38 WHAT THE ROSE DID TO THE CYPRESS
your purpose is fulfilled.' ' Truly,' said the prince, ' I have seen things which I have not understood ; what do they mean, and what is the story of them ? Tell me and kill me.'
Then said the king : ' The woman you see there in chains is my wife; she is called Gul, the Eose, and I am Sinaubar, the Cypress. One day I was hunting and became very thirsty. After great search I discovered a well in a place so secret that neither bird nor beast nor man could find it without labour. I was alone, I took my turban for a rope and my cap for a bucket. There was a good deal of water, but when I let down my rope, something caught it, and I could not in any way draw it back. I shouted down into the well: " O ! servant of God ! whoever you are, why do you deal unfairly with me ? I am dying of thirst, let go ! in God's name." A cry came up in answer, " O servant of God ! we have been in the well a long time ; in God's name get us out! " After trying a thousand schemes, I drew up two blind women. They said they were perls, and that their king had blinded them in his anger and had left them in the well alone.
' " Now," they said, " if you will get us the cure for our blindness we will devote ourselves to your service, and will do whatever you wish."
' " What is the cure for your blindness ? "
' " Not far from this place," they said, " a cow comes up from the great sea to graze; a little of her dung would cure us. We should be eternally your debtors. Do not let the cow see you, or she will assuredly kill you."
' With renewed strength and spirit I went to the shore. There I watched the cow come up from the sea, graze, and go back. Then I came out of my hiding, took a little of her dung and conveyed it to the perls. They rubbed it on their eyes, and by the Divine might saw again.
' They thanked heaven and me, and then considered what they could do to show their gratitude to me. " Our peri-king," they said, "has a daughter whom he keeps