THE STORY OF THE SECOND OLD MANt AND OF THE TWO BLACK DOGS
Great prince of the genii, you must know that we are three brothers — these two black dogs and myself. Our father died, leaving us each a thousand sequins. With this sum we all three took up the same profession, and became merchants. A short time after we had opened our shops, my eldest brother, one of these two dogs, resolved to travel in foreign countries for the sake of merchandise. With this intention he sold all he had and bought merchandise suitable to the voyages he was about to make. He set out, and was away a whole year. At the end of this time a beggar came to my shop. ' Good-day,' I said. ' Good-day,' he answered; ' is it possible that you do not recognise me ? ' Then I looked at him closely and saw he was my brother. I made him come into my house, and asked him how he had fared in his enterprise.
' Do not question me,' he replied, ' seeing me, you see all I have. It would but renew my trouble to tell of all the misfortunes that have befallen me in a year, and have brought me to this state.'
I shut up my shop, paid him every attention, taking him to the bath, and giving him my most beautiful robes. I examined my accounts, and found that I had doubled my capital — that is, that I now possessed two thousand sequins. I gave my brother half, saying: ' Now, brother, you can forget your losses.' He accepted them with joy, and we lived together as we had before.
Some time afterwards my second brother wished also