26 WHAT THE ROSE DID TO THE CYPRESS
thousand or four thousand more. Their chief is Taram-taq.1 Further on than this is the home of the Simurgh.'
Having stored these things in the prince's memory, she said : ' You will see everything happen just as I have said.' Then she escorted him a little way ; they parted, and she went home to mourn his absence.
Prince Almas, relying on the Causer of Causes, rode on to the Place of Gifts and dismounted at the platform. Everything happened just as Jamlla had foretold ; when one or two watches of the night had passed, he saw that the open ground around him was full of such stately and splendid animals as he had never seen before. By-and-by, they made way for a wonderfully big lion, which was eighty yards from nose to tail-tip, and was a magnificent creature. The prince advanced and saluted it; it proudly drooped its head and forelocks and paced to the platform. Seventy or eighty others were with it, and now encircled it at a little distance. It laid its right paw over its left, and the prince took the kerchief Jamlla had given him for the purpose, and rubbed the dust and earth from its face; then brought forward the game he had prepared, and crossing his hands respectfully on his breast stood wraiting before it. When it wished for food he cut off pieces of the meat and put them in its mouth. The serving lions also came near and the prince would have stayed his hand, but the king-lion signed to him to feed them too. This he did, laying the meat on the platform. Then the king-lion beckoned the prince to come near and said: ' Sleep at ease; my guards will watch.' So, surrounded by the lion-guard, he slept till dawn, when the king-lion said good-bye, and gave him a few of his own hairs and said : ' When you are in any difficulty, burn one of these and I will be there.' Then it went off into the jungle.
Prince Almas immediately started; he rode till he came to the parting of the ways. He remembered quite well that the right-hand way was short and dangerous,
' Pomp and Pride.