8 MADS CHUN
one supposed that the cottage was deserted. At length, one fine morning, the young man got up early and dressed himself, and put on his best turban, and after a hasty breakfast took the road to the palace.
The huge negro before the door evidently expected him, for without a word he let him pass, and another attendant who was waiting inside conducted him straight into the presence of the sultan, who welcomed him gladly.
' Ah, my son ! where have you hidden yourself all this time ? ' said he. And the bald-headed man answered:
' Oh, Sultan! Fairly I won your daughter, but you broke your word, and would not give her to me. Then my home grew hateful to me, and I set out to wander through the world ! But now that you have repented of your ill-faith, I have come to claim the wife who is mine of right. Therefore bid your wizir prepare the contract.'
So a fresh contract was prepared, and at the wash of the new bridegroom was signed by the sultan and the wizir in the chamber where they met. After this was done, the youth begged the sultan to lead him to the princess, and together they entered the big hall, where everyone was standing exactly as they were when the young man had uttered the fatal word.
' Can you remove the spell ? ' asked the sultan anxiously.
I think so,' replied the young man (who, to say the truth, was a little anxious himself), and stepping forward, he cried:
' Let the victims of Madschun be free !'
No sooner were the words uttered than the statues returned to life, and the bride placed her hand joyfully in that of her new bridegroom. As for the old one, he vanished completely, and no one ever knew what became of him.
^Adapted from Tilrkische VolksmUrcTien aus Stambul. Dr. Ignaz Ktinos. E, J, Brill, Leiden.]