258 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS
attended by some officers of the court, and arrived just as the captain was landing. She sent for him and asked many questions as to his country, voyage, what passengers he had, and what his vessel was laden with. The captain answered all her questions, and said that his passengers consisted entirely of traders who brought rich stuffs from various countries, fine muslins, precious stones, musk, amber, spices, drugs, olives, and many other things.
As soon as he mentioned olives, the princess, who was very partial to them, exclaimed :
'I will take all you have on board. Have them unloaded and we will make our bargain at once, and tell the other merchants to let me see all their best wares before showing them to other people.'
' Sire,' replied the captain, ' I have on board fifty very large pots of olives. They belong to a merchant who was left behind, as in spite of waiting for him he delayed so long that I was obliged to set sail without him.'
' Never mind,' said the princess, ' unload them all the same, and we will arrange the price.'
The captain accordingly sent his boat off to the ship and it soon returned laden with the fifty pots of olives. The princess asked what they might be worth.
' Sire,' replied the captain, ' the merchant is very poor. Your Majesty will not overpay him if you give him a thousand pieces of silver.'
' In order to satisfy him and as he is so poor,' said the princess, ' I will order a thousand pieces of gold to be given you, which you will be sure to remit to him.'
So saying she gave orders for the payment and returned to the palace, having the jars carried before her. When evening came the Princess Badoura retired to the inner part of the palace, and going to the apartments of the Princess Haiatelnefous she had the fifty jars of olives brought to her. She opened one to let her friend taste the olives and to taste them herself, but great was her surprise when, on pouring some into a dish, she found them