After this wise, four years passed by, during which time the King sent every few days to seek news of Sufiyeh and her children; but all this while, his son Sherkan knew not that a male child had been born to his father, having news only of the birth of his daughter Nuzhet ez Zeman, and they hid the thing from him, until years and days had passed by, whilst he was busied in contending with the men of war and tilting against the cavaliers.
But if thou pay no heed to my letter and disobey my commandment, I will assuredly requite thee thy foul dealing and the baseness of thine acts. When my father read this letter, it was grievous to him and he regretted not having known that Sufiyeh, King Afridoun's daughter, was amongst the captured damsels, that he might have sent her back to her father; and he was perplexed about the affair, for that, after the lapse of so long a time, he could not send to King Omar ben Ennuman and demand her back from him, the more that he had lately heard that God had vouchsafed him children by this very Sufiyeh.
And he despatched the letter to her, which when she read, she rejoiced greatly and forthwith equipping herself and Sufiyeh, set out with their attendants and journeyed, without stopping, till they drew near Baghdad.
I was wont to resort thither with the rest; but when there befell hostility between us, my father forbade me to be present at the festival for the space of seven years. One year, it chanced that amongst the young ladies who resorted to the Festival as of wont, there came the King's daughter of Constantinople, a handsome girl called Sufiyeh.
So do ye suspect none of having killed him, for none slew him but the cunning witch, whose name is Dhat ed Dewahi. And behold, I have taken the King's wife Sufiyeh and have carried her to her father King Afridoun of Constantinople.
As soon as she reached her own country and felt herself in safety, she said to her son, King Herdoub, "Be consoled; for I have avenged thy daughter Abrizeh and killed King Omar ben Ennuman and brought back the Princess Sufiyeh.
When they sighted the sails of the ship in which were Sufiyeh and her maidens, they gave chase in all haste and coming up with her before long, threw grapnels on board and made fast to her. Then they made all sail for their own island and were but a little distant from it, when the wind veered and rent their sails and cast them on to a reef on our coast.
Thy father accepted them and chose out from amongst the five girls the princess Sufiyeh, daughter of King Afridoun; nor did we hear aught more of the matter till the beginning of this year, when King Afridoun wrote to my father in terms which it befits not to repeat, reproaching and menacing him and saying to him, 'Two years ago, there fell into thy hands a ship of ours, that had been seized by a company of Frankish corsairs and in which was my daughter Sufiyeh, attended by near threescore damsels.
They tarried at the monastery six days, and on the seventh, the folk went away; but Sufiyeh said, 'I will not return to Constantinople, but by sea. So they fitted her out a ship, in which she embarked, she and her suite, and put out to sea; but as they sailed, a contrary wind caught them and drove the ship from her course, till, as fate and providence would have it, she fell in with a ship of the Christians from the Island of Camphor, with a crew of five hundred armed Franks, who had been cruising about for some time.
"O King," replied Sufiyeh, "what could I desire greater or more exalted than this my standing with thee, overwhelmed as I am with thy favours and thy goodness? And God to boot hath blessed me by thee with two children, a son and a daughter." Her answer pleased the King and he set apart for her and her children a splendid palace.