326 WALI DAD THE SIMPLE-HEARTED
together with all their retinue and servants, down to the very humblest in the camp.
For three nights and days a great feast was held in honour of the royal guests. Every evening the king and his nobles were served on golden plates and from golden cups ; and the smaller people on silver plates and from silver cups; and each evening each guest was requested to keep the plates and cups that they had used as a rsmembrance of the occasion. Never had anything so splendid been seen. Besides the great dinners, there were sports and hunting, and dances, and amusements of all sorts.
On the fourth day the king of Khaistan took his host aside, and asked him whether it was true, as he had suspected, that he wished to marry his daughter. But Wali Dad, after thanking him very much for the compliment, said that he had never dreamed of so great an honour, and that he was far too old and ugly for so fair a lady; but he begged the king to stay with him until he could send for the Prince of Nekabad, who was a most excellent, brave, and honourable young man, and would surely be delighted to try to win the hand of the beautiful princess.
To this the king agreed, and Wali Dad sent the merchant to Nekabad, with a number of attendants, and with such handsome presents that the prince came at once, fell head over ears in love with the princess, and married her at Wali Dad's palace amidst a fresh outburst of rejoicings.
And now the King of Khaistan and the Prince and Princess of Nekabad, each went back to their own country; and Wali Dad lived to a good old age, befriending all who were in trouble, and preserving, in his prosperity, the simple-hearted and generous nature that he had when he was only Wali Dad Gun jay, the grass cutter.
[Told the author by an Indian.]