When it was the sixth day, the viziers’ wrath redoubled, for that they had not compassed their desire of the youth and they feared for themselves from the king; so three of them went in to him and prostrating themselves before him, said to him, “O king, indeed we are loyal counsellors to thy dignity and tenderly solicitous for thee. Verily, thou persistest long in sparing this youth alive and we know not what is thine advantage therein. Every day findeth him yet on life and the talk redoubleth suspicions on thee; so do thou put him to death, that the talk may be made an end of.” When the king heard this speech, he said, “By Allah, indeed, ye say sooth and speak rightly!” Then he let bring the young treasurer and said to him, “How long shall I look into thine affair and find no helper for thee and see them all athirst for thy blood?”
“O king,” answered the youth, “I hope for succour only from God, not from created beings: if He aid me, none can avail to harm me, and if He be with me and on my side, because of the truth, who is it I shall fear, because of falsehood? Indeed, I have made my intent with God a pure and sincere intent and have severed my expectation from the help of the creature; and whoso seeketh help [of God] findeth of his desire that which Bekhtzeman found.” Quoth the king, “Who was Bekhtzeman and what is his story?” “O king,” replied the youth,
STORY OF KING BEKHTZEMAN.
“There was once a king of the kings, whose name was Bekhtzeman, and he was a great eater and drinker and carouser. Now enemies of his made their appearance in certain parts of his realm and threatened him; and one of his friends said to him, ’O king, the enemy maketh for thee: be on thy guard against him.’ Quoth Bekhtzeman, ’I reck not of him, for that I have arms and wealth and men and am not afraid of aught.’ Then said his friends to him, ’Seek aid of God, O king, for He will help thee more than thy wealth and thine arms and thy men.’ But he paid no heed to the speech of his loyal counsellors, and presently the enemy came upon him and waged war upon him and got the victory over him and his trust in other than God the Most High profited him nought. So he fled from before him and seeking one of the kings, said to him, ’I come to thee and lay hold upon thy skirts and take refuge with thee, so thou mayst help me against mine enemy.’
The king gave him money and men and troops galore and Bekhtzeman said in himself, ’Now am I fortified with this army and needs must I conquer my enemy therewith and overcome him;’ but he said not, ‘With the aid of God the Most High.’ So his enemy met him and overcame him again and he was defeated and put to the rout and fled at a venture. His troops were dispersed from him and his money lost and the enemy followed after him. So he sought the sea and passing over to the other side, saw a great city and therein a mighty citadel. He asked the name of the city and to whom it belonged and they said to him, ’It belongeth to Khedidan the king.’ So he fared on till he came to the king’s palace aud concealing his condition, passed himself off for a horseman[FN#120] and sought service with King Khedidan, who attached him to his household and entreated him with honour; but his heart still clave to his country and his home.