CAMARALZAMAN AND BADOUBA 229
are you satisfied that my prince surpasses your princess ? Another time pray believe me when I assert anything.'
Then turning to Caschcasch: ' My thanks to you, and now do you and Danhasch bear the princess back to her own home.'
The two genii hastened to obey, and Maimoune returned to her well.
On waking next morning the first thing Prince Camaralzaman did was to look round for the lovely lady he had seen at night, and the next to question the slave who waited on him about her. But the slave persisted so strongly that he knew nothing of any lady, and still less of how she got into the towrer, that the prince lost all patience, and after giving him a good beating tied a rope round him and ducked him in the well till the unfortunate man cried out that he would tell everything. Then the prince drew him up all dripping wet, but the slave begged leave to change his clothes first, and as soon as the prince consented hurried off just as he was to the palace. Here he found the king talking to the grand-vizir of all the anxiety his son had caused him. The slave was admitted at once and cried:
' Alas, Sire! I bring sad news to your Majesty. There can be no doubt that the prince has completely lost his senses. He declares that he saw a lady sleeping on his couch last night, and the state you see me in proves how violent contradiction makes him.' He then gave a minute account of all the prince had said and done.
The king, much moved, begged the vizir to examine into this new misfortune, and the latter at once went to the tower, where he found the prince quietly reading a book. After the first exchange of greetings the vizir said :
'I feel really very angry with your slave for alarming his Majesty by the news he brought jim.'
8 What news ?' asked the prince.
' Ah! ■ replied the vizir, ' something absurd, I feci sure, seeing how I find you.'