So she made ready and setting out, traversed the deserts and spent treasures till she came to Sejestan, where she called a goldsmith to make her somewhat of trinkets. [Now the goldsmith in question was none other than the prince’s friend]; so, when he saw her, he knew her (for that the prince had talked with him of her and had depictured her to him) and questioned her of her case. She acquainted him with her errand, whereupon he buffeted his face and rent his clothes and strewed dust on his head and fell a-weeping. Quoth she, ‘Why dost thou thus?’ And he acquainted her with the prince’s case and how he was his comrade and told her that he was dead; whereat she grieved for him and faring on to his father and mother, [acquainted them with the case].
So the prince’s father and his uncle and his mother and the grandees of the realm repaired to his tomb and the princess made lamentation over him, crying aloud. She abode by the tomb a whole month; then she let fetch painters and caused them limn her portraiture and that of the king’s son. Moreover, she set down in writing their story and that which had befallen them of perils and afflictions and set it [together with the pictures], at the head of the tomb; and after a little, they departed from the place. Nor,” added the vizier, “is this more extraordinary, O king of the age, than the story of the fuller and his wife and the trooper and what passed between them.”
With this the king bade the vizier go away to his lodging, and when he arose in the morning, he abode his day in his house.
The Seventh Night of the Month.
At eventide the king sat [in his privy sitting-chamber] and sending for the vizier, said to him, “Tell me the story of the fuller and his wife.” “With all my heart,” answered the vizier. So he came forward and said, “Know, O king of the age, that
STORY OF THE FULLER AND HIS WIFE.
There was once in a certain city a woman fair of favour, who had to lover a trooper. Her husband was a fuller, and when he went out to his business, the trooper used to come to her and abide with her till the time of the fuller’s return, when he would go away. On this wise they abode awhile, till one day the trooper said to his mistress, ’I mean to take me a house near unto thine and dig an underground passage from my house to thy house, and do thou say to thy husband, “My sister hath been absent with her husband and now they have returned from their travels; and I have made her take up her sojourn in my neighbourhood, so I may foregather with her at all times. So go thou to her husband the trooper and offer him thy wares [for sale], and thou wilt see my sister with him and wilt see that she is I and I am she, without doubt. So, Allah, Allah, go to my sister’s husband and give ear to that which he shall say to thee."’