STORY OF THE THREE SONS OF HALI 243
by a dervish who had cured his wounds, and had then given him as slave to the two young ladies now before the company, and in their service he had remained ever since.
' But,' said the Bassa, ' where is the little black pig of which the voice spoke just now? '
' My lord,' answered one of the ladies, ' when at your command the wall was thrown down, the man whom you heard speaking was so frightened at the noise that he caught up the pig and ran away.'
'Let him be pursued instantly,' cried the Bassa; but the ladies smiled.
' Do not be alarmed, my lord,' said one, ' he is sure to return. Only give orders that the entrance to the cave shall be guarded, so that when he is once in he shall not get out again.'
By this time night was falling and they all went back to the palace, where coffee and fruits were served in a splendid gallery, near the women's apartments. The Bassa then ordered the three Jews to be brought before him, so that he might see whether these were the two damsels who had forced them to dance at the inn, but to his great vexation it was found that when their guards had gone to knock down the wall the Jews had escaped.
At this news the Jewess Sumi turned pale, but glancing at the Book of Spells her face brightened, and she said half aloud, 'There is no cause for disquiet; they will capture the dervish,' while Hassan lamented loudly that as soon as fortune appeared on one side she fled on the other!
On hearing this reflection one of the Bassa's pages broke into a laugh. ' This fortune comes to us dancing, my lord,' said he, ' and the other leaves us on crutches. Do not be afraid. She will not go very far.'
The B shocked at his impertinent interference,
desired him to leave the room and not to come back till he was sent for.