358 THE STORY OF PRINCE AHMED
Prince Ali his brother, he was afraid he might have committed some rash action.
The Prince told a story of his adventures without speaking of the Fairy, whom he said that he must not mention, and ended: ' The only favour I ask of your Majesty is to give me leave to come often and pay you my respects, and to know how you do.'
' Son,' answered the Sultan of the Indies, ' I cannot refuse you the leave you ask me ; but I should much rather you. would resolve to stay with me; at least tell me where I may send to you if you should fail to come, or when I may think your presence necessary.' 4 Sir,' replied Prince Ahmed, ' what your Majesty asks of me is part of the mystery I spoke to your Majesty of. I beg of you to give me leave to remain silent on this head, for I shall come so frequently that I am afraid that I shall sooner be thought troublesome than be accused of negligence in my duty.'
The Sultan of the Indies pressed Prince Ahmed no more, but said to him : ' Son, I penetrate no farther into your secrets, but leave you at your liberty: but can tell you that you could not do me a greater pleasure than to come, and by your presence restore to me the joy I have not felt this long time, and that you shall always be welcome when you come, without interrupting your business or pleasure.'
Prince Ahmed stayed but three days at the Sultan his father's Court, and the fourth returned to the Fairy Paribanou, who did not expect him so soon.
A month after Prince Ahmed's return from paying a visit to his father, as the Fairy Paribanou had observed that the Prince, since the time that he gave her an account of his journey, his discourse with his father, and the leave he asked to go and see him often, had never talked of the Sultan, as if there had been no such person in the world, whereas before he was always speaking of him, she thought he forebore on her account; therefore she took an opportunity to say to him one day: ' Prince, tell me, have you forgot the Sultan your father ? Don't you remember the promise you made to go and see him often ? For my part, I have not forgot what you told me at your return, and so put you in mind of it, that you may not be long before you acquit yourself of your promise.'
So Prince Ahmed went the next morning with the same attendance as before, but much finer, and himself more magnificently mounted, equipped, and dressed, and was received by the Sultan with the same joy and satisfaction. For several months