130 THE STORY OF A GAZELLE
long journey. And he likewise ordered milk to be brought, and rice, that it might eat and drink and be refreshed.
And when the gazelle was rested, the sultan said to it: ' Give me the news you have come with.'
And the gazelle answered: ' I am come with this diamond, which is a pledge from my master the Sultan Darai. He has heard you have a daughter, and sends you this small token, and begs you will give her to him to wife.'
And the sultan said: ' I am content. The wife is his wife, the family is his family, the slave is his slave. Let him come to me empty-handed, I am content.'
When the sultan had ended, the gazelle rose, and said: 'Master, farewell; I go back to our town, and in eight days, or it may be in eleven days, we shall arrive as your guests.'
And the sultan answered; ' So let it be.'
All this time the poor man far away had been mourning and weeping for his gazelle, which he thought had run away from him for ever. And when it came in at the door he rushed to embrace it with such joy that he would not allow it a chance to speak.
' Be still, master, and don't cry,' said the gazelle at last; ' let us sleep now, and in the morning, when I go, follow me.'
With the first ray of dawn they got up and went into the forest, and on the fifth day, as they were resting near a stream, the gazelle gave its master a sound beating, and then bade him stay where he was till it returned. And the gazelle ran off, and about ten o'clock it came near the sultan's palace, where the road was all lined with soldiers who were there to do honour to Sultan Darai. And directly they caught sight of the gazelle in the distance one of the soldiers ran on and said, ' Sultan Darai is coming: I have seen the gazelle.'
Then the sultan rose up, and called his whole court to follow him, and went out to meet the gazelle, who, bound-