The Blue Fairy Book - online childrens book

Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

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civil and well dressed he soon made friends with Ali Baba's son, and through him with Ali Baba, whom he was continually asking to sup with him. Ali Baba, wishing to return his kindness, invited him into his house and received him smiling, thanking him for his kindness to his son. When the merchant was about to take his leave Ali Baba stopped him, saying: ' Where are you going, sir, in such haste ? Will you not stay and sup with me ? ' The mer­chant refused, saying that he had a reason ; and, on Ali Baba's ask­ing him what that was, he replied : ' It is, sir, that I can eat no victuals that have any salt in them.' ' If that is all,' said Ali Baba, ' let me tell you that there shall be no salt in either the meat or the bread that we eat to-night.' He went to give this order to Mor-giana, who was much surprised. ' Who is this man,' she said, ' who eats no salt with his meat ? ' ' He is an honest man, Mor-giana,' returned her master ; ' therefore do as I bid you.' But she could not withstand a desire to see this strange man, so she helped Abdallah to carry up the dishes, and saw in a moment that Cogia Hassan was the robber Captain, and carried a dagger under his gar­ment. ' I am not surprised,' she said to herself, ' that this wicked man, who intends to kill my master, will eat no salt with him; but I will hinder his plans.'
She sent up the supper by Abdallah, while she made ready for one of the boldest acts that could be thought on. When the dessert had been served, Cogia Hassan was left alone with Ali Baba and his son, whom he thought to make drunk and then to murder them. Morgiana, meanwhile, put on a head-dress like a dancing-girl's, and clasped a girdle round her waist, from which hung a dagger with a silver hilt, and said to Abdallah: ' Take your tabor, and let us go and divert our master and his guest.' Abdallah took his tabor and played before Morgiana until they came to the door, where Abdallah stopped playing and Morgiana made a low courtesy. ' Come in, Morgiana,' said Ali Baba, ' and let Cogia Hassan see what you can do;' and, turning to Cogia Hassan, he said : ' She's my slave and my housekeeper.' Cogia Hassan was by no means pleased, for he feared that his chance of killing Ali Baba was gone for the present; but he pretended great eagerness to see Morgiana, and Abdallah began to play and Morgiana to dance. After she had performed several dances she drew her dagger and made passes with it, sometimes pointing it at her own breast, sometimes at her master's, as if it were part of the dance. Suddenly, out of breath, she snatched the tabor from Abdallah with her left hand, and, holding the dagger
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