There was once a man of the drapers, who had a fair wife, and she was curtained [FN#54] and chaste. A certain young man saw her coming forth of the bath and loved her and his heart was occupied with her. So he cast about [to get access to her] with all manner of devices, but availed not to win to her; and when he was weary of endeavour and his patience was exhausted for weariness and his fortitude failed him and he was at an end of his resources against her, he complained of this to an old woman of ill-omen, [FN#55] who promised him to bring about union between him and her. He thanked her for this and promised her all manner of good; and she said to him, “Get thee to her husband and buy of him a turban-cloth of fine linen, and let it be of the goodliest of stuffs.”
So he repaired to the draper and buying of him a turban-cloth of lawn, returned with it to the old woman, who took it and burned it in two places. Then she donned devotees’ apparel and taking the turban-cloth with her, went to the draper’s house and knocked at the door. When the draper’s wife saw her, she opened to her and received her kindly and made much of her and welcomed her. So the old woman went in to her and conversed with her awhile. Then said she to her, “[I desire to make] the ablution [preparatory] to prayer.” So the wife brought her water and she made the ablution and standing up to pray, prayed and did her occasion. When she had made an end of her prayers, she left the turban-cloth in the place of prayer and went away.
Presently, in came the draper, at the hour of evening prayer, and sitting down in the place where the old woman had prayed, looked about him and espied the turban. He knew it [for that which he had that day sold to the young man] and misdoubted of the case, wherefore anger appeared in his face and he was wroth with his wife and reviled her and abode his day and his night, without speaking to her, what while she knew not the cause of his anger. Then she looked and seeing the turban-cloth before him and noting the traces of burning thereon, understood that his anger was on account of this and concluded that he was wroth because it was burnt.