to him and asked who owned the packages that I waff looking at.
' There was on board my ship,' he replied, ' a merchant of Bagdad named Sindbad. One day he and several of my other passengers landed upon what we supposed to be an island, but which was really an enormous whale floating asleep upon the waves. No sooner did it feel upon its back the heat of the fire which had been kindled, than it plunged into the depths of the sea. Several of the people who were upon it perished in the waters, and among others this unlucky Sindbad. This merchandise is his, but I have resolved to dispose of it for the benefit of his family if I should ever chance to meet with them.'
' Captain,' said I, ' I am that Sindbad whom you believe to be dead, and these are my possessions!'
When the captain heard these words he cried out in amazement, ' Lackaday! and what is the world coming to? In these days there is not an honest man to be met with. Did I not with my own eyes see Sindbad drown, and now you have the audacity to tell me that you are he! I should have taken you to be a just man, and yet for the sake of obtaining that which does not belong to you, you are ready to invent this horrible falsehood.'
' Have patience, and do me the t'avour to hear my story,' said I.
' Speak then,' replied the captain, ' I'm all attention.'
So I told him of my escape and of my fortunate meeting with the king's grooms, and how kindly I had been received at the palace. Very soon I began to see that I had made some impression upon him, and after the arrival of some of the other merchants who showed great joy at once more seeing me alive, he declared that he also recognised me.
Throwing himself upon my neck he exclaimed, ' Heaven be praised that you have escaped from so grea a danger. As to your goods, I pray you take them, and