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Payne: Story of the Chief of the Boulac Police

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I was once in debt to the amount of three hundred thousand dinars, and being distressed thereby, I sold what was behind me and what was before me and all I could lay my hands on, but could raise no more than a hundred thousand dinars and abode in great perplexity. One night, as I sat at home, in this state of mind, there came a knocking at the gate; so I said to one of my servants, "See who is at the door." He went out and returned, pale and trembling in every nerve; so I said to him, "What ails thee?" "There is a man at the door, seeking thee," answered he. "He is half naked, clad in skins, with a sword and a knife in his girdle, and with him are a company of the same fashion." So I took my sword and going out to see who these were, found them as the boy had reported and said to them, "What is your business?" "We are thieves," answered they, "and have made great purchase to-night and appointed it to thy use, that thou mayst pay therewith the debts that oppress thee and free thyself from thy distress." "Where is it?" asked I; and they brought me a great chest, full of vessels of gold and silver; which when I saw, I rejoiced and said in myself, "It were ungenerous to let them go away empty-handed." So I took the hundred thousand dinars I had by me and gave it to them, thanking them; and they took it and went their way, under cover of the night. But, on the morrow, when I examined the contents of the chest, I found them gilded brass and pewter, worth five hundred dirhems at the most; and this was grievous to me, for I had lost what money I had, and trouble was added to my trouble.' Then rose the chief of the police of Old Cairo and said, 'O our lord the Sultan, the most remarkable thing that befell me, during my term of office, was on this wise:

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Payne, John (1842-1916). The Book of the Thousand Nights and One Night. London. 1901. Gutenberg Vol. I. Gutenberg Vol. II. Gutenberg Vol. III. Gutenberg Vol. IV. Please consult the Gutenberg edition for footnotes; the footnotes have not been included in this web version. Wollamshram Vol. V. Wollamshram Vol. VI. Wollamshram Vol. VII. Wollamshram Vol. VIII. Wollamshram Vol. IX. Please consult the Wollamshram 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

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