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[FN#36] 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,[FN#37] 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[FN#38] 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,[FN#39] O vilest of the Jann!" Therewith Barkan drew a javelin and making it quiver[FN#40] 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,[FN#41] 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,[FN#42] 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[FN#43] 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[FN#44] 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.[FN#45] 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.[FN#46]—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,[FN#47] besides ten thousand elephants, bearing on their backs seats[FN#48] 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,[FN#49] 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,[FN#50] 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[FN#51] 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[FN#52] 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[FN#53] 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,[FN#54] 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,[FN#55] 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[FN#56] 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;[FN#57] 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,[FN#58] 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.[FN#59] Now the Moslems were evilly entreated that day by reason of the riders on elephants and giraffes,[FN#60] 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.[FN#61] 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.[FN#62] 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[FN#63] 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.''[FN#64] 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!''[FN#65] 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,[FN#66] 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[FN#67] 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,[FN#68] 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[FN#69] 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,[FN#70] 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[FN#71]" 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.[FN#72] 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[FN#73] 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.