THE ARABIAN NIGHTS
hear your head speak when you are dead, you should die.' '
So saying, he took the book from the physician's hands, and ordered the executioner to do his duty.
The head was so cleverly cut off that it fell into the basin, and directly the blood ceased to flow. Then, to the great astonishment of the king, the eyes opened, and the head said, ' Your majesty, open the book.' The king did so, and finding that the first leaf stuck against the second, he put his finger in his mouth, to turn it more easily. He did the same thing till he reached the sixth page, and not seeing any writing on it, ' Physician,' he said, ' there is no writing.'
' Turn over a few more pages,' answered the head. The king went on turning, still putting his finger in his mouth, till the poison in which each page was dipped took effect. His sight failed him, and he fell at the foot of his throne.
When the physician's head saw that the poison had taken effect, and that the king had only a few more minutes to live, ' Tyrant,' it cried, ' see how cruelty and injustice are punished.'
Scarcely had it uttered these words than the king died, and the head lost also the little life that had remained in it.
That is the end of the story of the Greek king, and now let us return to the fisherman and the genius.
' If the Greek king,' said the fisherman, ' had spared the physician, he would not have thus died. The same thing applies to you. Now I am going to throw you into the sea.'
' My friend,' said the genius, ' do not do such a cruel thing. Do not treat me as Imma treated Ateca.'
' What did Imma do to Ateca?' asked the fisherman.
' Do you think I can tell you while I am shut up here ?' replied the genius. ' Let me out. and I will make you rich.'