Stories of Arabian Nights -
One thousand one Arabian Nights
More Adventures of Prince Camaralzaman and the Princess Badoura
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By daybreak our travellers found themselves
where four cross roads met in the middle of the forest. Here Marzavan begged the
prince to wait for him, and leading the groom's horse into a dense part of the
wood he cut its throat, dipped the prince's coat in its blood, and having
rejoined the prince threw the coat on the ground where the roads parted.
In answer to Camaralzaman's inquiries as to the reason for this, Marzavan
replied that the only chance they had of continuing their journey was to divert
attention by creating the idea of the prince's death. "Your father will
doubtless be plunged in the deepest grief," he went on, "but his joy at your
return will be all the greater."
The prince and his companion now continued their journey by land and sea, and as
they had brought plenty of money to defray their expenses they met with no
needless delays. At length they reached the capital of China, where they spent
three days in a suitable lodging to recover from their fatigues.
During this time Marzavan had an astrologer's dress prepared for the prince.
They then went to the baths, after which the prince put on the astrologer's robe
and was conducted within sight of the king's palace by Marzavan, who left him
there and went to consult his mother, the princess's nurse.
Meantime the prince, according to Marzavan's instructions, advanced close to the
palace gates and there proclaimed aloud:
"I am an astrologer and I come to restore health to the Princess Badoura,
daughter of the high and mighty King of China, on the conditions laid down by
His Majesty of marrying her should I succeed, or of losing my life if I fail."
It was some little time since anyone had presented himself to run the terrible
risk involved in attempting to cure the princess, and a crowd soon gathered
round the prince. On perceiving his youth, good looks, and distinguished
bearing, everyone felt pity for him.
"What are you thinking of, sir," exclaimed some; "why expose yourself to certain
death? Are not the heads you see exposed on the town wall sufficient warning?
For mercy's sake give up this mad idea and retire whilst you can."
But the prince remained firm, and only repeated his cry with greater assurance,
to the horror of the crowd.
"He is resolved to die!" they cried; "may heaven have pity on him!"
Camaralzaman now called out for the third time, and at last the grand-vizir
himself came out and fetched him in.
The prime minister led the prince to the king, who was much struck by the noble
air of this new adventurer, and felt such pity for the fate so evidently in
store for him, that he tried to persuade the young man to renounce his project.
But Camaralzaman politely yet firmly persisted in his intentions, and at length
the king desired the eunuch who had the guard of the princess's apartments to
conduct the astrologer to her presence.
The eunuch led the way through long passages, and Camaralzaman followed rapidly,
in haste to reach the object of his desires. At last they came to a large hall
which was the ante-room to the princess's chamber, and here Camaralzaman said to
"Now you shall choose. Shall I cure the princess in her own presence, or shall I
do it from here without seeing her?"
The eunuch, who had expressed many contemptuous doubts as they came along of the
newcomer's powers, was much surprised and said:
"If you really can cure, it is immaterial when you do it. Your fame will be
"Very well," replied the prince: "then, impatient though I am to see the
princess, I will effect the cure where I stand, the better to convince you of my
power." He accordingly drew out his writing case and wrote as follows--"Adorable
princess! The enamoured Camaralzaman has never forgotten the moment when,
contemplating your sleeping beauty, he gave you his heart. As he was at that
time deprived of the happiness of conversing with you, he ventured to give you
his ring as a token of his love, and to take yours in exchange, which he now
encloses in this letter. Should you deign to return it to him he will be the
happiest of mortals, if not he will cheerfully resign himself to death, seeing
he does so for love of you. He awaits your reply in your ante-room."
Having finished this note the prince carefully enclosed the ring in it without
letting the eunuch see it, and gave him the letter, saying:
"Take this to your mistress, my friend, and if on reading it and seeing its
contents she is not instantly cured, you may call me an impudent impostor."
The eunuch at once passed into the princess's room, and handing her the letter
"Madam, a new astrologer has arrived, who declares that you will be cured as
soon as you have read this letter and seen what it contains."
The princess took the note and opened it with languid indifference. But no
sooner did she see her ring than, barely glancing at the writing, she rose
hastily and with one bound reached the doorway and pushed back the hangings.
Here she and the prince recognised each other, and in a moment they were locked
in each other's arms, where they tenderly embraced, wondering how they came to
meet at last after so long a separation. The nurse, who had hastened after her
charge, drew them back to the inner room, where the princess restored her ring
"Take it back," she said, "I could not keep it without returning yours to you,
and I am resolved to wear that as long as I live."
Meantime the eunuch had hastened back to the king. "Sire," he cried, "all the
former doctors and astrologers were mere quacks. This man has cured the princess
without even seeing her." He then told all to the king, who, overjoyed, hastened
to his daughter's apartments, where, after embracing her, he placed her hand in
that of the prince, saying:
"Happy stranger, I keep my promise, and give you my daughter to wife, be you who
you may. But, if I am not much mistaken, your condition is above what you appear
The prince thanked the king in the warmest and most respectful terms, and added:
"As regards my person, your Majesty has rightly guessed that I am not an
astrologer. It is but a disguise which I assumed in order to merit your
illustrious alliance. I am myself a prince, my name is Camaralzaman, and my
father is Schahzaman, King of the Isles of the Children of Khaledan." He then
told his whole history, including the extraordinary manner of his first seeing
and loving the Princess Badoura.
When he had finished the king exclaimed: "So remarkable a story must not be lost
to posterity. It shall be inscribed in the archives of my kingdom and published
The wedding took place next day amidst great pomp and rejoicings. Marzavan was
not forgotten, but was given a lucrative post at court, with a promise of
The prince and princess were now entirely happy, and months slipped by
unconsciously in the enjoyment of each other's society.
One night, however, Prince Camaralzaman dreamt that he saw his father lying at
the point of death, and saying: "Alas! my son whom I loved so tenderly, has
deserted me and is now causing my death."
The prince woke with such a groan as to startle the princess, who asked what was
"Ah!" cried the prince, "at this very moment my father is perhaps no more!" and
he told his dream.
The princess said but little at the time, but next morning she went to the king,
and kissing his hand said:
"I have a favour to ask of your Majesty, and I beg you to believe that it is in
no way prompted by my husband. It is that you will allow us both to visit my
father-in-law King Schahzaman."
Sorry though the king felt at the idea of parting with his daughter, he felt her
request to be so reasonable that he could not refuse it, and made but one
condition, which was that she should only spend one year at the court of King
Schahzaman, suggesting that in future the young couple should visit their
respective parents alternately.
The princess brought this good news to her husband, who thanked her tenderly for
this fresh proof of her affection.
All preparations for the journey were now pressed forwards, and when all was
ready the king accompanied the travellers for some days, after which he took an
affectionate leave of his daughter, and charging the prince to take every care
of her, returned to his capital.
The prince and princess journeyed on, and at the end of a month reached a huge
meadow interspersed with clumps of big trees which cast a most pleasant shade.
As the heat was great, Camaralzaman thought it well to encamp in this cool spot.
Accordingly the tents were pitched, and the princess entering hers whilst the
prince was giving his further orders, removed her girdle, which she placed
beside her, and desiring her women to leave her, lay down and was soon asleep.
When the camp was all in order the prince entered the tent and, seeing the
princess asleep, he sat down near her without speaking. His eyes fell on the
girdle which, he took up, and whilst inspecting the precious stones set in it he
noticed a little pouch sewn to the girdle and fastened by a loop. He touched it
and felt something hard within. Curious as to what this might be, he opened the
pouch and found a cornelian engraved with various figures and strange
"This cornelian must be something very precious," thought he, "or my wife would
not wear it on her person with so much care."
In truth it was a talisman which the Queen of China had given her daughter,
telling her it would ensure her happiness as long as she carried it about her.
The better to examine the stone the prince stepped to the open doorway of the
tent. As he stood there holding it in the open palm of his hand, a bird suddenly
swooped down, picked the stone up in its beak and flew away with it.
Imagine the prince's dismay at losing a thing by which his wife evidently set
The bird having secured its prey flew off some yards and alighted on the ground,
holding the talisman it its beak. Prince Camaralzaman advanced, hoping the bird
would drop it, but as soon as he approached the thief fluttered on a little
further still. He continued his pursuit till the bird suddenly swallowed the
stone and took a longer flight than before. The prince then hoped to kill it
with a stone, but the more hotly he pursued the further flew the bird.
In this fashion he was led on by hill and dale through the entire day, and when
night came the tiresome creature roosted on the top of a very high tree where it
could rest in safety.
The prince in despair at all his useless trouble began to think whether he had
better return to the camp. "But," thought he, "how shall I find my way back?
Must I go up hill or down? I should certainly lose my way in the dark, even if
my strength held out." Overwhelmed by hunger, thirst, fatigue and sleep, he
ended by spending the night at the foot of the tree.
Next morning Camaralzaman woke up before the bird left its perch, and no sooner
did it take flight than he followed it again with as little success as the
previous day, only stopping to eat some herbs and fruit he found by the way. In
this fashion he spent ten days, following the bird all day and spending the
night at the foot of a tree, whilst it roosted on the topmost bough. On the
eleventh day the bird and the prince reached a large town, and as soon as they
were close to its walls the bird took a sudden and higher flight and was shortly
completely out of sight, whilst Camaralzaman felt in despair at having to give
up all hopes of ever recovering the talisman of the Princess Badoura.
Much cast down, he entered the town, which was built near the sea and had a fine
harbour. He walked about the streets for a long time, not knowing where to go,
but at length as he walked near the seashore he found a garden door open and
The gardener, a good old man, who was at work, happened to look up, and, seeing
a stranger, whom he recognised by his dress as a Mussulman, he told him to come
in at once and to shut the door.
Camaralzaman did as he was bid, and inquired why this precaution was taken.
"Because," said the gardener, "I see that you are a stranger and a Mussulman,
and this town is almost entirely inhabited by idolaters, who hate and persecute
all of our faith. It seems almost a miracle that has led you to this house, and
I am indeed glad that you have found a place of safety."
Camaralzaman warmly thanked the kind old man for offering him shelter, and was
about to say more, but the gardener interrupted him with:
"Leave compliments alone. You are weary and must be hungry. Come in, eat, and
rest." So saying he led the prince into his cottage, and after satisfying his
hunger begged to learn the cause of his arrival.
Camaralzaman told him all without disguise, and ended by inquiring the shortest
way to his father's capital. "For," added he, "if I tried to rejoin the
princess, how should I find her after eleven days' separation. Perhaps, indeed,
she may be no longer alive!" At this terrible thought he burst into tears.
The gardener informed Camaralzaman that they were quite a year's land journey to
any Mahomedan country, but that there was a much shorter route by sea to the
Ebony Island, from whence the Isles of the Children of Khaledan could be easily
reached, and that a ship sailed once a year for the Ebony Island by which he
might get so far as his very home.
"If only you had arrived a few days sooner," he said, "you might have embarked
at once. As it is you must now wait till next year, but if you care to stay with
me I offer you my house, such as it is, with all my heart."
Prince Camaralzaman thought himself lucky to find some place of refuge, and
gladly accepted the gardener's offer. He spent his days working in the garden,
and his nights thinking of and sighing for his beloved wife.
Let us now see what had become during this time of the Princess Badoura.
On first waking she was much surprised not to find the prince near her. She
called her women and asked if they knew where he was, and whilst they were
telling her that they had seen him enter the tent, but had not noticed his
leaving it, she took up her belt and perceived that the little pouch was open
and the talisman gone.
She at once concluded that her husband had taken it and would shortly bring it
back. She waited for him till evening rather impatiently, and wondering what
could have kept him from her so long. When night came without him she felt in
despair and abused the talisman and its maker roundly. In spite of her grief and
anxiety however, she did not lose her presence of mind, but decided on a
courageous, though very unusual step.
Only the princess and her women knew of Camaralzaman's disappearance, for the
rest of the party were sleeping or resting in their tents. Fearing some treason
should the truth be known, she ordered her women not to say a word which would
give rise to any suspicion, and proceeded to change her dress for one of her
husband's, to whom, as has been already said, she bore a strong likeness.
In this disguise she looked so like the prince that when she gave orders next
morning to break up the camp and continue the journey no one suspected the
change. She made one of her women enter her litter, whilst she herself mounted
on horseback and the march began.
After a protracted journey by land and sea the princess, still under the name
and disguise of Prince Camaralzaman, arrived at the capital of the Ebony Island
whose king was named Armanos.
No sooner did the king hear that the ship which was just in port had on board
the son of his old friend and ally than he hurried to meet the supposed prince,
and had him and his retinue brought to the palace, where they were lodged and
After three days, finding that his guest, to whom he had taken a great fancy,
talked of continuing his journey, King Armanos said to him:
"Prince, I am now an old man, and unfortunately 1 have no son to whom to leave
my kingdom. It has pleased Heaven to give me only one daughter, who possesses
such great beauty and charm that I could only give her to a prince as highly
born and as accomplished as yourself. Instead, therefore, of returning to your
own country, take my daughter and my crown and stay with us. I shall feel that I
have a worthy successor, and shall cheerfully retire from the fatigues of
The king's offer was naturally rather embarrassing to the Princess Badoura. She
felt that it was equally impossible to confess that she had deceived him, or to
refuse the marriage on which he had set his heart; a refusal which might turn
all his kindness to hatred and persecution.
All things considered, she decided to accept, and after a few moments silence
said with a blush, which the king attributed to modesty:
"Sire, I feel so great an obligation for the good opinion your Majesty has
expressed for my person and of the honour you do me, that, though I am quite
unworthy of it, I dare not refuse. But, sire, I can only accept such an alliance
if you give me your promise to assist me with your counsels."
The marriage being thus arranged, the ceremony was fixed for the following day,
and the princess employed the intervening time in informing the officers of her
suite of what had happened, assuring them that the Princess Badoura had given
her full consent to the marriage. She also told her women, and bade them keep
her secret well.
King Armanos, delighted with the success of his plans, lost no time in
assembling his court and council, to whom he presented his successor, and
placing his future son-in-law on the throne made everyone do homage and take
oaths of allegiance to the new king.
At night the whole town was filled with rejoicings, and with much pomp the
Princess Haiatelnefous (this was the name of the king's daughter) was conducted
to the palace of the Princess Badoura.
Now Badoura had thought much of the difficulties of her first interview with
King Armanos' daughter, and she felt the only thing to do was at once to take
her into her confidence.
Accordingly, as soon as they were alone she took Haiatelnefous by the hand and
"Princess, I have a secret to tell you, and must throw myself on your mercy. I
am not Prince Camaralzaman, but a princess like yourself and his wife, and I beg
you to listen to my story, then I am sure you will forgive my imposture, in
consideration of my sufferings."
She then related her whole history, and at its close Haiatelnefous embraced her
warmly, and assured her of her entire sympathy and affection.
The two princesses now planned out their future action, and agreed to combine to
keep up the deception and to let Badoura continue to play a man's part until
such time as there might be news of the real Camaralzaman.
Whilst these things were passing in the Ebony Island Prince Camaralzaman
continued to find shelter in the gardeners cottage in the town of the idolaters.
Early one morning the gardener said to the prince:
"To-day is a public holiday, and the people of the town not only do not work
themselves but forbid others to do so. You had better therefore take a good rest
whilst I go to see some friends, and as the time is near for the arrival of the
ship of which I told you I will make inquiries about it, and try to bespeak a
passage for you." He then put on his best clothes and went out, leaving the
prince, who strolled into the garden and was soon lost in thoughts of his dear
wife and their sad separation.
As he walked up and down he was suddenly disturbed in his reverie by the noise
two large birds were making in a tree.
Camaralzaman stood still and looked up, and saw that the birds were fighting so
savagely with beaks and claws that before long one fell dead to the ground,
whilst the conqueror spread his wings and flew away. Almost immediately two
other larger birds, who had been watching the duel, flew up and alighted, one at
the head and the other at the feet of the dead bird. They stood there some time
sadly shaking their heads, and then dug up a grave with their claws in which
they buried him.
As soon as they had filled in the grave the two flew off, and ere long returned,
bringing with them the murderer, whom they held, one by a wing and the other by
a leg, with their beaks, screaming and struggling with rage and terror. But they
held tight, and having brought him to his victim's grave, they proceeded to kill
him, after which they tore open his body, scattered the inside and once more
The prince, who had watched the whole scene with much interest, now drew near
the spot where it happened, and glancing at the dead bird he noticed something
red lying near which had evidently fallen out of its inside. He picked it up,
and what was his surprise when he recognised the Princess Badoura's talisman
which had been the cause of many misfortunes. It would be impossible to describe
his joy; he kissed the talisman repeatedly, wrapped it up, and carefully tied it
round his arm. For the first time since his separation from the princess he had
a good night, and next morning he was up at day-break and went cheerfully to ask
what work he should do.
The gardener told him to cut down an old fruit tree which had quite died away,
and Camaralzaman took an axe and fell to vigorously. As he was hacking at one of
the roots the axe struck on something hard. On pushing away the earth he
discovered a large slab of bronze, under which was disclosed a staircase with
ten steps. He went down them and found himself in a roomy kind of cave in which
stood fifty large bronze jars, each with a cover on it. The prince uncovered one
after another, and found them all filled with gold dust. Delighted with his
discovery he left the cave, replaced the slab, and having finished cutting down
the tree waited for the gardener's return.
The gardener had heard the night before that the ship about which he was
inquiring would start ere long, but the exact date not being yet known he had
been told to return next day for further information. He had gone therefore to
inquire, and came back with good news beaming in his face.
"My son," said he, "rejoice and hold yourself ready to start in three days"
time. The ship is to set sail, and I have arranged all about your passage with
"You could not bring me better news," replied Camaralzaman, "and in return I
have something pleasant to tell you. Follow me and see the good fortune which
has befallen you."
He then led the gardener to the cave, and having shown him the treasure stored
up there, said how happy it made him that Heaven should in this way reward his
kind host's many virtues and compensate him for the privations of many years.
"What do you mean?" asked the gardener. "Do you imagine that I should
appropriate this treasure? It is yours, and I have no right whatever to it. For
the last eighty years I have dug up the ground here without discovering
anything. It is clear that these riches are intended for you, and they are much
more needed by a prince like yourself than by an old man like me, who am near my
end and require nothing. This treasure comes just at the right time, when you
are about to return to your own country, where you will make good use of it."
But the prince would not hear of this suggestion, and finally after much
discussion they agreed to divide the gold. When this was done the gardener said:
"My son, the great thing now is to arrange how you can best carry off this
treasure as secretly as possible for fear of losing it. There are no olives in
the Ebony Island, and those imported from here fetch a high price. As you know,
I have a good stock of the olives which grew in this garden. Now you must take
fifty jars, fill each half full of gold dust and fill them up with the olives.
We will then have them taken on board ship when you embark."
The prince took this advice, and spent the rest of the day filling the fifty
jars, and fearing lest the precious talisman might slip from his arm and be lost
again, he took the precaution of putting it in one of the jars, on which he made
a mark so as to be able to recognise it. When night came the jars were all
ready, and the prince and his host went to bed.
Whether in consequence of his great age, or of the fatigues and excitement of
the previous day, I do not know, but the gardener passed a very bad night. He
was worse next day, and by the morning of the third day was dangerously ill. At
daybreak the ship's captain and some of his sailors knocked at the garden door
and asked for the passenger who was to embark.
"I am he," said Camaralzaman, who had opened the door. "The gardener who took my
passage is ill and cannot see you, but please come in and take these jars of
olives and my bag, and I will follow as soon as I have taken leave of him."
The sailors did as he asked, and the captain before leaving charged Camaralzaman
to lose no time, as the wind was fair, and he wished to set sail at once.
As soon as they were gone the prince returned to the cottage to bid farewell to
his old friend, and to thank him once more for all his kindness. But the old man
was at his last gasp, and had barely murmured his confession of faith when he
Camaralzaman was obliged to stay and pay him the last offices, so having dug a
grave in the garden he wrapped the kind old man up and buried him. He then
locked the door, gave up the key to the owner of the garden, and hurried to the
quay only to hear that the ship had sailed long ago, after waiting three hours
It may well be believed that the prince felt in despair at this fresh
misfortune, which obliged him to spend another year in a strange and distasteful
country. Moreover, he had once more lost the Princess Badoura's talisman, which
he feared he might never see again. There was nothing left for him but to hire
the garden as the old man had done, and to live on in the cottage. As he could
not well cultivate the garden by himself, he engaged a lad to help him, and to
secure the rest of the treasure he put the remaining gold dust into fifty more
jars, filling them up with olives so as to have them ready for transport.
Whilst the prince was settling down to this second year of toil and privation,
the ship made a rapid voyage and arrived safely at the Ebony Island.
As the palace of the new king, or rather of the Princess Badoura, overlooked the
harbour, she saw the ship entering it and asked what vessel it was coming in so
gaily decked with flags, and was told that it was a ship from the Island of the
Idolaters which yearly brought rich merchandise.
The princess, ever on the look out for any chance of news of her beloved
husband, went down to the harbour attended by some officers of the court, and
arrived just as the captain was landing. She sent for him and asked many
questions as to his country, voyage, what passengers he had, and what his vessel
was laden with. The captain answered all her questions, and said that his
passengers consisted entirely of traders who brought rich stuffs from various
countries, fine muslins, precious stones, musk, amber, spices, drugs, olives,
and many other things.
As soon as he mentioned olives, the princess, who was very partial to them,
"I will take all you have on board. Have them unloaded and we will make our
bargain at once, and tell the other merchants to let me see all their best wares
before showing them to other people."
"Sire," replied the captain, "I have on board fifty very large pots of olives.
They belong to a merchant who was left behind, as in spite of waiting for him he
delayed so long that I was obliged to set sail without him."
"Never mind," said the princess, "unload them all the same, and we will arrange
The captain accordingly sent his boat off to the ship and it soon returned laden
with the fifty pots of olives. The princess asked what they might be worth.
"Sire," replied the captain, "the merchant is very poor. Your Majesty will not
overpay him if you give him a thousand pieces of silver."
"In order to satisfy him and as he is so poor," said the princess, "I will order
a thousand pieces of gold to be given you, which you will be sure to remit to
So saying she gave orders for the payment and returned to the palace, having the
jars carried before her. When evening came the Princess Badoura retired to the
inner part of the palace, and going to the apartments of the Princess
Haiatelnefous she had the fifty jars of olives brought to her. She opened one to
let her friend taste the olives and to taste them herself, but great was her
surprise when, on pouring some into a dish, she found them all powdered with
gold dust. "What an adventure! how extraordinary!" she cried. Then she had the
other jars opened, and was more and more surprised to find the olives in each
jar mixed with gold dust.
But when at length her talisman was discovered in one of the jars her emotion
was so great that she fainted away. The Princess Haiatelnefous and her women
hastened to restore her, and as soon as she recovered consciousness she covered
the precious talisman with kisses.
Then, dismissing the attendants, she said to her friend:
"You will have guessed, my dear, that it was the sight of this talisman which
has moved me so deeply. This was the cause of my separation from my dear
husband, and now, I am convinced, it will be the means of our reunion."
As soon as it was light next day the Princess Badoura sent for the captain, and
made further inquiries about the merchant who owned the olive jars she had
In reply the captain told her all he knew of the place where the young man
lived, and how, after engaging his passage, he came to be left behind.
"If that is the case," said the princess, "you must set sail at once and go back
for him. He is a debtor of mine and must be brought here at once, or I will
confiscate all your merchandise. I shall now give orders to have all the
warehouses where your cargo is placed under the royal seal, and they will only
be opened when you have brought me the man I ask for. Go at once and obey my
The captain had no choice but to do as he was bid, so hastily provisioning his
ship he started that same evening on his return voyage.
When, after a rapid passage, he gained sight of the Island of Idolaters, he
judged it better not to enter the harbour, but casting anchor at some distance
he embarked at night in a small boat with six active sailors and landed near
The prince was not asleep, and as he lay awake moaning over all the sad events
which had separated him from his wife, he thought he heard a knock at the garden
door. He went to open it, and was immediately seized by the captain and sailors,
who without a word of explanation forcibly bore him off to the boat, which took
them back to the ship without loss of time. No sooner were they on board than
they weighed anchor and set sail.
Camaralzaman, who had kept silence till then, now asked the captain (whom he had
recognised) the reason for this abduction.
"Are you not a debtor of the King of the Ebony Island?" asked the captain.
"I? Why, I never even heard of him before, and never set foot in his kingdom!"
was the answer.
"Well, you must know better than I," said the captain. "You will soon see him
now, and meantime be content where you are and have patience."
The return voyage was as prosperous as the former one, and though it was night
when the ship entered the harbour, the captain lost no time in landing with his
passenger, whom he conducted to the palace, where he begged an audience with the
Directly the Princess Badoura saw the prince she recognised him in spite of his
shabby clothes. She longed to throw herself on his neck, but restrained herself,
feeling it was better for them both that she should play her part a little
longer. She therefore desired one of her officers to take care of him and to
treat him well. Next she ordered another officer to remove the seals from the
warehouse, whilst she presented the captain with a costly diamond, and told him
to keep the thousand pieces of gold paid for the olives, as she would arrange
matters with the merchant himself.
She then returned to her private apartments, where she told the Princess
Haiatelnefous all that had happened, as well as her plans for the future, and
begged her assistance, which her friend readily promised.
Next morning she ordered the prince to be taken to the bath and clothed in a
manner suitable to an emir or governor of a province. He was then introduced to
the council, where his good looks and grand air drew the attention of all on
Princess Badoura, delighted to see him looking himself once more, turned to the
other emirs, saying:
"My lords, I introduce to you a new colleague, Camaralzaman, whom I have known
on my travels and who, I can assure you, you will find well deserves your regard
Camaralzaman was much surprised at hearing the king--whom he never suspected of
being a woman in disguise--asserting their acquaintance, for he felt sure he had
never seen her before. However he received all the praises bestowed on him with
becoming modesty, and prostrating himself, said:
"Sire, I cannot find words in which to thank your Majesty for the great honour
conferred on me. I can but assure you that I will do all in my power to prove
myself worthy of it."
On leaving the council the prince was conducted to a splendid house which had
been prepared for him, where he found a full establishment and well-filled
stables at his orders. On entering his study his steward presented him with a
coffer filled with gold pieces for his current expenses. He felt more and more
puzzled by such good fortune, and little guessed that the Princess of China was
the cause of it.
After a few days the Princess Badoura promoted Camaralzaman to the post of grand
treasurer, an office which he filled with so much integrity and benevolence as
to win universal esteem.
He would now have thought himself the happiest of men had it not been for that
separation which he never ceased to bewail. He had no clue to the mystery of his
present position, for the princess, out of compliment to the old king, had taken
his name, and was generally known as King Armanos the younger, few people
remembering that on her first arrival she went by another name.
At length the princess felt that the time had come to put an end to her own and
the prince's suspense, and having arranged all her plans with the Princess
Haiatelnefous, she informed Camaralzaman that she wished his advice on some
important business, and, to avoid being disturbed, desired him to come to the
palace that evening.
The prince was punctual, and was received in the private apartment, when, having
ordered her attendants to withdraw, the princess took from a small box the
talisman, and, handing it to Camaralzaman, said: "Not long ago an astrologer
gave me this talisman. As you are universally well informed, you can perhaps
tell me what is its use."
Camaralzaman took the talisman and, holding it to the light, cried with
surprise, "Sire, you ask me the use of this talisman. Alas! hitherto it has been
only a source of misfortune to me, being the cause of my separation from the one
I love best on earth. The story is so sad and strange that I am sure your
Majesty will be touched by it if you will permit me to tell it you."
"I will hear it some other time," replied the princess. "Meanwhile I fancy it is
not quite unknown to me. Wait here for me. I will return shortly."
So saying she retired to another room, where she hastily changed her masculine
attire for that of a woman, and, after putting on the girdle she wore the day
they parted, returned to Camaralzaman.
The prince recognised her at once, and, embracing her with the utmost
tenderness, cried, "Ah, how can I thank the king for this delightful surprise?"
"Do not expect ever to see the king again," said the princess, as she wiped the
tears of joy from her eyes, "in me you see the king. Let us sit down, and I will
tell you all about it."
She then gave a full account of all her adventures since their parting, and
dwelt much on the charms and noble disposition of the Princess Haiatelnefous, to
whose friendly assistance she owed so much. When she had done she asked to hear
the prince's story, and in this manner they spent most of the night.
Next morning the princess resumed her woman's clothes, and as soon as she was
ready she desired the chief eunuch to beg King Armanos to come to her
When the king arrived great was his surprise at finding a strange lady in
company of the grand treasurer who had no actual right to enter the private
apartment. Seating himself he asked for the king.
"Sire," said the princess, "yesterday I was the king, to-day I am only the
Princess of China and wife to the real Prince Camaralzaman, son of King
Schahzaman, and I trust that when your Majesty shall have heard our story you
will not condemn the innocent deception I have been obliged to practise."
The king consented to listen, and did so with marked surprise.
At the close of her narrative the princess said, "Sire, as our religion allows a
man to have more than one wife, I would beg your Majesty to give your daughter,
the Princess Haiatelnefous, in marriage to Prince Camaralzaman. I gladly yield
to her the precedence and title of Queen in recognition of the debt of gratitude
which I owe her."
King Armanos heard the princess with surprise and admiration, then, turning to
Camaralzaman, he said, "My son, as your wife, the Princess Badoura (whom I have
hitherto looked on as my son-in-law), consents to share your hand and affections
with my daughter, I have only to ask if this marriage is agreeable to you, and
if you will consent to accept the crown which the Princess Badoura deserves to
wear all her life, but which she prefers to resign for love of you."
"Sire," replied Camaralzaman, "I can refuse your Majesty nothing."
Accordingly Camaralzaman was duly proclaimed king, and as duly married with all
pomp to the Princess Haiatelnefous, with whose beauty, talents, and affections
he had every reason to be pleased.
The two queens lived in true sisterly harmony together, and after a time each
presented King Camaralzaman with a son, whose births were celebrated throughout
the kingdom with the utmost rejoicing.
Index of stories of Arabian nights