WHAT THE ROSE DID TO THE CYPRESS 41
kept up for seven days and nights. By the will of the Great King it left no trace upon me. At the end of a week the perl-king ordered the ashes to be cast upon the dust-heap, and I was found alive and unharmed.
' Peris who had seen Gul consumed by her love for me now interceded with the king, and said : " It is clear that your daughter's fortunes are bound up with his, for the fire has not hurt him. It is best to give him the girl, for they love one another. He is King of Waq of Qaf, and you will find none better."
' To this the king agreed, and made formal marriage between Gul and me. You now know the price I paid for this faithless creature. 0 prince! remember our compact.'
I remember,' said the prince; ' but tell me what brought Queen Gul to her present pass ? '
' One night,' continued King Sinaubar,' I was aroused by feeling Gul's hands and feet, deadly cold, against my body. I asked her where she had been to get so cold, and she said she had had to go out. Next morning, when I went to my stable I saw that two of my horses, Wind-foot and Tiger, were thin and worn out. I reprimanded the groom and beat him. He asked where his fault lay, and said that every night my wife took one or other of these horses and rode away, and came back only just before dawn. A flame kindled in my heart, and I asked myself where she could go and what she could do. I told the groom to be silent, and when next Gul took a horse from the stable to saddle another quickly and bring it to me. That day I did not hunt, but stayed at home to follow the matter up. I lay down as usual at night and pretended to fall asleep. When I seemed safely off, Gul got up and went to the stable as her custom was. That night it was Tiger's turn. She rode off on him, and I took Windfoot and followed. With me went that dog you see, a faithful friend who never left me.
' When I came to the foot of those hills which lie