262 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS
moaning over all the sad events which had separated him from his wife, he thought he heard a knock at the garden door. He went to open it, and was immediately seized by the captain and sailors, who without a word of explanation forcibly bore him off to the boat, which took them back to the ship without loss of time. No sooner were they on board than they weighed anchor and set sail.
Camaralzaman, who had kept silence till then, now asked the captain (whom he had recognised) the reason for this abduction.
' Are you not a debtor of the King of the Ebony Island ? ' asked the captain.
'I? Why, I never even heard of him before, and never set foot in his kingdom !' was the answer.
' Well, you must know better than I,' said the captain. ' You will soon see him now, and meantime be content where you are and have patience.'
The return voyage was as prosperous as the former one, and though it was night when the ship entered the harbour, the captain lost no time in landing with his passenger, whom he conducted to the palace, where, he begged an audience with the king.
Directly the Princess Badoura saw the prince she recognised him in spite of his shabby clothes. She longed to throw herself on his neck, but restrained herself, feeling it was better for them both that she should play her part a little longer. She therefore desired one of her officers to take care of him and to treat him well. Next she ordered another officer to remove the seals from the warehouse, whilst she presented the captain with a costly diamond, and told him to keep the thousand pieces of gold paid for the olives, as she would arrange matters with the merchant himself.
She then returned to her private apartments, where she told the Princess Haiatelnefous all that had happened, as well as her plans for the future, and begged her assistance, which her friend readily promised.