STORY OF THE THREE SONS OF HALI 239
this very night I expect to secure both the silver and the gold watch. So send at once and pray Zelida to join us.'
A rustling of silken stuffs drew their eyes to the door, and Ibrahim and Hassan, whose daily penance had by this time been performed, entered to embrace their brother. Neangir and Hassan, who had also drunk of the elixir of love, could think of nothing but the beautiful ladies who had captured their hearts, while the spirits of Ibrahim had been cheered by the news that the daughter of Moizes hoped to find in the Book of Spells some charm ta deliver him from collecting the magic beads.
It was some hours later that Sumi returned, bringing with her the sacred book.
' See,' she said, beckoning to Hassan, ' your destiny is written here.' And Hassan stooped and read these words in Hebrew : 'His right hand has become black as ebony from touching the fat of an impure animal, and will remain so till the last of its race is drowned in the sea.'
' Alas !' sighed the unfortunate youth. ' It now comes back to my memory. One day the slave of Zambac was making a cake. She warned me not to touch, as the cake was mixed with lard, but I did not heed her, and in an instant my hand became the ebony that it now is.'
' Holy dervish!' exclaimed the Bassa, ' how true were your words! My son has neglected the advice you gave him on presenting him the bracelet, and he has been severely punished. But tell me, O wise Sumi, where I can find the last of the accursed race who has brought this doom on my son ? '
' It is written here,' replied Sumi, turning over some leaves. c The little black pig is in the pink bag carried by the two Circassians.'
'When he read this the Bassa sank on his cushions in despair.
' Ah,' he said, ' that is the bag that was offered me