“All night I watched, and saw nothing, but in the morning a great number of elephants came thundering by, and I shot several arrows among them. One big elephant fell to the ground, and lay there while the rest passed on; so, as soon as it was safe, I climbed down and carried the news to my master. Together we buried the huge animal and marked the place, so that we might return to fetch the tusks.
“I continued this work for some time, and killed many elephants, until one night I saw to my horror that the elephants, instead of passing on, had surrounded the tree in which I sat, and were stamping and trumpeting, until the very earth shook. Then one of them seized the tree with his trunk, and tore it up by the roots, laying it flat on the ground.
“I was almost senseless with terror, but the next moment I felt myself gently lifted up by an elephant’s trunk, and placed on his back. I clung on with all my might, as the elephant carried me through the forest, until at last we came to the slope of a hill, which was covered with bleached bones and tusks.
“Here the elephant gently laid me down, and left me alone. I gazed around on this great treasure of ivory, and I could not help wondering at the wisdom of these animals. They had evidently brought me here to show me that I could get ivory without killing any more of their number. For this, I felt sure, was the elephants’ burying-place.
“I did not stay long on the hill, but gathering a few tusks together I sped back to the town, that I might tell my tale to the merchant. ’My poor Sindbad,’ he cried, when he saw me, I thought thou wert dead, for I found the uprooted tree, and never expected to look upon thy face again.’
“Great was his delight when I told him of the Hill of Ivory, and when we had gone there together, and he saw for himself the wonders I had described, he was filled with astonishment.
“‘Sindbad,’ he cried, ’thou too shalt have a share of this great wealth. And first of all I shall give thee thy, freedom. Until now, year by year have all my slaves been killed by the elephants, but now we need no longer run any risks, for here is ivory enough to enrich the whole island.’
“So I was set free, and loaded with honors, and when the trade winds brought the ships that traded in ivory, I bade good-by to the island, and set sail for home, carrying with me a great cargo of ivory and other treasures.
“As soon as I landed I went to the Caliph, who was overjoyed to see me.
“‘Great has been my anxiety, O Sindbad,’ he said, ’for I feared some evil had befallen thee.’
“When, therefore, I had told him of my adventures, he was the more astonished, and ordered that all my story should be written in letters of gold, and placed among his treasures.
“Then I returned to my own house, and ever since have remained at home in peace and safety.”
Thus Sindbad finished the story of his voyages, and turning to Hindbad, he said: “And now, friend Hindbad, what dost thou think of the way I have earned my riches? Is it not just that I should live in enjoyment and ease?”