The Blue Fairy Book - online childrens book

Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

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244
THE FORTY THIEVES
the alarm: they drew their sabres, and went to the door, which opened on their Captain's saying: ' Open, Sesame ! ' Cassim, who had heard the trampling of their horses' feet, resolved to sell his life dearly, so when the door opened he leaped out and threw the Captain down. In vain, however, for the robbers with their sabres soon killed him. On entering the cave they saw all the bags laid ready, and could not imagine how anyone had got in without know­ing their secret. They cut Cassim's body into four quarters, and nailed them up inside the cave, in order to frighten anyone who should venture in, and went away in search of more treasure.
As night drew on Cassim's wife grew very uneasy, and ran to her brother-in-law, and told him where her husband had gone. Ali Baba did his best to comfort her, and set out to the forest in search of Cassim. The first thing he saw on entering the cave was his dead brother. Full of horror, he put the body on one of his asses, and bags of gold on the other two, and, covering all with some fagots, returned home. He drove the two asses laden with gold into his own yard, and led the other to Cassim's house. The door was opened by the slave Moi'giana, whom he knew to be both brave and cunning. Unloading the ass, he said to her : ' This is the body of your master, who has been murdered, but whom we must bury as thotigh he had died in his bed. I will speak with you again, but now tell your mistress I am come.' The wife of Cassim, on learning the fate of her husband, broke out into cries and tears, but Ali Baba offered to take her to live with him and his wife if she would promise to keep his counsel and leave everything to Morgiana ; whereupon she agreed, and dried her eyes.
Morgiana, meanwhile, sought an apothecary and asked him for some lozenges. ' My poor master,' she said, ' can neither eat nor speak, and no one knows what his distemper is.' She carried home the lozenges and returned next day weeping, and asked for an essence only given to those just about to die. Thus, in the evening, no one was surprised to hear the wretched shrieks and cries of Cassim's wife and Morgiana, telling everyone that Cassim was dead. The day after Morgiana went to an old cobbler near the gates of the town who opened his stall early, put a piece of gold in his hand, and bade him follow her with his needle and thread. Having hound his eyes with a handkerchief, she took him to the room where the body lay, pulled off the bandage, and bade him sew the quarters together, after which she covered his eyes again and led him home. Then they buried Cassim, and Morgiana his slave
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