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Payne: Story of the Chief of the New Cairo Police

[Go back to El Melik en Nasir and the Three Masters of Police]

There were once, in this city, two men apt to bear witness in matters of blood and wounds; but they were both given to wine and women and debauchery; nor, do what I would, could I succeed in bringing them to account. So I charged the vintners and confectioners and fruiterers and chandlers and bagnio-keepers to acquaint me of these two, when ever they should anywhere be engaged in drinking or debauchery, whether together or apart, and that, if they or either of them bought of them aught for the purpose of carousal, they should not conceal it from me. And they replied, "We hear and obey."

One night, a man came to me and said, "O my lord, know that the two witnesses are in such a house in such a street, engaged in sore wickedness." So I disguised myself and went out, accompanied by none but my page, to the street in question. When I came to the house, I knocked at the door, whereupon a slave-girl came out and opened to me, saying, "Who art thou?" I made her no answer, but entered and saw the two witnesses and the master of the house sitting, and lewd women with them, and great plenty of wine before them. When they saw me, they rose to receive me, without showing the least alarm, and made much of me, seating me in the place of honour and saying to me, "Welcome for an illustrious guest and a pleasant cup-companion!"

Presently, the master of the house went out and returning after awhile with three hundred dinars, said to me, without the least fear, "O my lord, it is, we know, in thy power both to disgrace and punish us; but this will bring thee nothing but weariness. So thou wouldst do better to take this money and protect us; for God the Most High is named the Protector and loveth those of His servants who protect each other; and thou shalt have thy reward in the world to come." The money tempted me and I said in myself, "I will take the money and protect them this once; but, if ever again I have them in my power, I will take my wreak of them."

So I took the money and went away; but, next day, one of the Cadi's serjeants came to me and cited me before the court. I accompanied him thither, knowing not the meaning of the summons; and when I came into the Cadi's presence, I saw the two witnesses and the master of the house sitting by him. The latter rose and sued me for three hundred dinars, nor was it in my power to deny the debt; for he produced a written obligation and the two others testified against me that I owed the amount.

Their evidence satisfied the Cadi and he ordered me to pay the money; nor did I leave the Court till they had of me the three hundred dinars. So I went away, in the utmost wrath and confusion, vowing vengeance against them and repenting that I had not punished them.'

Then rose the chief of the Boulac police and said, 'As for me, O our lord the Sultan, the most remarkable thing that befell me, during my term of office, was as follows:

[Go to Story of the Chief of the Boulac Police]


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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