The texts presented here are in the public domain. Thanks to Gene Perry for his excellent help in preparing the texts for the web. Page last updated: January 1, 2005 10:46 PM