The Caliph examined it and lifted it finding it weighty; so he gave the fisherman two hundred dinars and sent him about his business; whilst Masrur, aided by the Caliph, carried the chest to the palace and set it down and lighted the candles. Ja'afar and Masrur then broke it open and found therein a basket of palm-leaves corded with red worsted.
Presently, one of them said to his neighbour, "O my lord Hasan, tell me whence came to thee the capital whereon thou trades"." He replied, "When I grew up and came to man's estate, I said to my sire, 'O my father, give me merchandise. Quoth he, 'O my son, I have none by me; but go thou to some merchant and take of him money and traffic with it; and so learn to buy and sell, give and take. So I went to one of the traders and borrowed of him a thousand dinars, wherewith I bought stuffs and carrying them to Damascus, sold them there at a profit of two for one.
At the end of the three days, she came again, dressed in gold brocade and wearing richer ornaments than before. I had made ready a repast; so we ate and drank and lay together, as before, till the morning, when she gave me other ten dinars and appointed me again for three days thence.
He answered, "It was this my wife," and told them all that had befallen him, adding, "Verily my father-in-law hath bound me to pay a marriage-settlement of ten thousand dinars for her, and they have given me ten days' time." Said one of the Dervishes, "Have no care and think of naught but good; for I am Shaykh of the Convent and have forty Dervishes under my orders.
My court will receive signal honour if you will present yourself after the morning prayer of the day after to-morrow. My treasurer will receive from you with gratitude and remembrance upon the previous day and not later than noon, the sum of one million dinars." Here, indeed, was a perplexity.
Then he sent for money and paid her master Abu al-Husn an hundred thousand gold pieces to her price; after which he said to her, "O Tawaddud, ask a boon of me!" Replied she, "I ask of thee that thou restore me to my lord who sold me." "'Tis well," answered the Caliph and restored her to her master and gave her five thousand dinars for herself.
The old woman ceased not to make excuse after excuse to the girl's mother and to put off cheat upon cheat upon her, till Mahziyah had tarried seven days with the young man, of whom she took an hundred dinars each day for herself; while he enjoyed all the solace of life and coition.
One day she said to me, 'We have to-day a wedding at our house, the like of which was never beheld, and I wish thee to see it. 'I hear and obey, answered I, and rising, donned my handsomest clothes and jewellery and took with me a purse containing a hundred dinars.
So Bedreddin took pen and paper and wrote the following in double: "The writer, Bedreddin Hassan, son of the Vizier Noureddin of Bassora, has sold to Isaac the Jew all the cargo of the first of his father's ships that comes into port, at the price of a thousand dinars, which he has received in advance."
Quoth he, "Almighty Allah hath enabled us to do without them; but if they come to us never again will I open the door to them." She asked, "Why so, whenas their coming footsteps brought us good luck; and, moreover, they put an hundred dinars under the prayer carpet for us every night? Perforce must thou open the door to them an they come."