Page:Arabiannightsent07burtiala.djvu/23

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7
The History of Gharib and his Brother Ajib.

Sa'adan!" But Ajib passed the night in joy and he said to his men, "Mount ye on the morrow and fall upon the Moslems so shall not one of them be left alive." And they replied, "Hearkening and obedience!" This is how it fared with them; but as regards the Moslems, they passed the night, dejected and weeping for their King and Sa'adan; but Sahim said to them, "O folk, be not concerned, for the aidance of Almighty Allah is nigh." Then he waited till midnight, when he assumed the garb of a tent-pitcher; and, repairing to Ajib's camp, made his way between the tents and pavilions till he came to the King's marquee, where he saw him seated on his throne surrounded by his Princes. So he entered and going up to the candles which burnt in the tent, snuffed them and sprinkled levigated henbane on the wicks; after which he withdrew and waited without the marquee, till the smoke of the burning henbane reached Ajib and his Princes and they fell to the ground like dead men. Then he left them and went to the prison tent, where he found Gharib and Sa'adan, guarded by a thousand braves, who were overcome with sleep. So he cried out at the guards, saying, "Woe to you! Sleep not; but watch your prisoners and light the cressets." Presently he filled a cresset with firewood, on which he strewed henbane, and lighting it, went round about the tent with it, till the smoke entered the nostrils of the guards, and they all fell asleep drowned by the drug; when he entered the tent and finding Gharib and Sa'adan also insensible he aroused them by making them smell and sniff at a sponge full of vinegar he had with him. Thereupon he loosed their bonds and collars, and when they saw him, they blessed him and rejoiced in him. After this they went forth and took all the arms of the guards and Sahim said to them, "Go to your own camp;" while he re-entered Ajib's pavilion and, wrapping him in his cloak, lifted him up and made for the Moslem encampment. And the Lord, the Compassionate, protected him, so that he reached Gharib's tent in safety and unrolled the cloak before him. Gharib looked at its contents and seeing his brother Ajib bound, cried out, "Allaho Akbar—God is Most Great! Aidance! Victory!" And he blessed Sahim and bade him arouse Ajib. So he made him smell the vinegar mixed with incense, and he opened his eyes and, finding himself bound and shackled, hung down his head earth-wards.―And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.