KUPTI AND IMANI
beautiful house for her and the old fakir, and in all the city there was none finer except the king's palace. Presently this reached the ears of the king, and when he inquired whose it was they told him that it belonged to his daughter.
' Well,' exclaimed the king, ' she said that she would make her own fortune, and somehow or other she seems to have done it! '
A little while after this, business took the king to another country, and before he went he asked his elder daughter what she would like him to bring her back as a gift.
' A necklace of rubies,' answered she. And then the king thought he would like to ask Imani too; so he sent a messenger to find out what sort of a present she wanted. The man happened to arrive just as she was trying to disentangle a knot in her loom, and bowing low before her, he said :
' The king sends me to inquire what you wish him to bring you as a present from the country of Dur ? ' But Imani, who was only considering how she could best untie the knot without breaking the thread, replied:
' Patience !' meaning that the messenger should wait till she was able to attend to him. But the messenger went off with this as an answer, and told the king that the only thing the princess Imani wanted was ' patience.'
' Oh!' said the king, ' I don't know whether that's a thing to be bought at Dur; I never had it myself, but if it is to be got I will buy it for her.'
Next day the king departed on his journey, and when his business at Dur was completed he bought for Kupti a beautiful ruby necklace. Then he said to a servant:
' The princess Imani wants some patience. I did not know there was such a thing, but you must go to the market and inquire, and if any is to be sold, get it and bring it to me.'