THE STORY OF A GAZELLE 141
talked much together, nor have we yet ridden out together, nor have we eaten together; yet it is fourteen days since he came.'
But the gazelle replied: ' My lord, you cannot help it, for he wishes to go home, and nothing will stop him.'
' Very good,' said the sultan, and he called all the people who were in the town, and commanded that the day his daughter left the palace ladies and guards were to attend her on her way.
And at the end of four days a great company of ladies and slaves and horses went forth to escort the wife of Sultan Darai to her new home. They rode all day, and when the sun sank behind the hills they rested, and ate of the food the gazelle gave them, and lay down to sleep. And they journeyed on for many days, and they all, nobles and slaves, loved the gazelle with a great love — more than they loved the Sultan Darai.
At last one day signs of houses appeared, far, far off. And those who saw cried out, ' Gazelle !'
And it answered, ' Ah, my mistresses, that is the house of Sultan Darai.'
At this news the women rejoiced much, and the slaves rejoiced much, and in the space of two hours they came to the gates, and the gazelle bade them all stay behind, and it went on to the house with Sultan Darai.
When the old woman saw them coming through the courtyard she jumped and shouted for joy, and as the gazelle drew near she seized it in her arms, and kissed it. The gazelle did not like this, and said to her: ' Old woman, leave me alone; the one to be carried is my master, and the one to be kissed is my master.'
And she answered, ' Forgive me, my son. I did not know this was our master,' and she threw open all the doors so that the master might see everything that the rooms and storehouses contained. Sultan Darai looked about him, and at length he said:
' Unfasten those horses that are tied up, and let loose